Tomas Maier has had a signature collection since 1997. The lifestyle brand is sold in his own shops in Palm Beach and East Hampton and more than fifty other retailers including Barneys and Net-a-Porter, and his neoprene bathing suits are pretty much the ne plus ultra of swimwear. But up until now, the label has taken something of a back seat to his work at Bottega Veneta, the Italian luxury goods company he’s turned into a $ 1.35 billion business. Thanks to a recent investment from Kering, the parent company of BV, that’s about to change. A Tomas Maier store is set to open at 956 Madison Avenue in New York this October, and when it does, the expanded Resort collection he presented at his new showroom today—with newly added categories like wovens, leather goods, and shoes and sandals—will be there.
“This is not another collection for the runway, this is not editorial, it’s not about a very high price point,” Maier said, adding, “I’m not going to compete against another line I design.” What separates Tomas Maier the collection from Bottega Veneta is its focus on everyday clothes and accessories. “Casual,” Maier said, “but still designed.” In his thirteen years at Bottega, Maier has distinguished himself as one of fashion’s most thoughtful designers, attentive to the tiniest details of fabric and finishings. But where sublime workmanship is the holy grail at BV, simplicity is what counts for him at his own line. In his new Resort offering, you’ll find a raw-edged wool peacoat; a Japanese denim dress; a white button-down with a fit lifted from the boy’s department; skinny jeans; and a fleece tracksuit to wear on overnight flights, among other elevated essentials.
There’s a keen sense of practicality to the clothes, and it extends to the accessories. From lace-up gladiators to Moroccan satin slippers, all of the shoes are flat, and most of the handbags will retail for less than $ 1,000, a remarkable figure considering most European-made bags start at $ 1,600 or $ 2,400. A few of the dresses will go for less than $ 500. Numbers like those, Maier pointed out, can’t be achieved with a lot of overhead, so you won’t be seeing a Tomas Maier runway show or ad campaign anytime soon, but that’s just the way he likes it. “I like the challenge, I like proving to the industry that maybe we can do something different.” Odds are, the customers are going to like it a hell of a lot, too.