All About Italy (USA)


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


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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