Skip to main content

tv   60 Minutes  CBS  December 5, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

7:00 pm
captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> her name-- her real name-- is reality winner. she's an air force veteran, accused of espionage, who spent four years behind bars for leaking classified information to the media. did she do "exceptionally grave damage," as the prosecutors said, or did she reveal a truth that defended america? >> i'm not a traitor. >> the young woman, with the unforgettable name, in her first television interview, tonight. ( ticking ) >> is china's economy, the only one to rival america's, undergoing another "revolution?"
7:01 pm
>> china grew really lawlessly, chaotically, in the last 40 years, and that's all about to change. >> that's because their president believes capitalism has gone too far. >> president xi is with the people. he is with the peasants, the middle class. and unlike his predecessors, he doesn't really care so much about what happens to elites. ( ticking ) >> it's about things that shine. and it's about the things, you know, that scream. >> some of the clothes really scream, right? ( laughs ) >> sometimes. >> the voice of gucci's creative director is a little out of tune, by design. some of his looks seem ripped from the back of grandmother's couch, others from a reno cabaret. we went inside the opulent house of gucci to ask why. ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm sharyn alfonsi. >> i'm jon wertheim.
7:02 pm
>> i'm scott pelley. those stories and more, tonight, on "60 minutes." ( ticking ) and grows into a new career as an astrophysicist. it starts with an engineer's desire to start over. and grows into an award-winning restaurant that creates local jobs. they learned how on youtube. what will you learn? your plain aspirin could be hurting your stomach. vazalore... is the first liquid-filled aspirin capsule clinically shown to cause fewer ulcers than plain aspirin. try new vazalore. aspirin made amazing! music: ♪ “i got you babe” by etta james ♪
7:03 pm
so last minute guests are the only thing you'll be waiting on ♪ ♪ joy. fully. learning about our history with ancestrydna®, inspired us to learn more about our culture and where we come from. ...here? ohhh my god. it told us, almost to the t, where we come from, where our mixture is. ♪ i'm very proud to be indigenous to zacatecas. that's our history, our little legacy. discovering things that were a mystery, that's what ancestry® did for our family. ♪ hi sabrina! hi jen! hi. so you're the scientist here. i just have to ask. does my aveeno® daily moisturizer really make my dry skin healthier in one day? it's true jen. really?! this nourishing prebiotic oat formula moisturizes to help prevent dry skin. one day? for real! wow! aveeno® healthy. it's our nature.™
7:04 pm
i gotta say i'm still impressed. very impressed. new daily moisture for face. everything you love for your body now for your face. the airport can be a real challenge for new homeowners who have become their parents... okay, everybody, let's do a ticket check. paper tickets. we're off to a horrible start. ...but we can overcome it. we're not gonna point out our houses, landmarks, or major highways during takeoff. don't buy anything. i packed so many delicious snacks. -they're -- -nope. would you al when group two is gonna get boarded?
7:05 pm
2 hours and 58 minutes. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us. someone should've left home earlier. >> scott pelley: a story about someone named "reality winner" has to start with the name. her father, playing on the family name, explained he wanted "a real winner." and so, "reality." maybe that still doesn't make sense, but it is the least baffling fact in this story. reality winner became an infamous name in 2017 when she
7:06 pm
was accused of espionage. she was hit with the longest sentence ever imposed on a civilian, for leaking classified information to the media. now released, she spoke with us. did reality winner do "exceptionally grave damage," as the prosecutors said? or, did she reveal a truth that defended america? it's complicated. like the young woman with the unforgettable name. >> reality winner: i am not a traitor. i am not a spy. i am somebody who only acted out of love for what this country stands for. >> pelley: we met 30-year-old reality winner at home in texas, after four years behind bars. "espionage" seemed surprising for a woman who joined the air force at 19 and won the air force commendation medal in 2016
7:07 pm
for "600 enemies killed in action." she did that as a linguist in a combat unit fighting secret missions. how many languages do you speak? >> winner: farsi, dari, and pashto. >> pelley: these are the languages of afghanistan and iran. >> winner: yes. >> pelley: but her duty station was 7,000 miles away from those countries, at fort meade, maryland. why are you at fort meade? >> winner: i'm not-- am i allowed to say that? >> alison grinter: nope. >> winner: nope. >> pelley: that's the voice of her lawyer, who helped her steer clear of secrets in our interview. winner wouldn't say it, but at fort meade, linguists eavesdropped on communications in afghanistan to identify targets for armed drones. >> winner: it is not something i am allowed to discuss. >> pelley: she didn't discuss her mission with her mother, billie winner-davis. >> billie winner-davis: only one
7:08 pm
conversation that i had with her, did she ever let on how heavy her work was. i'll never forget, because she said, "you know, when you're watching somebody on your screen and that person goes 'poof,' you've got to make sure that you've got everything right." >> winner: i was starting to see in the news that our mission had a very high civilian casualty rating. >> pelley: she began to feel guilt, while battling illness: depression, and the eating disorder, bulimia. she left the air force for a top secret civilian job at the national security agency at fort gordon in augusta, georgia. but here, in 2017, she says, what she was hearing in english worried her far more than intercepts in farsi and pashto. >> trump: if you don't catch a hacker, okay, in the act-- it's very hard to say who did the hacking.
