WHO REALLy is…
CEO of the Italian PR and Media Agency EFFE-BI
The BLUEZONE community doesn’t only involve the world’s leading denim mills and manufacturers, it also includes the people who’s DNA has included denim since the very beginning. One of them is Barbara Gnutti, born in a denim family and working in the Blue business since 1992 – which makes it nearly 30 years! We are happy to interview the Italian living in the lovely town of Vicenza who founded the PR and Media Agency EFFE-BI in 2018. So, we can’t wait to find out more about the power woman who has been married for 15 years with two kids, aged 11 and 13 and the jack russel called Camilla, on top of being CEO of her own agency.
A lot of people know you for being part of the famous Italian ITV mill family business. In 2018, you founded your own PR agency. But what exactly does a PR Manager do?
Barbara: In the last few years of working at ITV, in addition to being responsible for the company’s export sales, I also dealt with marketing and communication – and I realised that it was the thing that I loved most from my working days. When I founded my agency in 2018, my decision to continue in that field was undoubtable. So now, my job consists of managing media relations for my clients, creating press releases, in storytelling and networking, collaborating in corporate communication projects, organising and managing corporate events and supporting trade fairs – which I hope will soon be able again because building personal relationships is what I miss most right now.
What does the name of your agency “EFFE-BI” stand for?
Barbara: EFFE-BI are my own and my best friends’ initials.
What is the secret that makes your work so unique?
Barbara: Certainly, the fact that I have built relationships with the major players in our industry over the last 30 years has helped me a lot. Also, the fact that I speak the same language as my clients helps me a lot in making their work easier too.
What kind of companies are working with you?
Barbara: I collaborate with leading companies in the denim world, all focused on ethical and sustainable projects. My clients are: Rudolf Group and Rudolf Hub 1922, a chemical company offering better chemistry; Tonello, a company specialized in producing machines for garment finishing and washes; Cadica Group, a manufacturer of fashion accessories; PG Denim, an Italian premium denim producer and Berto EG Industria Tessile, an Italian sustainable denim artisan producer.
You are 100% Italian – where did you learn to speak such a good English?
Barbara: I was lucky. My parents allowed me to study in the UK and in the US during the summer time starting from the early age of 13. In addition, a one-year work experience in NY allowed me to improve the technical aspect of our sector.
You are actively representing the Women in Denim crew, can you tell us more about the event you’ve organized in Milan in September?
Barbara: When Lucie asked me how we could give a voice to THE WOMEN IN DENIM movement in Italy, I was very happy because it’s a project which I believe a lot in. I think that it can really help women all over the world to create synergies on both a personal and working level. Many small voices together can become a powerful scream. Selecting the speakers was easy because in Italy, we have great examples of strong and motivated women. Power women like Alice Tonello, Lucia Rosin, Avv. Daniela Della Rosa, Martina Caselli, Dalia Benefatto and Daria Martelli immediately agreed to tell their personal and working story. We were also very lucky because Sportswear International believed in the project so much that they acted as moderator thanks to their amazing Maria Cristina Pavarini. Many other great industry related magazines and pages also supported us by talking about the project and spreading it on a global scale.
What kind of feedback did you receive from your clients during the pandemic?
Barbara: The general situation is not easy for anyone, but all my customers, without exception, see this period as an opportunity to study and launch innovations aimed at ensuring a better future.
How do you imagine the future of trade shows?
Barbara: There will not be a future equal to what we were used to in the past, but I hope there will be the possibility in the near future to meet in person – because, as I said before, I miss my personal relationships with the denim community and to have face to face discussions and meetings.
What is your very personal passion?
Barbara: Cooking and reading a book.
Your whole family has been involved in denim for many decades and you know almost all the denim lovers of this world. Did you think about pushing the limits and working in other areas?
Barbara: I’m already approaching the furniture industry since this is an amazing world as well… but thanks to my curiosity, I don’t limit my future business. All industries and new worlds can only increase my knowledge.
Contact Barbara Gnutti on www.effe-bi.it and on instagram @effebisrl