All About Italy (USA)
THE SOFT FASHION REVOLUTION
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.