Max Mara’s Creative Director Ian Griffiths came across Liu Wei’s work in the Dreamlands exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 2010, and was excited by the way his cityscapes made of dog chews.

Part of a generation in China that grew up amid rapidly accelerating urbanisation, the Beijing-based artist often relates to urban life and architecture – as does Griffiths as at the Italian luxury fashion house.

From the mood board for the capsule collection.

But while they shared similar interests, it was not until six years after the Pompidou encounter that the pair met and decided to work on a collaboration that was revealed in Shanghai last Thursday. Inspired by the topography of real and imaginary metropolises, the pair came up with a capsule fashion collection of 11 pieces that fuse Italian craftsmanship with high technology in the signature Max Mara palette of camel, black and white.

Designed for “a woman in the concrete jungle on her way to the top”, the Monopolis range went on sale on Friday in flagship stores and online and was unveiled in a fashion show at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre, where Liu also created the set for the event.

The collaboration was initiated by Italian curator Francesco Bonami, who introduced him to the brand.

The Monopolis range was unveiled at a show at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre

A dress from the collection, on sale this weekend


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“We didn’t want it to be a shallow translation, so the rawness you find in Liu Wei’s work has been translated into a rawness in the fabric, the prints and throughout the collection,” says Griffiths.


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