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Walmart taps Texas fashion powerhouse as creative director for apparel lines

Walmart taps Texas fashion powerhouse as creative director for apparel

Brandon Maxwell Walmart
Brandon Maxwell's first collections will debut next spring. Photo courtesy of Walmart

Walmart is adding a major dash of star power to its apparel collections. On March 16, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer announced that acclaimed fashion designer Brandon Maxwell is the newly minted creative director for Free Assembly and Scoop, Walmart's "elevated" fashion lines. 

Maxwell has achieved global fame thanks to his red carpet looks — a favorite of Lady Gaga and Blake Lively, among others — as well as his tenure as a judge on Project Runway. But in a video announcing his partnership with Walmart, the Longview, Texas, native talks about the importance of making fashion accessible to everyone. 

"With this new position at Walmart, I feel this incredible sense of privilege and responsibility," Maxwell says in the video, much of which takes place in Austin. "The experience of going in and feeling special should not be specific to your location or your income. Everyone should have access to how special fashion can make you feel."

As part of his role, Maxwell will oversee four seasonal collections for both Free Assembly and Scoop, the mega-retailer's higher end lines, debuting in spring 2022. The designer will "oversee the collections from start to finish," including fabrics, cuts, designs, and finishes. Free Assembly is an on-trend line, while Scoop is a reimagining of the legendary New York City-based boutique that closed in 2016.

"Bringing his distinctive design talent to our elevated brand collections of Free Assembly and Scoop allows Walmart to offer customers stylish, high-quality fashion at an extraordinary value,” said Denise Incandela, Executive Vice President, Apparel and Private Brands at Walmart, in a release. 

For those who can't wait until next spring for their Brandon Maxwell fix, the fashion powerhouse has designed a line of face masks available exclusively at Walmart starting today. In celebration of the rollout, the retailer is also donating $100,000 to DonorsChoose.org, a charity selected by Maxwell. 

"I am energized by this collaboration with Walmart, as it is not only an opportunity to make exceptional design accessible to all but with our charitable initiatives, we will work to help people improve their lives," Maxwell said. "That is after all the most fashionable thing we can do.”