MARIA STANLEY FW 17
I HAD THE PLEASURE OF CONNECTING with Los Angeles designer Maria Stanley through a mutual friend, and I was so excited to style some pieces from her and then actually get to meet her just a week ago at the Line Hotel for Garmentory's LA Market. She's super sweet in addition to being a super talented designer. I'm in love with her versatile textiles and prints, which are sometimes outside of my usual wardrobe, but they somehow work seamlessly with pieces I already own-- I think because of the color palette and wearable silhouettes. Also, I think I'm just getting a bit more adventurous. Everything from Maria is just really flattering.
Read on to find out more about Maria Stanley below!
Photos by Sisilia Piring and Karlee Valdez
How did you get started in design?
Deep down it was always something that I wanted to do. I was an introverted and creative child, and was happiest left to to be by myself creating. I started making my own clothes as a teenager, which lead me to dreaming of fashion school. I moved 2 months out of high school from small town Minnesota to Los Angeles to make my dreams come true. I studied at FIDM, interned for a few designers, and landed my first assistant job right out of college. I worked under a couple corporate companies for a few years until I was offered the opportunity of a life time, the senior designer position of Harlyn, a new brand at the age of 23. I worked with the creative director who gave me a ton of creative freedom (perhaps even a little too much), I ran a small team and kicked some serious booty, pumping out a 30 piece collection every month. I did this for 5 years, until I decided it was time to take the leap to being my own boss while I still had the energy, and launched my namesake collection for Spring 2016.
What are your design inspirations?
My inspirations com from all over the place. A Victorian blouse I bought in high school, a Georgia O’Keeffe book my boyfriend bought me for Christmas, the colors from a photo I took looking out from a roof top in Paris. At the root of it, I have loved and admired vintage clothing for as long as I can remember, and I have my mom to thank for that. She had the most beautiful wardrobe that she used to let me play dress up with. I love that she didn’t get rid of things from when she was young, it’s like she saved them for me because she knew I would appreciate them some day.
How does the place you live in influence your design aesthetic?
I live and work out of Silverlake, the cutest little artsy community in Los Angeles, which in itself is inspiring. But I think my biggest take out of living in Los Angeles for 11 years is the extremely talented women I’m surrounded by daily. I feel so lucky to be inspired by and supported by such a beautiful inside and out group of lady friends.
What is your mission statement for Maria Stanley?
My greatest dream is for ladies who wear my clothes to love and wear them for a very long time. For my design process to always be genuine, to design things I want to wear and for the women around me. To make clothing as ethically and sustainably as possible. To support small and growing businesses such as myself.
What other creative outlets do you have?
I don’t get to do it as often as I would like, but I absolutely love to paint. Someday when I have more studio space, I’d like to designate an area just for painting. Just for me to make a mess out of and not have to worry about cleaning up.
Describe a typical day at work and also a day off.
I usually wake up around 8 am, take my little pup pup on a walk, and pour myself a cup of cold brew with a splash of almond milk. Emails always take up a big chunk of my mornings. Then, depending on the day, I run errands… factory visits, fabric approvals, sample or pattern making meetings. On more exciting creative days I get to do some sketching, go hunting for inspiration, or do photo shoots. I usually end my day doing my favorite thing in the world, making dinner with my boyfriend and chatting with him about the day on the couch.
On a rare full day off, I try my best to sleep in, or at least lay in bed for as long as I possibly can. I love taking walks around the neighborhood, going to a barre class, flea markets, cafe hangs with my love and friends. I love getting out of the madness of LA whenever possible. Even just a day trip to Joshua Tree to clear my brain. The desert is such a magical and special place for me.
What's next for your line?
The SS18 collection is inspired by a trip I took earlier this year to Paris and Amsterdam with my love, it’s by far my most romantic collection, but also my most wearable. I’ve been wearing the samples non-stop, so that’s always a good sign. You can view a sneak peek of the collection here.
I also have a trip to India in the works, which is where half my collection is made. I haven’t been yet, and I’m dying for the chance to get to work with the artisans there on my FW18 collection. We do everything primarily though email now, and doing it in person will be a collaborative experience that I am beyond excited for!