Today was our last day here in Italy. I’m sad to go, but it was a great day to end on. We started by taking a tour of the Milan Fashion Library. It was very interesting, and something that I didn’t really expect. The library was essentially just an archive of fashion magazines that date back to the late eighteen hundreds. It was really cool to see the old archives, but it was also not what I expected. It takes the role of a service provider in the supply chain, and is a place that designers can come to fro inspiration and research when exploring new ideas. It is also valuable resource for lawyers to use to ensure that no copyrighted materials are being used in an illegal way. Both of these uses seem to fill a pretty useful niche in the fashion supply chain, however they do not play a traditional supply chain role that I would have expected to see in a site visit here in Milan. Regardless, the visit was very interesting and really opened my eyes to just how much thought really goes into the fashion industry, and just how extensive the supply chain can be.
The visit to the library today was our last academic requirement for our trip to Italy, so after that was over, we had a group lunch and then the rest of the evening was ours, Group lunch was great, and I will miss our group meals a lot. After that I took some time to relax and prepare my luggage for the early morning departure tomorrow morning. Then tonight I went all out and ordered an authentic Italian meal with both primo and secundo. It was a great dinner, and I followed it with gelato to top the last night off. It was interesting because we learned that our waiter was actually a fashion designer here in Milan, and was simultaneously waiting tables because it is hard to succeed in the fashion industry. We did not get to see any of his designs, but he sounded very enthusiastic about the topic, and offered us a new viewpoint to consider. We drew the comparison that designers in Milan were like Actors in Los Angeles. We realized that the industry is extremely competitive and that the designers that make it big are really exceptions to the industry. It all made perfect sense, but it was still something that I never really thought about until I spoke with our waiter. It was another eye-opening experience that came from just a random encounter that I never could have planned. I guess it serves as a testament as to why we chose to study the fashion supply chain in Italy.