In MaxMara’s Archive, Decades of Italian Fashion History

Sep 28, 2018 779

BY: Kerry Olsen

Last August, when Gabriele Monti was co-curating the “Italiana: Italy Through the Lens of Fashion 1971-2001”exhibition in Milan, his first port of call was a 19th-century former hosiery factory. The building in Reggio Emilia, a small city about two hours’ drive southeast of Milan, is rarely visited by outsiders and almost never discussed, even by fashion specialists, but may be the single greatest private fashion archive in Italy.

Its owner? Not a grande dame, heiress or celebrity but ... the fashion house MaxMara. The 67-year-old luxury giant best known for its camel coats has been quietly amassing a treasure trove of historic fashion for the last four decades. In the absence of a dedicated national fashion museum, the collection is a contribution to the study of Italian textiles and chronicles the history of the country’s ready-to-wear system.

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