Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Gucci Runway
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Since becoming president of the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana in April, Carlo Capasa has spoken about his desire to bring fresh energy to the Italian fashion scene. So how has he been promoting innovation at Milan Fashion Week this season?

In April, Capasa told WWD he wanted to offer “real support, infrastructures, training and financial support” to young designers who wished to show at MFW. It seems he has kept his promise as, following in London and New York’s footsteps, Milan finally seems to be paying attention to new talent.

Rising star Arthur Arbesser showed his début collection for Iceberg on Friday – injecting a much-needed dose of zestiness into the brand – and commented that “Milan has a recognisably different energy today”. Meanwhile, MGSM’s Massimo Giorgetti’s first design effort for Pucci saw the brand enter a more modern, youthful phase, with its “urban mermaids” highlighted in the show notes.

To add to MFW’s new feel, its headquarters were relocated to Piazza Gae Aulenti, a newly developed area of the city. The Piazza housed the UniCredit Pavilion, another new addition to Milan’s fashion agenda, which showcased the collections of 17 young designers. Versace, Pucci and Gucci, some of MFW’s major players, also benefitted from a venue change, with the latter’s move perfectly timed with its new, forward-thinking design approach.

Since Gucci recruited Alessandro Michele as its new creative director in January, the brand has altered its design direction. Gone is the Gucci woman’s overt sexuality and moneyed appearance, coolly replaced by a more considered, androgynous and thoroughly modern figure – so the brand’s decision to stage its S/S 16 show at a disused railway station spoke volumes about the new-look Gucci.

Another of Capasa’s initiatives was commissioning online shop and magazine LaDoubleJ to create an MFW ‘Survival Guide’, containing insider advice on Milan’s lesser-known fashion haunts and eateries. “[Milan’s] getting a bit more interesting; the spotlight is on creativity and new designers,” said Sara Manio, senior editor at Vogue Italia, to the New York Times.

With Milan being Milan, great changes aren’t going to happen overnight. So while even usually predictable brands like Armani decided to play a wild card this season – exploring a “new femininity” manifested in transparent fabric and almost ombre stripes – Dolce & Gabbana stuck to what they know, with the brand’s army of models taking selfies on the catwalk, sporting outfits that celebrated all things Italian. However, their native fashion capital really is something worth celebrating this season.

Join us at our Milan Summit on November 17-18 to discuss how Italy plans to drive fashion innovation further. Book your ticket here.

Reported by Grace Howard


“2015 is fast becoming the year of the smart-watch, and the latest label to join the arm’s race is an unlikely one. In an announcement at Baselworld yesterday, the watch industry’s leading international trade fair,, of Black Eyed Peas and The Voice fame – announced a ‘special partnership’ with fashion behemoth Gucci.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Gucci x

“Former CEO Patrizio di Marco claims he was ousted by ‘dwarves’ within the company, while creative director Frida Giannini’s early departure was down to her ‘untenable’ relationship with his replacement”

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“Gucci has appointed accessories designer Alessandro Michele as its next creative director, succeeding Frida Giannini as the head of the fashion brand, people familiar with the matter said.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Gucci

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The homepage, according to popular belief, died sometime in the summer of 2014.

At its funeral, the bell that tolled most deafeningly was the leaked New York Times innovation report: homepage traffic had fallen by a whopping 50% in recent years. But its not just news brands that have hastened to alternative traffic sources; fashion brands informed that user engagement now occurs predominantly through “side doors”, and have flocked to maintain an omni-social approach: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest are supposedly the only platforms their customers care about.

Right? Wrong – at least when it comes to luxury fashion retail. In fact, a rising trend of customers “researching online, purchasing offline” – dubbed ROPO – is clear to see in customer engagement with luxury labels (emphasis on the ‘customer’, rather than the ‘user’). Whilst some fans may view the latest runway shows and lookbooks by indirect means, those who actually intend to buy, say, a Dior handbag, will want to research the brand ethos and product specifications thoroughly. Moreover, whilst he or she is there, they are likely to follow through with the purchase in one of two ways: within the same e-commerce destination, or in-store at a local retailor. Either way, a good-looking, intuitive homepage is key.

