Ph.D. Topics

Tekila Harley Nobile 

Tekila’s Ph.D. project addresses the topic of online personalization in digital fashion communication by investigating how fashion brands can introduce and implement personalization in their online communication strategies. Online personalization is a growing trend amongst fashion brands, which increasingly invest in online personalization strategies to improve their customer experience. Moreover, many fashion brands, both luxury and fast fashion, offer consumers the possibility to customize their products. Nonetheless, providing effective and efficient personalization strategies is proving challenging, as brands struggle to obtain the desired and expected results.
Personalization has been widely researched by academics of various disciplines, yet conclusive results have not been reached. Arguably, the complexity of researching online personalization derives from the lack of a common and comprehensive definition. Personalization and customization are used by a stream of research as overlapping concepts, whereas another stream considers them different concepts. Hence, this Ph.D. research aims to identify an updated definition of online personalization, which captures its complexity and overcomes the existing discrepancies. Moreover,  the success of online personalization depends not only on technology advancements but also on consumers’ perception of the personalization strategies adopted by brands. Consumers’ perception is influenced by many factors, some of which cannot be fully controlled by the brands, such as timing. Therefore, further research on the factors that impact personalization outcomes is necessary.

Alice Noris 

Alice’s PhD research project addresses the topic of online localization in the digital fashion domain. The mass media have simplified and intensified the internationalization of companies, reducing the time needed to exchange a considerable quantity and variety of data and contributing to solve operational and technical issues, that might occur. Within this complex and still-evolving system, fashion can be considered as a strategic sector in terms of offers and incomes; in fact, a considerable variety of website and e-commerce platforms was born to accomplish this sector. But fashion companies, when addressing new markets, countries and cultures, to be captivating, cannot only provide good quality and original products, they also need to deliver and realise a well-designed and tailor-made communication strategy, in order to break down all possible cultural and linguistic barriers, that might arise. Alice’s PhD research project aims, in this sense, to face the issue of localization within the digital fashion environment, contributing, first of all, to address the lack of literature concerning the topic and providing a framework on the depiction of the different strategies put in place by fashion companies to provide a successful online communication. In second instance, the PhD research will aim to better understand both the providers’ and users’ perspectives concerning online localization, aiming to further deepen the point of convergences and the differences between the online fashion communication offer delivered by companies and the final user perception, keeping into account also cultural aspects.

Michela Ornati 

Michela Ornati’s research investigates the role of touch and haptics in digital fashion communication. Although the sense of touch (feeling garments with our hands and on our bodies) is a fundamental component of the offline customer journey, it is absent online. Fashion e-commerce offers a predominantly audio-visual experience, engaging the sense of vision and audition. In the near future, however, haptics technologies (devices and applications which replicate the sense of touch) might add a tactile dimension to the digital fashion experience. The research investigates these developments by posing several questions, including: the role of the sensorium – particularly the sense of touch – in digital fashion communication; consumers’ perception of haptic enhancements in the fashion e-commerce customer journey; industry experts’ perception of haptic technology developments and the impact touch, or lack thereof, may have on fashion digital business practices. The research approach is pragmatic and primarily qualitative.

Puspita Ayu Permatasari 

Puspita is of Indonesian origin. Her PhD research is focusing on the linkage and the communication model of UNESCO intangible heritage of Indonesian Batik textiles with global fashion and tourism. Her research output will provide theoretical background of ICT that is used to communicate the outstanding universal values of Batik as fashion heritage within tourism domain. Her study also involves the human-computer interaction (HCI) in service design and the creation digital technology applications dedicated for Batik in forms of website and mobile app.

Katharina Sand 

The research focuses on how social network mechanisms can be employed for social good in the context of fashion. Can ephemeral digital fashion content encourage sustainability by imparting a renewed sense of value upon authorship and craftsmanship in the field? The review and analysis of current Instagram fashion semiotics and engagement of slow consumption and sufficiency versus high consumption aims to allow the establishment of guidelines for generating behavioral change amongst high consumption consumers.