Even though the restrictions all around Italy have continued to transform the working and social habits of the population, affecting the majority of businesses and their customers, CHIARA BONI La Petite Robe, the Italian brand of renowned fashion designer Chiara Boni is responding to this disruptive situation with creativity, love and resilience.
“We learn to smile with our eyes, to make the small wrinkles of expressions nested at the corners of our lashes tremble with emotion. We protect ourselves and others but with a little lightness of soul.” Stated by Chiara BONI La Peite Robe in response to the COVID 19 Crisis.
To reflect Chiara’s passion, the company’s production chain and communication projects have been revised in support of this emergency. CHIARA BONI La Petite Robe has launched the solidarity project ‘Smile for Italy’ – a t-shirt exclusively on sale on chiaraboni.com with all proceeds being donated to ASST Lombardia, (Lombardy’s Health Protection Agencies), to support them during this difficult period.
Chiara explained: “In this moment in history, we also want to make our contribution. My partner Maurizio Germanetti and I believe it is essential to remain united in the fight against a common enemy, especially in support of those who are on the front lines facing it every day!” As a testament to the designer’s passion, numerous celebrities have also joined the project, including stylist Simone Gudarelli, presenter Caterina Balivo, actress Nancy Brilli and many others.
Jennifer Puzzo, Head of Client Services at Kooomo in Italy spoke with Donatella Salerno, Head of Communication & Digital Strategy and Priscilla Longobardi, Digital Operations Assistant at CHIARA BONI La Petite Robe, to discover how the international fashion house is honouring its founder, by continuing to operate with her spirit of love, resilience and passion for life. The pair discussed how they have adapted their fashion business accordingly:
“As a company the first step was to secure and protect all our staff,” they explained. “It has been weeks, although, we can now talk about months, since employees began remotely working from home and our three Italian single-brand boutiques in Milan, Rome and Florence will remain closed until the restrictions are successfully eased.”
Donatella and Priscilla then discussed the success the next stages of the initiative: “In the wake of the success of this project, Chiara Boni also wanted to replicate it for the US market (‘Smile for USA’) and the Spanish market (‘Smile for Spain’) and we wanted to support our main markets, which today are particularly affected by the virus.
“Furthermore, some masks have been made in the iconic stretch jersey fabric, which are also on sale online and at our main American Department Stores. The masks are washable in cold water, quick drying and are also 100% reusable thanks to the characteristics of our fabric which does not mark the face. They are not medically protective, but will be extremely useful, especially in phase two, and a part of the proceeds will always be donated to organisations chosen by the brand.”
They continued: “These projects were made possible thanks to the commitment of Zerogrey and Kooomo, who proved to be partners in all respects, supporting us with their range of skills without claiming any compensation for the marketing of these products.”
In the last few months, the world has witnessed a dramatic change in society as the digitalisation of habits and processes gets well underway and it is interesting to understand how stylists and the fashion industry as a whole are rethinking their future. Donatella and Priscilla offered their views on the current situation:
“Each individual’s way of thinking and acting has changed after experiencing social isolation for about two months, nature has taken a breath, the smog has diminished and many people are questioning some of their past beliefs; whether they are unhealthy and harmful to our planet. Many are beginning to contribute to the front line or safeguarding the environment, so that these past weeks have not been in vain.
“We are now trying to understand future social needs and therefore continually evolving, and adapting is fundamental.” report Donatella and Priscilla. “The purchasing habits of our customers have changed and will continue to do so, and CHIARA BONI La Petite Robe is already rethinking our collections, perhaps with more comfy garments, perfect for staying at home for example.
“There will be changes in terms of everything, from the product itself to the way of presenting it and the shooting methods of the next season for online listing. We are also considering delaying the entry of the new AI20-21 collection into boutiques and online to make room for the SS20 which had very little airtime.”
The pair concluded: “In short, we will have to adapt and flow with the change. eCommerce, with its complete integration and coordination of all the touch points, will continue to be at the centre of our communications and an important sales tool for the brand. Not just that, but also for testing and discovering all the potential of web marketing. Through it all, the most important thing is that we will continue to work with love and passion in our hearts!”