alain elkann interviews


Alice Waters

The way to solve problems is through food. Alice Waters, at what stage of your life do you feel you are? I am in a very reflective place, because I know I have an incredible opportunity and I don’t want to push to make something happen. I want to go to the place where...

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Luciano Benetton

I lost my father when I was ten, and I was the oldest of four siblings. I had to quit school and start working at age fourteen. On 13 May you turn eighty, so it’s been sixty-six years since then. How do you feel about living such a long life and about this birthday?...

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Jeffrey Deitch

Jeffrey Deitch, you are a curator, an art critic, an art dealer, and you have been the Director of MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) and done many other things. How would you describe yourself? I am one of the very few people who have played every single...

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Alberto Vitale

Book publishing is far from finished! Alberto Vitale, you were the Chairman and CEO of Random House, Inc. for ten years, from 1989 to 1998. Do you think that since then many things have changed in book publishing? Sure, many things, and the biggest change has been a...

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Massimo Ferragamo

Massimo Ferragamo, how did you become the “American Ferragamo?” The best things in life happen by chance. Back when I was a humble student, I had a conversation with the chairman of Saks Fifth Avenue who was visiting Florence. He suggested I do the executive training...

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Alessandro Del Piero

On 8th November 1998, on the eve of his 24th birthday, Juventus football star Alessandro Del Piero broke his left knee playing in the Friuli Stadium, Udine. This particular injury divided his professional life into before and after phases. He travelled to Colorado for...

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Mariano Rubinacci

Mariano Rubinacci’s large shop and tailor's workshop is headquartered in the heart of Naples in the sixteenth century Palazzo Cellamare. "My son Luca marks the third generation. My father started in 1930 almost by chance. He was from a good upper-class Neapolitan...

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George Wachter

“We just sold a Turner for £30.3 million.” George Wachter is Chairman of Sotheby’s North and South America and Co-Chairman of Old Master Paintings Worldwide, with over forty years of experience in his field. He joined Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings department in 1973...

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Mathias Döpfner

What does the future hold as Europe embraces digitization? Alain talks with Mathias Döpfner, the Chief Executive Officer of the German Media Group Axel Springer SE, a leading European publishing house, about the opportunities and challenges of digital transformation,...

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Carlo Orsi

Carlo Orsi is President of The Association of Italian Antique Dealers (AAI). Carlo, you come from a famous family of Milan antique dealers. What has changed in your profession over the years? The world has changed and the way we perceive our profession of antique...

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Paolo Bulgari

Paolo Bulgari is very tall with white hair: he is a man of few words but has a considerable sense of humour. He works in his office on the first floor in via Condotti above the legendary jeweller’s shop. The offices were renovated a year ago and the walls are covered...

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Jacob Rothschild

"We are united as Rothschilds but this does not prevent competition between us." "Growth? In Europe it will be slow and difficult." Jacob Rothschild, how do you manage to deal with so many different philanthropic organisations, with your own collection, with your art...

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Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani is in good spirits, wearing long dark blue Bermuda shorts and a dark brown T-shirt. He is tanned and resting at his home on the island of Pantelleria, an oasis of true luxury, very quiet and with a light breeze. It's seven o'clock in the evening and, in...

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Oscar de la Renta

I am very sad about Oscar's death. The fashion world won't be the same without his smile, his positive and warm energy, his loyalty to his friends. What a splendid example for all of us of someone who loved and worked at his craft from his very early days to the very...

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George Weidenfeld

Intolerance is more dangerous than Nazism or Fascism or Communism. We are having lunch in the bow-windowed living room in Lord Weidenfeld's beautiful apartment on Chelsea Embankment, overlooking the Thames. There are books everywhere, a piano, and Old Master paintings...

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Peter Brant

Peter Brant, entrepreneur and collector: “Andy Warhol taught me to have fun.” The interview took place at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice during the Biennale 2011. Peter Brant is one of the most famous collectors of contemporary art. Peter, when did you become interested...

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Gianni Versace

So many years have passed since I went to interview Gianni Versace in June 1993, but I still remember him very well. He was a clever man, a talented man. He was not pretentious and really friendly. I saw him again a couple of years later on a boat in Turkey. He was...

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Miuccia Prada

The idea to re-publish some very special interviews with some very special people many years later, as we have done previously with Luciano Pavarotti, Eric Hobsbawm, Sophia Loren and Diane von Fürstenberg,  is because in an interview you get to know the personality...

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Vito Racanelli

I interview the US Editor at “The Barron’s”, The Trader columnist whose job is to provoke debate. I meet Vito Racanelli at Bar Pitti, a very trendy downtown Italian restaurant that looks like an Italian trattoria and where the meatballs and the spinach are as...

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Mario Gabelli

On a terribly cold winter day I meet Mario Gabelli, Chairman of GAMCO Investors, at the Columbus Club in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Gabelli is just back from Texas where he went to visit several companies and meet clients.   He is wearing a navy blue suit and a...

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Diane von Fürstenberg

An extremely long, black, rented limousine came to pick me up at home to take me to Connecticut, where I’m going to interview Diane von Fürstenberg. In the car is Tatiana, the designer’s twenty-year-old daughter, with two friends. Alain contributes his 1992 interview...

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Fabrizio Moretti

“The new rich avoid the past, because the past isn't fashionable and is more difficult to understand.” Fabrizio, what made you decide to open an art gallery in London? It wasn't my decision, it was fate. London is the capital of the art-market world, vying for the...

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François Pinault

François Pinault, a humble country boy who now bestrides the world of luxury goods like a colossus. The first time I met François Pinault was a brief intersection on the terrace of the Hotel Monaco in Venice, where he was having lunch with Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the...

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Money Must Stay in the Family

The plot of Money Must Stay in the Family, unfolds around the family matriarch’s last will and traces the story of an upper class Jewish family from Turin, the fictional Ottolenghis. The multigenerational saga begins with the flight from Mussolini’s Racial Laws of 1938 and continues with the arrival in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and the dispersion from New York to Rome, Paris, Tuscany, South America, and Jerusalem.


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