Insider Q&A: Maje’s Judith Milgrom

A stroll down Beverly Drive just got all the more tempting with the recent addition of Maje’s west coast flagship boutique! Perfectly timed with the French label’s spring collection, which is influenced by the LA lifestyle, the store is already a go-to for our entire editorial staff. To honor Maje’s arrival, we interviewed the brand’s chic Creative Director Judith Milgrom about her inspiration, views on American vs. French style and current wardrobe must-haves. Read what she had to say below, then explore Maje’s major (we couldn’t resist) online selection and shop your heart out!

How she developed a love for fashion… “My mother and grandmother always made everything themselves, from bread to curtains and clothes, this exposure developed my passion and appreciation for everything that is homemade and handmade and is at the heart of my motivation and dream to create my own brand.”

Her first clients… “From a very early age I started making dresses for my dolls from my grandmother’s scrap fabrics. I also remember stealing my grandfather’s shirt to customize it!”

Who she designs for now… “I design for all types of girls and women who come to Maje because the collection offers a range that goes from basic jeans, pants and t-shirts to intricate and structured jackets and dresses. The Maje woman is a seductress who likes to go out and stand out from the crowd.”

Elyana Mesh Bomber Jacket, Feufollet Mesh Shorts

The meaning of Maje… “My family has always been my anchor and the most important in my life. MAJE stands for members of my family: M is for Moyal (my maiden name), A is for Alain (my brother, whom I started the brand with), J is for Judith and E is for Evelyne (my sister).”

On her new LA store… “Opening a store in LA seemed like a natural next step of our development in the US. Our lace blouses, fringed jackets and cotton dresses fit the LA girl and fill the demand for cool, fashionable pieces.”

The inspiration behind Maje Spring 2014… “Like every season, my inspiration comes from the women I observe when I walk around Paris or other main fashion capitals. I enjoy depicting how they dress and mix pieces; how they walk…it inspires me to create collections that fit their everyday lifestyle.

This season, the white color, laces and flowing fabrics made me want to go back to very feminine and sensual codes. I also felt inspired by the sport chic trend, so in addition to our collaboration with K-Way, I developed a series of mesh pieces in different shapes and volumes, always sticking to Maje’s elegant and refined codes.”

Maje Folio Striped Tunic

Her favorite pieces from the SS14 collection… “I love the FOLIO striped tunic. It can be worn with leather leggings and stilettos or simply belted at the waist with flat sandals.”

5 pieces every woman should own… 1. A well-fitted blazer. 2. A beautiful white cotton shirt. 3. A well-cut pair of pants or jeans. 4. A leather piece – biker jacket or leggings. 5. A cashmere sweater.

Wardrobe essentials: Karl Lagerfeld Brooke Blazer ($490), The Row Jersey T-Shirt ($280), Victoria Beckham Denim Leather Leggings ($1700).

Her thoughts on American style vs. French style… “The French woman is known worldwide for her chic and sophisticated yet relaxed style. Parisian chic is discrete and refined by definition. French style is based on non-ostentatious basics, highlighted by staple accessories. It is more concrete and centered around specific fashion codes.

American style is more glamorous, free and flamboyant. The American woman is more daring in her style or when it comes to mix and matching. She is less confined in ‘uniforms’ and more diverse in the way she dresses. They are similar when it comes to absolute femininity and wanting to be sexy!”

How she bridges the gap… “I give American women the opportunity to approach fashion with a new, different and original attitude even though my designs aren’t any different from one country to another.

Maje collections offer elegant pieces with subtle, offbeat details that stick to the French woman’s image and yet can be embodied anywhere. It is the savoir-faire, the finesse, the original prints and details that made Maje’s success.”

Her advice for someone starting out in the industry… “Be audacious and believe in yourself! The industry is particularly difficult nowadays because there are so many brands on the market but it’s also possible to make the difference with outstanding creations and ideas.”

Availability: Shop Maje Spring 2014 ($155 and up for apparel).

Fusion Belted Leather Biker Dress