From the Heritage of “Made in Italy” to New Digital Fashion Companies: How the Digital Revolution Has Been Transforming the Fashion Industry

By Paola Bertola and Chiara Colombi.

Published by The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: January 26, 2016 $US5.00

This paper presents the Italian Fashion System, with its leading global role, as a privileged context for surveying the digital revolution phenomenon, especially for its richness in terms of tangible and intangible resources. It has been thoroughly analyzed through a field research activity, which included companies/brands cases conducted directly by the authors. Some of the cases are presented in detail to support a theoretical model, framing three possible different strategies for fashion companies embracing the digital revolution. In fact, the paper introduces three clusters of Italian companies and their way of dealing with digital technologies: traditional historical fashion brands, new fashion brands created during the last ten years, and finally new digital fashion companies, operating only in the field of services. The paper finally discusses the main challenges characterizing this on-going phenomenon, identifying possible weaknesses of the local system and the main barriers it should overcome for reaching a real competitive advantage.

Keywords: Made in Italy, Digital Fashion, Fashion Start-Ups, Luxury Business

The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, Volume 10, Issue 1, March, 2016, pp.13-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 26, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 472.321KB)).

Prof. Paola Bertola

Full Professor, Design Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Prof. Chiara Colombi

Assistant Professor, Design Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy