Rebuilding Notre Dame

Like the rest of the world, I “watched” my news feed in horror …

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One of my very first memories of my very first trip to Europe as a college student is walking down the River Seine in Paris and seeing Notre Dame. I had heard about the flying buttresses, but I had never witnessed them with my own eyes. And we had no internet back then to look up stuff ahead of time. I was amazed.

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Flying buttresses were constructed back in the day to keep the cathedral intact, and they helped keep it that way for centuries. Since that first time when I was 19 years old, I’ve been back many times to marvel at them. They never get old.

Fortunately, they are still in tact. And despite a devastatingly shocking fire yesterday at Notre Dame, the world has vowed to rebuild the parts that were destroyed.

The world. Not just the French, and not just Catholics. The world. Because Notre Dame is a world jewel, as many have already said.

Right before I went to bed last night, I said to my husband that this would be an amazing opportunity for brands to jump in and help. It’s going to be a monumental task, and it’s going to take the world to repair it all. We all know that brands now have the ability to join the world and address issues. To bring us together to fix things. Notre Dame is an issue that needs to be addressed for the world. Brands can and should help.

I woke with great pleasure to see two brands already step up to the plate, and I know that many more will follow suit.

Kering, the company that owns Gucci and Saint Laurent is chipping in 100 million Euros. LVMH, one of my clients, is right up there too with their own donation too. This reminds me of when Ralph Lauren put up the money to save The Star Spangled Banner. I know that more brands will be rolling in. I’ll be supporting the brands that rebuild Notre Dame.

And once Notre Dame is rebuilt, it will become an ever bigger symbol than it once was. Not just of religion or France or architectural marvel, but of perseverance and determination. And overcoming hardship.

For the entire world. What’s your experience? JIM

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