7:09 pm
>> pelley: the president was raising doubt that russia attacked the 2016 election. his interview with john dickerson was typical of the time. >> trump: i'll go along with russia. could have been china; could've been a lot of different groups. >> pelley: but it was russia, and the n.s.a. knew it. reality winner had seen proof, in a top secret report on an in-house newsfeed. >> winner: i just kept thinking, "my god, somebody needs to step forward and put this right." "somebody." >> pelley: the secret report said, in 2016, the russian military "executed cyber espionage" against "122 local government organizations, targeting officials involved in the management of voter registration systems." it was top secret, in part, because it revealed what the u.s. knew about russian tactics. winner told us she was exposing a white house cover-up. she printed the report, dropped
7:10 pm
it in this mailbox, addressed anonymously to an online news source that specialized in government wrongdoing. the n.s.a. report was published a month later. you knew it was stamped "top secret." you knew what that meant. >> winner: i knew that. i knew it was secret. but i also knew that i had pledged service to the american people, and at that point in time, it felt like they were being led astray. >> pelley: winner was caught as soon as the top secret report surfaced. the n.s.a. could see on its network that she printed it. she drove home to a new reality. >> winner: a plain black sedan came up behind my car, and two men in polo shirts came out and introduced themselves as f.b.i. agents. >> pelley: a transcript shows the f.b.i. agents told her the interrogation was "voluntary." and they didn't mention her right to an attorney. winner lied about mailing the
7:11 pm
report, then confessed, and was arrested. the government hit her with the most serious possible charge: espionage. bail was denied after prosecutors told a judge that winner wrote in her diary that she was mad enough to "burn the white house." they suggested she might defect to the taliban. to the public, they said this. >> bobby l. christine: winner's willful, purposeful disclosure caused exceptionally grave damage to u.s. national security. >> pelley: but what prosecutors called "grave damage" was a bombshell of truth to the federal election assistance commission, which helps secure the vote. in hours, the commission issued an alert on the "n.s.a. document leak." it spelled out the top secret email addresses "utilized by the attackers," and urged officials to "check email logs." blindsided by winner's
7:12 pm
revelation, the commission called for "full disclosure of election security intelligence." two former officials told us, reality winner helped secure the 2018 midterm election. one of the things that you learned about the espionage charge is that, in court, you're not allowed to talk about what you leaked or why you leaked it. what would you have told the judge? >> winner: that i thought this was the truth. but also, did not betray our sources and methods. did not cause damage. did not put lives on the line. it only filled in a question mark that was tearing our country in half in may 2017. and that i meant no harm. >> pelley: but there was harm, for her. as her case dragged on 16 months, she says depression was consuming her.
7:13 pm
her mother moved from texas to augusta to be with her daughter. >> winner: there would just be times when it almost wasn't worth it to see the end of this. and so-- >> pelley: you had thoughts of taking your own life? >> winner: yes. i started to plan my suicide. and i would do practice runs. the only thing that was stopping me was my mom, because she was still in augusta. my dad had gone back to texas to go to work, and i just refused to let her hear that news by herself. so, i would get on the phone and just try to talk around it and, "hey, there's no need to stick around. visitation's not worth it. go back to texas-- just go.
7:14 pm
just go." >> pelley: her mother, billie, heard that, while sitting in on our interview with her daughter. >> pelley: reality told us that she was planning to kill herself. >> winner-davis: i heard that. yeah. >> pelley: did you know she was in that much trouble? >> winner-davis: i mean, there were some very dark days. but then they would be followed by a better day. i just knew, when i was there in georgia, i couldn't leave. i couldn't leave her. >> pelley: in 2018, at the age of 26, winner pleaded guilty. the judge said he would make an example of her. she served four years behind bars, plus three, now, answering to a probation officer. she still can't talk about the case.
