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- Photos by Elizabeth Daniels.
- Stateside Co-Founder and Creative Director, Maxine Dillon, here with her associate designer, Jennifer Rubin.
- Samples hang on the walls alongside a chandelier made of hangers, yes hangers.
- Sketches for the upcoming season.
- Inside the office of Stateside’s pattern maker.
- Stateside design office.
- Dillon and Rubin find a lot of their inspiration from music.
- Dillon’s office walls are lined with flat sketches.
- Spending day-after-day together, the team have become like sisters in only months.
- Outside of Dillon’s office.
- Mirrors, sketches and samples.
- Subtle details in their knits set the brand apart.
Stateside co-founder, Maxine Dillon, did not always know she would end up with a successful knitwear line. When she was studying fashion design at FIDM, she was more interested in outerwear and wovens, "I didn't realize how popular t-shirts were," she explained, "and that they would be the driving force of my career." After meeting Splendid's Moise Emquies, who would become her mentor, the two decided to launch an LA-based line that would appeal to the more edgy, t-shirt loving crowd. It was when the first Nordstrom order was written that Dillon realized they had something special.
Stateside is a womenswear line that includes everything from tanks and skirts to dresses pants and the ever-popular skort. Hoping to one day branch into menswear, Dillon tells us that her best-selling pieces are the crews that have a bit of a twist...pun intended. Everything is pre-washed before it gets to the customers and what started as only a few styles per season has grown to at least 60. Currently, Stateside consists of solids and stripes but she will soon be adding more prints to the line. Take note, she is also in the market for a hot collaboration and will be introducing a woven pant group for holiday. Hooray!
What made you decide to do a knit line?
"I met Moise and he taught me everything there is to know about t-shirts domestically. It was about taking his knowledge and t-shirt sensibility then infusing my vibe. Before, I was doing more wovens and wasn't too familiar with cut and sew knits."
What was one of the main differences you noticed when you switched to knitwear?
"Shrinkage. We cut and sew everything first and then we dye it, all of the fabrics shrink differently."
How did you come up with the name Stateside?
"Moise did, because it is made in the states. It kind of has a little European feel to it too because when you visit Europe people say 'Oh, you're from the states.' So, it's bringing it stateside."
What are some of the advantages of having everything done in LA?
"Control. Our factory is a block away so we get to oversee everything."
What is the Maxine Stateside look?
"I was really obsessed with our twist skirt for a little while, it's all jersey with sheering down the side. I wore that everyday."
How would you say your line is different than the others?
"We're a boyish brand that offers color."
What are some of the changes you've seen in the knit game over the past few years?
"Consumers want novelty. Our core business is basics but the other side is basics with a twist. People are really drawn to those little details."
When you started, what advice did Emquies give you?
"'Do one thing.' Start with T-shirts, maybe six styles, and build off of that."
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