Max Mara turns 70 with seven tees
T-shirts have long been a statement garment, a powerful tool to speak your mind without saying anything and to state your opinion without having to justify to anyone who doesn't agree with your point of view.
So it comes as no surprise that Italian fashion label Max Mara goes back to these basics to celebrate its 70th anniversary. It produced its previous projects with visual artists for a series of seven limited edition T-shirts to mark its journey in the fashion industry and the milestones it met.
The last two years have changed fashion and its presentations. Along with movement restrictions came conscious consumption and the appreciation for basics. Comfortable clothing rule supreme, and Max Mara embraced this shift.
After all, T-shirts are acceptable to the broadest fashion consumers and they have limitless styling options.
The piece featuring nautical themed graphics by Grimwood.
The T-shirts, the company says, tell stories through a series of images — all for wearing, of course.
These images include celebrated photographic shots by William Wegman of the elegant Weimaraner dogs wearing the Max Mara 101801 camel coat.
There is also the T-shirt in block prints by illustrator François Berthoud and the sketches and drawings commissioned to the legendary fashion illustrator Brunetta Mateldi.
There are even the irresistible nautical-themed graphics by Brian Grimwood that were part of the Max Mara Spring/Summer 2016 runway show, and the poetic shots dedicated to classical ballet taken for the 2011 Moscow Coats! exhibition by Valery Katsuba with the stars of the Bolshoi.
The Teddy Bear coat is photographed by Brigitte Niedermair, who was inspired by Italian Renaissance paintings. Last but not least are the graphic prints, seen on the Fall/Winter 2021 catwalk in Milan, inspired by graphic designer and architect Erberto Carboni's work.
These images represent a dance from the past, present, to future, the company says.
They are made in pure cotton jersey and feature beautifully-finished appliqué panels, designed to enhance each artwork.
A T-shirt comes with endless styling options, from basic to stylish.
Max Mara creative director Ian Griffits says a T-shirt is an ordinary everyday item, but it's also a blank canvas that can be transformed into a collectible object.
"It's the perfect medium for the various artistic and graphic work that Max Mara has commissioned over the years from the likes of Wegman and Berthoud. These pieces are seven of our most iconic projects... we have always been about making the ordinary extraordinary, and this is the perfect example," he says.
"To me," Griffiths says, "nothing is more special than the rise of the Max Mara woman. It's a continuous narrative of success and empowerment that began in 1951, and will hopefully carry on long into the future.
"Fashion trends come and go, but Max Mara is about something more lasting, more meaningful. I think more and more people will come to appreciate that," he says.
The Anita bag is now reversible.
In a move to look forward instead of revisiting its past, Max Mara edits and renews some iconic pieces that left their stamp on the story of the brand and in the history of fashion.
Griffiths says the Max Mara Anniversary Coats Collection takes each of the brand's classics and turns it into an all-weather reversible with a nylon lining embroidered with the "1951" logo.
"I have been thinking about reversible coats for sometime so it was very rewarding to have an opportunity to realise them. As ever, the creative and technical processes are completely entwined. In the case of a coat, the idea has to be completely thought through... it has to work," he says.
The iconic 101801 camel coat is a unique piece handed down from mother to daughter. The Ludmilla, known for being the quintessential double pure cashmere coat in now available in cacha.
Then the Teddy Bear, the brand's it-coat and loved by celebrities like Rita Ora and Kim Kardashian, is available in vicuna. Even the street-glam Anita bag is now reversible, thanks to techno nylon lining.