Maximilian Davis just made a major addition to his already lengthy list of achievements for a designer who’s just 26: the title of Salvatore Ferragamo’s creative director. “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,” the house’s CEO, Marco Gobbetti, said on Monday. “His work is defined by elegance, refined sensuality, and constant commitment to quality.” Through his “lens of contemporary sensibility,” Gobbetti continued, Davis “will write a new, exciting chapter for this house built on a heritage of creativity, craftsmanship, sophistication, and outstanding human values.” He succeeds Paul Andrews, the footwear designer who left the 95-year-old house last April.
The news comes just two years after Davis, who is based in London, launched his eponymous label which he casts an exploration of and tribute to his Trinidadian-Jamaican roots. Inspiration comes courtesy of everything from his grandmother’s vinyls to calypso music to food. His first collection, for example, was a deep dive into Trinidad’s Carnival. “They were super proud,” Davis told W of his family’s reaction to such a personal starting point last year. “They just kept on recalling memories of me sewing in my bedroom until the early hours of the morning. I’d wake up two hours before school, making tops for me and my friends to wear to clubs.”
Maximilian Davis, in his London studio with model Sienna King, who wears looks from his fall/winter 2021 collection. Makeup by Mattie White for Saint Luke Artists using the Nue Co.; photo assistant: William Richards; model: Sienna King at Tess Management.
Model Sienna King wears Maximilian designs and her own shoes.
Davis credits Grace Wales Bonner with teaching him how sources such as music and literature can serve as a form of research. After a stint as her junior designer, he launched his label with the help of the London-based incubator program Fashion East. His designs quickly became favorites of Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, and most recently allowed for Dua Lipa to transform into a spider in her “Sweetest Pie” video with Megan Thee Stallion. Don’t be surprised if they also snap up his debut Ferragamo collection when the house next shows at Milan Fashion Week.