MILAN — Ashley Graham and Marina Rinaldi are taking their relationship one step further.
The Ashley Graham x Marina Rinaldi capsule collection for spring will be unveiled in Milan on Sept. 22, during Milan Fashion Week. The event will be staged at the newly restored 19th-century Teatro Gerolamo and is called “Let’s Denim” as the line hinges on jersey designs that look like denim. “This allows for extra comfort,” explained Lynne Webber, managing director of Marina Rinaldi. “It’s very difficult for plus-size customers to find the right fit with denim and we wanted to use comfortable fabrics that have a super recovery quality and dress all silhouettes.”
Graham has been fronting Marina Rinaldi’s advertising campaigns for two seasons. “We thought it was a good idea to reinforce this [commitment] with this new role as a designer,” Webber remarked. “Ashley is a super positive role model with a vast following on social media. The capsule is centered on Ashley as a typical consumer, there is an identification with her.”
With an entry price starting from $180, the capsule includes a practical lineup of shirts, dresses and body-hugging pants as well as strapless jumpsuits and motorcycle jackets, with metallic details with Graham’s signature.
The collection will be rolled out starting in January at global Marina Rinaldi boutiques and at the brand’s online store. This is not a one-off, said Webber, as the company is looking at extending the rapport in light of Graham’s positive image and influence.
The fall ad campaign fronted by Graham was lensed by South Korean photographer Hong Jang Hyun, with images in black and white. For spring, she was photographed by Emma Tempest.
Webber said Marina Rinaldi is expanding in the Middle East and Russia.
The Italian brand, part of the Max Mara group, aims to propose different role models in the industry. Catering to curvy and plus-size figures, Marina Rinaldi has long been pushing boundaries, working in 2015 with Patricia Arquette, seen as embodying a successful career and different values, including self-acceptance.