Earthquake in Ital

Italy’s central regions were awakened by a 6.5 magnitude quake on the morning of Oct. 30, which caused damages to historic buildings, infrastructures and houses.

This time, it registered no casualties as the area had been generally evacuated after the deadly 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the same areas on Aug. 24 causing almost 300 fatalities. And while the seismic swarm doesn’t seem to stop, with hundreds of aftershocks still in progress, over 11,000 small-medium companies, directly employing 40,000 workers, have been affected by this dramatic situation. In fact, the area and nearby surroundings is home not only to powerhouses such as Tod’s and Brunello Cucinelli but also of a thick network of fashion and accessories manufacturers.

Apparel brands such as Luisa Spagnoli and Fabiana Filippi are based in the Italian region of Umbria, which was highly damaged by the earthquake, specifically in the city of Norcia.

“Luckily, there have been no damages, just fear,” said Giacomo Filippi Coccetta, Fabiana Filippi’s co-owner along with his brother Mario. The company is based in Giano dell’Umbria, an hour’s drive from Norcia.

“We are a little bit outside the most-hit area, there has been no damage where we live and where our company is, so everything proceeds regularly,” he noted. “But I’ve been talking with families who are living this dramatic [situation] and perhaps [the reality] is even worse compared to what we see on TV,” Filippi Coccetta added, underscoring how listening to people’s reactions and witnessing “their strength and determination in facing all these [problems], is an incentive for everybody.”

Filippi Coccetta is certain about one thing: “We will have to do something [to help], for sure, to give back hope and strength to the territory,” he said. For the moment, there’s no concrete agenda, though, since “everything is so current, it happened so unexpectedly and we’re still a little bit shaken,” he admitted.

Moving east, the region of Marche was also highly affected by the quakes, registering damages in 108 municipalities. The whole area is renowned for the concentration of family companies, whose heritage dates back to the Fifties and Sixties and which are still recognized for their strong bond to the territory.

“Unfortunately, we are very close to the epicenter, but despite the repeated shakes and their intensity…the Lardini company and the plants linked to it have not been damaged,” said Luigi Lardini, creative director of the namesake sartorial brand, which is rooted in Filottrano, a 40-minute drive from the city of Ancona.

“For the moment, we don’t foresee negative consequences on the business,” Lardini continued, “but we hope that the situation doesn’t get worse for the area around Macerata, which is damaged.”

“We have had no negative repercussions so far,” echoed Cristina Cariaggi, member of the board of Lanificio Cariaggi, the Italian textile company founded in 1958 in the Marche’s town of Cagli. “We’re on the coastline, and honestly we feel only the stronger shakes,” Cariaggi said, adding that the firm’s plants haven’t been harmed “also because we’ve always paid attention to our structures, as we’re aware we are situated in a seismic area.

“Our daily activities proceed regularly,” she continued. “Our clients haven’t contacted us worried about the orders but just about us. They have reached us to ask if we were safe, also because from abroad you might not have the right perception about the location [of the shakes],” Cariaggi said.

The company intends to help the people most affected by the shakes. “Our municipality is raising funds for these people and for the moment, we’re following this lead,” explained Cariaggi. “Then we will think about the rest further on, because we need to understand clearly [how we can help them],” she admitted, citing previous situations when consumption goods were most requested and other times when infrastructures were a priority. “So we’re also waiting for indications from the authorities and we will move according to those,” Cariaggi concluded.

The region of Marche is a key territory also for the shoe industry. Prominent companies are distributed around the cities of Macerata and Fermo, including Attilio Giusti Leombruni, Loriblu, Falc and Linea Marche, among others.

Vera Giusti, who leads the Attilio Giusti Leombruni shoe brand with her two sisters Sara and Marianna, underscored how the situation is critical for her fellow citizens, especially the ones who are in the position of having to leave their homes.

“Luckily our company is situated in a small town around Fermo, not so far away from the coastline, so presumably considered safer,” Giusti Leombruni said. “All our daily activities, both commercial and industrial, have been subjected to no variation or suspensions,” she added.

“The regional economy will be affected by the forced interruption of some activities, with significant repercussions that will be evaluated [further on],” noted Giusti Leombruni, adding how her wish is that everything goes back to normal soon in order to “resume the calm productivity that has always characterized [the people of the region].”

Falc’s general director Salina Ferretti is of the same opinion, believing there will be harsh consequences on the economy of the area. “Soon we will gather in Confindustria [the general confederation of Italian industry] to understand which are the real and most urgent needs of our fellow entrepreneurs in the most-hit areas,” Ferretti said. “We will give them maximum support in resuming their activities and making the employees go back to work and to the normality everybody needs,” she added.

The Falc company, which includes children’s shoes Naturino and Falcotto, the Voile Blanche men’s and women’s brand and the Moschino Men’s shoe license, is based on the coastal area of Civitanova Marche. According to Ferretti, the firm’s structures haven’t been harmed by the shakes but many of her peers, situated in the inner part of the region, are facing troubles and inconveniences due to the damages to their homes. “But we are strong, we have a great capacity of reaction, even in the most difficult times,” she concluded.