ISCHIA, Italy — After the COVID-19 pandemic, a resort show can help draw attention to Made in Italy production, boost tourism and signal a relaunch, said Maria Giulia Prezioso Maramotti Germanetti, omnichannel retail director of the Max Mara Fashion Group and the company’s global brand ambassador.
Speaking ahead of the Max Mara resort 2022 show on the island of Ischia on Tuesday, Prezioso Maramotti Germanetti was clearly proud to be “launching a beautiful message” that emphasized Italian cultural and the brand’s natural patrimony. “This is a project that is really dear to me,” she said.
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Opening up to live events, while still being mindful of restrictions to help curb the spread of the virus, is a sign of rebirth, she noted. While the number of guests was restricted to 80 and the show was to be held in the open air, she said several foreign editors were expected from the U.S., Russia, France, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands and a group of Chinese living in Europe.
While admitting the Asian market, and China in particular, are key regions for Max Mara, like for many luxury brands, Prezioso Maramotti Germanetti said she believes there will be a recovery of the West, “a pole of attraction,” and that tourists will soon return to “beautiful Europe.”
Previously, starting with the 2015 pre-fall season, the Italian women’s fashion group staged runway shows in New York, London, Shanghai, Reggio Emilia — where it is headquartered — and Berlin. Last year, it was supposed to hold its resort show in St. Petersburg but was forced to cancel those plans due to the health emergency. Asked about the importance of these itinerant shows, Prezioso Maramotti Germanetti said they help present “layers of content,” although “each brand has its own strategy and voice.” Milan Fashion Week also remains key, she pointed out.
Itinerant resort shows are clearly a strong communications tool, and in the case of Max Mara, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary and is a business anchored in ready-to-wear, they are even more important, she believes. However, she strongly cautioned against thinking in terms of figures and sales alone, stressing that projects must always be “organic.”
She underscored that product is always the starting point in any communication, “leading inspiration and content,” and that, not only is consistency a must through “clarity of the channels and platforms,” but it is imperative to “always have your consumer in mind, you cannot be self-referential.”
This consistency is exemplified by the film of the show, which will be directed by Ginevra Elkann and be available on Thursday. The movie director debuted with “Magari,” released in 2019, studied at the London Film School and has worked with Anthony Minghella and Bernardo Bertolucci. “She is a woman, a director, Italian and, coming full circle, she is also the granddaughter of Marella Agnelli,” one of Truman Capote’s famed Swans that inspired creative director Ian Griffiths for the resort collection.
The Max Mara group, with 2020 sales of 1.2 billion euros, has a network of 2,500 stores in more than 100 countries and Prezioso Maramotti Germanetti said the Milan flagship is undergoing a renovation, as are other units in the world. “We never really stopped retouching them,” she offered. The Milan boutique was modeled after a 10-year old blueprint, so that it was necessary to “change the materials and it’s lighter and we’ve added two works of art from the Collezione Maramotti,” the family’s art museum. Additional details will be unwrapped this fall, she said, demurring to reveal additional details of the changes.
“The pandemic taught us that the store offers a moment of experience and not a need. Now, you want to return to dining out at restaurants not because you have not eaten during the lockdown, but you want to enjoy that experience and it’s the same for shopping,” she contended. “I have never ruled out one or another distribution platforms.”