Here’s a piece of trivia for the day: what do artist Jeff Koons, singer-songwriter Josh Groban, and Italian fashion group Max Mara all have in common?
Well, earlier this month, the three creative magnates came together to celebrate the National YoungArts Foundation’s annual Backyard Ball event and fundraiser in Miami. The evening was a culmination of the 2015 National YoungArts Week, wherein 170 American teenagers working in the visual, performing, design, and literary arts spent the week in Miami attending master classes with some of the most distinguished names in their fields, among them Koons, James Caan, Tierney Sutton, Carrie Mae Weems, and Rebecca Walker. Koons and Groban (who is an alumnus of the foundation), were each awarded a 2015 Arison Award, along with country singer and fellow alum Chris Young. Max Mara sponsored the evening, which played host to over 800 distinguished guests and saw a multidisciplinary performance by the foundation’s 2015 finalists.
How the largest fundraising event of the year for an American arts organization came to be sponsored by an Italian fashion house might seem curious, but in fact, Max Mara has ties to the foundation’s home in Miami, and has just announced the opening of a new 3,325 square foot boutique in the city’s Design District. For the first month after opening, the new store will host the brand’s Heritage Project, a traveling exhibition designed by Migliore+Servetto Architects highlighting the history of Max Mara coats with examples from the 1950s to the present. The concept for the space itself was developed in collaboration with the Duccio Grassi Architects studio, and features clean lines, warm neutrals, and comfortable home-like furnishings.