12 May 2023

"The success that comes from a fashion brand’s creation passes from a clear, creative vision, but also analytical and brand placing skills"

Valerio De Benedetti, professor at the Master Course in Creative Direction for Fashion, with the Mentorship of Danielle Kwateng, is currently Managing Director at IDA, previously he was General Manager at MDV Crew and Account Director at Buzzoole. Over the last few years he partnered and managed international marketing campaigns for some of the world's leading brands including Dolce & Gabbana, FCA, Ermenegildo Zegna, Campari and Disney. 

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

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

I describe my life like a sliding door. For 20 years, I believed that I would become a basketball player, only to gradually realise that my main passion was being a Marketing expert. I am acurrently Managing Director at IDA, a communication agency that develops brand marketing strategy by using influencers, celebrities and content creator. Before this, I was the General Manager of ‘MDV Crew’, the Account Director at ‘Buzzoole’ and I have had opportunities to partner with some of the most famous celebrities in the world and to develop marketing and communications strategies for many iconic brands. Some of these include ‘Dolce & Gabbana’; ‘Ermenegildo Zegna’; ‘Colmar’; ‘Vinted’; ‘Sephora’; and ‘Swarovski’. However, I have not lost my sportive spirit and the habit of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. I believe that curiosity is a form of growth and a motive for change. My teaching method combines creative and cultural aspects, a consistent approach that works thanks to case studies and direct experiences from decision makers and marketers aim to help studying become effective and efficient.

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?

Today the fashion industry requires transversal and hyper-connected skills, together with managing abilities with focusing on production, finance and marketing. The success that comes from a fashion brand’s creation passes from a clear, creative vision, but also analytical and brand placing skills. Before being represented by their products, businesses are brands and they bring worthy aspects and important communications with them. Inside this vision, it is crucial to maintain relationships with artists, celebrities and the press. This is all to reinforce the image and the placement of a brand and to amplify its impact and measure its awareness. At the end of this course, the students will be able to master these aspects and to strengthen their comprehension as well as to enhance their use of the inside of their professional paths.

What is your vision of fashion's future?

The fashion industry will focus primarily on sustainability and digitalization. From a production point of view, the aim will be to reduce the carbon footprint. From a financial point of view, the focus will be, without a doubt, on the second hand market. From a marketing perspective, in person and digital will be the winning combo, with the implementation of “phygital” strategies which will focus on virtual shopping experiences and virtual events together with the implementation of digital endorsement as content creator, virtual influencers and the metaverse scenario.

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

A recent study showed that 77% of buying decisions are made on the perception consumers have about a specific brand. Within this data my answer unfolds. Primary in the fashion industry, the perception, the feelings and the experiences which consumers associate to the brand are key. Consumers don’t buy a clothing item for its use but they do because of how they feel when they wear it. Patagonia is a clear example of that: by buying Patagonia, consumers feel part of a community based on sustainability, and circularity. Consumers buy their values, no just their products.

Which advice would you give to a young creative looking to break into the fashion industry?

Study, test, fail but do it by adding a 1% more compared to the others. Do it with no fear of failing and learning from your mistakes. As a Managing Director, I know that failing and challenging yourself are key steps to success. Embrace this all and do it aiming to always be “one step forward”. This is the first piece of advice, the others are what the lesson of this class will be all about.

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