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 derived from the aesthetic elements of Italy’s rich artistic and cultural heritage, but also from the exquisite craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation. More importantly, it is because Italian entrepreneurs, designers and artisans have kept pace with the times and continue to innovate to remain at the forefront of the global fashion and design industry. Nearly a quarter of the more than 2,000 global brands covered by Luxe.Co, are from Italy!

In order to better understand the true meaning of Italian design innovation, we visited Istituto Europeo di DesignPolitecnico di Milano and Base, a fashion and art sharing space in Milan, during Orange Bay University’s first half of "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 theory and practice. Istituto Europeo di Design has cultivated a number of famous talents lover the past 50 years, including Dior’s Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Valentino’s Creative Director, Pier Paolo Picciol, and Marco de Vincenzo, Fendi Accessories’ Designer, among others.

Orange Bay students had the chance to combine theory with practice when they visited IED’s knitting and leather workshop and learned how the students handled real projects based on the guidance of expert mentors from the Milan fashion industry. The Director of International Communications at IED, Andrea Tosi, 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 country’s rich cultural and artistic wealth, combining aesthetics, practicality and innovation to give products that are "Made In Italy" a higher value. He pointed out that Italy's experience of transforming the fashion design industry is especially of great significance to China, which is actively seeking industrial innovation. Manuela Sacco, Professor of IED Fashion Marketing, further introduced the IED's teaching philosophy of innovation as its core, a philosophy in which practice and interdisciplinary learning are deeply integrated.

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, and fashion designer Gianfranco Ferre, among others. 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 challenge for brands in terms of innovation 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. The road was hard to see in the past because there were few lamps. The road is still hard to see now because there are too many lights. Hence, the focus of innovation in today's Italian design world is no longer limited to the "product", but is more focused on the "direction" of innovation.

Professor Claudio Dell’Era said that brands needed to help consumers to 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 the true meaning of "consumer-driven innovation", Professor Claudio Dell’Era described how the Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company, Nintendo, used its motion-sensing Wii to distinguish itself from PlayStation and Xbox to become the most popular home game console. Professor Dell’Era also explained how a brand can choose to break the conventional innovation direction and build differentiated competitiveness in an all-round way, based on 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 consists of an integration of art, business and technological innovation. Base is a large learning and exchange institution for Milanese citizens and creative professionals. It was originally intended to promote communication among writers, illustrators, musicians, artists, designers and other professionals in the creative field in the hope that they would share their inspiration via this platform and promote the overall progress of the entire 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. It 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. The White Milano fashion show is also held here every season.

About "Italian Fashion Study Week" of Orange Bay University

The first "Italian Fashion Study Week" was organized by Orange Bay University from October 7 to 13, 2019, when students were invited 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 the 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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