SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL's sister publication Fashion, the Italian trade magazine which is also part of the DFV Media Group, has held its first "Digital Fashion Influencers and Lifestyle 4.0" convention at the Milan Stock Market Exchange yesterday, April 4, 2017.
The intense working day gathered a vast audience of insiders, top managers, IT managers and digital influencers from the fashion, lifestyle and automotive segments while exploring the exponential importance of technology and digital interaction with fashion and lifestyle. Moderator of the event was Marc Sondermann, director and CEO, Fashion Magazine.
Among the most interesting sessions there was a study carried out by Boston Consulting Group’s Nicola Pianon who analyses what main trends drive the fashion industry and market. Considering productivity, always new and easier technology is helping to speed up and simplify productive processes thanks to big data analysis, 3D printing, internet of things and social connectivity. Consumers have become always more polarized between Millennials and “Baby Boomers + Silver aged” (over 51 and plus 65). Shopping is most often done via omnichannel with a loss of appreciation for physical stores from 47% to 39% in the last three years (2013-2016). Among most technological advanced consumers there are US and Chinese Millennials.
Among the speakers participating in the convention, Peuterey presented their recent launch of a capsule collection collaboration with Vespa for s/s 2017 for the present edition of Milan Design Week and the promotion of the initiative through digital influencers. The initiative will soon be followed by a complete collection under a licensing agreement from next seasons. Peuterey’s Lusini commented: “For being successful what counts is establishing a strong relationship between consumer and brand, though a brand has to show its own clear brand DNA.”
Dirk Schönberger, creative director, Adidas, explained what new challenges the renowned sports and lifestyle brand is facing - especially after the digital revolution the market has been facing recently. “When searching for new ideas we are immersed in the market though always keep in mind the opinion of the younger consumers, which are no longer simply the Millennials, but also and increasingly younger ones,” he explains. “Also, when developing a new collaboration or capsule we always first observe consumers for long, then test it before launching them, although every time we launch some new line we are doing that for answering a market need.”
“When searching for new ideas we [...] always keep in mind the opinion of the younger consumers, which are no longer simply the Millennials, but also and increasingly younger ones."
If in the past, Adidas did not keep the digital aspect in great consideration, they are now in light of their 2020 aims to increase their growth significantly. “In the last two years, we understood it was time to speed up efficiency and productivity by opening regional factories and small productive hubs like in Germany first and then in the USA.”
“We have opened ourselves to technology as we speak much with the industry, with those who play sport and to consumers,” he explained. “Though what influences us most in taking decisions are the hottest trends from fashion, music and sports."
Even if sneakers continue to be hot accessories in fashion, a slight slowdown of the trend seems to be happening, though Schönberger seems not to care much about it: “Trends come and go but as we are strongly tied to the sports world and people wear sneakers also for playing sports, so a brand like Adidas will continue to have much to say.”
More new plans will be announced by Adidas for Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and for the Soccer World Cup in 2018, though all will be related to products highly equipped with technology.
Experts from the automotive market spoke about their newest developments such as, for instance, BMW’s new smart car that can be driven without a pilot. Ducati’s digital Influencer Piergiorgio Grossi explained how a motorcycle cannot be driven without a pilot but can be equipped with devices that connect riders to social networks and the internet, providing information on traffic, maps, touristic as well as various other information. Allianz’s digital officer Solmaz Altin also explained how increasingly important guaranteeing security to those purchasing online or increasingly exposing themselves through web interaction will be. He also explained how Allianz has started the Allianz World Series Championship 2017, a challenge between mini-drones, a new sport that will see greater recognition and fans.
Four Best Digital Awards were also given to some of the hottest digital influencers. Paola Turani won the prize for branding, Giulia Valentina for lifestyle, Gianmaria Sainato for e-commerce and Oscar Branzani for retail. The winners were selected in collaboration with IDA Agency, Digital Influential Agency.