We catch up with Max Mara designer Laura Lusuardi in Dubai to learn about the brand’s continual balance of heritage and contemporary style, as well its take on the Middle East fashion market.
You began working at Max Mara at the age of 18. How have you seen the company develop over the years? How has Max Mara’s creations changed with the times?
When I started working for Max Mara, I was very young. The job gave me a great opportunity to grow up with a company I admired. I had the chance to see its development through the birth of new collections and its growth worldwide demonstrated today with the brand’s more than 2,300 stores.
The company has maintained its role as a leading fashion brand by adhering to its tradition of quality craftsmanship and style coupled with the desire to more greatly understand the contemporary woman’s needs and desires.
This is why, in recent years, Max Mara continued to develop different ideas and collections especially through specific projects. These include the Max Mara Atelier, a lab of research and experimentations on coats, and Here is The Cube, a project by ‘S Max Mara focused on an innovative conception of down coats.
How do you ensure that Max Mara maintains its Italian heritage while at the same time producing garments that are at once modern and cutting-edge?
Technology, material and design have been consistently involved. At the same time we want to remain true to the spirit of Max Mara while working harder to understand women’s needs and desires in contemporary times. That’s why Max Mara is offering various proposals, countless identities from which to choose based on the common features of quality, style, and respect for personality which the company consistently offers in all its products.
How did the 101801 camel coat come into being and why has it become such an iconic item to Max Mara?
We consider the coat to be a perfect piece of design as well as timeless and staple garment. Our iconic piece, the ‘101801’, is a double-breasted coat in wool-cashmere boasting simple and elegant lines. One of Max Mara’s oldest items, it symbolizes the brand’s heritage and cutting-edge design.
Over the years Max Mara’s campaigns have been shot by such renowned photographers as Peter Lindbergh and Richard Avedon. How do they serve to represent the creative identity of the brand? What campaigns are currently in the pipeline?
Our last Fall/Winter 2014/2015 Campaign was shot by Mario Sorrenti. We chose Caroline Murphy to represent our brand because she perfectly embodies our ideal of the Max Mara’s woman for the next Fall/Winter collection through her modern sense of beauty and elegance.
I believe that it’s essential to choose wisely when selecting the right creative people to work with. The photographers who signed with us to do the Max Mara Advertorial campaigns over the last several years perfectly interpreted our collection using their experience, creativity and sensibility.
How would you describe the typical Max Mara customer?
A contemporary woman who has a sophisticated and refined image. She wears a look in line with the current trends, but also suitable to the different occasions of modern life.
What is Max Mara’s relationship with the Middle Eastern client? How do you see the company expanding more within the region?
From my first visit in to this region, I learned that women from Midle East love fashion and desire keeping up with new trends. The love dressing well!
The Middle East is an important market to us. We strive to fulfil the needs of these women by enhancing elegant dresses, offering feminine collections and working on the mix of different weights fabrics. We also intend to expand and open more boutiques in the Middle East very soon.
Max Mara is available at The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.