7 tees for 70 years of Max Mara
To be exact, that’s seven limited edition T-shirts featuring seven talented artists designed specially to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the renowned Italian fashion brand.
Max Mara began its journey in 1951, the year it was founded by Achille Maramotti, with the brand’s name being an amalgamation of the word Max – derived from Maximum or Massimo, a symbol of Italian strength – and a shortened version of the founder’s surname.
In celebration of its 70th year in the fashion world, Max Mara features the artworks of seven artists to tell its story through a series of images – printed on the seven special edition T-shirts. Simple as it may appear, a T-shirt effortlessly represents the identity of its wearer, as well as respecting, revealing and strengthening said identity, making it a perfect metaphor for the Max Mara fashion ethos over the last seven decades.
Dennis Nothdruft, head of the Fashion and Textile Museum in London and curator of “T-SHIRT: CULT – CULTURE – SUBVERSION”, the important exhibition dedicated to the eponymous clothing, says, “The T-shirt is a really simple way to tell the world who and what you truly are.” There’s little wonder that it’s been chosen to deliver the tale of Max Mara’s past, present and future.
WILLIAM WEGMAN: Fashionistas would immediately recognise the iconic 101801 camel coat by Max Mara, worn by one of William Wegman’s elegant Weimaraner dogs in the artist’s Polaroid series “Dogs in Coats” that was taken in 2001 to commemorate the brand’s 50th anniversary.
FRANCOIS BERTHOUD: The “dripping” technique that characterises famous illustrator François Berthoud’s work is seen in this artwork, commissioned in 2021, that pays homage to the pop nature of the Max Mara coat. Different parts of its paper pattern are superimposed over a spectrum of women’s portraits, becoming abstract brush strokes that interact with the faces reproduced using serigraph.
BRUNETTA: The long history of elegance and creativity of Max Mara, as seen through the refined drawings commissioned in the 1960s to the iconic Italian fashion illustrator Brunetta, is summed up in the drawing featured on this T-shirt.
VALERY KATSUBA: “ALBATROSS (When memories are awoken by birds)”, created by Russian artist Valery Katsuba in 2011, is a series of photographs featuring the etoiles of the Bolshoi theatre wearing and celebrating the 101801 coat.
BRIAN GRIMWOOD: This star of the Max Mara S/S 2016 runway show displays nautical-themed graphics by legendary illustrator Brian Grimwood, portraying a fantastic story of the high seas.
BRIGITTE NIEDERMAIR: Taking inspiration from Italian Renaissance still life paintings, Brigitte Niedermair – who focuses on time, memory and the history of art in her approach to photography – shrouds the Max Mara Teddy Coat in a soft and romantic light in her photo.
ERBERTO CARBONI: As seen on the F/W 2021 catwalk in Milan, these graphic prints are inspired by the works of Erberto Carboni.
Maramotti, a visionary yet thoroughly realistic man who understood the changing needs of fashion, successfully built an industrial system based on North America’s and a complete departure from Italy’s traditional one. That said, in Max Mara’s iconic 101801 coat, the quintessential hallmarks of streamlined, classic, luxurious Italian tailoring are still glaringly present.
As part of the Max Mara 70th Anniversary Capsule Collections, the 101801 coat, Ludmilla coat and Teddy coat are re-edited and renewed to further elevate their style and comfort. Dubbed the 1951 Anniversary Coats, these legendary pieces are now reversible thanks to techno nylon lining and feature a Max Mara 1951 embroidery in the characteristic MaxMaraGram font.
With a desire to dress women who appreciated sophistication and style, Maramotti operated on a Max Mara formula that can be proudly summed up as “we make real clothes for real women, evolution and not revolution”. Working with world-class supermodels and photographers has long been in the brand’s DNA, and most recently, it collaborates with Steven Meisel once again for its Fall/Winter 2021 campaign.
Meisel first shot the brand’s Spring/Summer 1997 campaign starring Linda Evangelista and has now worked with it on 20 others. The latest campaign features Chloe Oh, Amar Akway, Sofia Steinberg, Jits Bootsma, Mona, Tougaard and Maigosia Bela – a celebration of women from diverse cultures and ages, reflecting the global family that the Max Mara woman of today belongs to.