15 May 2023

"The credibility of a brand, how it is received, criticized, loved, discussed, idolized... it is everything"

Benedetta Rossi, professor at the Master Course in Fashion Business, with the Mentorship of Margherita Maccapani Missoni, is a costume, fashion, interior and music journalist. She worked for years in the editorial offices of Vogue Italia and L'Uomo Vogue, under the direction of Franca Sozzani. She has been set stylist for Casa Vogue and contributor for Vogue Gioiello, Vogue Pelle and Glamour.

Let's find out together her vision on the future scenarios of the fashion industry. 

Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and your job?

I am a fashion, interior and culture journalist, a communication consultant, art director and storyteller. I collaborate with luxury maisons in the fashion world, I am a consultant for Italian luxury craft brands, and I am involved in the production of interior features for prestigious international magazines. I have a passion for music and have been a contributor to Rolling Stone Italia magazine for 8 years. I wrote for years for Vogue Italia under the editorship of Franca Sozzani, and collaborated on Casa Vogue, Vogue Pelle and Vogue Gioiello. I wrote for 5 years on L'Uomo Vogue under the editorship of Anna dello Russo. For 12 years I wrote for Elle Italia. Now I am happily freelancing and as a journalist I collaborate with various newspapers around the world.

How does the figure leaving this course affect the fashion industry? In what ways is the figure leaving this course important for the fashion industry?

I hope that the experience of this course will bring awareness and depth to students. An awareness that is cultural, visual, but also historical, based on the history of fashion, of costume, on the thousand interconnections with social, anthropological, political aspects.  I am sure that to do business in any field, one must certainly have the brilliant insights, and know how to implement them, with the right means and strategies. But having awareness of the context in which you operate is crucial. In this sense, a country like Italy, and even more so a city like Florence, are ideal to better understand some realities related to the world of fashion, communication, art and beauty.

What is your vision of fashion's future?

Difficult to say at this time of political and economic conjunctions. But fashion has always known how to draw lifeblood from times of crisis and hardship. Indeed, perhaps the greatest revolutions in costume occurred at times when there was less hedonism, and more concreteness. I think of Mademoiselle Chanel's revolution, or the autarkic style of Italian fashion in the early postwar period. Today we are witnessing the emergence of new markets, which have totally new needs compared to the established ones of the "old" West. the players are no longer individual designers but rather large multinational corporations that make decisions oriented by marketing and no longer-only-by creativity.

What role does perception related to a brand play in the fashion sector and beyond today?

Everything. Brand perception is everything. And it is before everyone's eyes, through social media (and thus hypothetically through a virtual eye that extends its gaze around the world) even before fashion shows and store windows. The credibility of a brand, how it is received, criticized, loved, discussed, idolized... it is everything. And the recent Balenciaga scandal showed us how "faithless" the public is.

What is the link between luxury and sustainability in business today, and how do you communicate it?

Luxury int all its facets has long since started to deal with sustainability; that means ucpycling, research of materials as environmentally friendly as possible, clean disposal, funds for reforestation. The challenge is huge also because to be really sustainable we wouldn't have to buy anything anymore! The whole supply chain has to be rethought, from labor to packaging. There is no true sustainability if there are no gar as well.

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