Skip to content

Maxwell Osborne talks branding, fashion, and being mentored by Anna Wintour


Maxwell Osborne and his partner, Dao-Yi Chow, are the creators of the cutting-edge fashion brands Public School and Black Apple. Osborne and Chow received the Swarovski Young Men’s Designer award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the $300,000 prize for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. They have since collaborated with the New York Knicks and Air Jordan. Their gear can currently be found at Bloomingdales and The Madison Square Garden Store

During the Tanqueray Trunk Show in New York, Osborne discussed his brand and provided a few keys to success.

What does the brand Black Apple represent?

Black Apple is a name that resonates with my business partner and I. We are from New York and we really wanted something that’s an ode to New York and still has the edge and the attitude that we wanted to embody. Being in the Big Apple and being born and raised here in the city, Black Apple is the way we can flip it on its head and have fun with it.

Your brands have won several awards and Vogue’s Anna Wintour is also a fan of your work. How does it feel to receive such feedback?

The feedback that we’ve been getting has been amazing. One of the key words that I like to hear is inspiration. I never really think about it, but people can tell you that your work is an inspiring thing to see. You feel like you’re doing something right and it feels good. It feels good to be inspiring to somebody else as I’ve been inspired in the past. It feels good to be inspiring to others and make others happy because I’ve had mentors. That’s dope. It’s a great thing. Anna Wintour has been a good mentor for us and a good person to have on our team.

What advice do you have for future fashion designers?

Where to start is the hard part. But it starts with a dream and it starts with a good head. I think when you know what you want to do, the starting points can come to you easier. You might need your mentors. You might need an internship. You need to get in and start somewhere and I think that’s the best part of it. We started in the business somewhere. I worked for somebody else before I started my own brand. I wasn’t just going to pop up and be a designer. We did our research, we worked, and we knew what we were doing and we really had a goal.