THE TALK: Re-organization and Connection

Strengthen brand identity and enhance culture and the link with Milan: these are the strategic moves of Sergio Antonini, Creative Director of the Antonini brand

Have you undertaken any initiatives to reduce the impact of this situation caused by COVID-19 to a minimum? Are you thinking of specific moves to guarantee business continuity? 
We have organized smart working from home thus ensuring that everyone has remote access to the company’s systems in order to maintain contacts with our customers and guarantee service. We have daily meetings with the various company teams, after which we make proposals and offers, update the website and social channels and check the carnets. I would say that we are 100% operational. 
The showroom in Milan is obviously closed in accordance with government decree provisions. 

What initial feedback have you received from your customers’? 
We often have a friendly relationship with our customers/distributors and we hear from them every day in any case. It is important, especially in these cases, to let them know we are here and lend them our support. Abroad, the emergency and subsequent restrictions started later so they have only just begun closing the stores in the last few weeks. If they have e-commerce platforms, they are trying to implement them and we are trying to help with photographs and product information. 

How has your communication changed during the pandemic?
We are keeping a mellow tone on our social channels, one that does not place too much stress on the situation we are undergoing: after all, a company’s presence on the social media ought to be a moment of inspiration and distraction for the viewers, not an information channel relating to the pandemic. We are also devising a digital project that will tell the story of Antonini, a story of culture that is also the story of Milan, an Italian story. 

How are your production activities going and what about distribution? 
We are scrupulously abiding by the instructions.

Every new collection is a commercial and communication challenge for a company: what strategies do you have in mind to transform this particular moment into an opportunity? 
This moment is a chance to reflect on what we are doing. In our private lives, many of us are taking a good look at our inner selves; companies, on the other hand, can take time to stop and look at themselves from the outside. In our case, I would like to give more space to our identity, to enhance our culture and link with Milan. As regards product, we are looking to promote the collections that the market has appreciated the most in order to re-interpret them with new materials and/or technologies. 

What worries you most about what might happen?
In terms of the jewelry supply chain, we are worried about the industry’s impoverishment and the probable loss of jobs, especially among small artisan businesses. 

A positive comment on the future of jewelry…
This dreadful experience certainly makes us reconsider personal relations, especially with our nearest and dearest and the intimacy of domestic life. It will probably not be possible to travel for some time and we might try to find gratification by rewarding ourselves with something that will withstand the test of time and this could, in fact, be an item of jewelry. I also believe that, on the scale of values that will affect our choice of jewel, we will no longer only give importance to the economic (or investment) aspect of the product but look more at the manufacturing quality, different design content, the possibility of wearing it every day and enjoying it more intimately.

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