Bridging Fashion & Innovation was the theme of the recent eP Summit organised on November the 20th and 21st in Milan by e-Pitti.com, a digital project created by Pitti Immagine.
The event mixed discussion panels, round tables and marketplaces, and involved a community of decision makers, technological partners and start-ups, all engaged in discussing the future of fashion system innovation.
The many issues discussed in the first part of the summit included brand excellence, making consumers part of the shopping experience, storytelling, fidelity to brand authenticity and genuineness, and how to revive iconic products.
On the last of these topics, Converse‘s Southern European marketing manager, Manuela Strippoli, cited the example of the ‘Liberato plan’, a capsule collection built around the anonymity of the Italian rapper Liberato, an artist that no one had ever seen in the flesh. He was considered by Converse an ‘authentic’ character, an anti-hero, a symbol of modern Italian youth and, therefore, suitable for the relaunching the ‘One Star’ model. The purpose of all this was to demonstrate that Converse can give access to the inaccessible. On the two dates chosen for a live performance by the artist, the 9th of May 2018 in Naples and the 9th of June in Milan, there was a real ‘social tsunami’ with 35,000 fans, as well as a Converse x Liberato dedicated merchandising. The event was a great success.
To create brand awareness it also takes emotion and, therefore, the power of creative intuition is fundamental. This was explained by Ada Kokosar, the creative mind behind the Midnight 00 footwear project and by Marco Calcinaro, CEO of Cesare Paciotti, in charge of the line itself, which was launched in February 2018.
To revitalise a brand with a strong heritage, the starting point had to be a special product with an empathy-generating narrative. Starting from the icon par excellence, – Cinderella’s shoe – the designer wanted to fuel interest by making a hyper feminine shoe, a mix of magic and reality, in line with Paciotti’s DNA.
In the second part of the conference, dedicated to trade, as well as the “The Fabricant” start-up case study, which deals with digital and animated fashion design, one of the most current and prominent themes in the fashion industry was addressed: multichannels and the interaction between online and offline retail. On the one hand, was presented the experience of Enrico Casati who created the brand Velasca which handcrafts men’s shoes in the digital age. On the other, the Brunello Cucinelli brand was presented which, as Francesco Bottigliero pointed out, is now entering the digital world, but warily, always trying to use the best digital tools to intercept the consumer at the right time, without stalking.
In the middle, the experience of Tod’s was presented, narrated by Gaia Franceschini Beghini, head of the Group omnichannel project, who reiterated how 80% of offline sales are influenced by online endeavours.
In practice, consumers do not see any difference between the two channels.
This is what the fashion industry is betting its future on.