Not long ago, Talent Garden Milano hosted the 4th annual edition of the Decoded Fashion Milan Summit — a key industry event dedicated to ‘connecting the world’s leading fashion and retail brands with emerging technologies and startups to discover new business opportunities from across the globe’. The event was sponsored by e-PITTI, an online platform designed to maximize collaborations between fashion and technology communities during trade shows and other major industry events.
The theme for this year’s edition of Decoded Fashion Milan was all about Digital Diversity and The Connected Consumer. The main topics discussed during the two-day conference included Influencer Marketing, storytelling in an omni-channel world, integrated shopping experiences, in-store technology trends, and more.
Among the most important speakers at the conference were Michael Kliger, President of Mytheresa.com, Julie Pellet, Brand Development Lead for Southern Europe at Instagram and Gabriele Lunati, Worldwide Digital and e-Commerce Director at Moncler.
In this article you’ll learn…
Meet Jessica Michault
The event was hosted by industry renowned fashion journalist Jessica Michault, who moderated and provoked insightful conversation during the summit, as well as being a keynote speaker herself.
Although she was born and raised in San Francisco, Michault has spent most of her adult life in Paris. In 2013, The Business of Fashion has twice listed her as one of the most influential people in the fashion industry. Just recently, Michault joined the Launchmetrics team as Senior Vice President of Industry Relations for FashionGPS Radar — a curated community of more than 40,000 industry insiders.
Michault started her career as a researcher for the Fashion Department at the International Herald Tribune, making her way up to Online Style Editor and working alongside who is now the International Vogue Editor, Suzy Menkes. She has written and published important online articles, hosted interviews with influential people and covered exclusive fashion events for the newspaper. After 16 years at the International Herald Tribune, Michault became Editor-and-Chief at NOWFASHION, the first magazine to live stream shows during fashion week in real-time. After three years, she moved into the same role at Antidote, another prestigious fashion magazine distributed twice a year. Michault’s work has been published in Vogue Italia, The New York Times, Vogue Germany and many others.
Important topics were covered by experts from fashion powerhouses such as Fausto Puglisi, H&M, and Gucci — ranging from the most innovative buying experiences, to the importance of knowing how to reach customers at any moment, on any device. However, out of all the captivating conversations during the event, three key points really caught our attention:
Finding new ways to democratize fashion
As Michault highlighted in her presentation, we are currently experiencing the democratization of fashion, and all brands (even the most traditional ones) must adapt to reach their audiences on different channels. Relationships with clients are getting closer and stronger each day — people are no longer looking to just buy objects. In today’s world, purchase decisions are influenced by the emotions and connections customers make with brands.
Don’t fear consumer interaction “we need to find new ways to adapt to the democratisation of the fashion industry” @JessicaMichault #DFMILAN pic.twitter.com/Qt6awRE7zL
— Decoded Fashion (@DecodedFashion) 16 novembre 2016
Influencers are here to stay
Despite all of the criticism they receive, influencers have acquired a fundamental role in fashion brands’ communication and marketing strategies. Discussions from the event pointed to influencers as being vanguards of digital transformation, making the need to collaborate with influencer apparent. Doubts also surfaced as there was touched upon important issues such as how to choose the right influencers and successfully measure the impact of Influencer Marketing actions. All uncertainty aside, it looks like Influencer Marketing will continue to gain traction within the industry as brands increase their knowledge of the practice.
Influencers are part of the marketing mix of every brand. And it’s here to stay! TRUE @PINKO @JarvisMacchi #DFMILAN pic.twitter.com/eDJ8O0NTT9
— GetConnected.it (@GetConnected_it) 16 novembre 2016
Embrace digital, but don’t forget about brand values
That’s right. It doesn’t matter if you’re an extremely well-known luxury brand or a small boutique — the digital revolution is affecting how to communicate with audiences everywhere, and turning a blind eye to this new landscape could have dangerous results. Employing digital strategies are an essential part of omni-channel marketing and are necessary to compete in fashion today. However, remember that digital does not erase the human factor. The customer should always be at the forefront of any tactic, transmitting the same brand values both online and offline.
“turnover is important, but creating value for our customers is our main goal”. Monica Gagliardi for @OVSofficial #DFMILAN pic.twitter.com/E7CpAkkwb9
— Maria Jaber (@mariajaber) 16 novembre 2016
The last two days of the #DFMILAN Summit circled around the future of fashion – an industry that’s becoming increasingly more fleeting. Predictions were made and practical solutions were proposed for fashion brands to face the digital transformation head first. Now the only thing left to do is wait and see how brands move towards democratizing their products to connect with customers from every touch point.