Digital Fashion Communication: Conversations with Industry Experts 2021

MDFC students in conversation with Paolo Strafforello, Bally Chief Operations Officer

The course Conversations with Industry Experts, taught by Dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska in collaboration with Alice Noris (TA) during the Master Program in Digital Fashion Communication, aims at bridging theoretical frameworks offered and presented to the students during other master classes with the industry environment. It provides a broader comprehension of issues that experts working within the digital fashion domain need to face daily. 

This semester our guest speakers, that range from E-Commerce & Brand Manager, Chiefs of Digital Marketing, Digital Transformation Consultants, Operations and Area Managers, Designers and Application Engineers up to Entrepreneurs, have been invited to share their experiences and solutions to the challenges of the digital fashion environment. In 2021 course in fact, was aimed at providing to the students a 360^ perspective on what surrounds the digital fashion environment, and it helped them to get in contact with specialists who shared with them not only their career path and their everyday working life, but also their expertise and the future professional scenarios.

The set of conversations has been opened and closed by two USI Alumni: Ester Punzo, Omnichannel CX & E-Commerce Project Manager, Calzedonia in Verona (Italy) and Giovanni Rozza, Brand & Merchandising Manager Boss Shoes Man, Hugo Boss in Colderio (Switzerland), which were invited to the course by USI’s career service in the framework of Alumni Digital Talk.  On one side, Ester opened the course by sharing with the students her experience at Calzedonia. Thanks to her testimony the students had the opportunity to get to know more on the role of Omnichannel & E-Commerce Project Manager and on the needed skills required by fashion companies to build up a career. At the end of the course Giovanni Rozza shared his experience working for Hugo Boss as Brand and Merchandising Manager, the required skills needed to build up a career the attitude to have in order to be hired by a fashion company.

The other conversations moderated by Dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska during the whole course have been instead implemented in the framework of the Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center partnership as part of a project, which involved Bally and Accenture. The project was presented by Paolo Strafforello, Bally Chief Operations Officer and Marta Pazzini, Digital Consultant at Accenture. Apart from introducing the field project, the two guest speakers offered the students the chance to discover more about their career start and the challenges they encountered during their work experience. 

The following conversations were then aimed at providing to the students an in-depth framework of the shoe digital transformation by better understanding the following topics:

  1. Use of technologies in the design process; 
  2. 3D production of shoes; 
  3. Shoe fitting, right sizing and returns in e-commerce; 
  4. Online product personalization & online configurators; 
  5. Digital shoes & new trends in communication.   

The first topic concerning the use of technologies in the design process has been covered by Alberto Rossato, Area Manager Prisma Tech – Clo3D Italy and Matteo Jorge Serra, Freelance Designer and 3D Prototyper.  The two guest lectures covered two different aspects of the 3D design: Alberto Rossato explained some of the new technologies to be proposed to fashion companies that want to exploit 3D design potential. Matteo Jorge Serra shared with the students his experience as 3D designer and the challenges he has to face in order to keeping updated and in step with new 3D technologies that are shaping the fashion world.  The second topic concerning the 3d production of shoes has been presented by Cristina Carnevale Bonino, Manufacturing Designer and Application Engineer at Elmec 3D, which explained the students the future trends and the challenges, when it comes to the 3D production of fashion items such as jewels, accessories, cloths and shoes.  The third topic dealt with shoe fitting, right sizing and returns in eCommerce and it has been covered by Naor Adno, founder ofSnapfeet.io. Naor explained the students how his company might work on reducing the number of returns in e-commerce.  The fourth topic, online product personalization & online configurators, was presented by Yari Copt, Founder and CEO of Old Captain Co. Yari is a Swiss entrepreneur, which explained to the students that with his company that produces Swiss made shirts he has to deal every day with personalization & online configurators in order to deliver a unique and tailor-made product to his costumers.  The fifth and last topic, digital shoes & new trends in communication (e.g. Gamification, Augmented reality, etc.) has been presented by Natalia Modenova, Founder of Dress X, she told the students about her start-up whose aim is to provide to stakeholders digital cloths to be worn on social media and in the online environment instead of real cloths.

After all the interesting presentation by our guest lecturers the students, divided in five groups, had to further investigate one of the presented topics and to present their findings during a final workshop in which the Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center, Bally and Accenture took part and provided insightful feedback.