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STORIES OF RESILIENT COMPANIES – Interview with Donatella Salerno and Priscilla Longobardi, of the CHIARA BONI La Petite Robe

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“Smile with your eyes, this is the Future!

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. 

Chiara Boni

These are the words of Chiara Boni – an internationally renowned designer, faced with an uncertain future, hoping that each of us can look to the next months and years and be inspired by the depth and imagination, by the expressiveness and emotions of our eyes. Although Chiara Boni La Petite Robe is facing this lockdown period with creativity and resilience, the current state of emergency continues to transform the working and social habits of the business and their audience.

 Donatella Salerno , (Head of Communication & Digital Strategy) and Priscilla Longobardi (Digital Operations Assistant) of Chiara Boni – La Petite Robe, tell us, “As a company the first step was to secure and protect all the people who work there. It has been weeks, although, we can now talk about months, since employees began smart working from home – and the 3 Italian single-brand boutiques (Milan, Rome, Florence) will remain closed until the restrictions are successfully eased.

eCommerce, with the complete integration and coordination of all the touch points of online communication, today represents the main driving force for Brand Awareness and Reputation, (as opposed to commercial objectives) in the main reference markets of the brand – Europe and America.

The production chain and communication projects have therefore been revised in virtue and in support of this emergency. Chiara Boni La Petite Robe has in fact, launched the solidarity project “Smile for Italy”, a t-shirt exclusively on sale on chiaraboni.com. The proceeds of which, have been entirely donated to ASST Lombardia, in support of the health emergency. 

“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!”

Chiara Boni

Numerous celebrities have joined the project, including: stylist Simone Gudarelli, presenter Caterina Balivo, actress Nancy Brilli and many others.

Donatella and Priscilla go on to tell us that, “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). We wanted to contribute support to 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, are quick drying, 100% reusable and thanks to the characteristics of our fabric, they do not mark the face. They are not medically protective, but will be extremely useful, especially in phase 2, and a small part of the proceeds will always be donated to the organisations already chosen by the Brand for the t-shirt project.

These projects were made possible thanks to the support of Zerogrey and Kooomo, who proved to be partners in all respects, supporting us with their range of skills leading to the success of the initiatives. They committed to this beneficial cause without claiming any compensation for the marketing of charity products. “

In recent months we have witnessed a change in society and the economy. A continuous and exponential digitalisation of habits and processes is underway. 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, if they are unhealthy and harmful to our planet.

As thing continuously change, it is also interesting to understand how stylists and the fashion industry are rethinking their future. 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 planning for and trying to understand future social needs. Evolving is fundamental.” report Donatella and Priscilla. “The purchasing habits of our customers have changed, and will continue to do so. Chiara Boni La Petite Robe is already thinking towards and 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. 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 air time. In short, we will have to be adaptive and flow with change. We must also rethink the shooting methods of the next season for sale online. eCommerce will continue to be at the centre of communications and an important sales tool for the Brand. Not just that, but also for testing and discovering all the potential of web marketing. “

See you next story! Stay tuned

Jennifer Puzzo, Head of Client Service of Italy

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