In this interview, Ornella Auzino tells us his fascinating story. A precious testimony of how it is still possible for a courageous woman to do business today, in the South, despite a thousand difficulties, fighting prejudice and reveling an illegal market that strongly penalizes local entrepreneurial activities. An example of courage and tenacity also told in a book-denunciation, titled My Bags, which a year after its publication, continues to make speak of itself as a symbol of the redemption of the productive excellence of Naples.
di Roberta imbimbo
Mrs Auzino, can you tell us your story?
I was born in Naples in 1980 and I grew up in a bag factory, among the intense odors of the skin, the rolled and unfinished liners that waited to get into the industrious hands of experienced seamstresses, and the pampering of all the wonderful assistants who accompanied my parents in the meticulous production of artisanal products of undisputed quality. After a rosy start, the family business suddenly found itself in great financial difficulties due to the economic crisis that hit the leather goods industry: customers were no longer solvent, it was difficult to find new ones and the proliferation of counterfeiting certainly contributed to aggravate an already very difficult situation to manage. Questi sono stati i primi anni del nuovo millennio, un momento storico in cui i marchi hanno iniziato ad andare in Cina per tagliare i costi di produzione. E allo stesso tempo anche i miei genitori, per adeguarsi alla feroce concorrenza e cercare di mantenere invariato il volume delle vendite, sono stati costretti ad accettare lavori sottopagati. Sono seguiti anni difficili: in uno scenario così incerto, sarebbe stato facile rinunciare a tutto. And instead I, who after the financial collapse of my family had left university to devote myself to various jobs, thanks to an enormous force, chose to stay in Naples to show the world the good side of my land, to show that with courage and determination you can make your own destiny! After all, an ideal pursued with constancy is stronger than any obstacle! And so in 2009, once he took over the company, to overcome the difficulties of creating new job opportunities, I reinterpreted the family business, deciding to produce bags on behalf of third parties – from large luxury brands to small brands – a strategic operation that has allowed my company to be reborn and make its way without resorting to“recommendations”, thanks also to the excellent quality of its handicraft products. In a few years, in fact, not only have I been able to significantly increase the number of employees, offering legal employment opportunities in my company meant giving hope and dignity to people and making them remains in a territory with a great tradition of leather goods, that sees the flight of manpower to the north– but to produce bags on behalf of a great brand like Gucci.
She is a courageous entrepreneur who, at some point in his life, decided to use new media as preferential channels to denounce a corrupt system and to tell his story. Why?
For years I have been cultivating a dream in my drawer: seeing Made in Italy shine in all its excellence. This kind of hidden desire has led me over the years to start a daily protest, sometimes tired but never yielding or silent. Many times in the past, I have wondered how it is possible to send a message and make it resonate in people’s consciences. Over time, I realized that the most incisive way to do this was to forward it to a wide audience of users in a clear and strong way, without too many dietrologies. So I opened a YouTube channel: Ornella Auzino, to talk to people and convey to them, in my own small way, the values I believe in. Through my channel I manage, in fact, to deal with many topics that concern not only leather goods in the strict sense, but more generally Made in Italy and its ways of resisting negative phenomena such as counterfeiting. This phenomenon, which in addition to having a direct effect on national production, is a catalyst for illegal practices (illegal work, illegal immigration, money laundering, evasion, illegal trade) that for too long they have defaced an important part of our production. Therefore, turning the lights on the small niche brands, or on the nascent start-ups in the world of leather goods, or even, on the individual artisans who shine with their own light, is my personal way of combating illegal purchasing, sensitizing people to the importance of making a conscious and authentic one.
Any hopes for the future?
In essence, to carry on my battle against counterfeit bags. For this reason my priority wish is the Certification of the supply chain, the only concrete instrument that can protect consumers from illicit and cheap products, disguised as “Made in Italy”. In our country, in fact, the deficient laws on the subject, such as the law 55/2010 for the textile and manufacturing sector, allow unacceptable escamotage: a bag can carry the label Made in Italy even if it has not been produced entirely in Italy, but only in part. And not only that. Apart from offshore productions, some products made entirely in Italy do not deserve“”; this label for failure to comply with precise quality standards and Community rules. Moreover, in recent years, the web is proving to be a dangerous means of spreading counterfeiting, also due to the increasing use of online shopping of products of undoubted origin. In these anomalous and light-free scenarios, demanding the Certification of the supply chain is the only way to bring the benefit of transparency and to restore to Made in Italy the place it deserves, namely the’Excellence.
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