Maxwell Osborne on the Fixed Discovery of Rising AnOnlyChild – WWD

“The AnOnlyChild story is just not a comeback story as a result of it’s truly only a new story,” Maxwell Osborne mentioned throughout a current afternoon go to to his Midtown showroom. 

The designer, who frequently has his eye on the heartbeat, has spent about 20 years within the vogue trade. For his newest label, Osborne has been taking his learnings from his roles as Public Faculty cofounder and former DKNY codesigner, each alongside Dao Yi-Chow, and utilizing them to gas his solo act’s new period.

Whereas Public Faculty, DKNY and now AnOnlyChild share a DNA stemming from the designer’s love for and expertise from rising up in New York, Osborne mentioned the latter “is separate from that, however there’s nonetheless components you’ll catch.” 

“I nonetheless grew up right here in New York, so that you’re going to have life experiences with that. It’s additionally a part of this concept of coming from nothing, much more so than ever, as a result of I attempted to consider what my mom and our household — my aunts and my uncles — went by and the way that performs into now,” Osborne mentioned.

However AnOnly Youngster reaches past his New York roots to his ones in Jamaica, as seen by his preliminary assortment, which first debuted direct-to-consumer earlier than solely launching at Saks Fifth Avenue final January

Maxwell Osborne and a model wearing AnOnlyChild.

Maxwell Osborne and a mannequin carrying AnOnlyChild.

Bre Johnson/

“This model and the idea was born throughout COVID-19, when there wasn’t a lot to do. You needed to dig inside, actually mess around and experiment with issues and see what brings you pleasure. So separate from the opposite manufacturers of understanding precisely what the idea is and understanding precisely what you wish to do, this model is separate,” he mentioned.

Not like his earlier ventures, AnOnlyChild’s tenet is textile play; every silhouette is dictated by deadstock and reclaimed supplies.

“What’s completely different about this model from DKNY or Public Faculty is that the material speaks first. There’s by no means been a time in my life that we’ve received material and thought, ‘OK, what can we do with this? How do you make one thing out of this? How do you make one thing that you’d wish to put on, you’d wish to gown anyone in it otherwise you wish to see anyone in it even?’” he mentioned. 

“After I discuss my household, it’s in regards to the previous into the current, and when you consider textiles and what the material is, nothing’s new. So it’s the previous and we’re making it new once more. There’s a number of little nuances that we love. There’s a standpoint on the subject of it.”

The identify AnOnlyChild instantly performs into this concept. “How do you entertain your self, by your self? It’s a must to make an invisible pal,” mentioned Osborne.

Initially levels, Osborne mentioned he used reducing room flooring samples, fabrications from mates and outdated Public Faculty supplies. At the moment, the model’s staff of three (together with designer Kristy Chen) sources from Italy, Japan and Los Angeles whereas persevering with all manufacturing in the US. At the moment, the model properties in on principally ladies’s and unisex kinds, in addition to key males’s items, which Osborne is trying to develop sooner or later.

Whereas using deadstock, classic and recycled fabrications isn’t a brand new idea, and is one which’s definitely gained wider traction out there, Osborne’s eye and knack for true sportswear has given his rising luxurious label a definite standpoint. 

“Deadstock is intriguing and thrilling for lots of manufacturers, one, as a result of I assume the loaded phrase of sustainability, however for us, it’s extra of the creativity. In case your again is in opposition to the wall, which is a metaphor that I prefer to stay with, what are you going to do and the way are you going to make it out of it? Sure, we may simply name up a mill and purchase all the lovely materials we’d like to make — I’m not saying it’s simpler, it’s undoubtedly not, however it’s a unique mind-set. You end up compelled to make use of a few of these materials that you find yourself loving and that’s simply enjoyable.

“It began as making materials — taking issues and making them our personal,” he mentioned of his intricate needlepunch kinds, which incorporate the traditional Egyptian strategy of binding completely different fabrications collectively to create a brand new materials.

Pointing to the within of the needlepunch pant’s daring silk floral lining, Osborne mentioned, “Issues like this — this isn’t a cloth you’re ever going to put on or select, however if you felt it, you get hints of colours and see the sample peek by. It takes so lengthy to make this material, which is the enjoyable half, however it’s all experimental.”

