MAXIME is the eponymous fashion brand founded by its creative director, Maxime Fruit. This France-born designer brings EDITION 2, the SS22 collection inspired by sustainability, elegance, and the omnipresence of glass in our lives and homes.
We had a conversation to talk about MAXIME, and I found out that this brand demonstrates that slow fashion and longevity are part of its values. But most importantly, they show that everyone in the MAXIME family cares for people, and for that reason, they make each piece with love and the highest quality standards possible and wishing every people who wear their creations feel like they are at home, wherever they go.
Be our guest, and know more about MAXIME in the following interview.
Maxime Fruit | Exclusive Interview
VT: You have been in the fashion industry for over ten years. Therefore, how do you consider that experience has made you change as a person? And how is it reflected in your brand?
MF: Most of my professional experiences have been composed of working within small to medium size companies. I wanted to explore the many facets of the job, working on everything from development, production to sourcing.
I’m a very curious person, and it’s within my nature to get involved as much as possible and therefore learn as much as possible. Developing an in-depth understanding of luxury brand infrastructure, having a deep passion for design, and working alongside inspiring figures within the fashion industry really motivated me to start a business of my own.
I’ve also built a solid network within the industry, which is supporting me and the journey with MAXIME. Quality is always at the heart of everything I do.
It was important that MAXIME had a developed aesthetic, which is a result of working with the highest quality suppliers and manufacturers, who produce some of the most renowned menswear brands in the world. I wouldn’t have developed this knowledge or contacts if it wasn’t part of my role.
VT: How did you decide to combine clothing and interior design?
MF: My main interests have always included modern art and architecture, and it’s since my early 20’s that I’ve had a particular connection to interior design.
The worlds of art and fashion have always drawn inspiration from each other. When you delve deeper into the product connotations of these two worlds, there are more similarities than meets the eye.
Home is where we spend most of our time, and the home you build is incredibly unique and personal to each and every one of us. It’s these values that are so important to me and the reason why I’ve taken such profound inspiration from this subject.
The feeling of home is where the heart is, and I wanted to find a way to take this feeling with you no matter where you may be.
Slow fashion and longevity
VT: Besides the highest quality of each piece, one of the values of MAXIME is keeping the lowest carbon footprint possible. Could you tell us more about what does that means and how do you do it?
MF: All our raw materials come from France, Italy, and Portugal; this is also where our factories are based. It’s very important to us to produce responsibly.
There are so many logistical underlayers to sustainability that aren’t necessarily at the forefront of the consumer decision-making process.
What’s the point of producing with recycled fabric when then needs to be shipped across the world to reach the factories and warehouses.
We don’t use express deliveries either, every single action has its importance, and it’s our responsibility to treat our planet the best we can. We want MAXIME products to be considered purchases and not reactive in-the-moment decisions. Slow fashion and longevity are something we stand by.
VT: Let us talk about Edition 2, your latest collection. But first, what was it like to be part of the London Fashion Week?
MF: Feedback for any business is a crucial tool for growth and development, especially at the very early stages where the most impact can be made.
Starting a brand during the pandemic has definitely had its challenges as organic communication is no longer the norm. It was a great feeling to have a platform to be able to show MAXIME to a wider audience. Receiving positive feedback from the industry and even our community has been invaluable.
Presenting through a digital format has allowed us to be more creative with our messaging; however, I still believe that nothing beats a physical experience where the full impact of the product can really be felt.
VT: What motivated you to create Edition 2?
MF: Each edition of MAXIME is exploring the different elements of which a home is made up. Glass is pure and elegant, yet it has very strong constructional properties, which are what makes it so unique as a material.
Fiam Italia has always been at the forefront of design within the world of interiors, and I’ve heavily drawn inspiration from this iconic brand for Edition 2.
For me, the fabric is always the source of my inspiration, which is often the other way round in the design process. I can easily get lost in discovering new fabrics, and this is why I believe physical will never beat digital.
As soon as I touch the fabrics, I can envision how the garment will flow, how the fit will be constructed, and how the item will be worn. There are so many ways to explore the different layers of glass, which can be beautifully transcended onto garments.
I knew aesthetically I can, really play around with different textures and weights of fabrics and combine this with an impactful yet subtle color pallet.
History and modernity
VT: What can you tell us about your collaboration with Fiam Italia?
MF: It was an amazing experience on both a personal and professional level. The Fiam Italia team approached this project in such a positive way, having the support from such an influential brand really meant a lot.
They’ve been extremely helpful and enthusiastic, and I think you can really feel that energy when you look at the lookbook and campaign video. As I mentioned, Edition 2 was inspired by Fiam and so, to work with such an iconic brand was surreal.
VT: As artisans are an important part of MAXIME, how did you include craftsmanship in this collection?
MF: What’s important to note is that impeccable artisanship is created through machine and hand craftsmanship. The assemblage of MAXIME products is a combination of these ways of working. Our accessories, in particular, are all finished by hand.
We believe the strongest innovation comes through collaborative methods of old and new: history and modernity. For example, our MAXIME silk scarf uses digital printing technology, yet it’s finished by hand by an artisan, and we’re working on a making-of video of our silk scarves.
We’re also honored to work with renowned fabric mills that have been running since the beginning of the 20th century. I see garments as art, and it’s essential to ensure these unique techniques are not lost in the new age.
VT: What is your relationship with the British Fashion Council?
MF: The Discovery Lab didn’t exist before the pandemic, and so it’s great how up-and-coming brands now have an opportunity to engage with a larger audience. British Fashion Council has been supportive throughout the whole process.
It doesn’t happen overnight
VT: Finally, which message would you like to share with those teenagers who would like to start a career in the fashion industry?
MF: Be curious, and if you have an objective, do all you can to achieve it, even if it means making sacrifices. Hard work always pays off at some point, and remember, it doesn’t happen overnight. Having patience is key.
VT: Anything else you would like to share with Vanity Teen?
MF: Family and friends are the most important thing in life. They are your support system, your challenges, and your happiness. Make sure to enjoy every single moment and treat others as to how you want to be treated.
Creative Director: Maxime Fruit
Photography: Alecio Ferrari
Before we go
Maxime Fruit has shown us that life is all about persistence and pursuing our goals while working hard. If our passions are plural, we would be able to integrate them into an activity we love.
We could also see that MAXIME is love and quality and is about passion, comfort, slow fashion, and innovation as a metaphor for the thirst for life of its founder. Let us remember his message; let us get surrounded by our loved ones as we work hard to make our dreams come true.