Personal Style Stories: Maxwell Murray
Welcome to Personal Style Stories, a new, quick-hitting segment where we highlight people from the city making moves and looking good while doing it. Enjoy the first installment, and if you want to suggest anyone to be next, drop their Instagram handle below!
NAME: Maxwell Murray
WHAT YOU DO: Currently in school at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Majoring in Art, Media and Design with a minor in African and Black Diaspora Studies. I have the goals and aspirations to work as the Creative Director and Head Stylist of my own Creative Consulting Agency, in which myself and my team of creatives create work that educates the world about the influence and longevity of black and African culture, while also offering workshops, art galleries, and lectures for young artists of color to attend and gain access to the creative world.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE: If I had to describe my style in one statement, I would probably say “quality over quantity”. While I love buying clothes and going shopping and trying on pieces, as I’ve gotten older I’ve began to realize just how important it is to invest in pieces of clothing that are timeless pieces that more than likely will never go out of style and can enhance anyone’s personal wardrobe (quality denim, trench coats, articles of clothing more focused on function and design rather than graphics or streetwear brands that produce clothing too quickly which in turn has led to me minimizing my wardrobe and focusing on the functionality of each piece in my wardrobe and how it can grow with me.
WHEN DID YOU START CARING ABOUT STYLE/FASHION: I would say that I have always cared about style/fashion. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact year, but I would say sometime around middle school is when I really started to fall in love with buying clothes and getting dressed. This was during my “preppy” phase, in which my grandmother would take me to Macy’s for there blowout sales and I would just stock up on short sleeve polos and chinos of all colors. As I moved through high school and into college my love for fashion diminished as I realized that it is just another industry that has a multitude of issues dealing with sustainability, representation and overconsumption. This is when I definitely started focus more developing my own personal style. Saving articles of clothing that told a story of who I am as a person, rather than just buying various colors of basic t shirts that will get forgotten or thrown out in a year or so. This shift in focus from fashion to style however comes with maturity and knowledge. We all love fashion, but it’s style that truly sets you apart from the rest.
BIGGEST STYLE INSPIRATIONS: My biggest style inspiration currently is DJ Smedley (@luckylefty5), the Lead Stylist and Creative Content Manager at Notre Shop, located in West Loop, Chicago. I was given the opportunity to interview DJ for my student ran Radio DePaul show in which we introduce the DePaul and Chicago community to creatives that keep the city moving. In this interview, DJ and I spoke on personal style, and how it come into play when working as a professional stylists. His individuality, color theory, and ability to always stay up on new and emerging brands from Europe that give his style a certain quality that is hard to find. It is also nice for me as a young black man, to interact, speak and just watch another black man grow in this industry, especially in the city I now call home.
FAVORITE BRANDS/LABELS: My favorite brands/labels include Staatsballet (New York, NY), Pyer Moss (New York, NY), and Carhartt W.I.P (USA & Europe). Starting off with Staatsballet, the new and emerging brand started by two fashion Youtubers, Avery Ginsburg and Kailee McKenzie. This dynamic duo (couple) combines long lasting construction and quality with a focus on the environment and sustainability to create collections that tell a story, not only about them but also about the world around us. Pyer Moss, the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner, is an American fashion line started by Kerby Jean-Raymond. Pyer Moss takes all of the black experience in American and translates those stories into various articles of clothing. The brands focus on staying true to itself, while simultaneously giving a voice to the black community is what puts Pyer Moss in my favorite brands. Lastly, we have Carhartt Work In Progress, the sister company to Carhartt. I love Carhartt W.I.P so much is because it gives classic construction pieces (work vests, work shirts, double knee jeans) a European touch. With a focus on quality, comfortability, and longevity, Carhartt W.I.P supplies my wardrobe with simple basics that will last me more than just a few years.
STYLE PET PEEVES/WHAT YOU AREN’T FUCKING WITH: One trend I am not very fond of is the chunky white sneaker. Fila Disruptors are gross, plain and simple lol.