Its Ladies Take Over in Europe!
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Theresa May take the contol of Chanel and the United Kingdom on a summer of change.
The summer of 2016 will most probably be remembered as the season for upheavals. The Solstice brought us Brexit. Then there were the Spanish elections were centrist forces barely held ground. Then there were the Baton Rouge and Dallas protests and murders. And while seasoned leaders like President Obama and David Cameron seemed to be taken over by events, fate had it that two ladies rose to the top leadership in two very different activities but sharing similar views of the world they are impacting. These ladies are Theresa May and Maria Grazia Chiuri. One is to manage a kingdom the other is to bring a fresh new approach to the venerable house that pioneered and coined the concept of haute couture.
These ladies come from different backgrounds given that May was born to a family headed by a religious leader while Maria Grazia to one led by a Roman bureaucrat which usually are agnostic. Theresa went to Oxford, Maria Grazia to Design Schools. May had to fight tooth and nail against male and d female competitors; Maria Grazia created the first designer duo in the fashion world with Pierpaolo Piccioli.
But both share an uncanny talent to transform their work environments into a 21st century workshop. Ms May has been one of the few politicians to retain femininity in a world where success could only be attained by matching men. In the early days at Westminster she became known for her exuberant choice of footwear while she named a lifetime subscription to “Vogue as the luxury item to take to a desert island”.
Ms Chiuri is one of the few fashion designers’ to be immune to divism. She is practical and hardworking and sees her job as one that needs to “bring the best of human feelings to the forefront of society; promote cultural exchanges and bring together peoples and nations”
Theresa May has had to cope with being a minority within the Conservative Party which is well known for not promoting women. Her hallmark is toughness but also efficiency and charm. Her penchant for transparency and honesty became a national instant success when at the 2002 Party Conference she decided to tell in no uncertain terms to her peers at the Conservative Party «you know what some people call us – the nasty party».
Her talent to instill charm to ordinary outfits by means of employing a scarf; a pearl string or a flower have distanced her from modern executive women always clad in Calvin Klein suits. Maria Grazia on her part also envelopes herself in a magic of her own. She dresses like a millennial indie rocker while hanging around with a corps de atelier that is a half her age. And that precisely is what keeps her updated. These youngsters keep bringing the Instagram approach to fashion. And Maria Grazia uses these inputs to spread her wonderful magic in designs. Both are into knowledge creation by team work which essentially is the defining attribute for value creation in this century.
And while Mrs Merkel will probably continue to be the European Empress, get ready for the duo May-Chiuri, as they will probably become the queens of front pages grabbing headlines to sooner than later become the chouchous of this information addict world.