The method is one that allows Osborne’s designs to have an individualist really feel and inherent exclusivity, which the designer mentioned has each its benefits and challenges that he’s definitely up for.

Osborne mentioned he envisions the AnOnlyChild buyer as “like-minded people who grew up in main cities but in addition, for those who attend galleries fairly usually, you’re going to love the material and be drawn to it. A number of the silhouettes usually are not tremendous loopy or tremendous designed in that approach as a result of, like, the material is. The material takes time, the material is considerate. It’s meticulous in that approach. That’s the half that retains us going and retains us excited.”

Maxwell Osborne in his Midtown showroom.

Lexie Moreland/WWD

Like Osborne, these prospects are enticed by the model’s beliefs of luxurious: exclusivity, uniqueness (very like the covetable quiet luxurious pattern, the road at present doesn’t boast logos) and high quality craftsmanship. As an rising label, Osborne mentioned the problem is having the ability to entice new prospects to his luxury-priced vary (at present starting from $440 to $2,400) by discovering aesthetic methods to show them in regards to the line’s fabrications and processes.

Increasing from direct-to-consumer to a wider, however nonetheless restricted, wholesale enterprise (now together with Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Kith and Elyse Walker); creating constant look books (which have all referenced an at-home vibe), and holding a community-based occasion in Brooklyn this summer season all play into the model’s inventive storytelling method. Sooner or later, this might imply holding trunk reveals, increasing into pre-collections and rising his staff (Osborne is at present in search of funding to develop and scale the small model).

The designer additionally confirmed throughout final 12 months’s L.A. Trend Week; there’s a possible plan to point out once more this September through an experiential activation. 

Stemming from his July “Summer season Studio Session” in Brooklyn, which featured a stay photoshoot of his new males’s and girls’s deadstock denim program alongside multibrand pop–up retailers and an out of doors cookout, the thought could be to offer the viewers a community-based, inclusive expertise. 

Launching the brand new deadstock denim program (set to launch later this fall) was additionally a approach for Osborne to succeed in new prospects together with his identical individualistic method (every model is hand washed and dyed domestically in Brooklyn, making them one-of-one), at a cheaper price level than his mainline collections ($280 to $800). It’s additionally a technique to method the challenges of scalability, as deadstock denim is extra extensively accessible.

From reworked denim to his signature double-pleat deadstock wool Antonio pant, Osborne mentioned the important thing to scalability is the power to “plug and play,” with current fabrication and pretty related substitutes. 

Having discovered earlier success with Public Faculty (which he claimed was “100% a shock”), the designer added, “Figuring out that we’ve lived there and I’ve executed it, it’s very arduous not to think about success if you begin one other model. Earlier than, we didn’t have that, we didn’t have an award or weren’t in tremendous main shops having conversations. So if you’ve walked that path, you may’t not stroll that path and attempt to go previous that and make it higher, as a result of you understand you may study out of your errors and develop in a stronger approach… in the event that they’re even errors, which I don’t suppose so, since you stay for learnings.”

The proof of success is within the pudding of Osborne’s designs, and whereas the designer isn’t chasing business fame by any means — slightly placing his head down, doing the work and pushing ahead — it’s more likely to steadily come. 

AnOnlyChild RTW Spring 2023

AnOnlyChild RTW Spring 2023

Rodin Banica/WWD

Daily, Osborne mentioned he’s frequently studying and excited by the side of “beginning backwards,” slowly planning new collections (the model is at present delivery its second) and rising the model with a way of discovery. Whether or not whipping up a restricted amount capsule or an unique model crafted for a retail companion, he welcomes the problem of restricted portions and views it as a technique to give every material’s earlier life a brand new chapter, as seen by his instinctual, considerate and covetable luxurious garb. 

“AnOnlyChild began and I believed, ‘Let’s hold going.’ It wasn’t a lot of a plan; [it was] the identical with Public Faculty. After we began Public Faculty, there wasn’t a runway and it wasn’t, ‘Right here’s your plan or what your run-rate is for the subsequent three years.”‘ No, we locked ourselves in a room and simply did it. I informed myself I’ll by no means do this once more, after which right here we’re. Generally you simply need to do it. Win, lose or no matter — you simply know it’s important to get it out of your head, it’s important to transfer on and stay in that pleasure and stay in that second.”


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