Brandon Maxwell has designed clothes worn by Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama. His luxury label sells at retailers such as Neiman Marcus, where individual pieces cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But he is ready to reach more shoppers with different budgets. As the creative director for Walmart's elevated fashion brands Free Assembly and Scoop, he will be designing for a retailer that is still better known for setting everyday low prices than for setting trends. Walmart has a lot to prove if it is to achieve its fashion goals, but it also has the resources to make big changes in a short amount of time.
Stacey Widlitz, a retail consultant and founder of SW Retail Advisors, said Walmart must prove to younger, style-conscious shoppers that its stores and website are a place to stock the closet, not just the fridge.