Jeff Koons’ Louis Vuitton bag: a real piece of art

Louis Vuitton starts a new cooperation with very important representatives of contemporary art. The French luxury brand unveiled beginning of April, inside the Louvre Museum, the ‘Masters’ collection, carried out together with Jeff Koons. This is the first time that is possible to buy a piece of the American artist for a modest amount of money. In fact, in 2013, his Balloon dog was the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction, at $58.4 million and Koons is considered one of the “most expensive living artists”.

18817e94e581b53913dbaacea7b47525This aspect give more prestige and desirability to Louis Vuitton’s brand image that mixes its heritage and its French allure with such an untouchable artist. Moreover, thanks to this collaboration it’s possible to buy a Koons for the bargain price of $585: it’s a leather keychain and it’s shaped like a inflatable bunny. This bunny is the most affordable piece of “Masters” the artist designed for LV.


Koons transposed the figurative characteristics of his paintings ‘Gazing Ball’, in a series of reproductions of the world’s top artistic masterpieces, on LV bags and accessories. The project was secretly in development for over one year.

jeff-koons-louis-vuitton-masters-collection-designboom-09Famous masterpieces of Da Vinci, Tiziano, Rubens, Fragonard and Van Gogh have been transferred on some of the maison templates, every single one marked with the name of the artist to which the masterpiece belongs.jeff-koons-louis-vuitton-design-fashion-bags-_dezeen_2364_col_1.1-852x852

The collaboration with Koons follows in the footsteops of those with Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, Daniel Buren and Frank Gehry which have been involved in the establishment of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, inaugurated in 2014.

This collaboration is an important channel of communication for the artist too who said in an interview with The New York Times, “I can put my work on the street and this is a great platform of communication“.

Sara Russo


Louis Vuitton


From Threat To Thread

Adidas, in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, has introduced the “Ocean Plastic Trainer” a style of sneakers made with a filament derived from the recycled plastics  that are polluting the oceans.


These running shoes were created for Adidas by the British designer Alexander Taylor and they were introduced for the first time during an event of Parley for the Oceans, an initiative that aims to encourage the creative professions to recycle the old fish nets, bottles and other garbage dumped in the ocean to increase the awareness about an environmental problem in constant growth.

Taylor, in collaboration with Parley and Adidas, has decided to realize the shoes through the process of standard production used by the brand, replacing, however, the yarns with base fibers made from discarded fishing nets thrown in the seas.


The shoes are constituted by two different types of recycled plastic: the PET, used more commonly for bottles of water and the NYLON of the fishing nets. PET is relatively soft, easier to loosen and easier to be transformed in fibers, while the fishing nets have been instead hard to be manipulated.

scarpe plastic

The AdidasParley for the Oceans three new sneakers use a fresh blue color influenced by the shades of the ocean, and are set to be available in the classic ultraBOOST style, the ultraBOOST X, and the ultraBOOST uncaged.

The designs sport a primeknit outer shell woven from 95 per cent parley ocean plastic, turning threat into thread by spinning found debris into a workable yarn.

The commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at the knitted body, with the laces, heel webbing, heel lining, and sock liner covers all made from recycled material.

Statistics are showing that one truck of plastic waste gets dumped into our Oceans every minute, and Adidas has set to use its global brand name to get behind sustainable manufacturing. Adidas’ CEO, Kasper Rorsted, explained that “At Adidas, our core belief is that through sport, we have the power to change lives. This becomes particularly relevant when we talk about the impact we have with our sustainability work.We are one of the very few companies that integrate sustainability into their business model, which becomes most visible in the fact that we take sustainability to the product level.”


While the plan of Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley, consists of picking up the plastics from beaches and cceans and to recycle it in new materials and to sell it to creative brands. The objective is to find an effective way to communicate the urgency that the Oceans of the world to  consumers. Gutsch has decided, therefore, that its firm needed an ambassador: the plastics. The plastics is tangible, visual and it is easier to be quantified respect, for instance, the issues of carbon.

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Parley is the space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. Parley for the Oceans addresses major threats towards our oceans, the most important ecosystem of our planet. They believe the power for change lies in the hands of the consumer and the power to shape this new consumer mindset lies in the hands of the creative industries.

Artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers, journalists, architects, product inventors, and scientists have the tools to mold the reality they live in and to develop alternative business models and ecologically sensitive products that give the Earth’s inhabitants an alternative choice, an everyday option to change something. To succeed, they need to find ways to synchronize the economic system of humankind with the ecosystem of nature, and make environmental protection fiscally lucrative for pacesetting major companies.

Parley has been created to accelerate a process of change that is already in progress. No other big movement in the history of humankind has developed faster than the environmental cause.

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By weaving intercepted ocean plastic into their designs, adidas set out to implement the Parley A.I.R strategy, Avoiding virgin plastic, Intercepting plastic waste, and Redesigning new alternatives.

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Adidas X Parley’s plastic repurposing doesn’t stop at shoes; the sports giant are even weaving the plastic yarn into gym wear, and has even created recycled plastic jerseys for four major league soccer teams.

So, we just have to wait 15 days more to have the possibility to buy this fantastic product of the future and be more sustainable for our Earth.


Adidas Website:


Parley Website:

Sneakers News:

Material Connexion:

Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades  

One of the protagonists of the Milan Design week 2017 

The Objets Nomades Collection, enriched with 10 new items, was presented during the Milan Design Week 2017, from April 4th to 9th at Palazzo Bocconi.

The collection’s range, created in 2012, now includes 25 collectable and limited edition items, from a hammock to a deckchair, from a swing chair to a foldable stool.

Each product embodies the same ideals that combine the design skills of international designers and the savoir-faire of Louis Vuitton. The Objets Nomades collection keeps alive Louis Vuitton’s long tradition of beautifully crafted travel objects.

“Creativity, functionality and innovation have driven Louis Vuitton for more than 160 years. A design pioneer, Louis Vuitton has constantly anticipated fashion and kept pace with evolving lifestyles, and over time, the combination of its savoir-faire and the talents of renowned designers has created opportunities to develop inventive shapes, materials and products. This tradition continues with the creation of the Objets Nomades, an ever-expanding collection of limited edition, collectable furniture that is both inspired by the House’s historic Art of Travel and a reinterpretation of its essential spirit.”

This collection is made by the most creative designers of our times: Atelier Oï, Maarten Baas, Barber and Osgerby, the Campana Brothers, Damien Langlois-Meurinne, Nendo, Gwenaël Nicolas, Raw Edges, Patricia Urquiola, Marcel Wanders, and most recently, India Mahdavi and Tokujin Yoshioka.

The collection includes very different products, starting from the

∇ Campana Brothers’ biomorphic Cocoon chair


∇ Spiral Lamp – Atelier Oï 


∇ Blossom Stool – Tokujin Yoshioka 


All the objects are realized in a skin the company calls “Nomade”: it is soft and strong at the same time,  and they are dedicated to particular travelers that love the link between beauty and functionality.

∇ From left: Raw Edges, Shelves and Concertina Chair; Atelier Oï, Stool, Hammock e Spiral Lamp; in the middle Talisman Table – India Mahdavi


Among the others new products we find the Talisman Table of India Mandavi in beige and blue version.

∇ Palaver Chair and Swing Chair – Patricia Urquiola


∇ Lune Chair – Marcel Wanderslouis-vuitton-objets-nomades-2017-02

Every creation is a Journey

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Bernard Arnault commissioned the American architect Frank Gehry to design the Fondation Louis Vuitton as a new space, opened to the public in October 2014, in order to discover contemporary artistic creation. There is a wide array of cultural experience for everyone including the collection, commissions, temporary exhibitions and multidisciplinary events.


I would like to thank each of our visitors for the personal spirit of discovery that has drawn them here. My most sincere hope is that we are able to share the enthusiasm that has motivated all those who helped make this extraordinary project reality.
Bernard Arnault, President of the Fondation


Frank Gehry’s Architectural Journey

Geometric curves and lines match the shapes of the garden and the twelve glass sails play with light and reflections of water from the basin in which the building stands.
The building is a constant interplay of outside and inside and invites the visitor on a walk through a space of shifting perspectives to create a unique architectural experience. The landings present key elements essential to understanding the building: its position in Paris, the relationship with the context, Frank Gehry’s design, the coach of the materials and the construction process.

vasselThis sketch, one of the Genhry’s very first for the project, already shows the general outlines of the building. The glass sails give the “vessel“, as himself describes it, a sense of almost natural movement. Frank Gehry’s sketches are genuine creative tools that drive the design process forward in conjunction with the scale models.

