It’s on a day like today, when more than two dozen fashion shows and almost as many showroom events jam the calendar, that you appreciate Tomas Maier and the philosophy behind his eponymous new line. “Life is already complicated enough,” he said at an appointment at his Madison Avenue studio, “let’s make it easy.” Maier, the designer behind Bottega Veneta’s super-luxurious clothes and accessories for the past 13 years, saw a space in the marketplace for smart, uncomplicated, yet still chic everyday clothes at friendly, but not cheap, prices. (Fast fashion this is not.) Retailers swooped in to sign him up. Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Net-a-Porter, among others, bought his collection for Resort.
His new Spring offering hews to the same principles established by his first. Simplicity and ease are paramount, but these are not banal clothes. Maier has a sublime color sense: Denim fleece looks like your favorite faded blue jeans, and the collection’s expansive array of neutrals shade from nude to canvas to linden to army green. And while the clothes are substantially less intricate than his BV pieces, they’re not short on compelling details. Lightweight denim shifts are bleached at the shoulders or hem, a tropical print looks like it was burned into the fabric of a pleated knee-length skirt, and cotton button-downs boast the perfect boys’ department fit.
Like many of the items here, there’s something collectible about those shirts. Once you try one, you want them in every color. Consistency is a concept that Maier is embracing; about 30 percent of the styles from Resort made it into the Spring collection in new colors or fabrics, a fact that the designer didn’t hesitate to point out. “I’ve bought for our own stores; I know what you look for as a wholesaler. You don’t want to change too much,” he said. Fashion heresy, maybe, but in a world with too much stuff, it’s exactly the kind of rule breaking that could provide results.