7:15 pm
>> winner: i've had four years of just trying to say i'm not a terrorist. i can't even begin to talk about my actual espionage indictment. or have a sense of accomplishment in having survived prison. because i'm still stained by them accusing me of being the same groups that i enlisted in the air force to fight against. so, i don't let myself feel anything regarding the actual act or the charge. until i can let it be known that i'm not what they said i was. >> pelley: she served her sentence during prison lockdowns for covid, and the unrest after the police murder of george floyd. in a cell with two companions-- depression and bulimia-- she became self-destructive. >> winner: you know, every time
7:16 pm
that i had to give in to my illness, i put it on my body. i cut myself. everywhere. i couldn't leave my cell. i couldn't work out. and all i could do was ask why, and ask why. and a chaplain walked by, and i asked him why they were doing this to us, and that same chaplain, that i had seen for two years, looked me in my face and said, "nobody gives a ( bleep ) about y'all in here." i started getting high that day. everyone knows there's drugs in prison. i was reduced to bingeing and purging, getting high every day, and cutting myself. >> pelley: have you been able to get clean? >> winner: i have. i just am ashamed to say how hard it is. >> pelley: it's worth noting how inconsistent the government is in these cases.
7:17 pm
in 2008, gregg bergersen, a pentagon employee, was convicted of selling secrets to the chinese. that's him, in f.b.i. surveillance, getting his pocket stuffed with cash. his sentence was six months shorter than reality winner's. in 2012, former army general and c.i.a. director david petraeus gave notebooks of top secret information to an author, who was his mistress. he was charged with misdemeanor mishandling of classified information, and never spent a minute in jail. was it worth it? >> winner: i try so hard not to frame things as being "worth it" or "not worth it." what i know is that i'm home with my parents, and we take our lives every day moving forward
7:18 pm
as being richer in knowing what to be grateful for. >> pelley: grateful, for the moment, of her prison release. we said this story is complicated. on the one hand, individuals can't be deciding what to declassify. on the other, some things are classified to conceal wrongdoing-- torture, in the war on terror, for example. in a home in texas, one mother has simplified the story her way, with a portrait of a veteran, and a display of a commendation for meritorious service to her country. >> winner-davis: what reality did was not espionage. what reality did was patriotism. she actually stood up and worked for the american people, to give us the truth about an attack on our vote, an attack on our democracy, an attack on our country.
7:19 pm
and i'm very proud of her for that. ( ticking ) >> how recent leaks of government documents have stirred debate over the espionage act. at 60minutesovertime.com.
7:20 pm
tell your doctor if your crohn's disease symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reactions may occur. learn more at cosentyx.com. ♪ ♪ ♪ (sha bop sha bop) ♪ ♪ are the stars out tonight? (sha bop sha bop) ♪ ♪ ♪
7:21 pm
alexa, play our favorite song again. ok. ♪ i only have eyes for you ♪ some people have joint pain, plus have high blood pressure. they may not be able to take just anything for pain. that's why doctors recommend tylenol®. it won't raise blood pressure the way that advil® aleve® or motrin® sometimes can. for trusted relief, trust tylenol®.
7:22 pm
>> lesley stahl: there's a lot to worry about with china these days: its military buildup, human rights abuses, intellectual espionage, squelching of hong kong, and threats to taiwan. but tonight, we focus on china's undoing of key free market policies of the last 40 years, that created the only global economy to rival our own. in a series of crackdowns against capitalism, strict controls have been put on
7:23 pm
booming sectors, huge private companies, and wealthy individuals. policies all springing from the mind of one man. president xi jinping is positioning himself as big or bigger than mao, and western analysts view his squeeze of the private sector as a power grab. are you surprised by the speed and the ferocity of these crackdowns? >> matt pottinger: yeah. it's only the beginning, is the- - is the amazing thing. >> stahl: matt pottinger was president trump's national security a ♪ ♪ ♪ ( applause ) now writes about china at the hoover institution. to him, the recent crackdowns smack of maoist repression. xi's defenders say that he's not killing capitalism, he's just modifying, getting rid of the excesses. >> pottinger: i've always believed that the best interpreter of xi jinping is xi jinping himself. >> stahl: and what's he saying,
7:24 pm
in terms of capitalism? >> pottinger: what he said, in one of his most important speeches, he said, "we will see to it in this long struggle that capitalism dies out in the world," and that his vision of socialism prevails. >> keyu jin: china grew really lawlessly, chaotically, in the last 40 years. and that's all about to change. >> stahl: economist keyu jin splits her time between the u.k., where she teaches at the london school of economics, and beijing, where her father is president of one of china's largest state-owned banks. is xi jinping killing off capitalism in china? >> jin: president xi envisions what he calls a "modern, socialist economy" for china, a much more restricted capitalism. president xi is with the people. he is with the peasants, the middle class. and unlike his predecessors, he doesn't really care so much about what happens to elites. >> stahl: his attitude towards
