One By Maya is the private fashion house owned and operated by Maya Arad. Known for designing high-end clothing made-to-order for individual clients, Arad was the first choice for Fan Choice Awards co-host Tabitha Lipkin when it came to getting the perfect dress.
In the Q&A below, Arad talks racing, design, and a whole lot more.
1. How did you get interested in design?
I grew up in a family of designers and artists; my grandparents were in the clothing business, my aunt was a textile designer and innovator and a tremendous influence on my decision to pursue a career in design. From as early as I can remember, I was surrounded by art, so it felt very natural to direct some of that experience into fashion design.
2. Did you go to school for design?
No, in school I studied psychology, which is the language I use to help clients connect what they choose to wear with who they are.
When I decided to go into fashion design, I had searched, and was incredibly lucky to find teachers who were masters of couture, and remarkable mentors who guided me as I established my fashion business.
3. What are your favorite events to dress clients for?
I admit I get very excited with any project that lets me be creative; it can be a funky dress for a client who’s looking for a new look for herself, or a sharp outfit for work that makes her feel like she can do anything. Of course, wedding gowns are such unique experience, an emotional journey and usually a very intimate process.
4. What was your inspiration for Tabitha’s dress?
Tabitha and I were looking for a fun and sophisticated look; she’s so gorgeous, so it was all about a simple, modern design that lets her shine through. After looking at colors and fabrics we both loved this rich magenta silk; I was researching equestrian images for inspiration, and thought a corseted dress was just the right vibe. A couple of FaceTime fittings and First-Class travel (the dress, not us), we got all the details right and it was perfect.
5. How long did it take you to make it?
The entire process — from concept to wearing the dress — took a few weeks; we emailed and texted to brainstorm ideas and took Tabitha's measurements (via video chat!) to create her pattern. A corseted strapless like that takes around 50 hours to make. When the concept was transformed into a dress, we shipped it back and forth — Boston to San Diego — a couple of times for Tabitha to try it on and make sure it fits perfectly, so we also allowed a few extra days for that.
6. What’s your advice for dressing for a day at the races?
Same as my advice for every single day — wear clothes that feel true to who you are, that make you feel your best. We are nuanced beings with many facets — be free to have as many “fashion moods” as you’d like!
*Also, that one cliché is true — it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed …
7. What would you look forward to when going to the races?
The energy of the being outdoors at a live sporting event, watching these magnificent horses — it’s thrilling and at the same time so exact and elegant. And, of course, the fashion!
8. What’s the best racing fashion event?
I love watching opening days, they’re all about newness and a fresh start — the perfect time to bring out all the new looks.
9. Where can people shop for your clothes?
Our signature designs are available on our website www.OneByMaya.com, and for the one-of-a-kind design projects I actually connect in person with every client. Many of us travel nowadays, so we try to meet in Boston or New York City when possible, and when that’s not an option we use technology! The entire process of creating Tabitha's dress was done in remote — we talked about the details, texted ideas. FaceTime fittings are a thing. :)
10. Where can people follow you on social media?
On the website, you’ll find signature designs and our story as it evolved over the years, along with some of our famous clients’ big-day shots. You can also see and hear directly from clients about their personal experience.
Instagram (@onebymaya) is where we share the behind-the-scenes — from the atelier (couture studio), how and where our clients wear their dresses, and all kinds of odd-but-real snapshots of a designer’s life. :) We’re also on Facebook and share our boards on Pinterest, just for kicks.