One could argue that the late Achille Maramotti introduced Italian prêt-à-porter fashion to the masses when he launched Max Mara in 1951, a time when women were still visiting dressmakers and tailors. Since then, the brand has made a name for itself via its iconic coats and suiting, stacking a stealthy army of garment makers in-house all the while. This facet of the company is made evident by its tailor-made suit project, Sartoriale, launched today at its Pacific Centre location in Vancouver. This is the first store in Canada to feature the collection, and one of only 22 Max Mara stores in the world that will carry it.
“There are many items that are handmade here at Max Mara, but they are handmade to a different degree,” explains Catherine Guadagnuolo, president and founder of the Vestis Fashion Group, who operates the store. “These new jackets each took 345 minutes [just under six hours] to make, versus the regular ready-to-wear coats that take 120 minutes [two hours].”
Sartoriale means “tailor-made” in Italian (naturally), and the lightweight jackets in cashmere, camel hair, silk, silk-wool mix, and silk-mohair mix feel just that. As Guadagnuolo states, “[we chose them] because those are the finest fabrics in the world, and while there are fabulous Italian suit companies like Brioni and Belvest, they are famous for making men’s suits. But this company knows women.”