Maximillan Davis makes safe debut at Ferragamo
There is now a trend in fashion to pluck a young, aspiring fashion designer and hand him the reins of an established but reputable fashion house. It’s not always successful, but if anyone is able to pull it off, it’s Marco Gobbetti, the CEO of Ferragamo, whose previous coups include revitalizing Givenchy with Riccardo Tisci and Celine with Phoebe Philo. All of this means that the fashion world takes notice when Gobbetti is looking for new talent. That’s how it was yesterday afternoon in Milan, then 27-year-old Maximilian Davis celebrated a confident debut at Ferragamo.
It was quite an occasion. Guests entered an expansive 17th-century courtyard lined with iconic columns. The entire room had been stained red – not just any red, exactly the hue that will mark Davis’ tenure – from the walls to the floor, which was finished with hand-dyed bright red sand. Signs indicated a subtle but important change in the brand message: the “Salvatore” of the past was abandoned in favor of a more modern singular: Ferragamo. These changes were subtle but clear: we were entering a new era for House Ferragamo.
As for the clothes? Davis has doubled down on the brand’s heritage, albeit through a modern lens. Timeless silhouettes and established house codes such as men’s suiting, smart tailoring and outerwear made from rich materials were all on display, in keeping with the brand’s preferred color palette of camel, beige, navy, white and red. Suits were made playful in buttery black leather and cool, dress trousers cut into mini shorts (worn with brogues and knee socks – we can only hope the future of workwear really is that chic).
Elsewhere, jumpsuits have been pulled up with huge oversized pockets and drawstrings at the knee, sheer sunset-ombre jersey shirts have been tucked into sharp-cut work pants, and the brand’s signature suede has been used to create beautiful high-necked day dresses or compelling prototypes. 90s midi skirts. Accessories were another highlight, everything from huge oversized totes (Davis cited mid-’00s Olsen Twins as a big reference) to sharp little top handles with cut-out details that reveal accents of ‘Ferragamo red’.
That this collection felt so fresh—Davis’ bow was greeted with thunderous applause from a front row that included Naomi Campbell and Law Roach—was no coincidence. Davis burst onto the scene with his (now on hold) eponymous label in 2020, having previously assisted Grace Wales Bonner. His early adopters included Rihanna, Dua Lipa, and Kim Kardashian, who all raved about his sexy-with-a-twist aesthetic. Davis is both an exciting young talent and one of the few black designers to head an Italian fashion house. The occasion felt significant, and Davis delivered.
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