Contributors: Stefano Martinetto
Stefano Martinetto, CEO of Tomorrow Ltd.
MU32: the interviews to sector’s opinion leaders talking about key topics for the industry
"the only sense that digitilization failed to replace is touch"
In this year of profound changes, how much has digital technology favored and supported the development of your work? And how much has it hindered it?
The acceleration of the digital enhancement in our industry has been critical.
This was already in the plan but undoubtedly we have squeezed 5-7 years of innovation into a few months.
The development of a digital showroom with proprietary media content on our platform www.tomorrowltd.com allowed us to run sales campaigns with only the Milan and NY showrooms open to the public and the London showroom used as studios. Clearly Zoom, Teams and Facetime played a central role for video streaming.
How can the digital technology support creativity?
Creative directors have learned to communicate their vision, as they could not rely on physical presence at fashion shows.
At the beginning, the big brands with high budgets overdosed with "tech for tech's sake": brainless demonstrations.
I liked the great democratization perceived by consumers, because majors could not count on hacking buyers’ attention.
The small brands have had a chance to compete by leveraging on their creativity without having to use, or rather waste, immense resources.
I'm thinking of the quasi-live shows of Jaquemus and Coperni in France, the videos of A Cold Wall and Sunnei in Italy and Marine Serre in Paris.
In your opinion, in what area did technology really change the fashion supply chain? Which is the business area that could be most constrained by digitalisation?
I find it difficult for the textile industry to avoid human and physical contact. Therefore, I expect a return to face-to-face human relationships and textile trade shows.
Technology detached traveling from the obsolete experience.
In the future, it will be difficult for people to continue to incur the costs and stress of a quick return trip between London and Milan just to have lunch with a client.
In the end, the only sense that digitilization failed to replace is touch. I find it difficult for the textile industry to avoid human and physical contact. Therefore, I expect a return to face-to-face human relationships and textile trade shows.
Conversely, the application of blockchain in controlling supply chain authenticity and traceability is interesting.
Can technology be a lever for generating new sustainable behavior?
When I think about the folly of free returns in e-commerce and the amount of unnecessary city traveling, I don't see any advantage.
This is a cultural change, not a technological one.
Do you think that digitilization can become an ally of sustainability and facilitate its processes?
Traceability can be the most effective tool and, consequently, media exposure of bad practices.
Consumers vote with their wallets and buy what they think is relevant; access to radically transparent information is the driver for this behavior.
Technology alone cannot trigger change nor widespread growth. Craftsmanship as a source of tradition, research as a source of innovation, as well as skills and training to be passed down, are the real assets to be preserved. Is it correct to say that these values are key in determining sustainable behavior and therefore inseparable from real relationships?
We always talk about waste, overproduction, customization.
What's less polluting than pure tailoring?
How did you manage digital trade shows and events?
With fatigue and a desire to soon be able to return to a more rational and measured physical presence.
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