Business / Companies

Max Mara brings a touch of Italian style

By Yao Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-08 07:00

Max Mara brings a touch of Italian style

Max Mara's Asian flagship store in Beijing. The Italian fashion company now has 320 stores on the Chinese mainland. [Photo/China Daily]

Fashion house opens prestigious flagship store at Beijing plaza

Before the opening ceremony of Max Mara's biggest flagship store in Asia, the chairman of the Italian fashion house, Luigi Maramotti, was being photographed and giving interviews in the stylish building at China Central Place, a premium commercial complex in Beijing.

The 57-year-old Italian, wearing a cream-colored suit with a brilliant-blue pocket square and a narrow tie, said he has been traveling to China for 10 years. However, recently, he has been frequently visiting second- and third-tier cities, rather than just Beijing and Shanghai as before.

He has been involved in the running of the company, founded by his father Achille Maramotti in 1951, for the past 33 years.

"In China, our business has been very steady in the last 10 years, with an average year-on-year growth of 15 percent to 20 percent," Maramotti said.

Max Mara has opened 320 stores on the Chinese mainland since it entered the market 14 years ago. "That means we are obviously very present and sophisticated in second- and third-tier cities," he said.

In fact, Max Mara's practice in smaller cities is but one example of the transitions foreign branded names face in conquering China's sluggish up-market fashion business.

"We considered 2013 a critical year regarding the slowdown of many brands in China," he said.

However, Max Mara posted a double-digit year-on-year growth in 2013, and Maramotti considered it a success.

He has not adjusted the company's commercial behavior in China to boost its sales. The company is not a public one and, therefore, it is not necessary to force it to grow to show numbers to investors.

"We decide to launch new projects or new lines of business when we think we are ready. We do it in a way that we are capable of developing it in the long run," he said.

Given the nature of the brand's low profile in doing business, Maramotti is not announcing or doing things that grab the headlines.

As China is becoming a more mature market where consumers are not squandering money on expensive goods, Maramotti regarded it as an opportunity for a brand like Max Mara, which has long experience in the fashion market and has a vision.

Max Mara brings a touch of Italian style

Max Mara brings a touch of Italian style

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