“I dream, I dream of designing magnificent vessel for Paris that symbolizes France’s profound cultural vocation.”

The Observatory of Light of Daniel Buren

The work of Daniel Buren is articulated over the emblematic glass sails of the Fondation. There are twelve panels covered with coloured filters set out in a staggered pattern and themselves punctuated at equal distances, by alternating white and clear glass stripes. The colours used here are chosen from the manufacturer’s range and the blocks of color represent the various functions of the building: galleries, auditorium, bookshop, offices, circulation areas, storage areas..


Inside or outside, from the terraces or in the spaces, projections and reflections appear and disappear and change and shift constantly, following the weather, the time of day and season. With a minimal gesture, the artist radically transforms the building, and to maximum effect, renewing our way of looking at its architecture and instigating a new approach. Without beginning or end, with no privileged viewpoint, this Observatory of Light is a work that is experienced freely, in keeping with each visitor’s desire.


Barbara Fabris


Damiani, a leading company of Italian manufacturing and trade sector of jewellery and watches, celebrates Italian savoir-faire with a grand exhibition at Palazzo Reale, Milan, and the event is held  from 22 March to 18 April 2017.

The exhibition shows the main works of the company, starting from 1924, the year when the founder Enrico Damiani created the jewellery company. The project is meant to have a great cultural value, retracing the most significant stages in the evolution of Damiani by showing the most precious creations of the company all at once in a single exhibition.


The exhibition was developed between the cooperation of the Municipality of Milan and Damiani, and it is linked with the history of Palazzo Reale, that was sold by Savoia family right after the end of the First World War.

Visitors in Palazzo Reale can experience the discovery of Italian savoir-faire through the jewels of the company. The pieces represent a mixture of passion and skilled craftsmanship that the founder Damiani passed on his grandchildren Guido, Giorgio, and Silvia who have been able to maintain important values such as tradition, Italian craftsmanship, unique design, and creativity.

Damiani presents its own heritage in the exhibition with an evocative path through Sale degli Arazzi on the Piano Nobile of Palazzo Reale, which once house royal apartments. The history of Damiani tradition is unveiled through unique pieces of jewellery and masterpieces that receive international awards. The exhibition also shows some products created in honour to queen Margherita, the first queen of a united Italy and wife of Umberto I, who lived in Palazzo Reale during her reign.

In the first room, Damiani shows different types of products, each of them inspired by a decade in the history of the company and taken from the original drawings. The collection begins with Charleston collection that represents the 1920s, and goes through Cascade collection in 1930s, to move to the following decades that respectively are Legend, Tassel, Optical, Bloom, Tribute, Moonshine, D. Side, and to end with Damianissima, the symbol of the first decade of the new millennium. It is important to highlight that every piece by Damiani is still created entirely by hand in the laboratory of Valenza.

The trip continues in the second room of the show, where a setting of great visual impact exalts the splendour of the 18 unique works by the company (including Eden, Bloody Mary and Sahara) which received the Diamonds International Award, the jewellery Oscar, for their uniqueness of manufacturing skills, exceptional quality, innovation and stylistic interpretation. As a matter of fact, Damiani is the only jeweller in the world to have won this international award 18 times and continues to set the standards in terms of elegance, style, design and originality, turning each piece of jewel into an enlightened inspiration.

In the last room, visitors can see a different collection that is a combination between the goldsmith’s tradition of Valenza and the language of contemporary design, Italian history, and technological innovation. This is Margherita collection to whom Damiani dedicated a jewel in the early years of the 20th century, presented in a new interpretation. The Margherita collection has been created from original sketches and the origins of that craftsmanship which enabled Damiani to become the official supplier of the Royal House of Savoy family.


To conclude, the main goal of the exhibition is to present the relationship between the Italian craftsmanship and tradition that has existed for almost one century, and it makes Damiani one of the leading players in the jewellery sector.



Valeria Balsamà


The sustainable future of a roaring engine

Say goodbye to roaring engines, the smell of gasoline and gas station stops, because the future is green.

Sustainability is one of the fastest growing trends of recent years.

Even though luxury is a sector that is traditionally distant from values like environmental respect, it has become one of the most reactive to pollution-related issues.

