MILAN — “Nothing will be as before.”
Tod’s chief executive officer Diego Della Valle, despite the after-effects of the coronavirus pandemic, has a positive message to convey.
The Italian leather goods and fashion group will launch a new communications project that will bow in September and last through the winter.
Called “Tod’s Together,” the campaign is symbolic of unity and solidarity — after months of social distancing and isolation. “We want to give a positive signal,” Della Valle told WWD. “We want to say we are here, we want to help. Italians are smart, we can’t forget what happened, but we don’t want the mood to continue to be negative. People want to get back together, to start living again, to go out in the open with friends and families. It’s been tough for everyone.”
Magnum photojournalist Alex Majoli will begin to lens the campaign on Monday, but Della Valle was mum on the casting. “It will be an open stage, with daily life images, whether it’s someone walking their dog on the street, or two lovebirds on a scooter.”
The campaign will roll out on digital and traditional channels and media.
“Tod’s Together celebrates friendship, kindness and the pleasure of seeing each other. It’s a campaign that illustrates Italian taste and know-how,” explained Della Valle.
Della Valle, who has over the years spearheaded several charitable initiatives and the restoration of Italian landmarks such as the Colosseum, said this is a moment “to be close to our employees, to support those in need, those who have lost loved ones.” The campaign is meant to be “not aggressive and elegant.”
As reported, Diego and his brother Andrea Della Valle, vice chairman of Tod’s SpA are waiving their remunerations for the year 2020 and the company will not distribute any dividends.
The destination of 1 percent of consolidated net income last year, which corresponds to 456,588 euros, to pursue solidarity projects was confirmed.
Della Valle last month touted a strong start to the year at the company, which comprises the Tod’s, Roger Vivier, Hogan and Fay brands, with growth in all markets. But this was halted by the COVID-19 outbreak, which drove sales down almost 30 percent in the first quarter.
Della Valle on Thursday said he was “thinking of 2021,” confident in the group’s long-term strategies and leveraging the group’s timeless and long-lasting products — an asset at this moment. His belief is that people during the lockdown rediscovered familiar pieces, “an old jacket or a bag that had been forgotten. Having to stop, there was no need to rush out and go buy the next new thing. There is a newfound desire for history and objects close to our hearts.”
The entrepreneur hinted at a new communication strategy last month, commenting on first-quarter results. “We are preparing a brand new design, marketing and communication plan that takes into account the people’s habit of using the web more and more, which in the future will be increasingly protagonist in spreading products, stories and all that which will be used to communicate and will also help our e-commerce division, which is growing very solidly,” Della Valle said at the time.
He remarked on the development of e-commerce and the increase in sales of the company’s stores, “the two pillars, that will allow the group to obtain the necessary growth in a relatively short time and on this we will focus our greatest efforts. We will continue, more and more emphatically, to support the philosophy of our brands, that enhance the great quality, exclusivity and uniqueness, values that are becoming increasingly relevant in this period.”