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Stefano Sassi Addresses Qatar Isolation in Milan

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MILAN — The luxury industry can “coexist with geopolitical tensions.”
So believes Stefano Sassi, chief executive officer of Valentino SpA, who responded to a question about the political situation following the decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Libya to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. The Italian fashion group is controlled by Qatar’s Mayhoola for Investments and Sassi touched on the issue during a discussion about the brand at a meeting held by SMI Sistema Moda Italia — the Italian fashion and textile trade association — on Tuesday.
Sassi underscored how the industry has been dealing with geopolitical frictions for the past few years. In the past, he said, “the reaction was very strong.” Today, everything “is absorbed very quickly. (…) It’s not ideal, but as long as we’re dealing with small- or medium-sized events, I don’t believe they impact consumer spending.”
Sassi emphasized the company’s positive relations with Mayhoola, which has “total respect for the management and creative [team] of our company.” He noted that the Qatari fund has supported Valentino “financially, leaving us [the freedom] to do our job.” In addition to Valentino, Mayhoola owns Balmain, Pal Zileri, a 38 percent stake in Anya Hindmach, 11.3 percent of Tiffany

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