09 April 2020 - Article
Established by Achille Maramotti in 1951, MaxMara is an iconic Italian brand built on the notion of timelessness and utility luxe. Resolutely independent, it has eschewed a public listing, preferring to maintain family control over its operations. In 2012, the MaxMara Group operated in over 105 countries, underlining the success of this approach.
In its winter 2013 collection, MaxMara launched a new handbag called the JBag with a campaign fronted by American actress Jennifer Garner. Ms Garner’s participation in the campaign underscores MaxMara’s global reputation for classically timeless, cutting-edge luxury goods.
Withers’ luxury brands team assisted MaxMara with the sponsorship agreements for the campaign. Here, Anthony Indaimo (AI), lead Withers’ partner on the deal, talks to Nicola Maramotti (NM), MaxMara’s Global Brand Ambassador and a member of the founding Maramotti family, about the factors behind the MaxMara Group’s success and how it has maintained ownership within the Maramotti family through over 60 years of international growth.
The best of old and new
AI: 'MaxMara is known and respected around the world as a leading fashion and luxury brand. How has it achieved this whilst simultaneously hanging onto its heritage and maintaining a family business structure?'
NM: 'MaxMara has always been consistent about its tradition, and I believe that our ageless style represents a symbol of Italian quality through the world. The brand embodies passion, commitment and tradition, all in the service of fashion interpreted with personality and rigour. From the outset, all MaxMara Group allowed the company to maintain strong values and priorities over time.'
'It is these values and priorities that set the company apart today, both in Italy and throughout the world. Foundations of the highest quality, up-to-date fashion content, attention to price/quality ratios, research into wearability and careful tailoring down to the smallest details are
followed up, on a larger scale, with major industrial production and a focus on study and research.'
'We approach our products with both the well-established traditions of our brand and the newest trends in mind. This is exemplified by the fact that the iconic 101801 coat, first introduced in 1981, remains a fantastically popular item to the present day and is immediately identifiable as both a MaxMara product and a staple fashion item.'
At the forefront of over 60 years
AI: 'In the more than 30 years that Withers has been working with luxury brand clients, we’ve seen a lot of changes in industry leaders. But MaxMara has remained at the creative forefront of fashion and luxury for more than 60 years; how have you achieved this?'
NM: 'MaxMara was founded in 1951 by Mr Achille Maramotti with the intention of producing, through an industrial process, creative, seasonable clothes with fashion content that would be accessible to every woman. Since that time, the quality and style of our products have
been the pillars of this company. Rather than promoting any one single designer, MaxMara has always been a product-oriented company, reliant on its brand and the team behind it. We believe that creativity is a process that involves many professional figures from designers, to
fabric researchers, to communications and marketing experts. For us, creativity is all about team work, with one goal and one goal only – the product.'
'Nowadays the Group numbers more than 2,300 stores in over 105 countries. MaxMara’s brand is known, trusted and aspired to around the globe. The business remains a family-run concern, with Luigi, Ignazio and Maria Ludovica Maramotti currently heading it up.'
Family business values
AI: 'How significant do you think your family business structure and culture is to the success and strategy of the business?'
NM: 'It’s significant in a number of essential ways: maintaining tradition, guarding the brand’s heritage, and driving the business forward in a consistent fashion. The MaxMara Group has always been open to bringing in the most talented individuals in the industry, whether on the creative or the business side of things. But operating through a family business ownership structure has helped us to maintain independence and control of the business in the face of a highly competitive industry.'
'Having conquered the US market in the 1990s, MaxMara Group directed its attention to Asia, and has since opened over 380 stores in Greater China alone and a further 179 in Japan. We believe it’s a track record that underlines the power of family business values.'
AI: 'MaxMara’s growth in Asia has been a marked success in the business’s recent history. The Asian market’s passion for luxury products is well known, but how have you positioned the brand so successfully in the region?'
NM: “International growth has been a central part of the Group’s business plan from the very beginning. Over the years, our vision has grown to encompass more markets and Asia has been a main focus of this strategy. Just as in western countries, MaxMara has managed to become a key part of the life of Asian women, allowing them to express their personality through our elegant and sophisticated products.'
'In Mainland China this phenomenon has gone even deeper, with women’s increased power and influence in Chinese society translating into a growing appetite for our products, for use at work and in daily life.'