There is evidence to suggest that some established luxury brands, too quick to offload engagement paths to their social media channels, are falling behind when it comes to their own stand-alone site and e-commerce platform. In the sixth annual iteration of L2’s Fashion Digital IQ Index, released last month, 90 leading fashion labels have been assessed for their Digital IQ: a combination of not only their digital marketing on mobile and social media, but, crucially their own sites. Burberry, long a forerunner in the digitized retail stakes, is seen to fall to sixth place in the ranking, behind brands like Coach, Gucci and Tory Burch. This might not be so surprising, looking at the brand’s mobile platform, in an ironic twist, feels older and less up-to-date simply because they got there first.

Alternatively, sites like Gucci and Coach are one-step ahead because their back-end digital optimization precisely suits the ROPO model: customers can order online and pick up in store, and the in-house digital system knows both what inventory is there and when and where it is needed. Digital interaction and technical competence shouldn’t just mean relying on NET-A-PORTER: when it comes to luxury purchasing, a strong, defined environment in which customers can research (and fall in love) with their investments is essential to maintaining brand loyalty – as well as driving sales, even in the real world.

Reported by: Claire Healy


“Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini has left the fashion house a month earlier than planned as a new chief executive officer begins the task of reviving the brand”

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“Get ready for a new era at Gucci. Kering, the storied luxury brand’s parent company, announced Wednesday that both Creative Director Frida Giannini and CEO Patrizio di Marco will be stepping down early next year.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Frida Giannini

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Shoppable Video Pepe Jeans

Being ahead of the zeitgeist when it comes to tech innovation might pay off in terms of user engagement and seasonal storytelling, but does it really pay? The trick to really increasing ROI is to turn the shareable into the shoppable – something that, in 2014, should be at the forefront of a fashion brand’s strategy.

So what kinds of technology can brands utilise to increase those sales? Online or offline, the trick is a melding of the digital and real world with no discernible difference – the customer’s journey is seamless at every point of contact (and, hopefully, every pay point). Shoppable videos, for example, are starting to gain traction as a more-than-viable way to convert browsers into shoppers. NY-based ‘touchable video’ specialists Cinematique reported an average 13% conversion rate earlier this year – a figure much higher than anything a banner ad could deliver. Wirewax’s taggable video work with Pepe Jeans, meanwhile, had 45% of users clicking an average of 3 times. The more brands engage with the technology, the more the tactic’s ROI can be proven – luxury brands like Gucci, who have already experimented in this area, might help kickstart the trend long-term.

Also bubbling under the digital strategies of fashion’s biggest players are augmented reality applications. Burberry was among the first to embrace AR back in 2011, celebrating its Beijing store opening with an AR catwalk show in which holographic models walked alongside real ones. But fast-forward to 2014, and branded phone apps are using layered realities to drive retail purchases in store. Plus, the universal cart – launched last year by London-based fashion site Lyst – is allowing users to buy luxury items all over the web, in one place. Spring, a new dedicated shopping app, also offers mobile users hundreds of brands at their fingertips.

Technologies like shoppable videos, in-store AR apps and universal carts work because they allow consumers to feel totally in charge of their own retail experience, all whilst increasing brand loyalty with their added ease and innovation. Our New York summit will play host to some of the industry’s most influential players in retail-oriented tech: speakers will include Alan Tisch, founder of Spring, along with a retail panel, headed up by Jared Schiffman (Perch Interactive) and Dan Garraway (Wirewax) focussing on the coolest tech – with the most tangible ROI – around.

Can’t wait that long? Our Milan summit is calling – a day dedicated to exploring the new possibilities of Omnichannel, on October 22nd.

Reported by Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion Milan will take place on October 22, 2014 at La Pelota. Check out the full agenda here.

Decoded Fashion New York will take place on November 18-19, 2014 at Metropolitan West. The full agenda can be found here.


“The strongest omnichannel players [in fashion] are currently Gucci and Burberry.

Gucci launched in-store inventory visibility to empower its customers, while Burberry has put that information in the hands of its sales associates; the latter is also one of the few luxury players that offers in-store pickup on online purchases. Nordstrom, which puts iPads in dressing rooms and in the hands of its employees, also offers the option to ship an online purchase from a nearby store, which both helps it clear inventory from slower-moving locations and get the product in the shopper’s hands faster.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Burberry

“Putting an end to all speculations that sprouted last year about Gucci launching its first make-up line, the Italian fashion house has revealed that the brand will be releasing it in September this year.

The debut cosmetic collection will be produced with the consumer goods company Procter & Gamble.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Gucci Make-Up