Hey everyone! My name is Maxine, and I use she/her or they/them pronouns. I’m excited to tell you about my journey in fashion with the Mx Apparel brand, from my beginnings in the industry to what the future holds.
My love of fashion comes from watching episodes of Project Runway when I was a kid. I was mesmerized by what they could do in such a short span of time, and I always had plenty of opinions about what they made. In high school, I experimented with sewing on my grandmother’s White sewing machine. Because I went to school online, I had the freedom to enroll in community college sewing classes. There, I learned that I loved not only sewing but also making patterns. I was sure that I wanted to go into fashion as a career.
From there, I enrolled at the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities in the Apparel Design program. At the same time, I also became more involved with the LGBT community through a queer student center. When working there, I heard more about how gender nonconforming people experienced fashion, from issues with fit to the euphoria that occured when their clothes helped them present themselves in an authentic way. After my first semester, I knew that gender neutral fashion was what I wanted to focus on in my career. The prospect of blending fashion with the needs of my community felt like a perfect fit.
I had known since high school that I wanted to have my own brand, to be able to take my ideas to the end of the production line and be in control of every step. In college, I toyed with starting my line a couple of times. I work for Tessa Louise, at Tessa Louise Design Studio, and she was hosting a fashion show for Twin Cities Fashion Week, called Local Coterie. Even though I didn’t even have a brand name, I jumped at the chance of having my work in her show as an up-and-coming designer. Two or three months of hard work later, I showed a three look collection. I was thrilled with the outcome, and sold a one-of-a-kind vest the night of the show.
So I had finally achieved my dream of having a brand. Then what? I realized early on that having a line while in school was no easy task. Still, I’ve learned to manage my time and have participated in amazing opportunities like a pop-up at The Fitting Room, and a shoot with The Volk Magazine. This fall, I was also featured in Lavender Magazine.
Next, I am so incredibly thrilled to continue working with my brand. Once I graduate this spring, I’m excited to devote more of my attention to spreading the concept of gender nonconformity through fashion. I am also working on my second collection, which will be shown in 'Amplified', my senior show at the University of Minnesota, happening February 15th. Through these blog posts, I hope to give you a closer look into my work and my perspective on gender neutral fashion. Talk to you soon!