7:25 pm
elites became clear about a year ago when he humbled jack ma, china's most famous billionaire. founder of alibaba, the country's biggest e-commerce company, jack ma had long tested beijing's patience with his global hobnobbing. the boiling point came in october 2020, when ma gave a speech criticizing the government's rules and rule- makers as outdated and stifling innovation. >> jin: i was sitting in the third row. >> stahl: did he take your breath away? >> jin: no, i wasn't that surprised, because he tends to be very vocal. >> stahl: he tended to be very vocal. >> jin: he tended to-- thank you for the correction. he tended to be very vocal. >> stahl: after the speech, alibaba had to pay a hefty fine of nearly $3 billion for monopolistic behavior. worst yet? ma was forced by the government
7:26 pm
to call off the $37 billion i.p.o. of ant, another one of his companies. and then? he seemed to vanish. he resurfaced three months later, in this video, quiet and subdued. but the message was loud and clear-- china had had enough with its independent tech sector. arguing it deepened the country's wealth gap, authorities fined major social media and e-commerce companies for squashing competitors; delivery apps were chastised for underpaying couriers. one by one, their c.e.o.s started stepping down and/or donating billions to government social projects. >> jin: they are just doing more philanthropy "voluntarily." >> stahl: i like that you did that. >> jin: yes, no, no, no, it's true. "voluntarily" doing more philanthropy. treating their workers better. >> stahl: to the west, it looks like xi is killing off the golden goose, sabotaging what
7:27 pm
has made china the economic power that it is. >> jin: that is a complete misinterpretation of what is going on. china's tackling the most intractable problems of western capitalism, ahead of the west. the concept of reducing income inequality has to be done all over the world, except that china's just much faster at implementing some of these policies. >> stahl: but isn't it communist? >> jin: no. because it is really just to give more opportunities to the middle class, and not have the top 1% take away all the opportunities. these companies have a big control over-- over the people. >> stahl: and now the government will have that. >> jin: the government wants to take that back. absolutely. >> pottinger: the purpose is to instill fear and to instill loyalty among those who are lucky enough not to get purged under-- under the current campaign. >> stahl: matt pottinger says the purge is not about creating a fairer society, but over
7:28 pm
who'll know more about china's citizens-- the companies, or the communist party. he points to a law that took effect last month, giving officials deeper control over private personal information. >> pottinger: the party has taken a machete and sort of whacked its way toward the headquarters and c-suites of all of these big tech firms, and said, "your data is now our data." >> stahl: do you think that the purpose-- the purpose in a lot of these crackdowns, is for the government to get their hands on the data? >> pottinger: the chinese government has said that data is like the new oil of this century, and that-- that where the data flows, power will flow. >> stahl: the new privacy law, it's a big deal. what are the major concerns, especially for us in the west? >> pottinger: if you are an american company operating in china, you are required to hand over your encryption keys to the chinese government. what these new rules say is that
7:29 pm
they, by law, now also have control of your data. >> stahl: one reason for this, the government says, is to keep china's data from reaching foreign hands through the private sector. one company they targeted was didi, china's version of uber. its app and fleet collected data on its passengers, and on china's infrastructure. didi's problem started in june, when it had gone public with an i.p.o. on the new york stock exchange, but-- >> pottinger: only several days after that i.p.o. occurred, beijing suspended the app, basically made it impossible for people to download the app. and they sent the ministry of state security, which is china's k.g.b., into the offices of didi to start assessing and taking control of didi's data. >> stahl: it's not just data. the government is also clamping down on daily life and culture. this summer, authorities went after video gaming companies, and enacted surprising
7:30 pm
restrictions. there's a new law where kids can only play video games three hours a week. >> jin: yes. >> stahl: and that was just by edict, period. and only on the weekends? >> jin: that's correct. and i have heard many of my friends internationally saying they wish that they could have that, too. >> stahl: oh, yeah! but it would never work in the united states-- parents don't want the government to tell us what to do. >> jin: it is anathema to many, the kind of paternalism that is exerted on society. but really, if you ask the chinese people, the majority, they are very happy with how quickly it's been done. >> stahl: nowhere was this more obvious than when they demolished the giant, private after-school tutoring industry prepping kids for exams. professor jin says it was an example of free market capitalism run amok, draining the resources of parents.
