• 2024.02.16
  • 1984 in 2024
There’s no going against the flow of the times. Do you ever stop and think about how you’ve changed with them?

Take fashion, for example.

I have a strange relationship with popular fashion. My personality issues make me the type of person who can’t get on board with things; in fact, I can’t stand new trends. I’ll resist them at first, but then as I get used to seeing them, I’ll eventually end up deciding that they’re wonderful. By that point, the peak has faded, and I end up buying something that’s past its prime.

It’s at that point that I start wondering whether I’ve been brainwashed.

Speaking of fashion, we’ve had a few media-fueled incidents already this year in Milan.

One involved global influencer Chiara Ferragni being charged with fraud over some pandoro cakes. It was all over the TV news of course, getting people in such a stir that the online sites seemed to release updates not just daily, but hourly. Definitely a fall from glory.

Basically, Ferragni claimed that sales of her designer version of the traditional holiday treat would help fund a hospital in Turin—but that wasn’t the case. The story claimed that buyers of the high-priced, brand-name pandoro cakes were swindled.

Once the story broke, Ferragni quickly donated a large sum to a children’s hospital in Turin, but it was too late for social media, and few people seemed to forgive her. The investigation spread from the offending pandoro cakes to her other products and activities, turning up additional dirt on the influencer.

Ferragni was certainly shrewd in taking advantage of holidays to sell branded, high-priced designer versions of Christmas pandoro or giant egg-shaped chocolates for the coming Easter season in April, but under the current circumstances, she’s not going to be forgiven no matter what she says or does.

To top it all off, Turin artist Andrea Villa created a profound piece of street art based on George Orwell’s novel 1984 using Chiara Ferragni’s blue eye logo in place of the eye on the classic novel cover. England has its social satirist Banksy; Turin has Andrea Villa.

Chiara Ferragni’s beautiful blue eyes are one of her most captivating features, and they became her brand logo as well. The artist used the logo ironically to create a piece of story art that alludes to the surveillance state depicted in the novel.

Ferragni is a powerful influencer that became something of a national hero in Italy, but this latest incident has caused her manufacturers to flee, sending her into a freefall that seems to snowball regardless of her attempts to donate money or apologize.

Ferrangi enjoyed incredible success as an influencer, but her story is showing us that building up a powerful social media presence can also become one’s undoing.


  • Yuriko Mikami
  • JobMusician

A cellist based in Milan. Performs as a soloist also with some ensembles. Has a wide range of genres from classic to pop. Actually plays in a band on an Italian comedian's TV show.

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