Max Mara accessories, front and center stage

Max Mara is switching gears with its accessories. For the first time in its history, the flagship brand of the Italian fashion group has recruited a Hollywood actress, Jennifer Garner. She will be the face of an ad campaign created especially for its accessories (eyewear and handbags), said the design house in a statement. The launch was celebrated on July 18 during an exclusive party in New York.
Jennifer Garner poses for Max Mara with the JBag

Under the slogan "Timeless is now," the fall/winter 2013-14 campaign was shot in New York by photographer Mario Sorrenti and will be rolled out in September. The campaign is built around the JBag, the new Max Mara handbag: a leather model with minimalist lines designed by the brand's fashion director Laura Lusuardi.

The bag is manufactured in a leather goods company in Tuscany that the group bought ten years ago. The bag will retail for 775 euros and up and will be available in August. The second part of the campaign, slated for November, will feature the brand's Diva sunglasses, produced and distributed by Safilo.

Max Mara eyewear

Max Mara decided to increase its budget for communications by 10%, especially to promote its accessories, which grew on average by 20% in the past three years.

In an interview with the Italian press, the group's chairman Luigi Maramotti said that ready-to-wear would still remain the heart of the company's business, founded in 1951. "Shoes and bags were launched 15 years ago," he said, stressing that "Max Mara is a group that is focused on the product, not on marketing."

The group has a retail presence in over 100 countries with 2,369 stores, including nearly 350 in China. That market now accounts for 25% of sales, but Italy still remains its largest market. In 2012, the company based in northern Italy recorded a turnover of 1.3 billion euros, 60% of which came from abroad, particularly Russia and the Asia-Pacific region.

The company's growth rate accelerated by 3% compared to 2011 (1.26 billion euros). In addition to the main lines of Max Mara and Sportmax, which hold their runway shows in Milan, the group also distributes the brands Weekend, Marina Rinaldi, Marella, Pennyblack and Max & Co.

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