7:31 pm
so, one weekend in july, just like that, the government essentially outlawed this entire $120 billion for-profit sector. >> jin: if they're determined to do one thing, they just do it. they don't care about the capital markets, implication of the financial sector. they don't care about the employment implications. >> stahl: in other cases, the government is taming capitalistic excesses more slowly-- like the bloated real estate sector. we visited china's ghost cities eight years ago, with their miles of empty skyscrapers with no residents, malls with no shoppers. today, the government is gradually dismantling evergrande, china's second- largest real estate company, which overbuilt and took on more debt than any property developer on earth. but all these actions against private industry are contributing to a slowdown in the chinese economy, and caused global investors to lose more than a trillion dollars this
7:32 pm
past summer. >> weijian shan: china has developed itself by embracing a market economy. in essence, capitalism. if they revert back to the centrally planned system, 40 years ago, it was already proven to be failed system. >> stahl: weijian shan should know. he's the c.e.o. of p.a.g., a $45 billion private equity firm based in hong kong, where china has recently stifled democratic protest. shan grew up during the decade of mao's cultural revolution that decimated the economy, killing and uprooting millions. >> shan: i was sent to the countryside. mao wanted us to learn from the poor, from the peasants. so, i and many of my peers were sent to the gobi desert. we worked extremely hard. one time, we worked nonstop for 31 hours. >> stahl: but by his 20s, china
7:33 pm
under deng xiaoping had adopted the free market, and shan went to study in the u.s. he even taught at wharton, and today he's investing for american pension funds and university endowments. i was about to ask why any american would invest right now in china. it's so unpredictable. >> shan: well, investment is a risky business. china, as a market, is not for faint-hearted. >> stahl: you don't know what the leadership's going to do tomorrow. we're being told by economists that this is a move back to mao zedong's state-controlled economy. >> shan: i think that'll be too far to suggest, but i must say that the way that they have done it very often is very clumsy. >> stahl: there's no question that the tension between china and the united states is rising. we're certainly competitors now
7:34 pm
in a heightened way. shouldn't that give people pause about pouring money in? >> shan: well, think about it. china is the holder of treasury bills to a tune of $1 trillion u.s. dollars. there's more chinese money in the united states than american money in china. so, if you're worried about the competition between the two countries, who should be more worried? >> stahl: he argues that china's economy is still a good bet because their market is so big, with 1.4 billion consumers. and there's some merit, he says, in xi's state intervention, if compared to the united states. >> shan: i'm a free market believer. but now, china has better roads, better highways, better airports, better ports, better bridges than the united states, a country which dazzled me when i first arrived in 1980s with
7:35 pm
its infrastructure. but now, china has a better infrastructure. so, there is a role for the government to play. >> stahl: if xi is engaged in a campaign to show the rest of the world that their system gets things done, and all you get in the west is chaos-- is he winning his campaign? >> pottinger: his campaign is based primarily on propaganda. right? people know that democracy has outperformed autocracy for the last three centuries. so, we've got to not, you know, lose faith in ourselves. so, we've got to not, you know, lose faith in ourselves. ( ticking ) with tremfya®, adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...can uncover clearer skin and improve symptoms at 16 weeks. serious allergic reactions may occur. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections
7:36 pm
and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms or if you had a vaccine or plan to. emerge tremfyant® with tremfya®... ask you doctor about tremfya® today. ♪
7:37 pm
every moment together is a gift. la vie est belle. lancôme. at macy's, the fragrance destination.
7:38 pm
7:39 pm
( ticking )
7:40 pm
>> sharyn alfonsi: you don't need to speak much italian to know the word "gucci." for 100 years, the brand, with its double g. logo, has been synonymous with opulence, understated luxury, and over-the-top prices. tonight, we're going to introduce you to alessandro michele, gucci's creative director. in the seven years since he took the job, he's blown the doors off the legendary fashion house. michele swapped out gucci's signature sophistication for something he calls "beautiful strangeness," and tripled sales in the process. for one night last month, gucci cleared hollywood's walk of fame of tourists and transients, and replaced them with a spectacle that suits what gucci has become: a product of alessandro michele's imagination, in which too much is never enough. >> alessandro michele: it's about things that shine.