That’s why many automotive brands are shifting from traditional Internal Combustion engines to hybrid and electric technologies.

Also, do not forget the new standards and laws concerning Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions.

This new green trend is led mainly by companies like Tesla that made sustainability their ensign. Studies and surveys confirm that new technologies are the key trends expected to boom in the next ten years.

Anyway, sustainability tests and new infrastracture requires big investments and a lot of time, that’s why the more traditional Internal Combustion powertrain technologies are still considered as the most feasable at the moment.

Alongside brands like Toyota, Lexus and BMW, other big players are moving in this new market.imageshandler

Have you ever thought of an hybrid Maserati or Porsche? What about an hybrid Ferrari?

Some of these are just rumors, some of them are real projects ready to come to life.

So prepare yourself and get ready to embrace the green power of sustainability. It will certainly become a thing.

Giulia Ferretti

Photo credits:




Harvard Business Review

The Gucci factory – A look behind the curtains

Just one regret about my visit to the Gucci factory, located in a small town near Florence: no picture allowed inside the building. You could have seen directly the highest level of craftsmanship and the creativity existing behind the scenes. Unfortunately for you, the only picture made was the group photo near the Gucci sign at the entrance with my fellow students at the Master. Cold comfort, but better than no comfort at all.


Let’s start from the beginning. During our one week long study tour in Florence, we had the opportunity to visit either the production site of Gucci shoes or the one for the leather goods. Being a bag-addicted, the choice for me was quite easy.

Our visit started with the materials rooms where there are current and archive materials for the bags production. A table was fully covered by an incredible number samples, from all kinds of fabrics and leather. Just to mention some examples, we saw and touched skins of exotic animals such as crocodile, anaconda, ostrich but also the most common one. Some of them were particulary treated to experiment and make samples for the new collection. They select the best raw material, they take care and they focused on detail, far away from the production lines.


The second room we entered was the cutting room. I had the feeling that everything was under control: the pelts were tagged, identificated and registered to meet the guidelines required. The cutting was done by experts able to make the most of the leather so that the wastage was the minimum and the beauty of each piece was the greater. They are so skilled and experienced that it is unlikely they make errors in their work. In fact, before cutting noble skins, they had to spent spent years and years training and practicing with standard leathers.


Last but not least, the prototype room where the bags were assembled. We saw the iconic travelling trunk together with a special duffle bag made for a special client. All around you could see the imprint of Alessandro Michele, the creative director of the brand since 2015: snakes, bees, tigers, butterflies, roses and peonies. And of course, the GG logo everywhere as well!


When we were told that the tour was over, I didn’t want to walk away. I couldn’t help but stare at the artisans working on details and ask them a thousand questions. I understerstood what made a Gucci bag a Gucci bag. The quality of the craftsmanship and the material is so high that it is not just a process of making bags, but it’s a real art of creation. And it’s absolutely inspiring.



All the pictures are from Globalgrind

What’s after music? The Hip Hop case.

Have you ever thought of being a worldwide known rapper? Have you ever asked yourself what could be done after your music career?

Well, this is a one-million-dollar question.

The answer, of course, is not unique.

Many of them have just vanished into the dark and progressively lost their fan base, others have found a way to relaunch themselves in a way, if possible, is even more profitable.

The lifecycle of a singer, in this case a rapper, has just the same lifecycle of a product.


In the very first part of their lifetime they have to struggle a lot trying to get famous. Someone make it. Some others not. The Introduction.

As soon as they get some positive feedback they start to be known in their cities and they can try to go to the next step. The Growth.

At a certain point of their career, if they are lucky enough, they reach the peak of it. The Maturity.

This point seems to be the best point ever and many of them think that this moment will last forever. Nothing worse.

The best moment of a career is the exact moment in which starts the last part of it. The Decline.

At this point they all have a chance but a decision has to be taken immediately.

They can either decide to keep doing what they are doing thinking that they have already a solid business launched or they can decide to diversify their portfolio. The Product Extension.

Which decision would you take?

The answer is not that obvious but, of course, the smartest one is the second one. Diversify the portfolio!

I don’t really know why rappers did more than what other singers did but probably it is linked to the path they have followed to reach success.

In fact, most of the rappers have a sort of innate capability of being able to do business. Either legal or not.

