Max Mara

Founded by Achille Maramotti in 1951

 Achille Maramotti, born into a family deeply passionate about high fashion, inherited a rich legacy. His great-grandmother, Marina Rinaldi, presided over a luxury fashion house in the late 19th century. Meanwhile, his mother, Giulia Fontanesi, was a sewing teacher and author known for her expertise in the “theory of cutting.” Achille received his early training at the Maramotti Cutting and Dressmaking School, which was founded by his mother and became the springboard for his future in fashion.

Although he initially pursued a legal education, Achille ultimately yielded to his true calling – haute couture. In 1951, he launched Confezioni Maramotti, driven by a vision to produce impeccably crafted women’s attire in an era when Italy primarily produced handmade garments. His creations featured clean lines and French-inspired designs, setting the tone for the label’s distinct style.

By 1954, Confezioni Maramotti had flourished, boasting a workforce of over 200 individuals. To accommodate this growth, the business relocated and adopted the moniker Industria Italiana Confezioni.

With early success as motivation, Maramotti sought to expand the brand’s reach. In 1955, he presented his inaugural runway show for the autumn/winter collection in Corina D’Ampezzo. The same year, Max Mara’s designs graced the windows of the renowned Al Duca d’Aosta boutique in Venice.

In 1958, the brand embarked on an advertising campaign, unveiling its first poster designed by Erberto Carboni.

As the ’60s dawned, Max Mara’s ascent continued unabated. In 1960, Arianni magazine featured 40 Max Mara models, allowing readers to cast their votes for their favorites. The following year, the label introduced the May Fair line, catering to plus-size fashion enthusiasts.

The brand welcomed Jacques Delehaye and Luciano Soprani into the fold in 1967 and 1968, broadening its horizons. Collaborating with footwear manufacturer Bruno Magli, Max Mara unveiled Boutique 2M in Milan in 1968.

In 1980, Max Mara made its debut on the Parisian fashion scene. The iconic 101801 coat, crafted from a luxurious blend of wool and cashmere, was introduced in 1981, rapidly becoming a bestseller.

Max Mara’s presence at Milan Fashion Week became a fixture in 1983. By 1986, the company was overseeing thirteen distinct brands, and in 1989, it launched its own publication, MM magazine.

In 2005, Achille Maramotti passed away, entrusting the legacy to his two sons and daughter.

Today, the Max Mara Group stands as a global fashion powerhouse, boasting a diverse portfolio of over 23 brands and more than 2000 boutiques across 105 countries. The hallmark Max Mara style exudes refined glamour and contemporary chic, offering practical yet fashionable allure for the modern woman.

In 2012, Max Mara received the prestigious “Brand Heritage Award” from Fashion Group International in New York.

2013 saw the introduction of the coveted Teddy Bear coat, a luxurious creation fashioned from alpaca wool and silk, complete with a faux fur effect, which inspired imitations across the fashion landscape.

In 2015, Max Mara collaborated with Renzo Piano Building Workshop to craft the Whitney Bag, a bespoke piece designed for the grand opening of the new Whitney Museum of American Art in New York’s Meatpacking District.

Max Mara’s extensive portfolio includes 35 labels, with womenswear, often stylized as MaxMara, serving as the core of the company. Other brands include Sportmax, Sportmax Code, Weekend Max Mara, Marella, Pennyblack, iBlues, MAX&Co. (the youthful division), and Marina Rinaldi.

Jennifer Garner assumed the role of the first celebrity spokesperson for Max Mara in July 2013, with the brand’s campaigns featured in esteemed fashion publications worldwide.

Max Mara actively champions women’s achievements through two significant awards: the Women In Film Face of the Future Award, presented at the Crystal + Lucy Awards, and the Art Prize for Women, a collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery dedicated to female artists based in the UK. Recipients of the Face of the Future Award include Zoey Deutch, Natalie Dormer, Kate Mara, Rose Byrne, among others, while the Art Prize for Women provides artists with a residency opportunity in Italy and showcases their resulting artwork in exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery and Collezione Maramotti.

Max Mara Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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