7:41 pm
and it's about the things, you know, that scream. >> alfonsi: some of the clothes really scream, right? ( laughs ) >> michele: sometimes. >> alfonsi: i don't feel like you could be a shy person and pull some of those looks off. >> michele: i think that fashion is to let to the people hear your voice in a way you know. >> alfonsi: michele's voice is a little out of tune, by design. some of his looks seem ripped from the back of grandmother's couch-- others, from the dressing room of a reno cabaret. is it androgyny chic or crusader couture? it's impossible to define. in the weeks leading up to the hollywood show, we watched michele fussing over the finishing touches-- adding the perfect bag, coat, or this, some kind of ski mask for a cyclops. when we were watching you with the models, you would say, "bella," if you liked something. ( laughs ) and then, if you were really happy you said, "stupendo." ( laughs ) what's the difference?
7:42 pm
how do you go from "bella" to "stupendo"? >> michele: bello is-- that it's working. stupendo, it means that it's mesmerize you. it's-- it's something that look fabulous, you know? >> alfonsi: do you feel it? >> michele: you feel it. we feel it both, you know? not just me-- the model, and the people. it's-- it's mysterious. but when you got the look, you got it. >> alfonsi: and if you don't have it? >> michele: you must change in a very quick way. >> alfonsi: but alessandro michele's inspiration comes slowly, usually on a daily stroll through his neighborhood in rome. italians call it the passeggiata, and it's as much about seeing as being seen. >> michele: it's always like this, that i walk in the same place for, you know, a million times. and every time, i find something that i didn't notice before. >> alfonsi: we went with michele to his favorite place for archture.heleerng is so navona,e
7:43 pm
cinematic. look at this. it's like there is hugging you. you know? look at the shape of the church. it's, like, spectacular. >> alfonsi: he has an encyclopedic knowledge of rome's history and architecture, and never tires of its scenery, whether it's the fountains sculpted by bernini, or fanny packs and flip flops worn by passers-by. so, when you see a tourist walking around with something awful on, you're like, "yes." >> michele: i always take a picture. >> alfonsi: you do? ( laughs ) >> michele: i have a lot of picture of crazy people in the street, you know, that i go crazy. i mean, it's really interesting, you know? it's-- ( laughs ) >> alfonsi: michele walks to work, from his apartment in rome to this 600-year-old palazzo. it's believed to have been designed by the renaissance master raphael. the marble hallways lined with rows of gucci garments and
7:44 pm
accessories is a playground for the 49-year-old. some of the people we spoke to here say that you're involved in every detail. >> michele: yeah, yeah, a lot. that's a disease, i think. >> alfonsi: he's also a compulsive collector. we spoke in his office, which is filled with ancient art and modern kitsch, and he has four storage units jammed with more stuff. what's the italian word for hoarder, or pack rat? >> michele: ah... cumulatore! >> alfonsi: cumulatore sounds better than pack rat. >> michele: means that you put, you know, things in your-- yeah, it's-- i think that is the disease of collectors. >> alfonsi: he keeps a mental inventory of everything in the studio, from his taxidermied treasures to bowls of buttons. alessandro michele studied costume design, and thought he might work in hollywood before he landed at the luxury fashion house, fendi, and later gucci. today, his looks start with
7:45 pm
sketches. then, the outfits are sewn. but the gucci magic happens when it gets in front of michele. to us, he seemed as much a puzzle master as a designer. >> michele: i love to be open to the things that make me feel like, "oh, my gosh. what is this?" and i start to play with these kind of things. i like the ugly things. >> alfonsi: that's right, the fashion designer said he likes ugly things. >> michele: more strange. >> alfonsi: "more strange," we heard him say, as he narrowed his 200 looks to the 115 that made it into the hollywood show. >> michele: we are selling the dream of freedom. it's like a voice that is saying "if you are like this, you are good. nothing wrong." >> alfonsi: michele's idea of beauty and style is nothing like the gucci that defined luxury for decades. guccio gucci started the company in the 1920s, making high-end luggage. 40 years later, gucci was being
7:46 pm
worn by princess grace of monaco and jacqueline kennedy onassis. slick and sexy gucci ruled the '90s. but, in the years that followed, the gucci family had sold all its interests, and the brand lost its mojo and market share. that's when gucci's new c.e.o., marco bizzarri, showed up. the impeccably tailored yin to michele's yang. at first glance, you two look like you shouldn't go together, right? >> marco bizzarri: totally. but in a way, we have the same love for beautiful things. the way we express that could be different, but at the end, this is gucci. >> alfonsi: bizzarri had a full- blown crisis on his hands when he took over in 2015. his top designer quit, just weeks before a show. bizzarri could have hired anybody. but people inside the house begged him to talk to alessandro michele, who had been with gucci 12 years, designing handbags and accessories. >> bizzarri: so i met him, in his apartment. and, it-- you open the door.
