Buongiorno di nuovo! Today was another fantastic day, and it all began with una colazione deliziosa that had scrumptious croissants, savory biscotti, and espresso eccellente! Breakfast was then followed up by a bus ride to La Nuova Academia del Design, abbreviated as NAD, which is a school specializing in fashion, interior, and visual design. At NAD, we were given a presentation on the background and disciplines of the school, including their very specified degrees that included a masters of literature in fashion design. What was most fascinating was understanding how the architectural planning of a store combined both engineering and business aspects: how to grab the attention of the customer and keep them in the store required knowledge of business aspects, while the feasibility of the desired project required the involvement of an engineer mindset. It was additionally interesting to have students present their projects from an architectural competition in which they were required to design a luxury hotel room for a city of choice, as gli studenti explained the purpose behind certain aspects of the design that related to their chosen city. For example, one student chose Hamburg, Germany, and placed several hanging plants and green-friendly decor in the room to contrast with the dull, industrial reputation of the city. Three students from the fashion design school additionally presented their projects for an upcoming fashion show; overall, it was wonderful to learn of the students’ passion and excitement for their school and future career.
The visit to NAD was followed by a stop at a Veronese mall called Adigeo for lunch and shopping. Per Pranzo, I had a piadina wrap with prosciutto and rucola cheese that was buonissimo. After pranzo, we walked around the mall and saw such stores as H&M, Foot Locker, Mango, and Jack & Jones. I noticed a heavy American influence in several of the stores we visited, from shirts with “Los Angeles” on them to American pop music playing in the background. After a while, most of us guys were very tired and decided to relax on reclining sofas in the mall.
Following lunch, we had our site visit to Mero and More, which is a fashion design and consulting firm that is a member of the Verona Fashion Consortium. The company is relatively small and close-knit, which works as smaller companies are better at adjusting to the rapid seasonal changes in the fashion business because of their smaller supply chain. We were first given a lecture on the Consorzio della Moda, which brings together Italian fashion company in a network of connections to and also does events promoting talent, including a competition that they started last year that involves fashion students presenting their designs and the three winners then come together to work on a design project together. We then began our tour of Mero and More, during which we were able to observe their operations. First, the “modalista” makes the designs and reproduces them on a machine, and after that they are cut out by machine in parts and sent to another company in order to be stitched together. The final product is then shipped back to Mero and More for quality inspection. It was also interesting to learn about how firms such as Mero and More use weather forecasting to predict demand for different types of clothing in their attempt to try and catch the market between the changing of the season.
Arriverderci e Buona Giornata!