Born: Alghero, Italy, 1961
Antonio Marras grew up with a love of culture admiring every form of artistic and creative expression. His father owned several boutiques in Alghero, which encouraged Marras to develop technical skills based on the different materials used in the clothes.
With no official training, Marras had developed a solid, technical understanding. His early skills led to an entrepreneur from Rome to entrust him with the creation of a ready-to-wear collection. This enabled Marras to debut his first fashion collection in 1987.
In 1996 Marras was asked to present another fashion show, again in Rome. The show featured his strong attention to detail and craftsmanship having an emphasis on Sardinia with the leitmotiv of ligazzio rubio, being Sardinian dialect for red string. The collection represented Marras’s key foundations of his future style.
Three years later in 1996 Marras presented his ready-to-wear collection in Milan for the first time. Inspired and dedicated to the writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Marras’s early style of Sardinian themes was portrayed with a contemporary look.
In 2001 Marras was recognized for his growing talents and was awarded the Francesca Alinovi award in Bologna in 2001. The year also saw a book dedicated to his work written by Cristina Morizzi.
In 2002 Marras showed his first men’s collection at Pitti Immagine Uomo. This marked the beginning of Marras showing regularly during Milan fashion week.
The same year saw Marras continuing to develop and experiment with his “Laboratorio” line. The collection, developed in Sardinia, used skilled seamstresses and embroiderers. Described as “not exactly ready-to-wear, not exactly couture”, Marras encouraged his workers to reconnect with their skills and tradition. He saw “Laboratorio” as a workshop wanting his workers to experiment.
In 2003 the Masedu Museum of Contemporary Art in Sassari, Italy, dedicated a show to him entitled ‘ Antonio Marras. – A Tale of Form’. The year also saw Marras begin his involvement with ‘double weave’ in Alghero. A series of annual shows featured Marras collaborating with one or more featured artists.
In 2003 Marras’s recognition rose again with the LVMH group appointing him artistic director of Kenzo. Marras still remained living in Alghero, from where he to commuted to Milan and Paris.
In 2006 another book was published on Marras by the Fondazione Pitti Discovery titled ‘Antonio Marras’. The same year the prestigious contemporary art foundation Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo of Turin celebrated their ten year anniversary hosting a photography exhibition named ‘Antonio Marras – Ten Years Later’. This marked the first time the foundation had featured a fashion designer. The exhibition contained photos of Marras taken by Russian-American photographer Yelena Yemchuck.
In 2010, Marras collaborated with Italian luxury shoe brand Sergio Rossi, creating a stunning collection that merged his distinctive aesthetic with Rossi’s renowned craftsmanship. The following years witnessed Marras’ continued exploration of narrative-driven designs, with collections that drew inspiration from historical references, cultural influences, and personal memories.
In 2019, Marras marked the 30th anniversary of his brand with a retrospective exhibition, showcasing his multidimensional approach to design and his ability to evoke emotion through fashion. In recent years, Marras has remained committed to sustainability, incorporating eco-friendly materials and ethical practices into his creations.
Antonio Marras is known for his emphasis on history in his designing. At Kenzo, Marras copied the founder Takada’s belief in a fusion of fashion and infused his own Sardinian roots into the style. Marras transfused this to his own line, featuring his origins with historical and tribal references but always with a contemporary flair.
Antonio Marras Biography