On our 9th day in Italy, we spend the entire day walking around Verona and seeing Mero and More, a member of Consorzio Della Moda, a fashion consortium in Verona. The consortium is similar to many consulting companies as it is a group of companies that has a small employee base that goes and helps fashion companies collaborate to come out with different products. I went into this visit knowing very little about what a consortium is , however I came out full of knowledge. Throughout the day I investigated the practices of the consortium and the similarities between it and certain organizations in the United States.
Consorzio Della Moda was founded in 2000 as a private entity for fashion companies to have a way to work together, the first consortium of it’s kind in Verona. The consortium today has 46 companies as members and it as it deals with every aspect of the fashion supply chain, and the amount of companies it deals with is believed to add up to over 300. This consortium is basically a way for other companies to go somewhere with ideas, and to be able to find another company that specializes in their idea to produce it. Companies pay an initial fee to join the consortium and also pay an annual fee, however it often pays off with the connections made. Mero and More specifically focuses on cutting raw materials, sewing them together, tagging and quality control. Mero and More then typically sells their product directly to the consumer as a downstream supplier. A similarity to a consortium in the United States would be a consulting company like Deloitte. While Deloitte doesn’t really deal with fashion, it involved a consulting company to send anybody from a business tech analyst to a senior consultant to a company to assist them with many different areas of their business including audit, financial advisory, or risk management. The consultants go and see the company’s issues and then show the company what they can do better.
In my opinion, Consorzio Della Moda can be related to a consulting company very well, however, if I were to describe it in a way that relates to me I could relate it to a group chat for a class. A group chat for a class usually deals with students forming an alliance, and helping each other out by giving information on what to prepare for and how to do well for projects and exams. This is broken up into a group much smaller than a class, and is only a few peers who decide that it is in their best interest for everybody to work together if they want to do the best that they can in the class. In the situation of the consortium, the students would be like the companies, and the exams and projects would be like the consumers. While these are completely different situations, they both consist of people trying to accomplish a simple goal and working together to do so.
Today my study abroad experience faced a shocking realization, as I realized I only have 5 days left in Italy. I decided to combat this feeling by going shopping and buying clothes. While shopping I decided to go into some high end stores and some mid range stores. I was shocked to realize that I would often go into a high end store and find a shirt to cost a lot of money, and to see a price around a tenth of the cost at a mid range store. I would assume that this is due to different fabric of different production prices but I still don’t think the price should be ten times higher. In the United States, even high end stores usually try to have reasonable prices to accommodate to people of different financial standing. In Italy, many people value fashion and it is seen as prestigious to own top brand clothes, which is likely what leads to these products being so expensive.
A theme I observed today was company/professional issues. The organizational culture for Mero and More consisted of many different steps in the supply chain including cutting raw materials, sewing them together, tagging and quality control. Because there are this many steps, employees of completely different specialties must come together. This alliance, however, applies to the entire consortium as teamwork must be valued. Mero and More also specifically tends to be more open to ideas as they are a designer. There are multiple racks of clothes all over the facility waiting to be given further orders for their designs to be tailored. This is very important as it gives stylists many different designs to work with. This visit was very interesting and I am glad I was able to learn about Consorzio Della Moda and Mero and More, and I am excited to head back to Milan tomorrow. Stay tuned!