BRAVE NEW WORLD
Harper's Bazaar Malaysia|May 2020
In the midst of our global pandemic, Bvlgari shows true leadership in crisis support, spurring more participation by other luxury brands. Jean-Christophe Babin, Group CEO of Bvlgari, talks about saving lives, and how the company is rewiring for the future, in an exclusive interview with Natasha Kraal.
Natasha Kraal

The two previous interviews I’ve had with the highly dynamic and charismatic Group CEO of Bvlgari, Jean-Christophe Babin, were in different settings, and of much different times. I remember this particular one most vividly: we were both seated in the beautiful lounge of the historic Four Seasons Firenze, overlooking its 15th-century private garden, verdantly expansive and complete with art sculptures and an Ionic temple—the perfect setting to talk about Bvlgari’s Italian Gardens high jewellery collection. That was 2015, two years after JCB—as industry insiders refer to him— joined the Italian luxury jeweller from TAG Heuer, where he immediately and impressively made the transition with his deep knowledge in the art and métier of fine jewellery, right down to its poetic expressions. It was the perfect interview.

Today, it’s a different story. This interview was conducted almost newsroom-style with journalistic speed and urgency. For the first time, we weren’t talking about a high jewellery collection, watch complications, or the luxury business ... and certainly not in a lavish environment. We were both at home shooting emails across about hand sanitisers and working in isolation, where JCB joins legions of luxury industry leaders supporting the fight against this pandemic, while sustaining employment and global businesses. The world we know is no longer. And so, we talked about managing through the current crisis, the future of luxury in a world that is fast evolving, and someday, just someday, being back in nature.

The decision by Bvlgari to turn around manufacturing facilities to produce hand sanitisers in the fight against Covid-19, as well as your significant donation to the Spallanzani Hospital, are greatly respected, as they are necessary for the times. Thank you for inspiring and leading the luxury industry with such humanitarian actions; do share how you decided so quickly when the pandemic hit Italy.

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