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How Chiara Ferragni & Dior Are Promoting Local Italian Craftsmanship

A Dior cruise show is usually a star studded affair. In fact, pre-pandemic, the modus operandi of any luxury house’s resort extravaganza was to line up as many influencers as possible to ensure maximum coverage.

However, due to the health crisis, last night’s Dior Cruise show in Lecce, located in southern Italy, took place without its usual physical audience let alone a roster of celebrities. However, there was one exception: Chiara Ferragni.

But this wasn’t just a case of ‘rent a celebrity.’ Ferragni was on hand to help Dior to promote local Italian craftsmanship and boost the economy of the Puglia region.

The influencer turned entrepreneur joined forces with Dior and cultural travel company If Unique Art Experiences to make a promotional film to help stimulate the local economy and encourage tourism to the region — especially vital in the wake of the pandemic.

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Ferragni and Dior have a combined Instagram following in excess of 50 million (20.5m and 38.1m respectively) so the partnership is a powerful one.

Dior Cruise '21
A skirt embellished by Marilena Sparasci using the ancient Tombolo lace work technique, Dior Cruise ’21. Sparasci is one of the technique’s last remaining practitioners.
CREDIT: AP Images

Dior artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri used the show as a platform to highlight the Puglia region’s age old artisan traditions. With sensitivity to cultural appropriation at a high, she obviously wanted to ensure that the brand gave back to the area.

To this end, she collaborated with local ateliers that preserve traditional weaving and lace making techniques and incorporated their workmanship into the collection.

Dior Cruise '21.
A hoop earring inspired by the Ori di Taranto, antique jewelry collection on display at the National Archeological Museum of Taranto, Dior Cruise ’21.
CREDIT: AP Images

Even the light installations designed by feminist artist Marinella Senatore were created by local specialist Fratelli Parisi. Just like the house’s fall ’20 show in Paris these featured zeitgeisty phrases and one, “We rise by lifting others,” felt particularly apt.

Much of the show’s jewelry, including intricate gold hoop earrings, was inspired by Ori di Taranto, an antique jewelry collection on display at the National Archeological Museum of Taranto.

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Un lunedì speciale al MArTA: oggi abbiamo avuto il piacere di ospitare @chiaraferragni e @mariagraziachiuri , direttrice creativa di @dior La visita si colloca nell’ambito di un progetto Dior che le vede insieme per la promozione del patrimonio culturale pugliese, di cui il MArTA è custode prezioso. Grazie per la vostra visita, per aver apprezzato così tanto la cultura della Magna Grecia e per aver scelto di diffonderla in tutto il mondo. #chiaraferragni #mariagraziachiuri #dior #martaranto #taranto #museoditaranto #instamuseum #museumlover #tesori_italiani #capolavori #storiadellarte #beniculturali #mostre #magnagrecia #igerstaranto #archeologia #pastforfuture #pugliaevents #weareinpuglia #archeome #volgopuglia #traveling_arte #visit_taranto #visittaranto #visitpuglia #alwayspuglia #museichiusimuseiaperti #laculturanonsiferma

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Chiari visited the museum with Chiuri earlier this week. Museum director Eva Degl’Innocenti, speaking today to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, said that the visit sparked a 96% increase in traffic to its Facebook page plus its highest ever rate of engagement on Instagram.

Dior Cruise
A pattern by Dior print designer Pietro Ruffo, inspired by an Italian botanical tome from the 17th century, Dior Cruise ’21.
CREDIT: AP Images

“Thanks for choosing our beautiful Lecce. So glad to be part of this project and show the world our Bella Italia,” Ferragni wrote on one of Dior’s Instagram posts about the show.

The Blonde Salad creator is a long time friend of the brand and its LVMH parent. She sat on the LVMH Prize committee last year — and let’s not forget her wedding to Fedez in 2018. She wore three bespoke Dior Haute Couture gowns for the occasion plus a pair of custom created white slingbacks featuring her name where the Dior logo might usually appear.

Public attitude to influencers has changed drastically during the health crisis. Case in point: Arielle Charnas. The Something Navy founder experienced a drastic backlash after her posts on social media regarding her own pandemic experience and fleeing New York City after testing positive were dubbed insensitive.

As a result, brands are increasingly careful to employ celebrity traction wisely so as not to come in for criticism. Dior Cruise’s project with Ferragni is a good example of how to get it right.

Now watch Chiara Ferragni’s Dior film below on Instagram. 

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Join digital entrepreneur and House friend @ChiaraFerragni as she heads on a fascinating tour with art historian and @IFExperience creative director Filippo Cosmelli (@BiancoCosmelli) through Puglia, the southern Italian region that inspired the #DiorCruise 2021 collection by @MariaGraziaChiuri. The area has been shaped by the numerous civilizations and cultures that have called it home for millennia, and their vestiges can still be found in towns such as Galatina and the baroque splendor of Lecce, in which the show took place, in everything from intricate golden jewelry to breathtaking chapel murals, from the weaving tradition to local dialects and song. © Film by Edoardo Winspeare Photo by @FedericaLivia_Photo

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Dior Cruise
Dior Cruise ’21.
CREDIT: AP Images
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