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Lifestyle

Max Mara on Madison Avenue

By Katy Donoghue

May 5, 2016

While Max Mara remains an Italian fashion house, founded in the 1950s by Achille Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, the brand responsible for the most iconic camel coat has some serious ties to New York. Its Upper East Side Manhattan location at 813 Madison Avenue opened in the late 1990s in a 3-story, 8,055-square-foot landmark building built in 1882 by architect Charles Buek. Renovated in 1994 by Duccio Maria Grassi, the interiors were designed in limestone, maple wood, and brushed stainless steel rails—all imported from Italy, of course—complementing the original Ceppo di Grè Italian stone floor. It is a standout boutique on the block, and was one of Max Mara’s first to open in the U.S.

More recently, the maison found inspiration in the New York City of the 1970s in its pre-fall 2015 collection, which debuted in New York at the Old Dia in Chelsea, designed by Creative Director Ian Griffiths. “I think that what happened in those years, in the seventies and eighties, were of such huge significance that we’re only really starting to process their importance now. I’m really aware of how rich in artistic memories downtown Manhattan is because I lived through that period. I know that only four blocks away there was the Roxy, where the artistic world, like Keith Haring and Basquiat and Warhol met Debbie Harry and Madonna— that incredible party time,” said Griffiths.

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And the U.S. Retail Director Maria Giulia Maramotti, granddaughter to Achille, calls New York home, as well. “Living in New York, obviously, for me is a great opportunity. It’s considered the center of today’s contemporary art world. So I have opportunities to be exposed to new emerging artists, studio visits, getting to know about what is going on,” Maramotti told us. She’s also involved with Max Mara’s ongoing partnership with the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The Madison Avenue store offers ready-to-wear and accessories, and boasts the brand’s Tailored Suit Project and Atelier. The bespoke offering centers around, of course, the jacket, creating the perfect fit and style for women in New York. Taking the traits of men’s tailoring, each jacket takes 375 minutes to make, hand-stitched in special fabrics like cotton, silk mikado, mat linen, mohair, wool, and silk, in colors of blue, black, white, red, pink, and even aquamarine—fitting for business or pleasure. This May, you’ll be able to catch the pre-fall 2016 collection at Madison Avenue, inspired by punk’s Dorothy Parker with accents of studded belts, pleated silks, fishnets, and biker jackets. Parker’s favorite New York places like The Algonquin, 21 Club, The St. Regis, and Polly Adler’s are recalled in the edgy, yet glamorous collection. Parker, like most New Yorkers, understood the importance of style, saying, “Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.” That’s all the motivation any woman would need to buy her first 101801 Max Mara coat.

21 ClubAchille Maramottiand Polly Adler’sBasquiatCharles BuekDebbie HarryDorothy ParkerDuccio Maria GrassiIan GriffithsKeith HaringMadison AvenueMadonaaMaria Giulia MaramottiMax MaraThe AlgonquinThe St. RegisThe Whitney Museum of American ArtWarholWhitewallerWhitewaller Frieze

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