Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Finding Wall Street Funny - Part 6

Palatial Inheritance & The Shallow End of the Gene Pool

Failed CEO Laudomia Pucci.
Laudomia Pucci lives in a 15th Century, 150-acre estate in the Tuscan countryside. From the pose she strikes in the photo on page 85 of the Wall Street Journal Magazine that we simply can not stop making fun of, it is difficult to tell whether she feels embarrassed and awkward or stupidly entitled. She inherited the estate and the family’s fashion business in 1989 at the ripe age of 29 and, as stated in the article Fortress of Fashion (a title which will become clearly ironic in a minute), “took over both the business and creative sides.” As the next (and, one writer predicts, last) in a long line of fashion conquistadors, she found her unearned responsibility "a challenge.”

Presumably because working for Daddy all those few short cushy years wasn’t.

Her razor-sharp mind becomes immediately evident as we are told, shortly before we start barfing in repulsion at the photos of what this numbskull was born into, that Laudomia “knew” when she took over for her deceased father that her ticket to ridiculous wealth – the family’s “fashion legacy” as it were – was in trouble. And Ms. Laudomia, whose name sounds suspiciously like the Italian word for Laundromat, waited 20 years to do anything about it.

Laudomia is now, we should note, “the brand’s image director and deputy chairman.” In other words, all those short years of experience working for Daddy before she took over as CEO were not enough for her to remain CEO and now holds positions as dubious as her titles.

But it seems she is not alone in her idiozia. The family’s fashion legacy – basically the entire material history of the company – was stored for many years in exactly the place you would expect on a 150-acre Italian estate on the banks of a major river:

In a basement.

When the Arno River flooded over in 1966 Emilio Pucci “lost everything” says Ms. Fake-Titles. Yes, everything except everything on top of those 150 acres though this little detail is glossed over in the interests of trying to make Laudomia sound like she had to clip coupons until she could get back on her rubber-booted feet.

“Since then,” we are subsequently told, “flash flooding has periodically steeped the Pucci archives in swampy
water.”

Was Laudomia in fact clipping coupons? Or watching Italian Idol and eating bon-bons? She certainly wasn’t busy CEOing or Directing or Deputy-Chairing anything until a light bulb finally went on somewhere in her charmed little world and “when (the flooding) happened again in 2012, she realized her heritage was at risk.”

Yes, it only took several floods over twenty years – on top of her ostensible memory of 1966 – to think that maybe she should rethink that basement idea.

“If I wanted to pass on what the company has created,” she says in all sincere magnanimity, “I had to do
something about it.”

"I have more than enough space here...
Now where to build that new laboratory?"
And if I wanted to continue living I just knew I had to keep breathing, without anyone’s help. I guess I’m just kind of a survivor that way…

So she moved everything out of the cellar, then to celebrate proceeded to build “a laboratory for fashion students to study fabric technology, design and history.”

“I have more than enough space here, and I want to share it,” she says.

In other words, she has so much space she builds more of it?

Or did Ms. Deputy Image Director, with all her experience in descending the family empire's corporate ladder, go ahead and turn that suddenly-empty basement - I'm sorry, cantina - into a place others could learn the family business so she wouldn't have to? We can only wonder. And hope.

So maybe fewer people would be inclined to write glowing garbage like this.