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Walmart Poached a Fashion Designer Who's Dressed Lady Gaga, Oprah, and Michelle Obama to Boost Sales

Insider | February 23, 2022

Walmart is unveiling two new collections inspired by fashion designer and in-house creative director Brandon Maxwell. Private label brands Free Assembly and Scoop will each release a spring collection, marking the in-store debut of the collaboration between the retail giant and the fashion designer.

"Scoop is a legendary fashion boutique that we've reimagined as your exclusive brand — it's competent, optimistic, and on-trend," Denise Incandela, executive vice president of apparel and private brands for Walmart US, told Insider. "Free Assembly is a modern clothing essentials brand with a commitment to sustainability." Maxwell was named creative director of Walmart's two premium, private-label fashion lines in 2021.

Stars like Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicole Kidman have worn Maxwell's sophisticated, tailored garments. He also appeared as a judge on Bravo TV's Project Runway. But Maxwell — who has spoken about shopping at Walmart while growing up in Texas — said he'd long dreamed of collaborating with Walmart on an affordable fashion line.

The products in Free Assembly's sprawling spring collection of around 500 items will range in price from $8 to $48. That brand carries items for men, women, and children. The Free Assembly line will also expand to 1,000 Walmart stores, up from 500. The cost of women's-only Scoop garments runs from $18 to $75. Both brands are exclusive to Walmart. The retail giant revived Scoop, which had previously been a New York boutique brand, back in 2019. Walmart launched the brand Free Assembly in 2020. Both are considered "elevated brands," meaning that they incorporate finer quality fabrics and craftsmanship than Walmart's other in-house brands.

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