THE TALK: The flame needs to keep burning

Taking this moment as an opportunity and continue to listen to creativity: these are the rules of Anna Maccieri Rossi, who looks to the future with hope

You are the founder of the Anna Maccieri Rossi brand but also a consultant for several fine watchmaking companies. How much has this emergency affected your work, both now and in the future? 
Nobody knows how this situation will evolve. We are all spectators of something extremely big, it is hard to make forecasts. It is an unprecedented situation and so we have no history to look back on at all. In any case, I am still working for myself and for the companies I collaborate with. I remember the crisis of 2008. Many companies stopped listening to creativity, making many cuts. When everything started up again, creativity was exactly what was needed, we had to be ready with the freshness, lightness and joy of life that creativity gives. And so, I am trying not to stop working, if I can. There is nothing else we can do unless, obviously, we stay at home, and take this moment as an opportunity. We need to keep on doing what we know how to do and not back away from the point of view of creativity and communication. 

What worries you most about what will happen?
I don’t know what will happen, especially in the United States. I worry about the length of time and the repercussions that may occur on that market which is my reference point. 

Have you embarked on any initiatives to minimize the impact of this situation caused by COVID-19? 
Not at the moment. I think that listening and watching to see how the situation evolves is the only thing to do. I have vowed to try not to bite off more than I can chew. I launched my brand last year; it really hasn’t been around that long. Conditions were ideal for gaining new stores and private customers but this situation has blocked everything. 
I don’t see it as a problem: it has taken me a lifetime to found my own brand, therefore, I am not in a hurry. If everything stops, perhaps I will stop too. 

Is production continuing? 
Yes, but more slowly. I was preparing several projects for Couture, the Las Vegas show which is the most important one of the year for me. My suppliers, both in Switzerland and Italy, have told me that there will be a slowdown. They are only working in the mornings and with much fewer staff in order to respect the safety regulations. However, the idea is not to block everything and to see what happens day by day. 

And what about your collaboration with big watch companies? How is that going? 
I am still collaborating with my customers on a regular basis and I think this will continue. Particularly with one of them. I know that, as China recovers, there will be excellent opportunities to go forward. I have noticed, however, that leading companies have the resources for not blocking the work as well as the farsightedness to know that there will be an end to all this. Perhaps it will take longer in some countries but big companies know that we mustn’t stop. When the recovery comes, the market will demand and they have to be ready. 

Systematizing could, now more than ever, be a strong point: do you have any ideas about that?
I think that many new co-operations will arise. Perhaps the small companies, which will have a hard time, will find partners that believe in them. Together we could help each other and create a more useful platform. 

A positive comment about the future of jewelry… 
I am hopeful. There are some valid possibilities for slowly recovering everything but, obviously, it will not be a return to the usual everyday life. I believe that many things will change and we will change, I hope for the better. I don’t think that, in the darkest moments, we also have to be gloomy. The flame needs to keep burning. Those who live with art and culture must continue to cultivate them despite this historical moment: when it is over, we will need them all the much more.

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