If you say A, you also have to say B – and at some point C. For a woman who goes by the name Carolina Castiglioni, that would be the right letter.

Carolina Castiglioni says Plan C. Your C wouldn't exist without B, and B would probably have been impossible without A. Because: "A was Ciwifurs," says Carolina Castiglioni, referring to her grandparents' company.

A fur company, founded in the 1950's.

The Castiglionis soon supplied numerous luxury brands with their goods.

"B was then Marni," the fashion brand her parents built in the 1990s, whose eccentric, woman-friendly style was decades ahead of more recent feminism in fashion.

C is the third company of a large Italian fashion family.

Now the former granddaughter and daughter is the chief designer.

Jennifer Wiebking

Editor in the "Life" department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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On this January morning she also appears alone in the zoom window, behind a desk, the wall is painted forest green.

The father and brother run the business alongside the forty-year-old.

The example of the Castiglionis shows how family history can be continued.

It's a typical Italian story.

Even fashion in this country depends on the family, of all things such an identity-establishing trade that elsewhere for many young people initially means distancing themselves from their own origins.

Designer biographies are often predetermined by families

Because the successful designer biography has often been told like this for decades: A young person is bored with his life in the provinces.

In fashion magazines he is shown another world and falls for it, to the dismay of his parents.

After school he moves to a big city, where instead of studying law or mechanical engineering, he enrolls at a fashion school.

He is successful, eventually becomes chief designer and famous.

In this country, where there is a particular soft spot for consistency, designer biographies are often predetermined by families.

This is deplorable, because many young people without the crucial background remain barred from this path.

And at the same time it's nice when the children continue what their parents or even grandparents started.

Cashmere entrepreneur Brunello Cucinelli, for example, is increasingly handing over responsibility to his daughters Camilla and Carolina.

At Kiton, the twin sons Walter and Mariano De Matteis are working on a future for the brand far away from fine ties.

At Etro, father Gimmo passed the baton to the next generation at the turn of the millennium.

Plan C – A, B and C

Sure, that doesn't work everywhere. There are at least as many counter-examples of Italian families whose offspring have absolutely no interest in corporate responsibility.

For sentimental reasons alone, nothing stays in the hands of the family here either.

At Missoni, for example, where after the founding father Ottavio and his daughter Angela, it is not their daughter Margherita who takes over creatively, but instead a chief designer for the brand, which is in other hands, is being sought.

Or at Versace, where after the death of brother Gianni in 1997, sister Donatella took over.

She sold the brand, still chief designer, to Michael Kors four years ago.

Her daughter Allegra shows no interest in the designer job.

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