Maximilian Davis showed his sophomore collection for Ferragamo last week. For a young designer at just 27 years old, there is an undeniable pressure to power the revamp under chief executive Marco Gobbetti, and deliver a collection that generates sales and resonates in a crowded luxury landscape.
Davis’s first collection for the Florentine house received positive reviews from fashion critics and generated some buzz, however whether or not it will deliver revenue for Ferragamo depends on various factors, including the collection's marketing, distribution, pricing and consumer demand. For Fall 2023 Mr Davis chose to show at the cavernous Milan Convention Centre, and without making a clean break from Ferragamo’s classicist past, he created a new era of sleek tailoring and fine accessories focused to keep the craft visible while generating desirability.
The colour red
Enter a bold red. A bright candy-apple hue that has since officially been cemented as Ferragamo red, much like Bottega took ownership of green and Burberry of beige (or blue under Daniel Lee's first collection). The bolts of red came via a sharply cut pantsuit; as a peek-a-boo lining underneath a zipper on a sleeve or cuff; on detailing such as epaulettes, a hood, a pocket or a trim; and on bags.
But it wasn’t just colour that made Mr Davis’s second collection pop, even if full body looks of bright blue, yellow and white also entered the palette. Rather it was the pared-back styling of minimal layering that brought a unique focus to each garment. Mr Davis proved that details matter, that substance over styling prevails, and Ferragamo’s customer will appreciate the luxury of restraint over bohemian saturation and piling on looks that has become ubiquitous on the catwalk.
With the average tenure of a creative director just three years, Mr Davis will not have much time to leave his mark. Unless, of course, Ferragamo’s revenue sees stellar results, and then Mr Davis will be in a class of his own.