The large, block letters stood out in the pages of Italy’s newspapers La Repubblica, Il Sole 24 Ore and Corriere della Sera on Saturday, as the eye-catching headline of a letter signed by Tod’s SpA chairman and chief executive officer Diego Della Valle.
In an unprecedented move, the Italian entrepreneur bought an entire page in the dailies to firmly denounce the status quo in a country weighed down by debt, political unrest and scandals, unemployment and reduced consumer spending, where “many Italians,” he stated, “no longer respect or trust” a political class that “has completely distanced itself from reality and the true needs of citizens.”
Italian papers on Sunday widely covered the reactions to Della Valle’s letter from industrialists and politicians alike. Part of the opposition supported Della Valle, but even Roberto Maroni, home office minister, said the entrepreneur’s words were “to be taken into consideration,” and “a strong signal.” President Giorgio Napolitano urged everyone to work together, united, while Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi speculated in Sunday’s La Repubblica that Della Valle was aiming to head Confindustria, Italy’s powerful industrialists’ association.
Della Valle said in his ads Saturday that it was his belief that “the indecent and irresponsible spectacle that many of you [politicians] are showing is no longer tolerable” for many Italians. He was careful of generally accusing most of the political parties, without singling out one in particular. It is a well-known fact that Della Valle has openly clashed with Berlusconi over the years, but in the letter he underlined that he was addressing those politicians that neglect the country in their own personal or political interests, whatever party they belong to.” Della Valle candidly accused most politicians of being “incompetent and unprepared, clueless regarding the country’s problems, the severity of the moment and a global vision of future scenarios.”
In a proactive note, he said that those who “really care” for the country should “work together to face competently and earnestly this difficult moment,” as it is a must “to offer a positive perspective to young people, create and protect jobs and guarantee a dignified life, especially to those more in need.”
Della Valle denied in a news report that he had any interest in entering into politics. “I spoke in an unselfish way. I will never enter into politics in my life. I will continue to be an entrepreneur. I have no aspiration. What I say, I say as a citizen,” he noted.
Nor is Della Valle the only fashion figure to criticize Berlusconi. Santo Versace on Thursday quite the prime minister’s Popolo della Libertà (People of Freedom) party. Versace, who is also the chairman of the family-owned company, ran for parliament as a candidate in Berlusconi’s party in 2008 for the city of Reggio Calabria, in southern Calabria, from which the Versaces hail. He was elected, but he has increasingly become impatient with Berlusconi. According to Italy’s Radio 24, Versace said, referring to Berlusconi, that “everyone in the government loves him, but nobody wants him anymore, it’s time to pass the baton and enjoy life.”
Della Valle has increasingly appeared on nonfashion pages in Italian dailies. He has been vocal about entrepreneurs taking action to preserve Italian historic sites in need of restoration, a program he has dubbed Progetto Italia. Della Valle himself has agreed to sponsor the restoration of the Colosseum in Rome, in addition to supporting the famed La Scala theater. The entrepreneur, who has investments in firms as diverse as Saks Inc., Marcolin, Piaggio, Cinecittà and RCS, which controls Corriere della Sera, is also financing NTV, a new privately held high-speed train service together with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)