Parisa And Max Fowles-Pazdro are living proof that love can be found in the strangest of places. Trust, we've heard our fair share of love-at-first-sight stories, but never love-at-first-cleaning — that's right, the two met at a dental office. And not just any dental office: Max was one of Parisa's clients. Ever since that fateful check-up, the two have traveled the globe together and created Maxfowles, a womenswear line with three seasons under its sexy belt.
One look at their Hollywood Hills abode, and it's clear that this couple has an eye for more than just sharp tailoring and leather accents — sleek decor and seductive L.A. views are a speciality, as well. Much like their clothing line, their home is at once minimalist, intriguing, and a true team effort. We're chomping at the bit to see what's next for the lovebirds — fingers are crossed for a home-decor line!
Photographed by Jessie Webster
Who is the Maxfowles girl?
"Anyone who loves fashion and wants to be part of a lifestyle brand that makes them feel luxurious."
Why did you decide to lay down roots in L.A.?
Max: "When Parisa started to cry as we left after our initial visit, we realized we loved L.A. It has a secret side that not many people know about. Sure, it has a reputation, but it’s also what you make of it. It’s an extremely creative place to be, and only getting better. We moved here three years ago and manufacture most of our pieces here. L.A. is becoming more sophisticated and has a lot of potential."
You've both lived in so many places. What location has been your favorite?
"L.A., hands-down. It has everything, including great food."
Who makes the big decor decisions in your home?
"Max does! But, we're both very visual people, and we absolutely love Minotti
— we'd be the happiest people if we could live in the showroom. If we want something unique, we get it from JF Chen
— that place has such a great selection of antique furniture."
What are your top coffee table books of all time?
, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
, and Ralph Lauren
What advice do you have for home entertaining?
"Always have fresh drinks, good music, and fun friends."
Max kicks back in a self-designed blazer and trousers, Prada shirt, Lanvin tie, and Slippers shoes.
Where do you go when you need to escape L.A.?
"The Post Ranch Inn
in Big Sur – plus, eating at Deetjen's
is like heaven. We don’t go to Palm Spring often, but when we do, we stay at The Parker
. And, if we’re leaving California, we’ll head to the Setai Hotel
in Miami or the Aman Resort
When you travel, what always ends up in your suitcase?
"Maxfowles activewear. I have to exercise!"
"My iPad, iPhone, and laptop. We both carry our things in Rimowa
Which items in your closet do you cherish the most?
"My tuxedo blazer, which we only made one of. It’s a piece I want to give to my daughter because Max designed it for me. And, a necklace I received from Max’s mom. It’s many generations old, and I feel as though it keeps me safe. I never take it off."
Parisa keeps it sleek in a Maxfowles tuxedo shirt, blazer, and trousers, Gucci scarf, and Ralph Lauren belt.
For someone who has never been abroad, where would you tell them to go first?
"That’s a tough question! There are easy answers like Paris and Florence, but we would say San Remo, Italy. Rent a car, then drive to Monaco to see the Italian and French coast. We also love The Cotswolds area in England come Christmas time. We have so many recommendations! We can’t choose."
Which room in your house is your favorite?
"The living room, even though it’s still a work in progress. It’s our entertaining area and has so much great energy."
Describe a typical day at work.
"I wake up at 6:30 a.m. to go to the gym, then have breakfast at Cecconi’s
. At around 9 a.m., I head to the studio. There, I check in with everyone from my seamstress to the e-commerce team. Recently, I’ve been focusing on the spring ’14 designs — we’re very hands-on and pay attention to every single detail. The creative direction, lookbook, and website design have to be approved by us. We don’t even have a stylist for shoots — it’s just Max and me giving direction! After answering emails and attending meetings, I’ll head to Soho House for lunch — typically, that includes a meeting as well! Then, we discuss social media and PR. After that, I meet with Max about his real estate projects. In the evening, I love nothing more than relaxing with a magazine. I know that many stories can be found online, but I love the smell of magazines and books."
What's your go-to work outfit?
"I find it very tough to find quality pieces without paying a fortune these days. But, I do dress-up, even if I work from the home office. It’s a great way to get yourself in work-mode. Plus, being well-dressed is a beautiful form of politeness."
Max wear Saint Laurent jeans, Jil Sander T-shirt, Tricker's shoes, Audemars Piguet watch, and M. Cohen bracelet.
Parisa wears a Maxfowles dress, Jean-Michel Cazabat shoes, vintage Rolex watch, and Hermès and Cartier bracelets.
