With Gigi Hadid fronting its new campaign and a fall collection that mixes playfulness with elegance, Max Mara is sizzling!
Max Mara’s much-coveted 101801 topcoat has continually inspired photographers. Valery Katsuba’s Bolshoi Ballet–themed series from 2011.
In one sense, Max Mara’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection is all about the coat. The reintroduction of the Italian house’s legendary 101801 camel cashmere topcoat—a decades-long emblem of swagger, Hollywood glam, and royalty—is a fitting gift from the brand to itself on its 65th birthday. (The coat’s other two available colors—ever-chic black and a lush, soft oatmeal—might rightly be considered Max Mara’s gift to us.)
In another sense, though, the collection is all about an up-and-coming coterie of new shoppers. Youthful touches abound in punchy colors, stripes, and geometrics; goofy, textured coats worn with shiny gold; white, yellow, and red high-heeled oxfords; and what look like mini instep-high black boots.
But the brand’s trademark elegance is likewise apparent in six new styles from the Max Mara Tailored Suit Project Collection and matching skirts, trousers, or dresses in easy-peasy coordinating colors of blues, beiges, and grays, as well as eye-popping yellow, red, orange, and fuchsia.
With both a loyal, longtime client base and a PYT gaggle of new fans, Max Mara’s creative director, Ian Griffiths, blends youthfulness and timeliness into one harmonious and elegant aesthetic. While the company is known for keeping core customers happy with classic styles, Maria Giulia Maramotti, the granddaughter of the company’s founder, has brought a discerning eye to her role as director of retail for North America.
Steven Meisel’s current campaign with Gigi Hadid.
Overseeing and strategizing the retail business for their 17 stateside boutiques, Maramotti has to make sure the collections are relevant. “With every new collection, the classic style will always be present, but given the contemporary climate, our collections are becoming more experimental and playful, which reenergizes the brand,” says Maramotti.
“I like to think of Max Mara as a ‘warm’ brand—not a ‘hot’ brand—and I think this is what makes us so successful right now.”
Part of this “warming” trend includes the choice of Gigi Hadid as the face of Max Mara’s latest accessories campaign, which introduced the JBag Shopper—a more contemporary bag than the elegant but structured Whitney bag, which debuted this spring on the first anniversary of New York City’s new Whitney Museum—and one that skews slouchy, rich, and young.
Between the reintroduction of the 101801 coat, an emblematic symbol of its heritage, and the introduction of the JBag with Gigi, representative of their future, Max Mara organically continues to stay elegant but fresh. As Maramotti says, “For me, pairing the 101801 coat with tailored trousers and sneakers is a superchic and timeless look.” A match made in Max! 69 Newbury St., 617-267-9775