Inside Maximillian Davis’ debut collection for Ferragamo at Milan Fashion Week
Earlier this year, the enterprising young upstart dropped the prestigious LVMH award to join the house.
Not as a designer on the studio floor, or as a consigliare of the famous house, but taking first place. Not easy for someone his age.
The designer, founder of his own eponymous brand, hadn’t even presented a collection under his own name, instead working with London incubator Fashion East to showcase his designs.
However, with her celebrity following, which includes illustrious members of the style like Dua Lipa and Rhianna, flocking to her sexy island-inspired designs, Davis has made for a prime candidate to forge this next chapter for the heritage brand.
However, at Milan Fashion Week, Maximilian proved that what he lacked perhaps in experience, was tenfold in talent. They should rename the Midas key to the Maximilian key, because Ferragamo is pure, unadulterated gold.
Simply put, Davis’ debut for Ferragamo was a tour de force.
It was clear that Davis’ vision for the collection explored the tension between tradition and innovation. The past and the future have struggled under Davis’ deft approach to dressing.
Davis, a proud black designer with Trinidadian and Jamaican roots, elevates people of color in his own designs, revealing in a 2020 interview that its modus operandi in design presents the narrative that “dark elegance exists”.
What’s particularly refreshing about this collection is that Davis doesn’t get lost in the Ferragamo archives, instead infusing his signature sultry style with house codes created nearly a century ago.
This pervasive dichotomy between yesterday and today was seen in every element of the show, from the invitation, an hourglass to reflect the passage of time, to the venue of the show, the former seminary of the Archbishop of Milan which has been transformed into a hotel, demonstrating the brand’s astute devotion to modernity and heritage.
“I wanted to pay homage to Salvatore’s early life by introducing the culture of Hollywood – but the new Hollywood. Its ease and its sensuality; its sunset and its sunrise,” Davis explained in a press release.
The brand describes this collection as “a new dawn for the brand: a rebirth of its Hollywood history”.
From Rodeo Drive to the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Ferragomo’s enduring touch lingers on the minds of the stylish personalities who call LA home. Old-school glamor and the new SoCal chic style of sensual clothing made for an intriguing discovery of how Ferragamo sees the modern woman (and man).
Bodies have been empowered by a strategic decision to conceal or reveal, spotted on the ombre sheer maxi dress that evokes the feel of a soft sunset, and will soon be seen on beaches from Malibu to Venice.
Later in the collection, an asymmetrical, drop-shouldered, form-fitting dress hugs the figure at a right angle, equally modest and boastful.
For die-hard Ferragamo enthusiasts, the addition of station-ready accessories and footwear will inspire you to archive your collections in favor of these new inclusions. We spy the black top-handle bag (cutout to reveal Ferragamo red accents) and black strappy sandals with red soles.
The collection wouldn’t be complete without a direct reference to Ferragamo’s past and a tribute to Salvatore himself.
Crystals are scattered on sheer mesh shirts and sparkling pants that will make Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz green with envy. This pattern is of course a tribute to the shoes that Salvatore Ferragamo created especially for Marilyn Monroe in 1959.
Our takeaway? Davis is ready to paint the town red. Ferragamo red, it seems.