In the following part of this blog post I will present you few examples of rappers that have been able to reinvent themselves and to avoid the decline step of their career and to relaunch their bank account jumping into other businesses.

I would like to sort these examples using a growing pyramid starting from the one with the smallest estimated patrimony to the biggest.

Probably you don’t even know that few of them have started their careers rapping or are still rapping.

Let’s start!

Will Smith (estimated personal fortune $200 million)

William Carrol Smith Jr. was born in 1968 in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, US) and started his brilliant career as a rapper under the name of “The Fresh Prince” singing in the Hip Hop duo called “DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince” in 1985. His career was going pretty good and their songs “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime” were played around the country. They reached the peak of their music career with the winning of the Grammy Award in the “Rap” category in 1988. Thanks to this award Will Smith gained a lot of notoriety and earned a lot of money. In 1988 and 1989 he spent a lot of money purchasing cars, houses and shiny products but underpaid his income taxes. For this reason US Internal Revenue Service assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against him, took many of his possessions and garnished his income.

He was nearly going on bankrupt when the turning point of his life appeared.

In 1990 the television network NBC signed him and built the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” around him.

the fresh prince of bel air

This sitcom was so successful that is considered the starting point of his acting career.

After this, he started acting and became what he is today and so one of the most important actors on the movie scene.

He is more famous as an actor than as a rapper and in his filmography we can see a lot of cult movies such as “Bad Boys” (1995), “Men in Black” (1997), “Ali” (2001), “I, Robot” (2004), “The pursuit of Happiness” (2006), “I Am Legend” (2007).

Did you know he was a rapper?

will smith summertime

Jay Z (estimated personal fortune $610 million)

Shawn Corey Carter, mainly known by his stage name Jay Z, was born in Brooklyn (New York, US) in 1969. He is still a rapper and, even more, he has been able to sell more than 100 million records making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has won during his career, which started in 1986, 21 Grammy Awards and has been ranked by MTV the “Greatest MC of all time” in 2006.

Even if his career is not over yet he has been smart enough to have started building his post-music career many years ago diversifying his portfolio in many and different activities.

One he stated:

“…my brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM, where there’s no emotional attachment.”

The very first business activity launched by Mr. Carter was the foundation of his label “Roc-A-Fella Records” in 1995 for which he has released his first album “Reasonable Doubt” (1996).

In 1999, three years after the release of his first album, he decided to launch his clothing line called “Rocawear” in order to be present in the Hip Hop lifestyle scenario of those days. In 2007 the brand Rocawear has been sold for $204 millions.

jay z rocawear

In 2002 Jay Z jumped into the beauty and cosmetics field investing $10 million into a brand called “Carol’s Daughter” which was a company in trouble but which now grosses $40-50 million a year and provides him a very good amount of money yearly.

In 2003 he decided to launch together with a partner a sports bar named “The 40/40 Club” in New York aiming to reach a wealthy part of the population and not the Average Joe. This club provides American food, live music, celebrity patrons, 5 VIP lounges and plenty of sports memorabilia.

40 40 club jay z

After being one of the biggest endorsers of the champagne “Armand de Brignac”, also known as “Ace Of Spades”, he decided to buy the brand in 2014.

jay z armand de brignac

Among all these activities he has also launched several collaborations in different fields with brands such as Reebok, Nokia, Cohiba, GMC, NBA and many more.

For this reasons, probably, once he said:

“I am not a businessman,

I am a business, man!”

More than this I can clearly say that one of his best investments is for sure the marriage with the worldwide music icon Beyoncè in 2008.

Celebrities Attend The New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks Game - February 20, 2012

Dr. Dre (estimated personal fortune $710 million)

Andre Romelle Young, better known as Dr. Dre, was born in Compton (California, US) in 1965 and started his career as a rapper and producer back in 1984 and he is still performing very well.

Talking about his entrepreneurial mind-set we can say that he started as a co-founder of the famous “Death Row Records” being one of the artists of it and producing albums for many well-known artists such as 2Pac and Snoop Dogg.

He started as a member of the crew “N.W.A.” (Niggaz Wit Attitude) together with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella. His debut solo album “The Chronic” (1992) is still today one of the Hip Hop biggest masterpieces and thanks to the single “Let Me Ride” he won a Grammy Award in 1993.

