London Fashion Week recently kicked off and designer Maximilian Davis held an official spot on the calendar to showcase his Spring/Summer 2022 collection. After joining the prominent talent incubator, Fashion East, in the fourth quarter of last year, Davis was granted a spot in their runway show this season. The distinguished alumni roster of Fashion East includes designers Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner, Mowalola, Jonathan Anderson, and many more – leaving Davis to continue the admirable design legacy.
Davis was raised in Manchester, England and grew up in a family that shared an equal love for fashion. His father and sister both studied fashion design before moving on in their careers and his mother was a model in the 70’s. At the wee age of 6, Davis learned how to use a sewing machine from his grandmother, which set up the young designer to be inspired by his surroundings from that point forward.
The brand’s presence at London Fashion Week marks Maximilian’s third official collection and the designer’s inaugural runway show – indicating a new chapter of growth. In addition to the significant moment, Rihanna also previewed one of the sultry dresses from the SS22 collection in her latest editorial for Dazed magazine styled by Ibrahim Kamara, who is also a friend of Davis. Miss Savage X Fenty posed with a braided chandelier as her crown, while wearing Maximilian’s elevated reinvention of a LBD.
Before establishing his own fashion line, Davis worked under Wales Bonner as a junior designer after meeting Grace while working at the Selfridges department store. His continued trajectory in the industry landed him amongst a unit of Black designers that are working to expand the range of Black narratives communicated in fashion. Maximilian’s previous collection drew inspiration from 20th century Trinidadian artists, disco music, and nightlife captured in the 60’s – displaying that research is integrated into his design process. Though only in his mid-20’s, the young designer has showcased that he holds the depth to genuinely understand the times before him.
His latest collection ‘Scarlet Ibis’, named after the bird native to Trinidad, explores what the sea represents for many Caribbeans: a sense of homecoming, nostalgia, and freedom. James Bond films, specifically from the 1960’s, influenced the cinematic feel of the clothing. A tight color palette of red, shades of blue, black, and white painted the collection and allowed the innovative design to shine through. Davis showcased that he’s capable of sensually displaying skin in elegant frames – from halter neck tops and cutouts to a chiffon translucent gown. Maximilian’s signature Harlequin print was present on velvet dancehall dresses that were constructed with soft silhouettes – making the perfect attire for evenings in the islands.
Through Maximilian’s casting and campaign imagery, Davis has proven that his efforts are intentional in highlighting the beautiful shine of Black skin. Within this collection, he utilized a lycra fabric that radiated against the models’ luminous skin – coining a distinct vision for his fashion brand.
The brand’s first two collections earned Davis shelf space in sought out retailers including Farfetch, Browns, Ssense, and Net-A-Porter. We imagine that they will all buy into ‘Scarlet Ibis’ and that the brand will be hearing from more buyers as it was a progressive take on Maximilian’s previous designs.