Fortrove News

In an interview with Emirates Women, Ian Griffiths discusses his 35-year career as Creative Director of Italian luxury womenswear label Max Mara. Griffiths is known for shaking things up in the fashion industry, including sending the first hijab-wearing model down the runway. 

When asked for his morning routine, Griffiths said, “It’s all about information: as soon as I wake up at six o’clock I put on BBC Radio 4 and listen to the headlines whilst I download the Guardian. I can time my morning ritual by the Today program. If I’m not showered and dressed by the time the financial news and sport comes on, I’m late! I take great pride in dressing for work. I always wear a jacket and very often a suit. I think that dressing up smartly gives you a psychological boost……it’s the basis of the Max Mara look. Only when I’m completely ready do I have breakfast, but by that time I’m well into the second hour of my day. I’m usually at my desk by 8am. And the first thing I do is ring my mum.” 

When asked how he’s managed to maintain such an illustrious 35-year career in the fashion industry, Griffiths said, “I always remember the words of our founder Achille Maramotti, who said he wanted to provide ‘real clothes for real women’. Max Mara resonates with women because it presents them with an image they can relate to. Even the runway shows are like a heightened reality; it’s like holding up a mirror and saying ‘can you see yourself?’ By remembering Achille’s words, I avoid straying into bizarre fantasy or fashion that alienates women.” 

When asked how to maintain the work and life balance, Griffiths said, “I avoid thinking about them as opposing values. When I think primarily about the woman I’m dressing, commerciality and creativity come together in the correct measure without having to rationalize the balance too much. I follow my instinct, and let the muse guide me. Thinking about clothes that she will want to wear involves exercising the imagination, but imagining her as a real woman with a busy modern life automatically addresses the commerciality issue.” 

Information originally sourced from Emirates Women.