Born in LA in 1972, sports obsessed James spent most of his childhood on the beach, which inadvertently led him to fashion. Unable to find a cap that fit perfectly, he set out designing one for Maxfield who eventually became a client. Soon, record labels and film-makers were after his products. With Maxfield putting Los Angeles on the fashion map, James received an incidental education on cutting edge fashion from Europe and Asia, on modern architecture, furniture design and on the elegant and the clean-line. He released a T-shirt line in 1994 and is now a household name.
Although James Perse grew up surrounded by high fashion pieces—his father owned a clothing boutique called Maxwell—it was actually the humble baseball hat that inspired him to design. After noticing a lack of elevated options on the market, he created his own luxe take on the classic cap for his family’s shop in the early ‘90s. Just three years later, a line of breezy James Perse T-shirts followed. By the time he released an equally easygoing women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1996, the namesake brand was firmly established as a mainstay for quality basics worth buying in multiples.