A model wears a flowing, wide-legged romper in a hotel bed. The soft white sheets are tangled up in the garment. Her face is fully made up. The blinds are drawn, we don’t know what time it is. Is she going to sleep or just waking up? Was she preparing to go out when suddenly she realized she just didn’t have the strength? She looks perfect, but she’s not up to the task. She lounges in bed awhile longer, pulling the bedclothes closer, afraid to move. Overhead we hear the sound of a voicemail recording: A mother speaks.
“Let me know when you’ve got the time to talk about all the crazy, insane stuff that’s been going on.”
Her voice is maternal—her accent, Midwestern. Now there is another model in the bed, similarly beautiful, similarly garbed.
“It’s like a dream.”
This is Brandon Maxwell’s first ad campaign, launched after only a year after his first collection and directed by Maxwell himself, with help from Jessy Price. The mother is Maxwell’s own, Pam Woolley.
Most ads want you to forget the fact that you’re being sold to—in fact, they bet on it. No one’s going to give their money to someone who’s straight-out asking for it. It’s about the seduction.
But Maxwell’s campaign is more than just successful storytelling—it’s autobiography. In an industry that prides itself on loftiness and mystery, Maxwell has come out with a campaign that’s actually about something—himself.
In the short amount of time he’s been in the public eye, Maxwell has shown himself to be a rarity among designers: Wholly unpretentious, and completely transparent. He’s the guy in the black hoodie and glasses, the guy who styles Lady Gaga—the guy who loves his mom. And the guy who’s not afraid to show us who he is.
Maxwell’s spot is also one of the most diverse campaigns we’ve seen this year, featuring models Blanca Padilla, Maria Borges, and Herieth Paul. He manages to pack a personal, political, and wholly emotional statement into less than five minutes of film. If it wasn’t clear before, Maxwell has our attention: and our hearts.