NEW YORK — Max Mara is taking off in new directions for fall.
To launch its New York flagship at 813 Madison Ave. in late August, the Italian-based company commissioned photographer Martine Barrat — best known for her documentary images of boxers in gyms, life in Harlem and gangs in the South Bronx — to capture the essence of Max Mara with a signature coat in a series of photographs entitled “Classic Style. New Vision.”
Max Mara’s ad agency, Dente & Cristina, gave Barrat a camel’s hair wool and cashmere coat for one month to photograph however she pleased. Barrat took it with her to Harlem, to the beach and to a race in the city and photographed it on a variety of adults, children and animals.
The photographs will become part of Max Mara’s $250,000 retail ad and promotional campaign and will be displayed in the Madison Avenue boutique. They will also be featured on billboards, buses and bus shelters in New York, beginning in August. In addition, Max Mara is talking to book publishers in Italy and New York about publishing between 50 and 60 of the photographs.
For its wholesale line, Max Mara is dispensing with the black-and-white photography of model Carla Bruni after three seasons, and has switched to color pictures of model Bridget Hall. The ads continue to be photographed by Max Vadukal. The company is spending $1 million on the wholesale campaign, up 30 percent from a year ago.
The ads were shot in a warehouse in Paris and carry the words “chic” and “simple.” The Max Mara campaign broke in the July issue of Italian Vogue, and will run in the September issues of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, Mirabella and W.

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