Political leaders and top brands from the fashion and technology sectors were on stage today, March 1st at the Lugano City Hall to announce a series of initiatives designed to drive innovation and growth in the Ticino Fashion Valley.
Already a strong point for the canton, the burgeoning FashionTech industry is home to over 80 major labels, employing over 5000 people and with revenues of over 10 billion CHF, however there is even more potential for the sector as a driver of employment, opportunity and… innovation.
The Netcomm Suisse e-Commerce and Digital Association aims to leverage exactly this potential as it announced three separate initiatives, all focused on the growth potential of the digital and fashion industries in the Canton. The three imminent events announced were:
Kicking off the meeting today was the Mayor of Lugano, Marco Borradori, alongside Stefano Rizzi from the DFE Ticino and Mr. Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, Former State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation. They joined President of NetComm Suisse, Carlo Terreni as he announced the upcoming Fashion Innovation Week. The five-day event includes seminars, workshops, study presentations and this year’s Fashion Innovation Award promoted by Loomish SA. It promises to again be a vibrant series of meetings, investment opportunities and spaces to develop and disseminate innovative ideas to make Lugano the European hub of digital innovation in fashion.
Event partners were also present, from such world-leading brands as Google, VF, Guess, Giglio Group, iBox and Find Srl as well as local companies Dagorà (creator of innovation hubs crafted for the digital industry) and Loomish SA.
Google spokesperson Alessandra Domizi, Industry Head Fashion and Retail, Google Italy, said of the initiatives, “We are delighted to be supporting both the Digital Bootcamp and this year’s Fashion Innovation Award, aiming to enhance the digital ecosystem in Ticino. We have contributed two scholarships to the Digital Bootcamp, which will equip young university graduates with the practical skills to enter the industry and at the same time, our involvement in the Fashion innovation Award is a way to facilitate and support synergies between fashion brands, investors and digital ecosystem.”
Another of the leading apparel & footwear companies involved in the week will be VF, which is also partnering the Digital Bootcamp, providing a scholarship fund to take young graduates and introduce them to the digital workplace.
Represented by Alessandra Greco, Director Digital Platforms, at the Partners and Media event; “To support the VF digital strategy and initiatives, it’s really important to support and nurture the creation of a digital talents pool and give them the opportunity to experience a global and multicultural working place which is living and driving a digital cultural transformation to support our company business growth and stay connected with the consumers.” The Digital Bootcamp consists of a 5-month program designed to help young gradutes to develop the core skills required to be an active part of the digital economy.
Making that digital/innovation economy work, of course, requires funding and on stage today were other business leaders, this time from the financial sector. Of note were Francesco Demaria, from Accenture who joined the politicians in discussing the economic potential of Ticino as well as entrepreneur, Mr. Jacob Hoekstra, whose company Kilpatrick Group SA recently completed the acquisition of BFK HR Consulting in a deal managed by event partner Loomish SA. With the acquisition of BFK HR Consulting, Kilpatrick launches BFK Digital, on which all the Group’s digital assets and capabilities will converge. BFK Digital’s vision starts from “People” and capabilities, the key enablers of any digital transformation.
THE 2019 FASHION INNOVATION WEEK PROGRAM
Monday April 1st: the main event of the week, the Innovation Meets Fashion event is a fixture of the FashionTech calendar and regularly hosts over 1000 delegates, speakers and visitors.
Tuesday April 2nd: the Fashion Innovation Award, a closed-door event where selected start-up and scale-up companies get to pitch to an international audience of brands and investors.
Wednesday April 3rd: Institutional Day: another closed-door event featuring political and business leaders, aimed at discussing the shape innovation should take in the coming years.
Thursday April 4th & 5th: the FashionTech sustainability Challenge invites student groups from diverse universities to invent, develop and present a technological solution for brands on the theme of sustainability.
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