Representative image
Representative image

From Italy, a message of hope

ANI | Updated: Apr 11, 2020 20:45 IST

By Francesca Marino
Rome [Italy], April 11 (ANI): Once upon a time, when the world was a different place, there was something called 'Made in Italy'. A country had become, with hard work, creativity and resilience, a global brand immediately recognisable everywhere as an epitome of the good life, good food, style and elegance.
Once upon a time, when the world was a very different place with virtually no borders, we have been proud of our clothes, bags, shoes, cars. Until yesterday. After more than a month of lockdown and no end of it insight, and with the rest of the world into the same mode, virtually nobody needs IT bags, stylish dresses and sunglasses, gorgeous shoes and status-symbol car.
There's nowhere to go. It is wartime. We are fighting a war, a war against a deadly although invisible enemy, but nevertheless a war. And we have always been good in making the best out of disasters: Ferragamo's legend started during wartime, when he invented shoes with a cork platform because there was no wood, and the iron used for hills was needed in arms industries.
So all the brands, all the factories which made 'Made in Italy' internationally famous are now gone into war mode. They did not stop production but converted their usual ones, changing or adapting machines and reviewing the logistics to produce masks, gloves, socks and glasses for medical use but also lung ventilators and sanitizer gels. Answering an appeal made by the Tuscany region, Gucci has responded starting the production of masks and gowns for healthcare staff busy fighting the Chinese virus.
Over 1,100,000 surgical masks and 55,000 gowns will be donated in the coming days, subject to authorization by the competent authorities. And Miuccia Prada too, again on request of Tuscany, started producing 80.000 gowns and 110.000 masks.
The Armani Group announced the conversion of all its Italian production plants into the production of disposable gowns intended for the individual protection of health workers committed to dealing with Coronavirus.
In recent weeks, following the initial donation allocated to the Civil Protection and the Luigi Sacco, San Raffaele, Milan Cancer Institute and Spallanzani in Rome hospitals, Giorgio Armani has decided to give his contribution also to the hospital of Bergamo, Piacenza and Versilia, thus reaching a total donation of 2 million euros.

Fendi, Scervino, Ferragamo, Celine, Serapian with leather goods, Richemont and Valentino also joined. After contributing to the research by donating a new high-definition 3D microscope to the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, Bulgari has also decided to produce several hundred thousand bottles of hand sanitizer gel to be given as a priority to all medical facilities through the coordination of the Italian Government.
The production foresees 6000 pieces per day up to a total of 200,000 pieces in about two months. The Erbolario, a cosmetics brand, after deciding to close both the company and all the brand stores as a precaution, reactivated itself for the production of a hand sanitizing gel.
The giants of the auto sector Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Ferrari, together with Marelli, will make their Emilian plants and their employees available to Siare Engineering for the production of components and the assembly of new lung respirators necessary for patients in intensive care.
And you can be sure that, given our production standards, no item will be failed like the masks and the diagnostic kits China is bestowing on the world trying to cash on the curse they unleashed on us because of their criminal silence on coronavirus. Italy, despite what China is advertising on their propaganda channels, is not sitting waiting for help, we are not self-commiserating.
We are fighting back. Made in Italy, our fashion industry was born from an economy strained by the war, left behind by the rest of Europe who converted artisanal production into industrial ones. We made masterpieces out of almost nothing, lemonade from sour lemons.
Italians don't like rhetoric, have no flair for cheap patriotism, fanfares and national flags: for many of us are too closely associated with something in history we don't like to remember. But we are, at the end of the day, all proud of our country, of our unique culture, of our resilience.
FCA has also launched a new campaign that aims to be a tribute to Italy. A video that recalls the most authentic beauty of the country, a beauty imbued with light and millenary history but also with strength, solidarity, ethics and pride. A message of hope.
After all, how a funny message circulating via Whatsup reads: "Maybe it is true that we Italians are in a difficult situation. But tell me where you will find another such country: in which aprons for doctors are sewn by Armani, Ferrari is manifacturing respirators, Gucci is making face masks and sanitizing gel is made by Bulgari? We may end up in hell, but in style!"
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are strictly those of the author) (ANI)