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SPOTTED: Sportmax in Rinascente

Sportmax celebrates 50 years and taps Canadian theatre and opera director and designer Robert Carsen to inspire eight window displays at Milan’s Rinascente - Piazza Duomo - during fashion week

Sportmax will take over the windows of Milan’s Rinascente Piazza Duomo department store, for the duration of Milan’s ready-to-wear shows that will run February 18 to 24.

Situated in the heart of the fashion capital, adjacent to the city’s majestic Duomo cathedral, eight window displays envisaged by Canadian theatre and opera director Robert Carsen, will be unveiled, ushering in the brand’s golden anniversary year.

Founded in 1969 by Achille Maramotti, Sportmax began as the most experimental collection in the Max Mara family of brands. To commemorate this monumental occasion, the company will unfurl a collection called #SportmaxAnniversary.

  • The new line will be presented to the public in a capsule collection inspired by items designed in the 1970s - iconic items characterised by a unique stitching technique.

  • In tandem with the launch, the company will unveil a coffee-table book entitled Sportmax, which was edited by the Assouline publishing house and curated by French curator Olivier Saillard.

The book includes a review by English journalist Luke Leitch, who chronicles the evolution of the brand’s history and how its designs reacted to the changing cultural shifts and events that took place, over a span of five decades.

Though established names like Nanni Strada, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Odile Lançon and Guy Paulin have made an impact on the label throughout its history, Sportmax has always opted to emphasize the spirit of teamwork that has fuelled the brand’s success, rather than focus on a single person’s contribution. This spirit of teamwork that remains at the very heart of the brand today, will be highlighted by the Rinascente showcase

With the Rinascente project, Sportmax’s DNA and Made in Italy values, know-how and heritage will be reconstructed through the eyes of the renowned Canadian director, who drew inspiration from the contemporary art world and in particular, from the work of artists like Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Nolan, Barnett Newman, Brice Marden.

“Reflecting on how best to do justice to the invigorating colours and the strong lines of the capsule collection that celebrate this anniversary, I couldn’t help thinking of the powerful minimalism of abstract paintings of the Hard-Edge movement which was contemporaneous to the 1970 beginnings of Sportmax. Artists like Kenneth Noland, Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella developed further the work of Colour Field movement painters such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Morris Louis. I also wanted to draw wider attention to Assouline’s beautiful new book that proves the potency of Achille Maramotti’s avant-garde vision for Sportmax: in fashion it seems that the best way to be of one’s time is to be ahead of it”

- said Carsen, an influential director, well-known for infusing a contemporary soul into the work of legendary composers like Mozart, Verdi and Richard Wagner.

His performances have captivated spectators all over the world, from Tokyo to New York, from Shanghai to Paris, from London to Milan.


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