7:47 pm
i mean, he's wearing something that i never saw in any single thing-- in-- in any shop in-- in gucci. so then i sat down and i was looking around in the apartment. there was all these antiques and beautiful colors. beautiful texture. and-- and amazing taste. even the way which was serving me the coffee was so elegant. >> michele: i felt myself very free to-- to say everything. >> alfonsi: what did you say? >> michele: oh, i was saying what the brand maybe was not-- at that time, was not so relevant. because the brand lost this kind of beautiful strangeness. >> bizzarri: so i ask him, "listen, if i appoint you as a creative director, are you willing to do the show, the men's show," that-- was going to happen in five days. >> alfonsi: five days? ( laughs ) >> bizzarri: i don't think never been held in fashion history that someone made a show at-- for a s-- company like ours-- this size, in five days. and he said, "yes." >> alfonsi: this is what michele whipped up for his first show,
7:48 pm
in less than a week. nobody knew what to make of it. >> michele: when i finished everything, and the show was gone, i was so tired. and i said, "maybe they're going to fire me." ( laughter ) but, you know, it's-- it's a job that-- >> alfonsi: did you really think that? did you really think-- >> michele: in-- yeah, for a minute. i don't know why. because it was so different, you know. >> alfonsi: some people were like, "did gucci lose their mind?" >> michele: yeah. there were people on instagram writing that everything was kind of horrible, you know? that it was not gucci. >> alfonsi: did you lose customers at first? >> bizzarri: yeah, i think so. yes. but we got a lot of the-- the new-- the new generations a lot. a lot. actually, i think the change in aesthetic that alessandro did for gucci brought this new generation into the fashion world, the luxury world. >> alfonsi: bizzarri's bet paid off-- gucci sales tripled in five years. who's your customer? is it the movie star, or is it
7:49 pm
the 19-year-old with their nose pressed against the glass at gucci, that you're hoping wears what you put-- >> michele: i don't know. >> alfonsi: --wears what you put your heart into? >> michele: i was thinking about everybody. because fashion is really for everybody. >> alfonsi: but doesn't everybody have to afford it? >> michele: i don't know. yeah, maybe no. >> alfonsi: no one at gucci apologizes for the prices. they follow the luxury brand philosophy: you can charge as much as the buyer is willing to pay. and for gucci, they do-- big- time. their wool-lined loafers sell for almost $1,000. the highest-priced bags, $35,000. gucci makes most of its money from leather goods. they gave us rare permission to go inside a factory outside florence. it looks like an operating room. we saw bags that were hand-sewn and hand-painted. gucci says almost all of their products are still made in italy. and, watching these artisans at
7:50 pm
work, you can almost start to make sense of the high prices that make their bags one of the most desired, and counterfeited, items in the world. they say, you know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. but when you see some fake gucci gear fly by, and you see it all over rome... >> michele: it's-- it's-- it's pretty crazy. i'm still dealing with the copies that i see everywhere. i think that means kind of power of the brand. >> alfonsi: but, does it upset you? >> michele: no, never. because that means that you are popular. >> alfonsi: that you're relevant. >> michele: relevant, yeah. it's-- it's like in music. if someone is copying you... >> alfonsi: is it more important to you that gucci is considered fashionable, or relevant? >> michele: i would love to say both. but maybe more relevant. because i think that relevant means that you are saying something, and fashion must say something now.
