The year was 1969. Inspired by the youth of Swinging London, and amidst the turmoil of generation-defining social and cultural revolutions, Achille Maramotti decided to found Sportmax. The first Italian example of a coordinated wardrobe offering cutting-edge, contemporary, but still classic designs that demonstrated the highest quality fabrics and sartorial care, the brand well deserved its "Made in Italy" appellation, and the Sportmax woman has since garnered a devout following with her often mysterious approach to timeless elegance.
Today, 50 years after that game-changing debut, the Italian house celebrates its half century milestone with a new self-titled coffee table book. Published by Assouline as part of the Legends series, the volume is curated by Olivier Saillard, with a critical text by Luke Leitch.
Divided into five decades from the '70s up to now, Sportmax narrates the chronological history of the brand, including names like Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Nanni Strada, Odile Lançon, and Guy Paulin, and seen through the lens of some of the most important photographers of our time, from Sarah Moon and Peter Lindbergh to Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin to Craig McDean and David Sims.
Precisely one of the images by Sims has been chosen as the cover for the book, which contains never-before-seen drawings, backstage photos, editorials, and campaigns, as well as a series of special images wherein French photographer Grégoire Alexander has interpreted as number of iconic designs from the past half a century.
In his foreword, chairman Luigi Maramotti writes, "Olivier Saillard was right in saying that there is an everyday poetry that flees from extravagance and eccentricity. Holding true this fine dividing line for 50 years, working with many different creative talents, doing research that was not an end in itself has truly been an achievement we are proud of."
Here's to the next 50 and beyond!