Being the co-founder of this label was not enough for him, and for this reason he decided to leave “Death Row Records” and to found his own new label, “Aftermath”, in 1996.

With his new label he signed artists such as Eminem and 50 Cent and produced their album and for that he has won 6 Grammy Award including “Producer of the Year”.

All these wonderful awards were not enough for him and decided to make the real money into a business very related to music but without having nothing to do with singing or producing.

In fact in 2008 he released his first brand of headphones, “Beats by Dr. Dre”. He said that being one of the best producers in his field would have helped the development of a pair of headphones in a way that everyone could have to chance of recording and producing in a professional way at a good price.

beats by dr dre

The company, thanks to the quality of the product and to the marketing campaigns used by Dre, became so popular that Apple decided to buy the brand in 2014 for the incredible price of $3 billions.

beats apple dr dre

So far the best deal made by Mr. Dre.

Puff Daddy (estimated personal fortune $750 million)

Sean John Combs, better known as Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy or Diddy, was born in Harlem (New York, US) in 1969 and started his career in 1997. Before this moment he has worked as a talent director at “Uptown Records” and then founded his own label “Bad Boy Entertainment” in 1993. His debut album “No Way Out” (1997) has been certified 7 times platinum. He has won during his career 3 Grammy Awards and 2 MTV Video Music Awards.

He has reached his fortune with many non-music-related activities.

In 1998 he has launched his own clothing line called “Sean John” and for this reason he was nominated for the “Council of Fashion Designers of Marica” (CFDA) award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2000 and won in 2004.

sean john

More than this he owned 2 restaurants called “Justin’s”, named after his son. Now they are closed.

He is also the official designer of the Dallas Mavericks alternate jersey.

By the way, his biggest deal has been made in 2007 when Diddy entered the spirit’s business with the purchasing of half of the shares of “Cîroc” vodka which is a luxury brand of vodka that turned out to be very profitable.

cîroc diddy

He has purchased the clothing line “Enyce” from Liz Claiborne for $20 million in 2008.

He possesses a majority equity stake in “Revolt Tv”, a television network that has also a film production branch. It began broadcasting in 2014.

In 2013 he decided to keep investing into the spirits business and has bought in partnership with Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, the luxury tequila brand “DeLeón”.

deleon diddy

In 2015 Diddy teamed up with actor Mark Wahlberg and businessman Ronald Burkle to purchase a majority holding in “Aquahydrate”, a calorie-free beverage for athletes.

aquahydrate diddy

Due to all these activities, Mr. Puff Daddy is recognized as the richest rapper alive with an estimated personal fortune of $750 million.

diddy making it rain

These are just some examples of rappers that were really able to avoid the decline of their careers jumping into businesses that probably they would have never thought of being involved into.

Have a dream, follow it, reach it, squeeze it.

Then take the smart decision of finding an alternative path for your life.

Avoid the decline.

Reinvent yourself. Everyday.

Francesco Filippi



The importance of being social

When Damiani met Instagram

Luxury is based on exclusivity. We have learnt this since we were children, professors have repeated it like a mantra several times in the last six months. But – there’s always a “but”. Luxury is also about desiderability, and nowadays one of its main purpose should be making people dream – no matter if they won’t ever buy anything. At the same time, social media have become extremely pervasive in consumer behaviour and the marketing industry, and through the last few years luxury brands have had to face this new and “atypical” scenario. There are only two possible alternatives for them: show their social attitude or (risk to) be set aside.

The fashion industry has been the first to accept the challenge and be literally rewarded for having been so daring. Just few examples. Thanks to its highly interactive website and the additional section “Burberry Acoustic” featuring undiscovered British musical talent and pushing them through Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, Burberry has hugely increased its revenues and sentiment from customers in only two years. Meanwhile in Italy, I would add a mention of  Dolce e Gabbana’s addiction to hashtags and viral campaigns, and Stefano Gabbana’s Instagram account followed by 938,000 in love users?

Now the Italian king of fine jewelry Damiani is following the trend through its social media campaign #PalazzoRealeDreamsDamiani to promote its heritage and the latest collection – an homage to the founder of the maison, Enrico Grassi Damiani, and the Queen Margherita of Savoy, in whom he found a strong brand ambassador. The amazing journey along the history of Made in Italy creativity and craftsmanship and the Italian cultural development had been anticipated by an event in Venice during the Carnival celebration and a gala dinner at Palazzo Reale, where the exhibition Un secolo di eccellenza e passione takes place … and obviously the posts of the influencers involved!

