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Some brands equate advertising with controversy, but that’s not the Max Mara way.

Throughout its history, the brand has stood by a precise and consistent image and refrains from any such provocation.

This story first appeared in the October 5, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Season after season, we aim to create international, recognizable advertising campaigns that are immediately linked to our brand,” explained Giorgio Guidotti, worldwide president of public relations and communications for Max Mara Group. “This is increasingly important, because we face an enormous world full of different voices.”

To reach this goal, Max Mara has over the years worked with a number of top artists and photographers, asking them to give their own interpretation of the brand.

“We like to establish a dialogue with photographers,” added Guidotti. “And it’s always exciting to challenge them to deliver a fresh, new vision of the brand.”

Here’s a recap of  Max Mara’s campaigns through the decades.

Early days: Conceptual artist Erberto Carboni creates the first Max Mara ad campaign in 1958. The result is a colorful, quirky poster where oversize scissors appear to be cutting a smiling woman, who is holding a woodpecker while wearing a blue Max Mara two-piece suit.

Seventies: Fashion photographer Sarah Moon infuses the brand’s campaigns with her trademark dreamy touch. Delivering images that look like movie frames, she focuses on the creation of a specific Max Mara style, placing the models in visionary and emotional atmospheres.

Eighties: Women affirm their changing role in society, and Max Mara provides them with a look for business. The company taps photographer Arthur Elgort to inject his contemporary, international approach into the brand’s image. Paolo Roversi and Peter Lindbergh also shoot, as well as Richard Avedon, who uses Maggie Rizer in one campaign and Stella Tennant, whom he features in a campaign inspired by Twenties-era icon Marchesa Casati.

Nineties: Steven Meisel, the photographer who has collaborated with Max Mara the most, brings his contemporary glamour to the label. He creates strong pictures featuring, among others, his eclectic muse Linda Evangelista, as well as Caroline Murphy in a Grace Kelly-inspired look.

2000s: The company enlists Craig McDean to refresh its image through his intellectual British attitude, followed by David Sims, and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Then Mario Sorrenti highlights the sensual side of the Max Mara woman, delivering intense images with models Freja Beha and Hilary Rhoda.


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