The Max Mara Teddy Bear coat was initially introduced to the fashion world back in 2013 and since its inception, it’s quickly gained cult status, having been sold thousands of times and generating more than $50 million in revenue.
Ian Griffiths, the coat’s designer told The New York Times:
The coveted coat features a slouchy silhouette, dropped shoulders and cozy pockets, creating a cozy, cocoon-like, all-enveloping, safe space for any Teddy coat wearer.
“That image of Carine wearing it in cold Milan went viral and sales popped.”
The piece quickly gained steam once French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld was photographed in the coat during fashion week but then went quiet for a bit. Griffiths then reintroduced the coat in 2017, this time slightly modified featuring silk and camel hair instead of a blend of alpaca and mohair.
The coat created a level of success that very few designers ever get to experience. High profile celebrities like Julia Roberts, Anna Wintour, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Hailey Bieber, Kim Kardashian-West, and Rita Ora have been photographed in the piece.
Just within a year since its rebirth on the 2017 runway, Max Mara sold over 15,000 pieces. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the coat was duplicated by dozens of brands in the fashion industry.
Imitation: the sincerest form of flattery?
While higher-end versions by other brands somewhat resembled the Max Mara Teddy, the lower-end versions were not so subtle. Affordable retailers like Missguided, ASOS, & Other Stories and MANGO made their own strikingly similar versions of the iconic Teddy Coat, making it extremely difficult to tell a true Max Mara piece from one that was just a look-alike.
But even with other alternatives available, getting ahold of a true Max Mara Teddy Coat can be incredibly difficult — even for Hollywood’s elite.
Nicky Hilton Rothschild, businesswoman, socialite and designer said:
“I’d been eyeing it for years, but every time I would go into Bergdorf, it was always sold out.”
Unable to get her hands over an authentic Teddy coat, Rothschild settled for a $150 model from Topshop.
So, what makes this coat so great?
Consider its oversized sumptuous nature to be soft armor made chic and enviable. It’s a piece that can elevate anyone’s wardrobe.
Social media influencer Maria Vizuete of @miamiamine has featured her Teddy Coat countless times across her platform and calls it an investment piece. When packing for winter vacations, Vizuete says it’s her go-to winter coat to pack:
“Winter vacations are always the hardest to pack for since coats and knitwear tend to be bulky and take up so much luggage space. I made sure to pack only one option that would be versatile enough to be worn off the slopes. It ended up being my Max Mara teddy coat. I have never been cold wearing it and love how soft and comfortable it feels. It’s been the best investment for the winter season.”
Blogger Michaela Babuskova of FIGTNY has gone as far as giving the coat its own season.
“Some people like Summer, others prefer Fall, I choose Teddy Season every time.”
The blogger has styled the coat in various different ways, highlighting it’s immense versatility, going from a tailored suit to a comfortable errand outfit. Babuskova loves the piece so much; she has purchased the same coat in all its other colorway and claims it to be one of the most commonly rotating pieces in her closet.
The key to the Max Mara Teddy Bear coat’s success has been its ability to make a bold statement while also still playing the versatility card and keeping comfort at the top of mind. It seemingly hits all the checkboxes.
More than a Teddy Coat
Max Mara is known for so much more than the Teddy Bear Coat. Other than the piled statement coat, the luxury brand is known for designing elegant and timeless pieces. For example, some may recall the red funnel-necked coat Nancy Pelosi, now the speaker of the House, wore to a December meeting with President Trump — something that was seen by fashion critics as a power move that indicated that she wasn’t there to be messed with. Since that sighting, Max Mara has reintroduced the Pelosi coat.
Max Mara has also dressed celebrities such as Mandy Moore in a suit dress for the ‘People Magazine Entertainment Weekly Upfronts Party’ in New York City and Julianne Hough in a silk gown for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Priyanka Chopra also draped a pale yellow Max Mara coat over her white gown for her bridal shower in New York City, while Taylor Swift wore a robin blue coat for a Vogue Bafta after-party.
The perfect coat
Griffiths said it best in 2017, “the perfect coat is the one you’re still wearing in twenty years’ time, which you pass on to your daughter.” Known for its unmistakable shape, versatility and ability to suit every wearer, the Teddy coat is perhaps not just timeless; it’s epic.