posted by: freePOrnaoa in General on January 25th, 2011
On the stranger side of shoe news, Tod’s is helping finance the restoration of the Colosseum in Rome, which has been tarnished by pollution and rocked by the Metro shaking it.
I mean, we can understand how both fashion and the Colosseum are beautiful and important, but this was unexpected. Diego Della Valle, CEO of Tod’s (pictured left), had grandiloquent things to say in the recent press conference.
“A monument that represents Italy in the world must be restored, and a company that represents Made in Italy stepped forward to say, ‘If you need us, we are here’.”
Perez is skeptical that the motives here are pure. And especially in a recession, I have to say I agree with him that this is not cultural selflessness, but an invention of a PR genius. This is a lot of money ($35 mil, reportedly) that obviously Tod’s won’t necessarily make back in sales due to good PR. But of course, when people hear about Tod’s through this story, it will drive traffic to their website. There’s even a link at the bottom of The Telegraph story to shop at Tod’s!
And more importantly, it will permanently entwine Tod’s with Italian and Roman culture, network them with a lot of important people in Rome, and let other fashion companies know that there’s a new PR tactic in town (Leaning Tower of Pisa, anyone?). Della Valle has already encouraged other companies to get involved with the financing.
Della Valle’s tactic has already resulted in tons of articles and reposts online. Do you think they get to open a shop inside the Colosseum?? Do they get to call it Tod’s Colosseum on all the tourist literature?
Tod’s is classic, and so is the Colosseum, so in a way, it’s a good match for their image (though they’re not exactly synonymous with gladiator sandals, they may have to do a line now!). I admire the Italian king of shoes, as they call Della Valle, but I have to wonder what kind of tax breaks and other favors the Roman and Italian governments will be doing for Tod’s now! Was the government so broke it couldn’t afford to do this itself?
What do you think, folks? How would you feel if Ralph Lauren payed to restore the Liberty Bell or the Lincoln Memorial, only it cost 35 mil? Would that make you proud, or would you be immediately suspicious of a grand gesture like that?