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by Halley Sanford March 07, 2021 3 min read

After a fun and fashionable start to the year, it’s almost time to move on from Maria as we prepare to launch the Cynthia Collection on March 11th. But before we bid our bandidas farewell, we asked DDR designer Cheryl McMullen about her “unobvious” favorites from the first collection of 2021.

“Obviously, things like jackets -- bikers, scouts, even denim -- and boots, and hats, and those pieces that will literally last for generations if they’re cared for properly, of course I have a connection to those,” Cheryl explained. “But in every collection, I tend to have some, I guess ‘unobvious’ pieces that I’m really fond and proud of, and it almost never fails that they end up being proverbial dark horses. They take the backseat to the big and bold, and then as soon as they’re gone from the website, Kristen and Susie are getting emails about them and then they’re showing up on Find It Friday. We call it non-buyer’s remorse -- which is actually worse than buyer’s remorse, in my opinion!”

DOUBLE DUTY DENIM

Dress. Duster. It’s all in how you wear it.

“Some of y’all may remember this, but way back in Giant (Fall 2019), we had some Style Makers come down and play dress-up, putting together different looks from the collection,” Cheryl recalled. “Well, one gal, Jena Knowles – who is as hilarious as she is precious, btw – came out in the Derrickman Duster, but she had it all buttoned up because she thought it was a dress. And honestly, we looked at each other like, ‘Why have we never thought of that?’ Now we keep that in mind when we design a duster, and vice versa when creating a button-down denim dress, and The Alvarez can easily be both!”

ALL THINGS CHIAPAS

We might be partial, but this print is so pretty. And it’s every bit as timeless.

“Chiapas embroidery, what this print was inspired by, has been around for ages,” Cheryl said. “It’s not going anywhere; this look really is timeless. And we designed it with pretty pinks and purples that are anchored and tempered down by black, so if you pair these pieces right you can literally wear them all year round. Especially the vest.”

Plus, can we all agree that the silhouette of the Chiapas Skirt is absolutely to die for? Feminine with just the right amount of flirt, and surprisingly flattering! Don’t even get us started on the Jimenez Dress… #swoon

EVERYDAY EMBROIDERY

“As we’re gradually being reemerged into public, people are starting to see errands as opportunities – opportunities to interact and opportunities to show off an outfit!” said Cheryl. “You don’t need to go full formal to grab your groceries, but I’m telling you – a little embroidery elevates your everyday without looking ‘overdone’.” The Caminos Sinuoso and El Casamiento are both timeless tops for looking effortlessly awesome.

SOLID STAPLES

SPOILER ALERT: We’re kind of into eye-catching embellishments. (Sorry not sorry.) But that doesn’t mean you should be sleeping on this season’s staples. “The Robles Tunic?,” she said. “Hello, it’s versatile, flattering, and forgiving – three major points in the pro column – and just imagine all the ways to accessorize!”

And that’s not the only prized piece in Maria.

“I’ll just come right out and say it – I’m pretty proud of The Panuelo Top,” Cheryl laughed. “C’mon, I’m the queen of scarves, of course I think this is the greatest thing ever! You don’t even have to know how to tie or wear one, just stick it through the built-in loop and you’re good to go. Plus, that extra fabric provides more stability if you decide to put a pin on it.

SIGNATURE SHIRT

“For every collection, we create a tee that kind of ‘embodies’ it,” Cheryl explained. “It incorporates some sort of nod to the collection, design elements, and a lot of times, even the name. And now we’ve started to notice that several of our Wolfies have begun to collect them, almost like souvenir concert tees. I guess that makes us rockstars?! HAHA!”

Jokes aside, it is a pretty cool idea! And we love that the Bandidas Top is a nod to the whole vibe, the whole film, rather than just Maria – because, really, so is the collection. (P.S. The Troublemaker Tee is a solid runner-up.

HONORABLE MENTION: BANDIT PANTS

We really don’t know how many times we need to say it…

Alright, so there it is: our insider opinion on what not to miss from Maria.

(But you know what they say – when one closet door closes another one opens. We’ll see you on Thursday for the live launch of Cynthia!)


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