Summer School 2021

Istituto Svizzero - Rome

Perspectives on Digital Fashion Communication of «Made In»
Cases from Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland

download the brochure

28 people participated to the Summer School 2021 about the Perspectives on Digital Fashion Communication of “Made In”: Cases from Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland at the Swiss Institute in Rome, between 29 August and 4 September.

The Summer School took place in the wonderful Villa Maraini, in Rome, and analysed the role of digital communication in the constitution of national image in reference to the fashion industry. Fashion plays indeed a central and fundamental role in the context of representing and shaping regions or nations.
The Summer School is the result of a cooperation of USI and Università La Sapienza (Rome), Université Paris1 – Panthéon Sorbonne (Parigi), ISEM Fashion Business School (Madrid). The event saw the participation of lecturers, MA and Ph.D. students, who could expand their knowledge on the topic through lectures, discussions, group works and guided tours.
A public conference was organized on 30 August, attended by almost fifty people. The CEO of Bally, Nicolas Girotto, discussed with USI’s lecturer Dr. Nadzeya Sabatini the role of “Made in Switzerland” in regard to the Swiss fashion brand which celebrates 170 years on 2021.
According to the Director of the Summer School, Professor Lorenzo Cantoni, the Summer School was a rare opportunity to reflect and think about the emerging topic of digital communication in fashion and its relation with “made in” through an interdisciplinary perspective and the contribution of european professionals from the field. This topic has gained momentum in the last months, as the pandemic has increasingly accelerated the digital transformation of the fashion industry. The nature of this initiative finds its roots in the academic researches recently initiated by USI from the Faculy of Communication, Culture and Society. It is bounded with the Master course in Digital Fashion Communication, double-degree from USI and Sorbonne, and the activities of the LifeStyle-Tech Competence Center, which recently saw the integration in the Swiss Innovation Park”.

Download the summer school programme here.

To view the photos from the summer school, click here.


August 29th, 2021 (arrival) to September 4th, 2021 (departure)


Istituto Svizzero, Villa Maraini, Rome, Italy    (Copyright: Okno Studio)


The image and reputation of a nation are reflected in its creative industries, and are in turn produced and promoted by them. In this context, fashion plays a role of primary importance, both for its link with costume, art and intangible cultural heritage, and for its ability to act as an “ambassador” of a nation or region.
The symbolic market of national image and reputation today is also – perhaps primarily –  negotiated in the world of digital communication. In fact, the digital transformation deeply involves all creative industries. The fashion world is experiencing this digital transformation on three levels:
– At the level of industrial production, from design to production and logistics, facing new challenges of economic, environmental and social sustainability;
– At the level of marketing and sales, both with e-commerce and with the hybridization of the physical store, in the so-called “omnichannel” interaction with various stakeholders;
– In the formation of styles and trends, defining from time to time what is, or is no longer, “fashionable,” in a constant dialogue between actors in the fashion sector, institutions, and markets.

 The Summer School 2021 will investigate the contribution and dynamics of digital communication in the constitution of the national image, with specific reference to the creative fashion industry and the qualification of sustainable “Made in” in this sector. In fact, if the Internet is an icon and an outcome of globalization, which crosses national borders without any problem, it is precisely in online communication that the concept of “Made in”, its meaning and its values – as well as the attention paid by the sector to sustainability – are discussed and negotiated today.

“Made in Italy” is one of the most internationally recognized brands, and the knowledge and fame of Italian brands such as Fendi, Valentino or Bulgari, all of which originated in Rome, are emblematic of the importance of Italian creative industries in the world. The Summer School is ideally located for an appreciation and a discussion of this important heritage, which participants will be able to experience first-hand with case studies and on-site visits.


Romana Andò, Università di Roma La Sapienza (Rome, Italy)
Lorenzo Cantoni, USI – Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland)
Francesca Cominelli, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris, France)
Bertil Cottier, USI – Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland)
Maria Gravari-Barbas, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris, France)
Simone Guercini, Università di Firenze (Florence, Italy)
Nadzeya Kalbaska, USI – Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland)
Teresa Sàdaba, ISEM Fashion Business School (Madrid, Spain)
Patricia SanMiguel, ISEM Fashion Business School (Madrid, Spain)
Vera-Simone Schulz, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut (Florence, Italy)
Sophie Kurkdjian, Historian, Researcher, IHTP-CNRS, Director of Culture(s) de Mode (Paris,  France)

Who can participate:

Researchers, PhD students, advanced Master students.
Practitioners, Fashion & Luxury managers, Marketing & Communication, Interested fashion professionals

Structure of the program:

Sunday, August 29th, late afternoon/early evening
Welcome at Villa Maraini to all boarding participants
Monday, August 30th
AM: Lectures and guided visit of Villa Maraini, coffe break and lunch on premises
PM: Workshop
Public evening with guest speaker. Register on EnventBrite.
Tuesday, August 31st
AM: Lectures, coffe break and lunch on premises
PM: Workshop
Wednesday, September 1st
AM: Lectures, coffe break and lunch on premises
PM: External activity / visit
Thursday, September 2nd
AM: Lectures, coffe break and lunch on premises
PM: Workshop and Presentations
Friday, September 3rd
AM: Special Workshop, coffe break and lunch on premises
PM: External activity/Visit
Saturday, September 4th
AM: Departure (boarding participants)


Participation in the Summer School, with boarding: 700 Euro.
The fee includes accommodation, breakfast, coffee breaks and lunches, visits, lectures and all training activities from Sunday evening, 29th August, to Saturday, 4th of September (including breakfast). Lodging will be on the Villa Maraini premises (due to pandemic restrictions and until further notice, accommodation will be limited to 1 person per room). Dinners are excluded.
Participation in the Summer School, without boarding: 240 Euro.
The fee includes coffee breaks and lunches, visits, lectures and all training activities from Sunday, 29th August, to Friday, 3rd of September in the afternoon.
Three BALLY full grants are available.

Bally offers three full grants covering the tuition fee. Applicants interested in applying also to the Bally scholarship, please specify this in the application letter, so that we are allowed to share your data with the company for the selection process.

The Bally grants have been awarded.

Applicants who have paid the due amount, and then have to resign, are entitled to 60% reimbursement if they resign before June 30, 2021; to 50% if they resign by July 31, 2021. No reimbursement is possible after July 31, 2021.

In case of Summer School cancellation, payments will be reimbursed in full.

How to enroll:

Applicants should send their CV and a motivation letter to: lorenzo.cantoni/at/

About 20 candidates will be selected.

Hereafter the main dates:

  • February 26, 2021: deadline to apply.
  • March 22, 2021: selected candidates are informed
  • May 14, 2021: payment is due to confirm participation
  • Interested late applicants are welcome to contact the organizer

Online Payment

To proceed with online payment click here.


Lorenzo Cantoni
Michela Ornati


Istituto Svizzero (Rome, Italy)
USI – Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland)
Università La Sapienza (Rome, Italy)
Université Paris1, Panthéon Sorbonne (Paris, France)
ISEM Fashion Business School (Madrid, Spain)