Maximilian Davis, the rising British design star, has been named the creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo. His appointment, effective 16 March, sheds light on why he dropped out of the LVMH Prize semifinals earlier this month; one luxury brand appointment complicates competing for a prize backed by a rival corporation. Davis succeeds Paul Andrew, the American footwear designer who left the brand in April 2021, as Ferragamo’s creative leader.
“I am deeply honoured to be joining Ferragamo, and grateful for the opportunity to build on the rich and profound heritage of the house. 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,” said Davis in a release.
Davis’s appointment to the helm of an Italian luxury brand so associated with footwear may seem surprising, but the sensual elegance of his work and the support he enjoys across the industry make him an ideal candidate for a business looking to expand its ready-to-wear offering. Celebrities, from Rihanna to Dua Lipa, have worn his designs, and his runway shows in London, currently as part of Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East showcase, have garnered massive critical praise for their celebration of Black heritage and style. Davis’s clothing also has real hanger appeal—stocked at Ssense, MatchesFashion, Net-a-Porter, and other global luxury stores, Davis’s ready-to-wear goes for high contemporary prices, spanning easy separates like jersey turtlenecks and slinky leather skirts. Reports, however, say Davis will shutter his eponymous brand to focus solely on Ferragamo.
In joining Ferragamo, Davis will work alongside CEO Marco Gobbetti, who turned Phoebe Philo’s Céline into one of fashion’s most powerful brands. “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. His work is defined by elegance, refined sensuality, and constant commitment to quality. 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,” said Gobbetti. As a CEO, most recently at Burberry, Gobbetti developed a reputation for finding and supporting creative talents. All the more reason to mark your calendars for Davis’s debut runway show in Milan next season.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.