MILAN — New women’s wear label Maison Academia is all about collaborative creation.
The collection, founded in 2011 by Mary Palomba and Maurizio Palumbo, is based on a cocreation online platform — featuring about 15,000 users in the world — where new talents, uploading their sketches, have the chance to see one of their creations come to life in a real collection.
The sketches, which must be in line with the stylistic guidelines seasonally provided by Maison Academia, are revised and developed by the designers with the help of mentors, and then are posted on the company’s Web site to be voted by both the site’s community and a jury of experts from the fashion, art and business worlds.
The most voted styles are included in the collection, available for purchase online. The clothes, which are produced in Italy using high-end fabrics and retail at about 270 euros, or $347 at current exchange rates, are sent to customers four weeks after they place the order. In addition to receiving royalties on the sales, the designers are provided with a personal page on the Maison Academia Web site where they can share their sketches and promote their work.
“Working in the fashion communication business, we realized how difficult it is for young designers to emerge so we decided to offer them the chance to show their work on an open online platform,” said Palomba.
The brand — featuring Filas and holding company L Venture among its main shareholders — aims to close 2013 with revenues of about 300,000 euros, or $386,206. The goal for the following year is to post revenues of 2 million euros, or $2.6 million.