Umana riservatezza. Human privacy. This phrase. This phrase has never had more meaning than now. And this Brunello Cucinelli campaign. It speaks a thousand words and my own thoughts, thoughts I sometimes believe I should speak more often.
Brunello Cucinelli’s “Umana riservatezza” campaign
The Italian fashion brand revealed their humanistic campaign Umana riservatezza earlier this week. It’s a call to protecting our intimacy in a media-saturated world that denies our right and need to privacy. The campaign is attached to their Pitti Uomo presentation and it consists of a few shots of portraits of couples of children or adults, who, in their private moments, hide their faces gracefully. It’s the most beautiful, simplest and most poignant campaign and message I have seen in a very long time. Words are truly unnecessary to describe it.
At the “Consulentia 2018” conference held in Rome in February, Brunello Cucinelli, the founder of the eponymous company, expressed his thoughts:
“Privacy is a kindness of the soul that we ought to show both to those we know and to those we come across. It is also a right we are entitled to, and it’s never pleasant to be forced to demand it, since that spoils the charm of its pure sincerity.
Privacy safeguards our intimate sphere; we need the right amount of privacy in order to harmonize our public and private spheres.
Both our public and private lives are essential, but they benefit our well-being only when there is an appropriate balance between the two.
The wise Epicurus clarified better than many others that the right balance is lost when our public life becomes predominant; discomfort arises because we are deprived of our leisure time, which we need in order to rest our soul. We need time to rest.” (read more extracts from the speech here)
Brunello Cucinelli 1995 campaign
Every day I witness the intrusion of the digital world in our lives. Parents who regularly put their children on social media, but have eyes only for their phones when they take their kids to the park. Teenagers who are mavericks of the latest smart devices, but seem lost in space and are unable to hold eye contact more than a nanosecond when you are trying to have a face-to-face conversation with them. People who flaunt their perfect love life on Facebook, but who are afraid of human bondage and are incapable of communicating in privacy. People who prioritise screens over humans.
How about that first kiss to remain one of your most guarded and cherished secrets? How about your child’s first vacation to remain your special family memory? How about being happy without shouting it to the whole world? We have forgotten how to talk, write (when was the last time you took notes in a notebook, or even expressed a feeling in an online conversation without inserting an emoji?), read a book, connect, observe, be curious (not by searching Google), we have forgotten to give our shoulder (literally) to our friends to cry on, play with our children, get lost and live. I hope you will reflect over this and, when the weekend rolls in tomorrow evening, think twice before you post that picture-perfect weekend escape on Instagram. Have a good one, far from the madding crowd.
“Sharing.” Brunello Cucinelli | Humanist Artisans of the Web campaign
“Widescreen.” Brunello Cucinelli | Humanist Artisans of the Web campaign
PS: Have a look at the brand’s Humanist Artisans of the Web, too. How I’d like “sharing”, “mobile phone”, “widescreen”, “music streaming” and “selfie” to take on those new old meanings.
PPS: You now what else is amazing? Brunello Cucinelli is a thriving company, but it is rarely present on social media. There are still many people who do not buy only what the internet tells them to buy, people who appreciate the fine things in life. It feels good to know that. Brunello Cucinelli is one of those few fashion companies with handcrafting and humanity at its soul. The company headquarters are in a 14th century castle in Umbria, which Cucinelli bought and restored in 1985, convinced that a tranquil and beautiful setting would enhance creativity and instill harmony among workers. He says that his company’s purpose is to improve the life and growth of people, the most valuable asset in any business, to make work more human, with people at its core.
photos: Brunello Cucinelli