Lynne Web­ber, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Ma­rina Rinaldi, tells the phi­los­o­phy of a brand that has built its for­tune on an idea of de­ci­sive, but un­con­ven­tional fem­i­nin­ity

All About Italy (USA) - - All About Italy -

The most sig­nif­i­cant ac­ces­sory for a woman is un­doubt­edly her safety, that happy aware­ness of her own fem­i­nin­ity that il­lu­mi­nates the body be­yond any pos­si­ble phys­i­cal con­ven­tion, trans­fig­ur­ing ap­pear­ances and high­light­ing a rich and spe­cial beauty that is the sum of charm, charisma, per­son­al­ity. Get out of the es­tab­lished canons to fi­nally be fully them­selves, unique and un­re­peat­able: this is the dogma that has al­ways animated Ma­rina Rinaldi’s de­sign. Lynne Web­ber, Man­ag­ing Brand Di­rec­tor, traces the path of a brand that raises the ban­ner of Ital­ian ex­cel­lence in the world, be­com­ing an un­wa­ver­ing spokesper­son for a fash­ion rev­o­lu­tion that draws the soft lines of a woman, mis­tress of the fu­ture, with style and class.

Ma­rina Rinaldi was born in 1980, ded­i­cated to the great-grand­mother of the founder Achille Maramotti. Those were the years in which fash­ion did take much in­ter­est in the com­fort­able sizes: so is the brand a trib­ute to the past, but ush­er­ing in a rev­o­lu­tion­ary look?

Ma­rina Rinaldi was born from a happy, sim­ple in­tu­ition: all women love fash­ion, all women de­serve to dress with el­e­gance and qual­ity, but this is not al­ways pos­si­ble for all. In 1980 fash­ion ig­nored women, who in 2017 are com­monly re­ferred to as curvy, and who in many coun­tries rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant ma­jor­ity of the fe­male uni­verse. With great fore­sight, Achille Maramotti ap­plied Max Mara’s know how to this slice of the mar­ket, trans­port­ing the iden­ti­fy­ing el­e­ments - tai­lor­ing, qual­ity, de­sir­abil­ity - into a new and un­ex­plored di­men­sion.

The brand bases its phi­los­o­phy on the idea of a woman whose phys­i­cal­ity is her strong point. Fash­ion is not a fac­tor of size: how did you manage to con­vey this mes­sage, both in com­mu­ni­ca­tion and in your way of mak­ing clothes?

We build our col­lec­tions on the ba­sis of a pre­cise mod­el­ing, start­ing from a size 50, but gives the Ma­rina Rinaldi gar­ments a per­fect fit on more sin­u­ous sil­hou­ettes. In terms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, how­ever, es­pe­cially in re­cent years, we have cho­sen to rely on both im­age and words to clearly ex­press the brand’s mis­sion. The face of beau­ti­ful and con­fi­dent tes­ti­mo­ni­als, able to trans­form their so-called weak­nesses into se­duc­tive in­gre­di­ents - such as Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette, Alessan­dra Gar­cia or, for three sea­sons, top model and in­flu­encer Ash­ley Gra­ham - com­bined with claim and hash­tag as “women are back” or #wom­enarethe­fu­ture gave our in­sti­tu­tional cam­paigns a par­tic­u­lar im­pact.

What does di­ver­sity mean for the Ma­rina Rinaldi brand?

It is above all a value, as an ex­pres­sion of in­di­vid­u­al­ity and au­then­tic­ity.

In the last few years your typ­i­cal clien­tele has changed, be­com­ing more trans­ver­sal. Is it an evo­lu­tion of the brand or a cul­tural change that has af­fected the woman?

The com­pany is cer­tainly go­ing through a change to which MR re­sponds promptly, hav­ing, in a cer­tain sense, an­tic­i­pated the times. De­spite deeply-rooted stereo­types about women that per­sist, to­day women are freer to ex­press them­selves and be them­selves, also in terms of phys­i­cal­ity: an at­ti­tude of re­spect, ac­cep­tance and love for one’s body is now much more wide­spread than in the past, even among the new gen­er­a­tion. Hence, in part, MR’S choice is to turn to younger con­sumers, ex­pand­ing their of­fer and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with them in their own lan­guage.

Qual­ity, good taste, originalit­y. To­day’s cus­tomers are look­ing for this and Ma­rina Rinaldi of­fers it. But that’s not enough: per­son­al­iza­tion is key. How do you an­swer this re­quest?

In gen­eral, the MR col­lec­tions are very ex­pan­sive, of­fer­ing gar­ments for ev­ery oc­ca­sion and mo­ment in a woman’s life. Mix­ing to­gether dif­fer­ent styles, each woman is able to cre­ate an original look that ex­presses their per­son­al­ity, along with the brand iden­tity. Through spe­cially cre­ated tools such as the MR magazine, dis­trib­uted in our stores and trend-set­ting seasonal fash­ion spreads, we give our cus­tomers sug­ges­tions and styling ideas to freely cre­ate the out­fit that best ex­presses their taste and their sen­si­tiv­ity.

Var­ied nu­ances and a strong iden­tity have made the brand rec­og­niz­able even abroad. How do for­eign cus­tomers iden­tify you?

As a “lux­ury fash­ion brand”, ex­pres­sion of the purest Made in Italy style, ca­pa­ble of mix­ing time­less el­e­gance, ex­cel­lent ma­te­ri­als, fine work­man­ship and fash­ion con­tent.

Ob­vi­ously, the plan for the next few years to grow and to do so you in­tend to also fo­cus on re­tail and multi-chan­nel out­lets. Par­al­lel but not dif­fer­ent roads: how can these be com­bined?

On­line com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment is now es­sen­tial and al­lows us to reach ge­o­graph­i­cal ar­eas where we would strug­gle to ar­rive, at least in the short / medium term. Our re­tail dis­tri­bu­tion, di­rect or through fran­chis­ing, how­ever, re­mains a strong point, able to of­fer, in ad­di­tion to the prod­uct, very at­ten­tive cus­tomer ser­vice, which makes the shopping ex­pe­ri­ence richer and more pleas­ant in our stores.

“Ma­rina Rinaldi was born from a happy, sim­ple in­tu­ition: all women love fash­ion, all women de­serve to dress with el­e­gance and qual­ity, but this is not al­ways pos­si­ble for all”. Lynne Web­ber

Ac­cord­ing to Ma­rina Rinaldi, what is the big ‘must’ for next sea­son?

For the SS18 sea­son the fo­cus is the new cap­sule col­lec­tion cre­ated by our tes­ti­mo­nial Ash­ley Gra­ham, to­gether with the Ma­rina Rinaldi style team. It is a pro­ject with a pre­cise and highly in­no­va­tive iden­tity, with denim as its main fo­cus, and which of­fers dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tions of denim, thanks to com­bi­na­tions with black leather or scuba fab­ric. Whether it’s trousers or tube skirts, or more un­usual mod­els such as the dress or the biker jacket, the cap­sule of­fers many items to choose from for a “must have” piece. The “lux­ury ac­tive” pro­ject is also in­ter­est­ing. It bor­rows from the sports­wear world through sil­hou­ettes and de­tails, and of­fers a very con­tem­po­rary and “high-end” in­ter­pre­ta­tion, suit­able for an ar­ray of oc­ca­sions: gar­ments, such as the very light, me­tal­lic or­ganza parka, the blou­son in ex­tra-light scuba fab­ric printed with tropical flow­ers and flow­ing trousers with white side bands are es­sen­tial pieces for next spring.

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