Let’s Talk Fashion

Today, we had the pleasure of visiting the Armani Silos museum, which was extremely impressive. Seeing all those beautiful clothes and not being able to buy them was slightly painful, but hopefully someday I will be able to afford them.  We also met back up with the students of Universita Cattolica and I spent some time with a student that I didn’t get to meet last time. To start our day, we had a presentation by Francesca Romana Rinaldi which I actually learned a lot in, I did not think I would because I thought it would be the same type of stuff that we learned in our introduction to business classes, however she went very in depth in just the short hour she talked to us.

First, I found it very interesting how she pointed out that with fast fashion, we are now shopping way more than we used to, instead of shopping once a season for clothes that match that season, we now go shopping about every week or two. Stores now get new clothing in about two times a week, so us, being the trendy teens we are, want to keep up with the latest fashion trends and must go out and buy whatever is new on the market. Stores like this use the scarcity effect to make it seem like if we find something we like we must buy it because we won’t find it again. I found this quite interesting because I realized that I do this as well, which is why I have two closets full of clothes at home. Another thing I found interesting was that companies that use fast fashion, watch the runway, and see what new trends are coming to high end fashion and start producing them right away. Also, I learned is that there is a difference between luxury, designer, and premium brands. I always thought that they all kind of meant the same thing and could be used interchangeably, and when she was naming examples of each category, the brands did not fall into the categories I would have put them in. For example, Chanel and Louis Vittoun fall under luxury brands, Armani and Valentino under designer brands, and Coach and Calvin Klein under premium brands. I also assumed that most high-end retailers that sell similar products operated on similar values and characteristics, however, they all have their own way of doing things.

In her presentation, she also talked about sustainability. This is a very important topic in today’s society because people are really starting to actually care about the environment and take it into consideration before they act. This is especially popular in the clothing market because it can be done, companies could easily become more sustainable without paying a much larger price. They can do things as simple as changing the dye they use in their clothing to more natural ones. Some actions may even cut costs for the company like making their machines or patterns more efficient. It is happening now that companies are trying to be more sustainable because it is what their customers are asking for. At least they are trying to look like they are becoming more sustainable and really show off what they do, but are actually not doing a lot. They think as long as they present what they are doing well, that customers will not dig deep enough to find out that they are not really sustainable. I find this interesting because now I may actually consider which companies are really trying and which ones are faking it.  However, there are some companies that are really trying to become more sustainable such as Patagonia. Some companies are actually born sustainable, their products may be naturally eco-friendly and organic. I found this interesting because I didn’t know it was possible to have a supply chain that is completely sustainable. Companies need to find the perfect balance between people, profits and the planet, when they can do this they will be truly sustainable. Overall, if we want companies to become more sustainable, we as consumers need to push them until we get what we want. They will not take these steps unless they are made to do so.

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