“To reinvent oneself. To continually renew the message. This is the goal of every artist and every museum,” says Max Mara. Yes, we do like a remix. When the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (founded in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney) moved into the futuristic Renzo Piano designed building in 2015, Max Mara celebrated the milestone with the Whitney bag. With its distinctive ribbing and panelling, using traditional leather craft, that are a reference to the steel tie-beamed exterior of the new museum, the Whitney has now been reinvented in a rainbow of brilliant colours, inspired by feminist artist Florine Stettheimer. Stettheimer was fabulously extra, writing poetry that read: “I like slippers gold, I like oysters cold, and my garden with mixed flowers, and the sky full of towers,” and counted Marcel DuChamp and Georgia O’Keeffe as close friends. Inspired by Stetteimer’s 1931 work ‘Sun’, the bag now comes in a brilliant sunshine yellow, a rich purple, a sherbert orange, a pastel pink and a rich red. The interior of the bag has been printed with a floral lining, reminiscent of ‘Sun’. Stettheimer was self-assured, confident and challenged traditional male roles, often depicting herself in her work in suits. As she wrote: “Occasionally, a human being saw my light, rushed in, got singed, got scared, rushed out, called fire. Or it happened that he tried to subdue it. Or it happened he tried to extinguish it… Out of courtesy, I turn on a soft, pink light, which is found modest, even charming. It is a protection against wear and tears. And when I am rid of The Always-to-be-Stranger, I turn on my light and become myself.” We are wearing our Florine-inspired Max Mara Whitney bag loud and proud.
by Roxy Lola