We students of the International Master in Luxury Management did our part as Millenials and social-addicted, acting like influencers during our private tour. Just a condition: share, share, share. Even if we had already visited the laboratory where the magic happens, we had the chance to discover more about iconic jewels we had only seen before in magazines and the goals they were born to reach – a promise of never-ending love told by the Romanoff collection’s tiara, a tribute to an era represented by Charleston and many other one of a kind pieces.

And that being Chiara Ferragni* could be very funny – yet maybe just for a day.

Are you curious and would you like to know more about Damiani? You’ll have time until 18th April to visit Palazzo Reale – the exhibition is for free and near the Manet one!

Alessandra Petagna

*Ed.: founder of The Blonde Salad, Chiara Ferragni is one of the most famous fashion and lifestyle blogger worldwide and also an entrepreneur.


In a split second – Chronograph watches

Back for your monthly dose of watches! This time we will go through some history of the chronograph watches and some of the historical and iconic models.

The first modern chronograph was invented by Louis Moinet in 1816. According to the definition, a “Chronograph” is a watch with additional short-time measurement (stopwatch), shown by an additional hand (chrono hand) that can be started, stopped, and reset to zero by pushers in the housing wall.

SealsOfApprovalCOSC.jpgThe term chronograph is often confused with the term chronometer. While “Chronograph” refers to the function of a watch, “Chronometer” is a measure of how well a given timepiece performs. In order to be labeled as a chronometer the timepiece must be certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres), the official Swiss Chronometer testing institute.

The term chronograph comes from the Greek word for time, “chronos”, combined with the Greek word for writing, “graph”. As a matter of fact, early versions of the chronograph are the only ones that actually used any “writing”, marking the dial with a small pen attached to the index so that the length of the pen mark would indicate how much time has elapsed.

Less simple chronographs use additional complications and can have multiple independent hands to measure seconds, minutes, hours and even tenths of a second.

In terms of usage, chronographs were very popular with aviators as they allowed them to make rapid calculations and conduct precise timing during their flights. The demand for chronographs grew along with the aviation industry in the early part of the 20th century.

Chronographs were much used in all those fields that involved very precise and/or repeated timing around increasingly more complicated high performance machinery; automobile racing and naval submarine navigation being two examples. As different uses for the chronograph were discovered, the industry responded with different models introducing some features that still differentiate chronographs up to now, for example:

Metered Bezels

Many chronographs have a bezel that is either fixed or can rotate, around the outside of the dial that is marked to specific scales to allow rapid calculations. The most popular meter is for Tachymeter readings: a simple scale that allows rapid calculations of speed. Other bezels feature Telemeter scale, for distance.


Flyback chronographs

They have a timing hand that can be rapidly reset, or ‘flyback’, to zero. Ordinarily the sweep second hand is stopped to record the time and started again at that spot on the dial, or reset by spinning the second hand all the way to zero again, clockwise. The flyback allows a reading and a quick reset, a counterclockwise ‘flyback’, for the next measurement to start at zero.


Rattrapante chronograph

Sometimes called a “double chronograph”, it has multiple second hands, at least one of which can be stopped and started independently. When not activated the second hands travel together, one under the other, to appear as just one second hand.


Nowadays chronographs may have lost the importance of their original calculation functionality, but are still important in terms of design, time measurement and connection with the automotive sector, with many partnerships between luxury watchmaking houses and top-level car manufacturers such as Bugatti, Ferrari and Mercedes.

And now, let’s get down to business with a list of the historical pieces and some of my favorites.

Zenith El Primero

In the late 1960s there was a prestigious race to develop the world’s first mechanical chronograph with automatic winding: Heuer-Leonidas and Dubois Dépraz had initiated the secret “Project 99” to develop such a movement, bringing in Hamilton and Breitling. On March 3, 1969, this group presented their product under the name of “Chronomatic”. Realizing that this announcement was imminent, Zenith rushed to preempt them. Their Cal. 3019 El Primero movement (“The First”) was unveiled in a quiet press conference in Geneva on January 10 of the same year. From then on, the Zenith El Primero has been one of the most reliable movements and an iconic watch in the industry.


Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is a mechanical, self-winding chronograph. It has been manufactured by Rolex since 1963. It was inspired by racecar drivers and enthusiasts, most notably, iconic actor Paul Newman, who reportedly wore his Daytona every day from 1972 until his death in 2008. There have been three series of the Cosmograph Daytona. The original series was produced in small quantities from circa 1963 to the later 1980s. This original series was in very short supply by the early 1990s, which led to a second series to meet demand, introduced in 1988 and using a Zenith “El Primero” modified automatic winding movement. The third series, introduced in 2000, has a movement made by Rolex, thus the label “in-house movement”.


Patek Philippe 5170

One of my favorite watches of all time and a real “grail watch” (yes, also for its price range). It was introduced in 2013 but it deeply connects with Patek history of fine craftsmanship and rigorous engineering. It comes in white, yellow and rose gold. It is a manually wound chronograph with in-house movement, everything a high-end piece of horology should have.

patek 5710g

A. Lange & Shöne Datograph Up/Down

Another great display of engineering, this time from the German house of A. Lange & Shöne. Like the Patek Philippe, also this is a hand-wound chronograph, and one of the best watches money can buy. Slightly larger than the Patek, it comes in platinum and presents a very discreet power reserve indication, putting the datograph into the Up/Down (Auf/Ab) family of Lange watches.


Overall, the chronographs, especially if hand-wound, are among the finest pieces of horology a manufacturing house can make. For that reason, I personally think that, in terms of history, craftsmanship and design, a nice chronograph is a must have in the collection of any watch enthusiast.

Stefano Re


Set sail for distant shores!


Viareggio, Versilia, Tuscany: the heart of the italian shipyard production, with 100 out of the total national production of 400 made boats built in an year, will be the scene for the first Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous.

Held in an area known all over the world for its hospitality, arts, wine, food and high quality of services, it is going to be the new milestone in the boating sector.


From the 11th to the 14th of May this new innovative format event, blended with culture and creativity, will make Tuscany the place to be: the aim is the one to enhance the value of the potential of the yachting industry in a region where technology and high craftsmanship are mixed together.




On the wet docks of the first nautical district of the world, the excellence of the shipyards will host sea-lovers, insiders and visitors bringing new life to a positive and original experience: more than 100 magnificent boats of medium and large dimensions will establish the core of the contest.

Together with yachts in the water, the exposition path will be developed into 4 main thematical areas, dedicated to the boating sector:

  1. Tender and Toys: producers of technological tenders and other leisure solutions for big yachts;
  2. Italian Coast Excellence: a big offer of boating and touristic services;
  3. Superyacht Marina: presentation of the main turistic marinas of large size;
  4. Superyacht Equipment and Components: a selection of accessories and component dedicated to super yachts.

Other details                                                                                                                                         

As mentioned earlier, the main part of this boat show will be the events held both inside and outside the marina, with the objective of involving the surrounding area. For each single day, a specific topic characterized by an international touch would be developed: design (Thursday 11 May), food (Friday 12 May), art and cars (Saturday 13 May) and fashion and lifestyle (Sunday 14  May).

In building the program the Fondazione Altagamma, Nautica Italiana partners were involved, which represents the high cultural and creative industry of our Country.

Why not?

Katia Balducci, president of Navigo, stressed that Viareggio and Tuscany have a central position in the big yachts sector. The Show of the Sea doesn’t aim to be in conflict with the Genoa Boat Show, because the hypothesis of an exposition in Viareggio would be dedicated to the high-end yacht sector and it would be scheduled in a different time of the year, so to guarantee a further and more focused opportunity for the products of our district. It is important, for this reason, to first carry out all verifications on the technical and economical feasibility of the project.

Boats, yachts, mega yachts, with the allure of luxury and exclusivity that surround them, turn the event into a Grand Baazar able to amuse everybody, from the simple visitor to the sea dogs.

The presence of a lot of companies, the incredible innovations, the segmentation of the market in a growing number of niches and typologies that are looking for the different single tastes of the owners, like high performances and speed, are the main characteristics of the event.

May the wind always be at your back!

Anna Bizzozero



Nautech News

Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous