MILAN — It’s an encore for Ashley Graham and Marina Rinaldi, in a collaboration that is seen as continuing on in future.
The model has designed a second Ashley Graham x Marina Rinaldi capsule, with a strong Eighties inspiration, which is being rolled out in stores now.
“The feedback to the collection has been extremely positive,” said Lynne Webber, managing director of Marina Rinaldi. “Ashley is a very strong positive role model for the Marina Rinaldi community and she promotes being bold, encouraging women to be bolder in fashion.”
In fact, Webber said the figure-hugging shapes were the top-selling items of the first capsule. With the model and body activist, the company has focused on high-performing, new materials to this end, “for the best [looks], very close to the body and very flattering,” the executive said. The Eighties mood also introduced a new “sassy atmosphere” with bomber and biker jackets as well as leather wraparound designs.
The first Ashley Graham x Marina Rinaldi capsule collection was unveiled for spring in September during Milan Fashion Week and it was “on point,” observed Webber, confirming that the brand’s customers want “sensual, bold” styles and noting that, with the second capsule, the company is providing more variety, such as different denims in black, a mix of materials and eco-leather. “We are also introducing more accessible prices within the capsule to reach a wider audience through the choice of materials.”
Denim jeans come in fitted and loose versions, with lengths above the ankle and frayed hems. The jackets either follow the figure or drop a bit longer with a light oversize cut adorned with a furry neck. On the other hand, there are also the short and ultra-shiny bomber jacket, the leather biker jacket and the micro-sized denim jacket. There are motorcycle trousers knotty above the knee and the wraparound skirt with an edgy slit, both in faux leather. A dress is also in denim, as is the soft wide-necked shirt and the bodysuit embellished by a silk and satin blend made even more sensual by a crossover on the front that emphasizes the neckline. Blue, black and charcoal gray are the main colors.
The capsule is being rolled out in Marina Rinaldi boutiques and department stores now. “It is also very strong online,” said Webber, who has noted a shift toward a younger customer. Graham’s pull on social media has also been a bonus for Marina Rinaldi, whose visibility and feedback on the different channels has been “extremely successful.” The number of followers on the brand’s Instagram account has doubled worldwide, she said, and “since launching the online business last year in the U.S., the fan base has increased tenfold.” The social campaigns, she noted, “have brought in a significantly younger segment, transforming the fan base with a clientele younger than 35.”
Graham will continue to collaborate on additional collections and to front the brand’s ad campaigns.
Marina Rinaldi, part of the Max Mara group, aims to propose different role models in the industry. Catering to curvy and plus-size figures, the brand has long been pushing boundaries, working in 2015 with Patricia Arquette, seen as embodying a successful career and different values, including self-acceptance.