Brunello Cucinelli

JAB WORRIES: Brunello Cucinelli proudly revealed that 1,174 employees of his namesake company will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sunday, an initiative accomplished over three days.

At the presentation of his spring men’s wear collection, Cucinelli raised an issue that has been on his mind over the past few days. “What to do with those employees that will refuse the vaccine? I know their colleagues will worry about this decision and will not easily work near them,” Cucinelli told WWD, while estimating the no-vax group to be a minority.

To flag these concerns, Cucinelli has written to Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and COVID-19 Emergency Commissioner Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, who at the end of May visited Cucinelli’s headquarters in Solomeo, where the entrepreneur has established a vaccination hub.

His decision is “for the time being, to ask non-vaccinated employees to stay at home with a paid leave for six months. But what will happen after that? I feel I am a custodian of the company and it’s not my job to try and convince them to get their injections, but this is an ethical, moral, civil and religious problem.”

The vaccination hub is not limited to protecting Cucinelli’s employees. It is open every day until midnight also to the general population and can distribute 500 jabs per day.

Other Italian fashion companies have been active in setting up vaccination centers, including Gucci, Prada and OTB to Giorgio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna and OVS.

After an initial slowdown in the rollout of vaccines, the government has increased the pace of the injections in the country. As of June 19, 50.2 percent of the population has received a first dose and fully vaccinated citizens total 15.3 million, or 25.8 percent of the population, according to Il Sole 24 Ore Lab 24.