Unless Prince William has just given you his phone number, or Donald Trump let slip the pin to his gold card, it is unlikely that you’re ever going to remember more than 6 digits in a row. Unless of course, we are referring to Max Mara’s 101801 Icon Coat. Conceived under the tutelage of the brand’s Coat Stewardess Laura Lusuardi, and borrowing elements from the historic brand’s first camel coat made in 1950, the 101801 quickly rose to fashion fame, sharing the limelight with Coco Chanel’s tweed suit or Gucci’s horse-bit moccasin. Originally designed by French couturier Anne-Marie Beretta, the 101801 was marked by modern yet timeless lines, and has, throughout the years, been draped over the chicest of shoulders, from Linda Evangelista to Cate Blanchet. Max Mara’s fierce Fashion Director Laura Lusuardi, de-codes this wardrobe wonder and explains why it’s truly the only garment you need.

What should a woman look for when she buys a camel coat?

Quality is the most important. A woman should select her coat for the softness, the silhouette and the shape. She should also consider the length of the coat as well. And she must remember that there is not only one coat that exists; only different coats for different women.

Why is the 101801 so iconic?

Every woman can wear this coat. Every woman gets emotional when she puts this coat on. The quality of Max Mara’s textiles makes these coats timeless and so elegant. The design is so modern and so relevant. The 120 cm length makes it ideal for all women and the slightly boxier shoulders mean that all shapes look great in this coat.

How should you wear the 101801 coat?

For me, this coat is perfect when it is worn relaxed and casual. The sleeves can be rolled up like a kimono, creating another dimension to its shape. It is so elegant.

What are some of your other favorite Max Mara coat styles?

I really love the Vestaglia model which ties around the waist. It is perfect for travelling. I also like the Manuela that has an oversized silhouette that can be cinched at the waist for a more refined look.

How should a woman wear a camel coat for day? And for night?

There is no right way to wear a camel coat. There are different models and different situations but the best part of this style is that you can wear it in the morning through to the evening.

So is there ever a moment where you cannot wear a the 101801 camel coat?

No! There is always an opportunity. This coat is the leader. This coat is timeless. You have mothers who bought it a generation ago and who have passed it on to their daughters or who have daughters who have purchased their own camel coat!

How many coats do you have?

I have so many! I must have around 100. I have never counted how many I have exactly but they are all over my house!

Which one is your favorite?

All of vintage ones that I have from over the years. I never wear new ones.

So you are champion of coats then?

Yes I am! There’s no right way to wear one. You can simply change your outfit or ensemble below to change the way the coat looks and feels.

How many camel colored coats do you own?

Ha! Here’s a secret…it’s the one color I don’t own. I don’t actually look good in camel. I seem to be the only one!!

-Meredith Nichols

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Story Credits
  • Creative Director- J.J. Martin
  • Fashion Director- Viviana Volpicella
  • Portrait Photography- Alberto Zanetti
  • Location Photography- Chiara Quadri