What style rule do you never break?
"Max breaks every rule! He never wears socks, likes white after Labor Day, sports slippers outside instead of inside, and combines navy with black. It’s fun to see peoples’ reactions; I know they love it."
Did you approach designing your home in the same way you design your collections?
"Yes, it all starts with a mood board."
Aesthetically, how does your brand Maxfowles differ from the style of your home?
"It doesn’t! We think the Maxfowles girl would fit in like a glove in a Minotti-drenched environment."
What role do each of you take on in the design process of your collection?
"I design the looks and choose the colors and fabrics. Max will come in and edit what I’ve done. It’s important to have a second set of eyes."
"I have a particular eye for detail, which can be good and bad. It will drive me mad if I see a line that is not straight, or a buttonhole that has threads hanging from it."
Max, you also work in private equity. How do you juggle two very different careers?
"I thrive the most when my day is full from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. I invest in commercial and residential real estate, and I’m currently in the process of developing two large homes in Los Angeles. I’m very involved in the creative aspect, especially in developments, so there’s a lot of crossover with my work as a fashion designer."
Max holds court in his home office wearing a Thom Brown shirt and A.P.C. jeans.
How did you two meet?
"Max was my patient when I was a dentist! It was a good way to meet — I was able to check out his health and know his address — all of which takes quite a few dates to find out."
What's the best thing about working together?
"We’re very similar in what we like and don’t like, so we make a great team."
So you were a dentist! Why the interest in pearly whites?
"My family is very driven by academics, and my parents were always pushing me to have a professional education. I’m happy to have my dental degree, but I find that people put you in a box depending on your profession. A degree doesn’t define you!"
Do you think you’ll ever return to dentistry?
"My fashion career was self-taught, and I learned each aspect of the business by knocking on doors and networking — but, I made a lot of mistakes, too. With mistakes, you learn even more, and I’m in this position for that very reason. So, I would never go back to dentistry, since fashion is where I put my heart and soul."Parisa poses in her sun-drenched office wearing a Maxfowles blazer and jeans, Céline top, and Jean-Michel Cazabat shoes.
Was there ever a point when you doubted your career change?
"Never. A career change is always frightening, but we live once and to be unhappy can be detrimental. I feel fortunate that I had the chance to make the jump into a successful career, but nothing worthwhile has ever come easy."
Your brand's website describes Maxfowles as combining "European elegance with a sharp New York influence." Is there any Los Angeles in there, too?
"Yes, you’re always influenced by your surroundings. Our new MF Sport line, which is high-end activewear, helps you look great despite dressing down — perfect for those people in L.A. who are obsessed with fitness. We use amazing Japanese fabrics and mix textures in a way that hasn’t been done in activewear before."
Who are your biggest influences?
"The casual elegance of Claire McCardell, the uniqueness of Yves Saint Laurent, and the timelessness of Hubert de Givenchy. I also love Bianca Jagger, Grace Kelly, and Brigitte Bardot. Jagger was bohemia chic, Kelly was incredibly elegant, and Bardot gave us the ultimate summer look."
"Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, and Tom Ford."
What other designers are killing it right now?
"Phoebe Philo at Céline
, without a doubt."
Max opts for a Maxfowles T-shirt, A.P.C. jeans, and Y-3 sneakers, while Parisa sports a matching Maxfowles T-shirt, Earnest Sewn jeans, and Burberry boots.
Max, you've credited your mother with sparking your interest in design; what is your fondest memory of her?
"My mother is 64-years-old, and still elegant and stylish. She used to dress me in tailor-made suits and my sisters in amazing dresses. I remember when I was young, we would go on shopping trips to Harrods
, and I was dressed from head-to-toe in the best outfits."
What's your favorite thing to do together on the weekends?
"Our ideal day off would be waking up together and then taking a walk through the Bird Streets of West Hollywood, which is where we live. We’d then take a class at Soul Cycle
, and follow that up with coffee and magazine-reading at Urth Caffé
. A long drive with our English Bulldog, Macintosh, to Malibu would take up most of the afternoon, and we’d end the day with drinks at Nobu
and dinner at Mr. Chow
Describe each other's personal style.
Parisa: "Max went through a European prep, mixed with Yves Saint Laurent, phase. Now, it’s sophisticated rock and roll. But, I keep encouraging him to be inspired by the Studio 54 era with fitted blazers."
Max: "Parisa has a simple, yet elegant, style. She likes to dress in sleek outfits — always a representation of the girl we design for."