Posted by Irene Ojo-Felix | June 26th, 2019

Industry, Now



Portrait by Ben Hassett for

#IndustryNow The cycles of social media impel us to embrace then move on from trends and discourses faster than ever before. The life span of a single work––an editorial, a campaign, a show, a stint––is shorter for it. Fashion’s only unconditional term is the future: operating a year ahead, after all. So, in an industry where change and relevancy are the full stops at the end of every sentence, wanted to highlight individuals who add permanence to the community–some at their start and some at their top. Photographer Ben Hassett gets up close and personal for with the creative forces often behind the scenes. They are the Industry, Now.

The art of negotiation is one that most cannot master. Connecting luxury and commercial clients to represented talent, producing high-profile photo shoots with tens of thousands of dollars on the line, flipping an image’s worth with a long-term licensing deal – it’s all in a day’s work for a seasoned fashion broker. With a name as great as his status, super agent, CEO and co-founder of Management + Artists + Organization, Massimiliano di Battista has for over 20 years amassed an international roster of influential photographers, stylists, and beauty authorities, cultivating creatives’ careers to evolve from relative obscurity into the top image-makers in the business. With the agency expanding last year to include two new divisions, M+A Creative and Art+Yard, the future of artist representation as budgets get tighter in a digital world is a challenge that the Italian owner is up to take.

What has allowed you to stay true to a personal vision as the industry trials ways to adapt to modern challenges?
Keeping a very high taste level but interpreting this in new ways creatively. Innovation and the ambition to find solutions to tomorrow’s challenges has always been at the core of Management+Artists. This focus has allowed us to stay true to our vision as we’ve worked to adapt to new communication channels, new creative assets and continuously evolve our business. We looked at our offerings and decided to diversify our business model. We began to develop a plan to build out new brands to evolve Management+Artists into a collection of multinational brands, under the umbrella name: the Management+Artists Group (“M+A Group”). Just last week, we launched two new innovative brands, MA+Creative and Art+Yard. All of our brands share a commitment to a high aesthetic, inventive thinking, exceptional service and the desire to embrace change and find solutions.

Have the reasons you started doing what you do change along the way?
No, I am still as enthusiastic and committed to artists and creativity as I was 20 years ago when I started the agency. I get incredibly excited and emotional when an artist secures a great contract and when talents develop and bring their creative concepts to realization. That has not changed at all. Particularly now, when it’s a time where creativity needs to meet strategy. The traditional talent development business model, based on editorial commissioning, is drastically changing: today it’s more based on the artist’s message, talent, and vision rather than the execution commissioned to form a magazine.

Is making beautiful things enough?
Making beautiful things should not just be an exercise but rather a way to communicate and connect with other humans.

What’s your favorite part of the process?
Discovering young and emerging talent in today’s rapidly changing industry is the most exciting and fulfilling. Technology has opened new channels of creative expression, and we strive to recognize the innovators in these new fields; to nurture their development to thrive in a fast-paced and commercialized business, but retain an undiluted and personal artistic quality in their work.


3 Comments to “Industry, Now: Massimiliano di Battista”

  1. Claire Murphy says:

    Amazing interview Mao

  2. Roberto Italiani says:

    Kiera really makes my experience so much times better. Everytime i tell my kids we’re going to models they get so excited to see her. Huge thanks to you Kiera.