The digital world is a key factor to reach new generations. They’re digital natives and therefore think and behave in a different way. There is no one better than them to discuss what has been the impact of digital media in the fashion industry. And hint to fashion companies should rethink their strategies. I'm here today with a group of smart international students attending our courses at Bocconi University. Hi, I'm JP and I'm from Taiwan. Hi, I'm Tejaswita I'm from India. Hi, I'm Carolina from Brazil. Hi, I'm Robert and I'm from Romania. Let's start by discussing a very hot topic which is the possibility for a traditional magazine to survive. They used to play a very important influence in the fashion industry but now more and more companies are moving their budgets online. And publishers warned them if young people like you are will still buy glossy magazine. So what do you do? Do you still buy printed magazines and if so why or if not why you prefer online applications? I did have the experience in purchasing real magazines when I was in college. The magazine was about learning English. After a few months I found out they had a digital version and immediately changed my mind. I stopped subscribing to it and ordered the digital one for three reasons. First it's much cheaper. Second, it's more green because I don't waste paper and I don't need a space to store my magazines. And the third is I can read with my phone everywhere. I think it's much more convenient for me and that's why I prefer using digital or online magazines. Not such good news for traditional publishers but you raise very interesting points. For me I am more traditional, while I was back in India before coming here I used to subscribe to a lot of magazines. I always had a Vogue and a GQ. I actually enjoyed reading GQ more than I did Vogue. And How to Spend It is also another magazine because I also subscribe to the financial times. So, but I'm a traditional magazine person. I love the touch and feel and I think its also more a part of leisure activity. However, today, since I'm here it is not so much leisure time so things have changed. So, I now subscribe to the digital version. More from a practical point of view, but, given a choice, I would always pick up a magazine, I'd like to read. And, you know, it's the touch and feel, I'm still traditional. Interesting, What about you Carolina? I'd like to say that I still buy some magazines like Vogue and Elle, for example, but not every month. For me it depends on the edition, and, the decision of the purchase depends if something catches my attention. For example, one important cover or an outstanding content or special edition, for example. And then, in this case, I don't see it just as a magazine but as a book or an important document that deserves to be remembered. And also because fashion is about passion. And as you were saying feeling touching and it can be textile. A texture or a paper. But at the same time fashion is a really transitional industry. You always have to keep in touch with the online platforms because otherwise the information gets old really fast. I completely agree with the girls because I really love like reading magazines. Also like feeling the paper, just to touch it, you know. Exactly. It's like reading a book. It's a nice feeling. And apart from that, I really like magazines because of there editorials, the quality of the photos and I like them printed. I just also like to keep them in my room like on my bookshelves, like on my beside table, just to watch them because they're really nice. Another aspect which I want to like highlight is the fact that much of the content, which is quality content of some magazines, is not available online. Only, of course if you probably subscribe. The fact is that I really like to change, I don't read only one title, I like to change them. So I can read, for example, Acne Paper, which is Biannual, there is no subscription online. It just prints it. It's quality content. In a sense, I can go switch to Fantastic Man or even Vogue, Vogue Italy, for example, for editorials, depending on the issues. I really like the fact how Franca Sozzani, for example, used fashion, just for different causes like eating disorders, or wars or environmental problems. Exactly. That's why I really like to buy the magazines then just keep them. Actually what you are saying is that magazines will survive provided they really give you a different and unique point of view. They need to have quality in the paper, in the images, in the contributors they have. Also because most of them are not only engaged in fashion but also about contemporary issues, lots about culture, arts, there are a lot of instances. The contributors are not only people from the fashion industry but also contemporary artists and photographers which are not strictly related to the fashion system and that's one of the aspects that I’m really interested in. Yes it's a mix. A fashion magazine is not just about Photoshoots or pretty locations and pretty outfits, It's so much more. There is lifestyle content. There's city content. There is something about a new city, places to see, things to eat. Especially for international students like us. You know when, when you come here you want to see pictures sometimes restaurants, what the lifestyle is like. So you really kind of gain a cultural perspective more than just a fashion