Designer of the Week 5: Max Mara

  •  Achille Maramotti founded Max Mara in 1951 in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia. It remains a family company in Italian tradition, while the Max Mara Group is the largest clothing company in Italy with 19 lines.
  • No one in the family is a fashion designer, so they opted to employ iconic designers to create the Max Mara collections. Oftentimes, the identity of their current designer has been a source of great rumour and mystery, though they are eventually revealed.
  • Everything designed since Max Mara’s inception has been carefully archivedin what used to be a stocking factory. They also keep around 8,000 garments for reference.
  • The founding family have always been passionate about passing down their knowledge to future generations, often setting up projects and training for creatives who are starting out.
  • Ian Griffiths has been Max Mara’s Creative Director for over 30 years. He is, perhaps surprisingly, an English ex-punk rocker who won a student competition to work as a junior designer in 1987.
  • Griffiths was experimental in his own style and inspired by David Bowie, before moving towards more subtly classic tailored styles for Max Mara.
  • Griffiths began his career at Max Mara under Anne-Marie Beretta, who famously designed the 101801 double-breasted coat for women in the ‘80s. Its kimono-style sleeves and oversized silhouette became a universal staple for empowered women who were beginning to break into male-dominated workspaces.
  • The classic Max Mara coat and its more vibrant iterations are seen on celebrities ranging from Hailey Bieber to the British royals, easily shifting a look from casual to sartorial.