Skip to content

On eagles wings: our recovery from Coronavirus (XXXI). A CH beautiful dress

During the weekend I prepared an example of how business (of any industry) can practice being merciful. I chose an example that is related to the fashion industry, but I could equally select other industries.

On eagles wings Carolina Herrera embroidered dress case

Let´s explore the situation. Last year, the fashion house Carolina Herrera (CH), a Venezuelan global fashion atelier that produces such beautiful art-work robes, garments, and dresses, was accused by the Mexican Government of cultural appropriation of Mexican designs. According to AFP News and the BBC, the “Mexico’s culture secretary wrote to the fashion house complaining about the use of patterns from indigenous communities”. The CH designer’s website says the Resort 2020 collection “takes on the playful and colorful mood of a Latin holiday“. “The CH Resort collection was inspired “by the culture’s rich colors and artisanal techniques”, for which the brand aimed to recognize the Mexican artisans’ work.

Eleonora Escalante Strategy reflections about this specific CH situation: I am completely convinced that CH fashion house did not want to create such a mess, and ethically they were not meant to do any harm to México, but on the contrary. I presume the CH Fashion House wanted to elevate the Mexican designs to create an impact, to create awareness worldwide about the beauty and simplicity of the Mexican embroideries and textiles. To drive a new fashion trend in between the rest of her fashion industry peers. Once a design becomes trendy globally, the demand for Mexican designs would have increased exponentially. and the whole Mexican artisanal work would have benefited from that. CH branding is so strong globally, that it could have rolled out a global movement to help the local artisans, so these could sell their products in so many ramifications of by-products or adjacencies, not just in fabrics. In consequence, I can´t blame CH move to dignify Méxican fabrics at all. As fashion is an expression of art, inspirations abound, and I am sure many other countries would have felt honored that CH could be inspired and be seen on the tip-top runways. So, what was the real problem?  To our view, it is a matter of time and steps ordering process. Probably a timing context was not analyzed. The CH fashion house started to show the collection first, which is the ultimate step to do when it comes to working with local indigenous-tribal designs.

Behind the power of a dress. If I were the corporate strategist house for CH, I should have advised them with a different strategy when it comes to being inspired by indigenous-tribal local designs in developing countries. The strategy could have taken more time to be defined and implemented, but CH would have benefited itself (as a committed brand with sustainable development objectives with Mexico and other indigenous countries that inspire them). The virtue of mercy that CH aspired to show on the runway, would have been of such impact if they would have followed my integral strategic advisory based on ethical virtues. Also, following our strategy, CH would have been better positioned to ignite a global trend for the consumers, that would have profited to those women who wave them in Mexico. As a first step, CH could have initiated a pilot project altogether in conjunction with the World Bank or other European development financial entities, involving the Mexican government authorities, for a long term partnership that could have created an education-women entrepreneurship program with the local artisans. By implementing this project CH could have helped Mexico to develop a whole new entrepreneurship ecosystem for fashion, and the Mexican weavers would have participated actively all over the process. The demonstration of the results of the project ultimately was to be seen on a runway collection. Nevertheless,  since I am not a corporate strategist for CH, all I can do is to write here about the situation and share my reflections.  I would have advised CH with a long-term view roadmap to which their meaningful influence would have expanded all over the fashion industry, and later we would have seen CH competitors, replicating her strategy when it comes to these types of business models and entrepreneurship ecosystems in which fashion helps indigenous and artisan communities to become solid businesspeople.

 Carolina herrera beautiful dress

My Admiration for CH designs.  Since my mother has been an haute-couture fashion businesswoman, I have always been interested to see runways, dress-designs and I follow very closely the fashion industry. I admire the beauty of the beautiful garments and dresses.  carolina herrera fashion quoteI also wish to apologize for using this example “out of nowhere” in this saga. I have nothing versus Ms. Carolina Herrera´s efforts and excellent delicate designs. On the contrary, I have been following CH designs for more than 20 years, particularly her wedding bridal dress collections, as much as I follow, Monique Lhuillier, Elie Saab, and Pronovias Designers Bridal Couture. As you know, I have been envisioning my bridal wedding with Alejandro Guillermo Lozano Artolachipi for years. The day I marry him, it will be an uppermost honor to display one wedding dress from Ms. Carolina Herrera Fashion House. Since I am from a Latin country,  I consider CH brand one of the most delightful and charming high-recognized ateliers with Latin-American roots (Ms.  Carolina Herrera is from Venezuela).

