COOL COL­LEC­TOR

In­side the gallery-like home of Max Mara’s Maria Gi­u­lia Maramotti. By ELIO IANNACCI

Fashion (Canada) - - Art -

AS SOON AS YOU WALK INTO MARIA GI­U­LIA

Maramotti’s din­ing room, you see it. Pulling fo­cus from her grandiose view of Chelsea’s bustling West 18th Street is a black and white art­work de­pict­ing a head­less semi-dressed woman con­jured by artist Natasha Law (left). It could be mis­taken for a blown-up sketch taken from Maria Gi­u­lia’s fam­ily busi­ness, cloth­ing la­bel Max Mara, or some­thing you’d see hung at New York’s Whit­ney Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art (a place the Maramot­tis have in­vested in). “Art is in my blood,” says Maria Gi­u­lia, U.S. di­rec­tor of re­tail and global brand am­bas­sador at Max Mara. “It’s what we talked about at the din­ner ta­ble when I grew up and is what keeps me so open­minded.” One Google search of her fam­ily’s name will con­firm her pas­sion. Maria Gi­u­lia’s grand­fa­ther, Achille Maramotti, the founder of Max Mara, fa­mously left his clan such a leg­endary col­lec­tion they had to open a mu­seum at the la­bel’s orig­i­nal head­quar­ters in Italy’s Reg­gio Emilia. The brand has also part­nered with key art spa­ces around the world: It re­cently launched a hand­bag along­side the un­veil­ing of the new Whit­ney, spon­sored Toronto’s coolest art event of this year (Power Ball, in con­junc­tion with The Power Plant Con­tem­po­rary Art Gallery) and regularly launches its own dis­play projects (one of the best be­ing Max Mara’s Her­itage Pro­ject, an ex­hibit of archival coats set up in Mi­ami’s De­sign Dis­trict).

Maria Gi­u­lia can be named as one of the main in­sti­ga­tors of these stylish as­so­ci­a­tions. She spends much of her free time in gal­leries and likes to per­son­ally visit artist stu­dios (the latest and great­est trips have been to the stu­dios of Adam Helms and Andy Cross). “You see their thought process in another way,” she says of her vis­its. “They are re­ally ex­plain­ing how they got to that end re­sult and you learn to ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­change of cre­ativ­ity that lies be­hind their lives.”

As she passes by her own condo walls, which are plas­tered with art and pic­tures of her fam­ily— in­clud­ing her dar­ling nieces and neph­ews—she talks about her tat­toos (a mix of inked-on lyrics from The Rolling Stones’s “Gimme Shel­ter” and var­i­ous ro­man­tic phrases) and gushes over new in­spi­ra­tions. One of them is artist Ellen Gal­lagher, whose work deals with gen­der and race, and the other is Corin Sworn, the win­ner of Max Mara’s Art Prize for Women (a bian­nual award that cel­e­brates emerg­ing fe­males in the field). Sworn, who stud­ied in Van­cou­ver, re­cently cre­ated a per­for­mance piece that Maria Gi­u­lia is still swoon­ing over: a thor­oughly mod­ern take on Italy’s renowned Com­me­dia dell’arte theatre. And while she col­lects art from all gen­ders, Maria Gi­u­lia is deeply in­vested in sup­port­ing women.

“His­tor­i­cally, in art, fe­male artists have not re­ally been present,” she says. “The artist fig­ure has al­ways been as­so­ci­ated with males, es­pe­cially in the past 70 or more years. As a brand that is cher­ish­ing and ded­i­cated to women, we have a duty to spon­sor them.”

MARIA GI­U­LIA MARAMOTTI IN HER ART-FILLED CHELSEA DIGS

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