DUBAI — Max Mara’s new Dubai flagship is a celebration of the energy of the Middle East, said Nicola Maramotti, the brand’s retail director. “The energy you feel here, you don’t get anywhere, I’m so inspired when I’m in this region. You see so much happening and evolving quickly in terms of culture, business ideas. This is the future.”
To celebrate that energy, the company’s new store in The Dubai Mall fashion extension has been designed to reflect the heritage of the brand, with opulent interiors designed by Duccio Grassi Architects, floors and walls made of Ceppo stone, the same material used in Milanese palaces, and a special VIP room, dedicated to the most elegant products and special projects. “The colors in the store are our colors, they reflect our DNA and the Max Mara sense of luxury,” Maramotti said.
While the store very much fits into Max Mara’s global DNA, the product mix offers something unique for customers in the region. “It’s very important for us to meet the needs of the Middle Eastern woman, while sticking with our principles of style, quality and modernity. Here there is a big request for capsule collections and something that is really special.” Maramotti responded with a special capsule collection for the Middle East “that represents empowerment for women.”
“We are in more than 100 countries, so we are dressing every woman in the world. Diversity is a fact, not a marketing tool. Women are all different and they should express themselves as they are,” she said.
For the launch, Ian Griffiths, the brand’s creative director, created a modest capsule collection. “We discovered there were no rules under the umbrella of modest dressing. We wanted to explore new ways of dressing that fulfill the requirements of covering up and reflect more modernity,” Griffiths said.
He added the modest approach to dressing is not only seen in the Middle East, but is a global movement. “I wish we had a word for it that wasn’t ‘modest.’ The very word makes it sound like it’s for women who want to hide themselves away. I wish it was called ‘power dressing.’ It allows you to protect your image and succeed in the world. More and more women are finding they can be more comfortable and feel more powerful by covering up. I find it slightly strange in some cultures that women are expected to expose different parts of their bodies in different times of day or according to the scene. As a man you would feel uncomfortable and would never have to do that.”
Griffiths said as a brand, Max Mara is always evolving. “We are always innovating. This is a great example of that. Yet whatever we are doing, we stamp everything we do with that heritage and history.”
The Middle East collection includes the signature double-breasted coat in pure camel wool with silk Max Mara-gram lining and gold personalized buttons, a pencil skirt that can be layered over a classic pair of trousers and accessories like a silk head scarf and rhinestone brooch. The brand photographed a campaign featuring model Halima Aden.