perspective. Fashion isn’t only by itself it’s a mixture of everything interpreted for our time basically. Long life to magazines, but be aware it is a fact that fashion blogging is taking more and more importance. To point that, for example, Franca Sozzani, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, by the way, an internet blogger wrote, “There are many questions about the invasion of fashion bloggers.” “Why are they so credited? “Why do they sit in the front row?” “Do we need all those bloggers?” I'm very curious to understand your points of view because I'm sure that you're following many different blogs. In your view, what is the added value they bring? And do you like bloggers that are most posers, so they are mainly famous for the extravagant outfits they wear? Or do you search for different points of view, so people that have a specific expertise? Who wants to answer first? Carloina? I think that with the internet exposure. It's really easy that someone that is not famous becomes someone important over night. We have a plenty of bloggers like what I wear today. In my opinion at least, it’s a big lack of content and a bit of an egocentric view. But they really respect and appreciate the work of the bloggers that did something different that proposed something different. For example, those authorities that show a poetic strict style for example. And there is a blog that I follow in Brazil. That is called Starving. You can really see it not only as a blog but as a service almost because you can get a lot of information not only about fashion but also about behavior, about the things that we were talking about before. So I think that's the real content. I agree with Carolina completely because for me, I think, today anybody can become a blogger. It's so easy. There's no investment, there's nothing. There's no credibility required. And over the years, journalists have built that credibility. Whoever sits on the front row of the fashion runway shows, they have earned that credibility. And today, because you have following yes. You have, you have, you know, Pinterest, you have so many places where you could just click and upload pictures. But the credibility that they earn, I think the bloggers lack somewhere. It's a lot about street style just clicking some pictures, or of themselves and putting it up. I don't think there's content to that. However don't you think that it's true that somehow they're filling in the gap between the industry and the final consumers. Because journalists are part of the industry, while bloggers are outsiders as the followers are. So they may have a fresher point of view? For me it's more about Them to talk about fashion. I don't see them having any credibility to talk about fashion, or dictate trends or… It could be a discussion, yes, but I wouldn't want to follow somebody who, doesn't have any credibility from me to follow them in terms of what is fashion today, and what is a trend tomorrow, and what I think that credibility lacks somewhere for me personally. Probably credibility comes with professionalism though. Yes. For example you cited like this photographer is. He was already a famous photographer. His wife for example is also a very famous illustrator. And also her blog has certain aesthetic which is really good and nice to look at. Just the images which are on her blog. So I think that's one of the key aspect, professionalism. What I also want to highlight in regard to fashion bloggers is they may like fashion a little bit more democratic. The problem is it’s an effect of the Internet. Not only about the bloggers because nowadays you can just go on the website or and you can look at the fashion show live streamed. Which is something that was not doable a couple of years ago. Yeah. Don't get me wrong. I'm just saying that it’s good to be opening new avenues and we have more opinions and it's more democratic in that sense. Then having said that there are very good blogs like The Sartorialist, which is really great and doing well and also contributing to the society in that sense. In fashion and history, in that sense. It's also true that for example journalists and Newspapers like Financial Times’ Vanessa Friedman also has her own blog. Like Material World it's a really good blog with a good quality content. It's really enjoyable to read. Absolutely. But what about, so other countries like the Chinese consumers? I have another point of view. For me, sometimes, I don't want to just follow the professional, because I think bloggers, describe things from a normal people's point of view. It's easier for us to trust, or to digest their article, their words. Because we are similar, although they are online celebrities but we may go to the same restaurant. We may go to the same school. We are the same, and they are not supermodels. So what they wear, we can wear. That's a good point. I think it's another point of. Don't you think that they can actually be influenced by the fashion houses? Like with endorsements and maybe even providing them with clothes and so on? I don't think it's actually an objective point of view of the fashion but some are oriented by these single fashion houses. Let me say that for sure there is always an influence. Most of the people from outside, want to become insiders. So they also like to have connections with fashion houses. However they can have more freedom in their points of