Can you understand what is the meaning of corporate integral strategy? After reading this last example, I hope you are getting the flavor of what is the meaning of designing, creating, and implementing a corporate integral strategy.  The fundamentals of our tailor-made solutions are beyond numbers or blue-ocean strategies or cost-driven parameters or value-added premises. We always see all the elements of the value chain of any company as a beautiful opportunity to apply ethical virtues for everyone who participates in it (suppliers, production-manufacturers, distributors, marketers, technologists, retailers, etc). And that is what we are trying to do. Our solutions are not serving money, but how can we utilize the money to improve the conditions of life of all the people who participate in the production value chain. Moreover, we also provide tools to protect them on a long-term basis.

Let´s land into the difference between UBI and Coronavirus temporary relief aid. One of my readers contacted me on the weekend,  requesting me to clarify this. We can´t continue with the next virtue “courage under suffering”, before leaving this explanation completely comprehended. Today I will clarify the difference between UBI and the temporary relief aid that is urgently required by the poorest (poverty in this blog means to live below US$10/per day). The Coronavirus pandemic is one in a lifetime crisis. In consequence, this is considered a catastrophe.

UBI is not the same as a Government COVID19 temporary emergency aid. These two concepts are completely different.  2 distinct matters for 2 different purposes. I will explain why I agree 100% with a COVID19 temporary emergency aid but not with UBI.

About UBI

    • For  UBI to be a Universal Basic Income, it has to fulfill 5 parameters: universal, unconditional, individual, regular (periodic), and paid in cash.
    • For Eleonora Escalante Strategy, a UBI per month has to be set not for a charity purpose, but as an amount of money that could provide a “social minimum” to all. This implies that the definition of social minimum can´t be the one of a US$10/day, but greater than that.
    • If we set UBI of $800/month per citizen. This is still insufficient to cover the “social minimum” of a low middle-income family, in El Salvador.
    • UBI doesn´t help to reduce poverty in the long run. It may be a palliative for poverty, but it doesn´t fix the fundamental issues or economic disbalance of El Salvador either.
    • The fundamental issue that every country is experiencing at the moment is how to keep the income of many producers, that have been substituted by low-cost products sent from Asia, and which will also be substituted by the combo of NAIQI technologies over the next generation (Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum supremacy, and the Internet). Entire hand-made industries are at risk of disappearing, particularly in developing economies.  This imbalance is even felt by the strongest economies on earth. The UBI is not the solution to this subject.

  • About COVID19 Emergency Monthly Alimony. 
    • A COVID emergency monthly alimony is simply a relief. It is set up to provide for the most basic and urgent needs of the population who temporarily have not been able to work because of the lockdown. The purpose of relief aid is specifically designed for a definite and precise purpose, and it is under a short period of time.
    • A COVID emergency monthly alimony doesn´t fix unemployment. It simply provides for food, it covers shelter (partially), and the monthly bills (electricity, water, waste collection, maybe phone-internet).
    • A COVID19 emergency monthly alimony has been set up by each government, in relation to each country’s most pressured needs, but not to cover a “social minimum”: In El Salvador, this monthly relief stipend initiated as US300/month (US$10/day) which is non-sufficient. Not all the poor families received it either. Later it has been changed to an in-kind food basket essentials package.
    • A COVID19 stipend is temporary. It must not last more than for what is required. Why? Because governments don´t have money to pay for them.  If the COVID19 treatment or vaccine appears in December 2020, this alimony should stop as soon as the communities are vaccinated, and are able to stand by themselves again, either by getting a job or by setting their new businesses as entrepreneurs.

I hope this clarification can help you to understand the difference between UBI and COVID19 emergency aid.  See you tomorrow with the virtue “Courage under suffering”. Have a nice day. Thank you.

eagle fight dance

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s