Rise of Fashion South: Maria Silver

Nashville, Tenn.
Clothing available online and at Fond Object Records and Sisters of Nature, both in Nashville.

$50 - $500 

Story by ANNA MORRIS | Photography by BROOKE MORGAN 

ENTHUSIASTIC IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT when describing Nashville designer Maria Silver. She’s adorably vivacious when discussing anything that has to do with her work: “I was roaming on some social network, and someone posted a video of what happens when you pour molten metal into cold water. Have you seen it? It’s fascinating! So that led to an all-night YouTube binge fest on molten metals, lava, whatever, and out went my previous collection.”

Her newest line is proof that she knows exactly what direction she wants to grow, and she’s heading there with great fervor. “If ’70s Studio 54-era had a baby with early ’80s Spanish Harlem, then you would have Black by Maria Silver,” she explains. In fact, it’s this collection that will propel her forward, since before BBMS, everything had to be custom ordered, and now Silver will be able to have size options available for each piece.

She can attribute most of her passion for design to her mother. Living in a small town in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, her mom had all of her clothes made for her, but was unhappy with the matching dresses she had to wear alongside her sisters. Silver’s mother was told that if she was unhappy, then she could make her own clothing. And that’s exactly what she did.

Silver channeled her mother’s gung-ho spirit when creating BBMS, especially when designing her favorite piece: the Alloy Parka. With so many fall coats looking the same, she wanted something different. So her parka, in all its soft, warm and gunmetal lamé goodness, was born. The simplistic-chic style of this piece is a representation of Silver’s entire line. She created each piece with the idea that it can be balled up in a suitcase and pulled out without being covered in wrinkles, essentially making her clothes what she likes to call “easy glamour.”

And despite putting in nearly 80 hours a week on her new line, Silver has never doubted her career choice. “The biggest challenge as a designer for me is that I’m doing this whole thing like an American dream in the ’50s,” she explains. “There’s no loan, no capital, no investors. I make clothes I think will look fabulous on a woman, I sell said pieces and I make more. It’s a labor of love, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”