Eataly CEO Farinetti’s TEDx talk examines a new definition of luxury

TEDx is an independent program connected to  TED TALKS (Acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design), a non-profit organization that started in California over 30 years ago. These talks are a diverse way to express new ideas in smaller cities or to share them to small groups of people. The main aim is to inspire and motivate discussions about a specific topic, with each talk lasting a maximum of eighteen minutes.


Last November 10th, my hometown Treviso was given the opportunity to host a Tedx. The main topic of the event was rediscovering humanity in a period marked by technological discoveries: Psyche versus  Technè. Psyche represented emotions and the nature of humanity (human feelings), whereas Technè represented art, a production of the spirit and human intelligence, strictly linked to technology (Inventions). The main objective of the talks was to convince the audience to start asking themselves about life and feel emotions once again, especially considering the era in which we live where everything is affected by technology and we no longer think for ourselves.

One of the most important speakers  was Oscar Farinetti,  CEO of Eataly. Farinetti is known for having created the first luxury supermarket to promote the excellence of  Italian product s worldwide. In the last  ten years he had opened more than 40 sales points, 22 in Italy and 18 abroad (including Seoul, San Paolo, the United States, Japan, Dubai, Moscow, Istanbul and Monaco). Today, he is trying to go public on the stock exchange. From the old format of promoting cuisine via for example the food hall, he ventured out to a more innovative showplace for Italian food and wine. Farinetti’s  main point  was the ability to copy – the ability to copy from a great idea. It made me understand  how all the important luxury companies, such as Gucci, are really only copying from the old  archives of the past (for  example,   Alessandro Michele of Gucci with the Richard Ginori archives). Old archives where  human emotions are  strongly linked to the product, in an era when it was  difficult to do things due to lack of  technology.


According to Farinetti “We all have a biodiversity that we didn’t decide to have. We didn’t decide where to be born, when and into which family and this is the magnificence of our imperfection.”  I believe  this is what brought about Farinetti ‘s success, his ability to think outside the box and not obsess over perfection. What surprised me most was this different perception of luxury, the example of a new luxury. As he said in an interview: “Luxury, as most people think of it, is a concept that bores me.  But Eataly can be considered a luxury experience, if you look at it from two different perspectives — respect and time — which to me represents the new frontier of luxury.” With the term respect, he means in terms of our relationship with the planet. “As for the other element-time — this is the biggest luxury there is. The idea of being able to use your time as you please.”

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