Maximilian Davis is the new creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo

Fresh from showing his final Fashion East collection, the 26-year-old London-based designer is stepping into one of fashion’s most respected roles.

by Mahoro Seward
|
14 March 2022, 10:41am

Photographer Lee Whittaker. Image courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo

Were you hoping for a lull in big fashion news in the wake of fashion month? Well, sorry to disappoint, but Salvatore Ferragamo has only gone and blown us all out of the water by announcing one of London’s most exciting young talents as its next creative director: Maximilian Davis. That’s right, barely fledged from the Fashion East nest – the 26-year old designer showed his final collection as part of Lulu Kennedy’s talent incubator just weeks ago during London Fashion Week – Maximilian has bagged the top job at one of Italy’s proudest houses. 

In hindsight, it all adds up. Maximilian’s AW22 collection – ‘Drayton’, a 25-look reminiscence of the period of his youth spent in Shropshire and the clashing codes of rural English dress – felt like a job application for this sort of a position. It demonstrated the simultaneous breadth and singularity of his creative vision, as well as the calibre of his execution, whether applied to sharp tailoring or Delphic draping; dry Melton wool or supple suede. Testament to his skills was formally paid when he was announced as one of the 20 finalists of this year’s LVMH Prize — though when news of his last-minute withdrawal from the prestigious award broke during Paris Fashion Week, it naturally had the rumour mill spinning regarding his potential appointment to a big gig.

Of course, a pillar of Maximilian’s design aesthetic since showing his first collection just over a year and a half ago has been the proud celebration of his own Trinidadian-Jamaican heritage, and the adamant representation of Black elegance. As such, his arrival at the house – which has been operating without a creative director since the departure of Paul Andrew in March last year – also signifies the welcome arrival of a deserving young Black voice to one of the industry’s most respected positions, and allowing a new generation of POC youth to see themselves represented at fashion’s highest tier.

“I am delighted to welcome Maximilian at the House of Ferragamo. The clarity of his vision together with the level of execution and his powerful aesthetic make him one of the most brilliant talents of his generation,” said Marco Gobbetti, Salvatore Ferragamo’s incumbent CEO. “Through his lens of contemporary sensibility, he will write a new, exciting chapter for this house built on a heritage of creativity, craftsmanship, sophistication, and outstanding human values”.

“I am deeply honoured to be joining Ferragamo, and grateful for the opportunity to build on the rich and profound heritage of the house,” Maximilian followed up. “Ferragamo represents a dedication to timeless elegance and sophistication that I find incredibly inspiring. I’m looking forward to articulating my vision, elevated by the codes of Italian craftsmanship, quality and innovation”. And to say we’re looking forward to seeing what that looks like doesn’t quite cut it. Congratulations, Maximilian!

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