The One Piece to Invest In Now, According To Lady Gaga's Stylist

Brandon Maxwell just got off a plane from L.A. But before the 32-year-old can even have a glass of sweet tea or marvel at a bit of the artwork at SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA, the designer gets right down to work. He’s visiting to speak with the fashion students at one of the most prestigious design universities in the country, and the first thing he says is “Hey, everybody. I just got here from the airport, and I look rough.”

>He doesn’t. But that’s just the kind of totally unfiltered, sometimes self-deprecating way that Maxwell speaks. And perhaps it's part of the secret to his success. Most notably, Maxwell is the longtime stylist and best friend of Lady Gaga, but when he launched his namesake label about a year and a half ago, things really exploded—partially with a Swarovski Award for womenswear and a Daily Front Row fashion award for debut designer. Oh yeah, he’s also responsible for some of the most memorable looks we’ve seen on the red carpet recently, too. Think Kerry Washington at the Emmys, Karlie Kloss at the Met Gala, and Naomie Harris just a few weeks ago. And that’s really the tip of the iceberg.

>So while the students at SCAD listened intently, particularly when it came to his advice on maintaining authenticity in design—“Your ideas are your ideas,” he told them—we swooped in afterward to figure out how he’s been able to collaborate with so many creative women, why they trust him, and the Brandon Maxwell styling advice every women—not just the famous ones—should be listening to.

>See our discussion with Maxwell, below.

Photo: SCAD

Do you have a favorite Brandon Maxwell red carpet look from the last year? Tell us about it in the comments.