Understanding The Nature Behind Italian Design Innovation | OrangeBay "Italian Fashion Study Week" Part 1

November 1,2019

The unique charm of “Made In Italy” is not only from the aesthetic elements granted by Italy’s rich artistic and cultural heritage, but also from the exquisite craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation. More importantly, it is because that the Italian entrepreneurs, designers and artisans have kept pace with the times and continue to innovate to stay at the forefront of the global fashion and design industry. Of the more than 2,000 global brands covered by Luxe.CO, nearly a quarter are from Italy!

In order to get a closer understanding of the true meaning of Italian design innovation, we visited Istituto Europeo di Design, Politecnico di Milano and BASE —— a fashion and art sharing space in Milan during Orange Bay University’s first half of the "Italian Fashion Study Week" from October 7 to 9.

Istituto Europeo di Design (hereinafter referred to as IED) is the first school in the world to teach Design in an interdisciplinary way, focusing on the close connection between teaching and practicing. Over the past 50 years, Istituto Europeo di Design has cultivated a number of famous talents, including Dior Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri, Valentino Creative Director Pier Paolo Picciol, Fendi Accessories Designer Marco DE Vincenzo, etc.

Orange Bay students had the chance to visit IED’s knitting and leather workshop and learned how the students handled reals project under the guidance of expert mentors from the Milan fashion industry, combining theory with practice. 

Andrea Tosi, Director of International Communications at IED, provided a vivid case study of how Italy has risen over the past 50 years from a mere manufacturing powerhouse to a world design institution comparable to, or even greater than, France, Germany and the UK. Italian designers draw inspiration from the rich cultural and artistic wealth of the country, combining aesthetics, practicality and innovation to give products that are "Made In Italy" a higher value. He pointed out that in particular, Italy's experience in the transformation of the fashion design industry is of great significance to China, which is actively seeking industrial innovation.

Manuela Sacco, Professor of IED Fashion Marketing, further introduced IED's teaching philosophy of innovation as its core, a philosophy that deeply integrates practice and interdisciplinary learning.

Politecnico di Milano is a world-leading technical university with a long history and strong faculty. It has trained numerous researchers and entrepreneurs in the fields of architectural design, engineering technology, product design and aviation. Its alumni in the field of fashion and design include famous fashion designer and entrepreneur Giorgio Armani, famous architect Renzo Piano, famous graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, fashion designer Gianfranco Ferre, etc. Professor Claudio Dell'Era, who teaches at Orange Bay, focuses on leadership, design and innovation.

At the beginning of the course, Professor Claudio Dell’Era pointed out that in the current environment, the main contradiction for brands to innovate is "how to attract more consumers to discover their products in the face of information explosion and commodity saturation". He took a "lamp" as an analogy: every innovation is like lighting a lamp. In the past, we could not easily see the road because there were few lamps. Now the road is still hard to see because there are too many lights. Therefore, in today's Italian design world, the focus of innovation is no longer limited to the "product", but more focused on the "direction" of innovation.

Professor Claudio Dell’Era said that brands needed to help consumers simplify their product choices and guide their behavior through innovation in an environment of extremely rich material life and rapid product renewal.

To help students understand what "consumer-driven innovation" truly means, Professor Claudio Dell’Era detailed how Nintendo, the Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company, used its motion-sensing Wii to separate itself from PlayStation and Xbox to become the most popular home game console. Professor Claudio Dell’Era also explained how a brand can choose to break conventional innovation direction and build differentiated competitiveness in an all-round way, through the cases of Kartell, Artemide and Alessi.

Through the team at WHITE Milano, a famous Italian fashion trade show platform, Orange Bay students also visited the BASE space which integrates art, business and technological innovation. BASE is a large learning and exchange institution for Milan citizens and creative professionals. The original intention of BASE was to promote communication among writers, illustrators, musicians, artists, designers and other professionals in the creative field. It is hoped that they can share their inspiration through this platform and promote the overall progress of the whole creative field.

In addition to a large shared office space, BASE also offers affordable hotel rooms for dozens of fashion, design and art start-up teams that move into the project. The Base covers a total area of 12,000 square meters. In addition to sharing office and hotel services, it is also used for holding exhibitions, performances and conferences. Every season, the WHITE Milano fashion show is also held here.

About "Italian Fashion Study Week" of Orange Bay University

From October 7 to 13, 2019, the first "Italian Fashion Study Week", organized by Orange Bay University, brought students to visit and study in top design schools, luxury brand headquarters and art museums in Milan and Florence, as well as to engage in in-depth discussions with brand managers, designers, artists and curators to better understand Italian luxury brands and the fashion industry supply chain, and fully experience Italian culture, art, design aesthetics and lifestyle.

About Orange Bay University

Founded in the spring of 2017 by the authoritative fashion business media Luxe.CO, Orange Bay University for the first time combines world-class case teaching with pioneering entrepreneurship education with the help of the powerful lecturers in the industry, and aims to help entrepreneurs, enterprises and investors in the fashion industry grow with the times and practice "lifelong learning"!


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