Maggia is a renowned brand, particularly in tennis, boasting partnerships with some of the sport's greats. The impact that Maggia has had in terms of fashion, sustainability and innovation is something worth shouting about. So that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Stars of the tennis world, such as John Newcombe, Vitas Gerulaitis and Billie Jean King, all sported Maggia whilst competing for titles in the '70s and '80s when they were contracted with the brand. These garments consisted of polos, skirts and shorts.
Old knitting and manufacturing techniques were replaced by ‘revolutionary’ weaving looms and carding machines. Francesco owned numerous knitting machines and purchased a carding machine from France.
He took over the business when he was just 13 and proved his entrepreneurial spirit by purchasing a steam engine machine from Switzerland. It is believed to be the first one set up in Biella.
Around 1830, he bought two knitting handlooms which aided the production of the Pettinengo sweater. Fast forward a couple of years, and his son Eusebio began working with him. Together they founded the business name, ’Francesco Maggia and Son’, a title that lasted over a century!
In 1916, Francesco purchased a factory in Occhieppo Superiore from the Vigna brothers, expanding their operations.
Back in Pettinengo, the family had access to a local wool supply and knitting took over from cloth processing. Sticking to the ways of local peers, their focus was on pasturing and wool processing.
Following Eusebio’s death during the war, his son Cornelio continued the ancient knitting tradition within the Maggia family.
The Italian Army was one of the brand’s main customers for years. There wasn’t a soldier at the time that didn’t wear items made in Maggia’s Occhieppo factory. These varied from coats, sweaters and t-shirts, to accessories like caps. The quality of Maggia’s clothing was something that charmed the army in Italy.
In 1976, the company decided to take a new direction and invest in sports sponsorship. Mr. Cerruti (who devised the Fila logo) designed the fabulous Maggia logo, and an iconic sports’ brand was born: truly the ‘Ferrari of Tennis’. Legendary tennis player John Newcombe was the first famous face to represent the brand. A polo shirt design worn by John Newcombe during a stint at Wimbledon is currently going for over £167 on eBay. He was joined by equally renowned tennis stars, Vitas Gerulaitis and Billie Jean King soon after.
Wonderful players all - withover 50 grand slam titles between them – their personalities transcended their sport. Billie-Jean, a pioneer fighter for social justice and equality. Vitas, the archetypal playboy sportsman, often to be found at Studio 54 at 2.00 am the day before a US Open match. Newcombe, owner of arguably the most famous moustache of all time. Collectively, they symbolised the passion and uniqueness of Maggia, as well as its history and flair.
The brand was one of the first in Italy to produce wool, meraklon and viscose in their fabrics.
Maggia was featured in Technofashion magazine, with a dedicated piece all about the company stating they are one of the experts in knitting in Italy.
The brand expanded its dyeing and finishing department with washing machines that could wash open bolts, improving their fabrics’ quality.
Promoted by brands like H&M and M&S, Maggia became a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), an organisation that exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, the environment it grows in and the sectors future.
Through their belief that traceability is a core part of the sustainability of their products, Maggia applied for and was awarded the Traceability and Fashion certificate from Unioncamere. Full traceability of their products is available via a code printed on their garment's labels, spanning the origin of the yarn used and the country it was knitted.