7:51 pm
>> alfonsi: alessandro michele directed gucci to get his message to younger customers with online films, relentless social media campaigns, and shows that bring cerebral to a whole new level. like this one, where the models are carrying wax replicas of their head. oscar-winning actor jared leto followed suit, in this gucci gown at a charity gala. >> jared leto: i carried the head around. but the thing about the head was, everyone wanted to play with my head. ( laughs ) >> alfonsi: do you just bring it out to dinner parties or-- >> leto: i mean, i haven't seen it since that night, basically. yeah, it's pretty heavy. >> alfonsi: it's pretty heavy-- >> leto: yeah, well-- ( crosstalk ) --big brain in there. >> alfonsi: for an actor, right? ( laughs ) >> leto: you know, yeah. it's-- it's a very heavy head for an actor. >> alfonsi: today, gucci attracts a brand of celebrity who doesn't want to play it safe. think billie eilish, harry styles, and serena williams. leto promotes gucci, and wears it almost exclusively on the red carpet-- and, of course, when
7:52 pm
he's gardening with michele. >> leto: he has a great sense of humor. i've worn, like, a counterfeit gucci shirt. >> alfonsi: with him? >> leto: yeah, yeah, yeah. and, he says, "oh, darling, that's fake." ( laughs ) and i'm like, "i know." >> michele: now, when you think to gucci, you think that you can look beautiful in different ways, you know? and that's something i think very powerful for everybody. because in the past, i mean, fashion was just one way. >> alfonsi: the hollywood show, which took six months to create, lasted just 22 minutes. right now, alessandro michele is the most influential designer in fashion. but he'll be the first to tell you nothing is eternal-- except his city, rome. you said after that first show, you were worried they were going to fire you. >> michele: yeah. ( laughs ) >> alfonsi: are you feeling a little more confident now? ( laughs ) >> michele: i love to feel insecure, in a way. it-- >> alfonsi: it makes you creative-- >> michele: yeah, it make me feel creative. it's almost like life. it's not forever. that's the most beautiful thing,
7:53 pm
that nothing's forever. that's why it's precious. >> welcome to cbssportshq, presented by progressive insurance. >> i'm james brown with the scores from the nfl today. tampa bay trounceing the falcons. the rams rev up and leave the jags in the rear view. the coach alive and well in baltimore. the lions fight to get their first of the year. for 24/7 news and highlights first of the year. for 24/7 news and highlights go to cbssportshq.com. you ever think about the storage operation a place like this must rely on? -no. they just sell candles, and they're making overhead? you know what kind of fish those are? -no. -eh, don't be coy. [ laughs ] [ sniffs, clears throat ] koi fish. it can be overwhelming. think a second. have we seen this shirt before?
7:54 pm
progressive can't save you from becoming your parents. but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto with us. but you know what? i'm still gonna get it. take a moment to pause and ask, why did you get vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia? i help others. but i need to help protect myself. honestly? i couldn't afford to get sick. i want to be there for this one. i can't if i'm sick. pneumococcal pneumonia is a potentially serious bacterial lung disease. you may be at risk if you're 19 to 64 with certain chronic conditions. or if you're 65 or older. don't pause a moment longer. ask your doctor or pharmacist about getting vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia today.
7:55 pm
♪ say it's all right ♪ ask your doctor or pharmacist about getting vaccinated ♪ say it's all right, it's all right ♪ ♪ have a good time 'cause it's all right ♪ ♪ now listen to the beat ♪ ♪ kinda pat your feet ♪ ♪ it's all right ♪ ♪ have a good time 'cause it's all right ♪ ♪ oh, it's all right ♪
7:56 pm
from one moment to the next, our kids become the most important part of our lives. and even though the years pass, that never changes. we never stop worrying about them. that's why it's important to have health insurance. with covered california, we got a plan we could afford. it includes free preventive care, like cholesterol and blood-pressure checkups. because even though they grow up,
7:57 pm
they'll always be your baby. covered california. this way to health insurance. enroll by december 31st at coveredca.com. >> alfonsi: next sunday on "60 minutes:" jon wertheim ventures to fogo island, a remote speck off the coast of newfoundland, where stunning beauty competed with economic struggle. an island-bred entrepreneur returned from silicon valley to undertake a project aimed at saving the island's life, and culture. >> zita cobb: when you think about the people of this place, if there's one thing we're really good at, it's
7:58 pm
hospitality. >> wertheim: what does hospitality mean here? >> cobb: hospitality, in its purest form, is the love of a stranger. >> alfonsi: i'm sharyn alfonsi. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." for people who could use a lift new neutrogena® rapid firming. a triple-lift serum with pure collagen. 92% saw visibly firmer skin in just 4 weeks. neutrogena® for people with skin.
7:59 pm
since suzie's got goals, she'll want a plan to reach them. so she'll get some help from fidelity, and she'll feel so good about her plan, she can focus on living it. that's the planning effect, from fidelity. captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
8:00 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ( applause ) ♪ ♪ ♪ welcome to the 99th annual national tree lighting. lighting, brought to you by the national park service and the national park foundation! featuring billy porter, chris stapleton, h.e.r., juanes, keb' mo', kristin chenoweth, maren morris, and patti labelle! here is kristin chenoweth with "man with the bag." ♪ old mr. kringle is soon gonna jingle ♪ the bells that'll tinkle all your troubles away ♪ ev'rybody's waitin'

234 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on