Caution is advised in Ukraine. In the CIS area, even if you want to please the Russian authorities or make the local clientele happy, it is impossible to operate. For the simple reason that it is impossible to restock boutiques: “The market is blocked”. As Pietro Beccari, managing director of Dior (pictured, right), tells la Repubblica.
The Ukrainian scenario
On the sidelines of an interview on the brand’s initiatives at the Venice Biennale, Beccari does not shy away from current issues. “We have a shop in Kiev with 12 employees: two asked us to help them leave the country, which we did,” says the CEO, speaking of Ukraine, where the Russian invasion has been underway since February 24. The others have remained in the city, safe and sound for now, because they have husbands and companions who have enlisted. The Eastern European front poses a dilemma not only in terms of business, but also in terms of ethics: “It’s hard to talk about beauty and culture when all this is happening on our doorstep“. And the situation is not easy in Russia either.
Pressure from the Russian authorities
The situation is just as complicated in the Russian Federation, where the brands suspended their activities in the first half of March, and where EU sanctions are weighing heavily. “We have closed the six local stores, “ says Beccari, “but we are under a lot of pressure from the authorities to reopen. Even if we did, we wouldn’t have the goods, because everything is blocked: we don’t even know if we will reopen, let alone when“.