The award is a natural outgrowth of the family’s longtime interest in art. Achille began collecting early in his career, befriending artists of the Arte Povera movement and buying directly from their studios. He continued until his death in 2005, amassing work by Francis Bacon, Piero Manzoni, Alex Katz, Vito Acconci, Ellen Gallagher and Eric Fischl. These days it’s Nicola and Ignazio who add to the collection, often shopping at Art Basel and London’s Frieze.
Still, the couple prefers to keep a low profile, even at such scene-y events. Most people in the art world—or even the fashion world, for that matter—wouldn’t recognize the Maramotti name, and that’s just how they like it. “My family has always had the idea that it does not want to promote one public face,” says Maramotti, noting that while Karl Lagerfeld, Narciso Rodriguez, and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough all designed for MaxMara early in their careers, they did so anonymously. “That’s also why many people don’t know us as a family. They know our product. I think it’s quite sane to work that way.”