view because its their house. The kind of conversations you have with the bloggers are different than the conversations you may have with magazines. We should definitely recognize that they have brought a lot of fresh air into the fashion industry as JP was saying. And also that they made the language of communication change because everyday they need to post something new. So companies are also compelled to continuously create new content. I agree in it's more now with the blogs coming out and the constraints of the magazines and newspapers, they have space constraints always. With blogs the good thing is that you always have so much space to talk. This, it's new content every day, you give and share new ideas, new products, new information. catch the new trends that are in the city. You know it's, real time updates. For a magazine with the space constraints a lot of times a lot of things get deleted. So blogs in that sense are a great way to capture on-the-go right-now what’s-happening hot-trending new everyday information. Speaking about what's happening now, let's now touch the last topic, the growing importance of social media. For sure it provides a lot of opportunities to mass market brands, while for luxury brands they may pose some challenges. First of all they could create some reputation issues. What is it worth that can make the brand losing a little bit the allure. Do we still want to enter in a club if everyone gets access to it? Do we still expect to have a conversation with people like Miuccia Prada? What do you think guys? How should luxury brands approach social media? I think it's a great opportunity for luxury brands to showcase themselves on a larger scale globally and speak one language at a global level. Today life has gotten so busy, all of us are traveling whether you're work professionals or students You always concentrate on the goal. And social media is a great way to keep abreast all the new information. What's happening around the world, trending, and it'd be nice to read a tweet from Miuccia Prada. It would be great read an article from Giorgio Armani while I'm on the go sitting at the airport. You know than talking about something relevant or sharing their ideas with the world instead of me waiting to read that article maybe in a magazine. It's also great to be in that space because that's where the world is heading. Digital is where the world is heading and they can't miss out on the bus. Having said that it's also important given the identity of the brand and it's a luxury brand. They don't have to be a mass-market brand and communicate everyday with updates or do contests but they could do it in a way which is more aesthetic, which is more in tune with what the brand stands for but they cannot miss the bus of where the world is heading. Otherwise, they're going to left behind. I agree with you in some part. But first I think that nowadays, being on social media is not a choice, it's a must. The thing is people will speak about your brand anyway. The question is, do you want to be aware of it and try to do something about it or not? But for a luxury brand, I think that they need to find a balance, to position themselves in a different way. You were saying for example, Miuccia Prada eating something. I think that, maybe it can take off a bit, the dream factor behind a luxury brand. I think that they need to find a balance between being present but not too close. Like being accessible but not in a conversation with the followers. Talking about the dream factor, I just want to highlight how important it is to use social media. To actually build this dream in a coherent way. Everything single grand has its own history. And it's amazing to use different social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr as well to amplify this message through images. Texts, collaborations, and so on. It's amazing. It was not available a couple of years ago. It can be very informative on their heritage, on their craftsmanship. Especially for the new generations that maybe are not aware of the history of the brand, so it's a way of educating and trying show the new generations about the value of the brand. For example education is a key team in Asia, right? Yes, I would like to share an experience from China. It's about Burberry. In 2011 they had a all digital catwalk show in Beijing and it was amazing. After that show, all people were talking about it, and now we can watch the video in Tudou, it's a Chinese version of YouTube, we may see the campaign of Burberry. And see the short video about their history. Besides in April 2014, they had a fashion show in Shanghai that was also, connected with digital and with their craftsmanship in trench coats. It was also amazing, all my Shanghai celebrity friends attended. And the day after, all the Weibo messages, it's like Chinese version Twitter, we're talking about it. Even today, I still receive links from my friends. So it's a surprise. And now like, also to mention when I was in China I was a fashion designer. And when we need to see the latest we may go to Burberry to see what we can get from them. This is really amazing. Burberry is a true digital pioneer. An amazing company. We will also talk about that in then next lecture. So, thank you guys. Your comments were very inspiring. I'm really happy that the future belongs to smart people like you. Thank you. Thank you. Bye. Bye.