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Prada and Max Mara:

The Intersection of Fashion and Art

It is undeniable that Italian fashion has always been inspired by art and design. In recent years, Italian fashion powerhouses Prada and Max Mara have honored those inspirations by establishing their own foundations dedicated to the arts.

In 2007, Achille Maramotti, the founder of Max Mara, opened the Collezione Maramotti, a collection of contemporary art housed on the historic premises of the company in Reggio Emilia, in the Emilia Romagna region in north-central Italy. The original offices and factory, built in 1957, contain two hundred works by Italian and international artists all on permanent view. The collection consists of mostly paintings, but also sculptures and installations, which are representative of artistic trends during the second half of the 20th century. Other temporary exhibitions are also organized that explore the history of contemporary art as it unfolds.

The buildings, designed by architects Antonio Pastorini and Eugenio Salvarani, are beautiful examples of avant-garde industrial design.

(Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Emilia Romagna, Italy)

Another fashion powerhouse, Prada, has also joined the world of art collection. The company, started in 1913, by the brothers Mario e Martino, began as a small shop specializing in handbags and imported English steamer trunks. Miuccia, the youngest granddaughter of Mario, joined the company in 1970 and radically transformed the business and the brand into what it is today.

Founded in 1995, the Fondazione Prada venue is located in Milan, on the site of an old gin distillery. It combines preexisting buildings with three new structures by architect Rem Koolhaas. The Fondazione is not considered a preservation project or new architecture: it is where art and architecture meet to “benefit from each other’s challenges”. 

Dedicated to contemporary art and culture, the foundation offers rich and diverse cultural programs, ranging from film festivals to philosophical talks, architecture and design projects.

(Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy)

Fashion and art continue to influence each other, fostering a dialogue that benefits and enriches everyone. We hope that other fashion houses continue to follow the examples of Prada and Max Mara in preserving the world of art in all of its forms so it may continue to inspire the fashion designers of the future.

The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
 528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | (612) 295-4111 

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