Salvatore Ferragamo

Where does Ferragamo’s transformation start?

On December 4, 2023, at Royal Albert Hall in London, Maximilian Davis, the current creative director of Ferraramo, won the British Women’s Wear Designer of the Year award at The Fashion Awards. The British Fashion Awards are established by the British Fashion Council and are presented annually to creative professionals across the UK to recognize outstanding creativity and support the new generation of talent.

The young creative director took the trophy from the hands of Chioma Nnadi, the editorial director of the British version of Vogue, on stage, greeted the audience and smiled awkwardly. He picked up and put down the prepared small note. Faced with the cheers in the audience, he appeared shy and proud.

In March 2022, Davis was 27 years old when he was appointed as the Creative Director of Ferragamo. This personnel change immediately appeared on major fashion media, with headlines asking “Who is Maximilian Davis?”. This news caused a stir that is understandable. Davis is indeed a newcomer: at the time, his personal brand Maximilian was founded less than two years ago and only held a fashion show on Fashion East, a London based platform that supported emerging designers and helped them gain media attention by providing funding and exhibition space. In contrast, Ferraramo is an Italian family owned enterprise founded in 1927, known for its leather accessories and manufacturing techniques such as shoes and bags, but its creativity in ready to wear clothing is relatively quiet. How can a novice young designer guide the creative direction of a luxury brand with nearly a century of history? Can a British designer of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago understand and fulfill the various aspirations of the Italian family? Or simply put, why is it Davis instead of others?

The appointment occurred only two months after Marco Gobbetti, the CEO of Ferraramo, took office. This decision-maker became the CEO and Chairman of Givenchy in 2004, boldly using the then unknown Riccardo Tisci as the Creative Director as Bole; After joining C é line in 2008, Phoebe Philo was appointed as the main brand, and together with Philo, all products were renovated, increasing its annual sales from 200 million euros in 2008 to over 700 million euros in 2017. This time, Gobbetti seems to be full of confidence. In an official statement, he stated that “Maximilian’s clear and clear vision, firm and decisive execution, and powerful aesthetics make him one of the most outstanding artistic talents of his time.” Gobbetti once said that he sees the brand as a living organism, and the selection of creative directors always starts with the question of “who the brand is”.

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