Names To Know
MB Couture for Doriani, by Maria Buccellati
It’s a beautiful spring day in Milan, and Maria Buccellati welcomes me into her magnificent apartment. Benvenuto, she says, in the warm, unmistakably Latin accent she gets from her Cuban mother and Spanish father. Maria was born in New York, grew up in Miami and, after studying fashion design, she modeled in Europe (as Maria Cabrera) at the very start of the supermodel era. Then love and marriage (to husband Andrea Buccellati, with whom she has two children), turned Milan into her adopted home. Now, love is providing more impetus for change–expressed, this time, in Maria’s passion for elegant design and luxurious products. It’s what first compelled her to start her own business ten years ago (the haute swimwear line, MB Beach Couture)–and, just recently, to enter into a special new arrangement with Doriani Cashmere.
MB Beach Couture was a sophisticated collection featuring much more than swimwear–luxurious skirts, kimonos, dresses and accessories were also part of its mix. It was soon joined by MB Ice Couture, a line of refined cashmere pieces. Both collections were quietly successful, in part because they were well-liked by celebrity clients, and Maria’s fellow jet-setters. Maria was also quick to recognize the value of partnerships and collaborations–lately, she’s been functioning as an international consultant (and resident ambassadress) for Paris-based label, Faith Connexion. Model-turned-designer Annabelle Dexter-Jones created a capsule collection for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2012 season; and Brazilian supermodel, Isabeli Fontana, has similarly signed on for collaboration. Meanwhile, Maria has re-entered the design arena with an all-new collection: MB Cashmere Couture, in partnership with Doriani.
In her work for Doriani, Maria has chosen to respect the brand’s identity and heritage, and to offer clothes for women of any age (and any style). Every garment can be adapted to the wearer’s mood, from classic, chic or feminine to hip. “All women are different,” Maria says, “so it’s only right to give each one an opportunity to express herself the way she likes.” This sensitivity is key to the designer’s success, and she often creates special, limited-edition items to satisfy her customer’s need to feel unique (as she did for her sold-out collection at Harrods). “Having the opportunity to work with a maison like Doriani is a great luxury," Maria says. “They never compromise on quality.” Asked to define luxury, she answers pragmatically: “Luxury is effortless: chic, timeless pieces that adapt to any situation. It’s not bling, bling or an It bag–it’s more of a hidden subtlety.” Of course, Maria’s own enthusiasm and good taste offer their own rewards, so I’m not surprised when she turns to me with a smile. "Have you guessed my motto? It’s simple: Never give up!”