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Big Brands Help Italy

Brands are not just labels, they can actually help you out!

Strangely enough we are not talking about appearance,  we talk about monument restoration, social support and preserving the Italian cultural heritage.

Tod’s, Fendi, Prada, Trussardi and ONB (only the brave) are on the front line to revamp Italian economy. Obviously they’re not just disinterested heroes, because associating their names with the worldwide famous Italian monuments will give them an incomparable publicity.

We’ve already talked about Diego della Valle, founder and chief executive of Tod’s, involvement in the Coliseum’s restoration. Mr Della Valle is going to invest 25 million Euros for the restoration of the Iconic symbol of Rome. The work is expected to last two and a half years but they haven’t started yet because of a legal dispute.

So, the rush to grab the most famous monuments of the country has officially started. Fendi donated 2.1 million this year to restore the Trevi fountain and other well known fountains around the city as Silvia Venturini Fendi considers it part of Fendi’s creative heritage. The “Fendi for Fountains” project  will also include an exhibition of rare images of the fountains and a book of photographs  by Fendi’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld.

Trussardi took part in a different way choosing to enliven Italy’s public spaces with contemporary art exhibitions. The project of Fondazione Trussardi, the Italian company’s not-for-profit art foundation, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Venice Biennale, is to take art directly onto the streets, into the public squares, and all the most beautiful forgotten and amazing spots of Italian cities.

The idea is to create temporary events to demonstrate that art can give a new identity and international visibility to the city. Trussardi has already hosted twice-yearly, site-specific exhibitions in historical buildings and spaces in Milan, such as the Palazzo Litta, Palazzo Dugnani and Palazzo Citterio.

Also Fondazione Prada, the foundation co-chaired by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli is supporting contemporary art. The foundation is working on a multi-year restoration project to turn Venice’s waterfront palazzo, the ornately decorated Ca’ Corner della Regina, into a new exhibition space.

But Italians do not only need culture. Italian citizens have been heavily hit by the economic recession, that’s way Renzo Rosso, chief executive of the holding company OTB (Only The Brave), which owns Diesel, Maison Martin Margiela, Marni and Viktor & Rolf, offers direct aid.

Rosso’s  OTB Foundation, established four years ago as a microcredit not-for-profit group aims at supporting people, both in Africa and in Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region in particular. The foundation donates a percentage of the money invested in the foundation to help Italian families to build small businesses or to find work.

The noble contest amongst brands has only just started as also Della Valle pledged to donate part of Tod’s net profit to encourage the recovery, starting from the people in need, such as helping young people to find employment and also to help the elderly in difficulty.   

Giulia Lombardo

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