In a digital press conference attended virtually by 600 of the fashion industry's most-respected names - Grazia Middle East included, naturellement - Pietro Beccari, Chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture revealed that the maison's Cruise collection due to take place in Lecce in May 2020 will go ahead at Piazza del Duomo at 9pm on 22 July. Pietro Beccari conceded, "Of course, it will be a special show; it will be without an audience and with the respect of all the sanitary rules enforced by the state of Italy, but still it will be a real show, a live show."
Explaining the reasons why Dior decided to go ahead, Pietro elaborated, "When it comes to fashion, nothing carries the emotion of a real fashion show - a live performance where artist performs without a safety net. The setting, the music, the story that Maria Grazia wants to tell through her clothes, the electricity that we feel in the moment, the precious creativity that arises throughout the pressure of the deadline, the adrenaline - it's all part of the fashion world and part of the emotions, the passion. So, this is the first reason why we prefer a live fashion show. We think that there will always be a place in fashion for a live fashion show."
Pietro continued, "The second reason is that we would like to send a message of support, of hope, of optimism and of rebirth after this period of difficulty. I’m thinking about the big suppliers but as well as the small ones and very tiny family businesses of artisans in France and Italy, many of whom have had entire collections completely cancel because of this crisis. Many of them didn’t know and still don’t know how to survive. For these types of artisans, their craftsmanship goes back centuries and we need to preserve it." Pietro even detailled how the collection is being developed via video conferences while the artisans work round the clock from home.
Revealing that work on the Dior Cruise collection in fact had never stopped, Pietro admitted that the local artisans, weavers, ceramicists, artists, musicians, filmmakers, carpenters, and electricians involved feared their work would never see the light of day. He acknowledged,"We are very proud to have taken the risk and the courage to say, 'You go on with your work, we'll continue with your preparation,' and against all odds we asked them to work which luckily you will see on 22 July. We gave them a reason to fight, a reason to keep hoping."
Dior also believe the Cruise show will play a role in supporting the wider fashion industry: "I’m thinking also about the rest of the family I’m talking about the models, the photographers, the hair stylists, the make-up artists, the musicians, and the production houses that are involved in making a fashion show we believe that this occasion will be a good incentive to carry on with a certain optimism."
Finally, according to Pietro, the show will serve as an economic boost for Italy, specifically, "the Puglia region which is so badly hit by the crisis and on the edge of bankruptcy."
Dior has always prided itself on weaving dreams but in the upcoming Cruise show, also woven into the fabric of the maison, in this COVID-19 era, as Pietro pointed out, "a strong sense of solidarity that came along the way with all the people involved because of the tough time that we are living and this positive energy can be felt inside the collection."
Photo: Nadine Ijewere for Dior