Accenture helps Milan Fashion Week go digital amid corona

17 July 2020 3 min. read

Accenture has collaborated with Microsoft to facilitate the first ever Milan Digital Fashion Week, organised by Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana (CNMI). The pair have designed a new digital platform that brings the event experience online. 

For attendees, the entire ramp experience has been virtualised, with live streaming of catwalks, fashion shows, roundtables and other events. For the buyers and browsers, the product catalog has been shifted online, complete with specialised ambience and a guided online purchasing process. And for sellers, data-driven insights generated by the platform provide information on customer interaction with specific products and events.

“This platform enables fashion industry stakeholders – from brands and buyers to trendsetters – to come together to experience the magic of Milan Fashion Week in a new, digital way,” said Alessandro Zanotti, Managing Director of Accenture Interactive in Milan.

The platform is credited to a collaboration between Accenture and Microsoft. Enhancing the whole experience are bots, holograms and virtually designed spaces with ambience, all of which was designed by Accenture Interactive. Meanwhile, facilitating the communication are Microsoft Teams chat and videoconferencing tools. Microsoft has also deployed cloud and artificial intelligence based customer relationship management tools to add value. Other partners on the platform include digital services provider Avanade and software development firm Episerver.

Accenture helps Milan Fashion Week go digital amid corona

As mentioned by Zanotti, designers, industry leaders, influencers, media professionals and buyers all have access to the platform. However, CNMI Chairman Carlo Capasa highlights that the virtual hosting of this year’s fashion week gives it something a little different, allowing it to appeal to a much broader audience.

“This is a revolutionary project that will open Milan Fashion Week up to a broader audience of non-professionals: a demographic composed of younger generations that consume fashion via images. We aim at conveying the creativity and culture that emanates from the Italian fashion world,” he said.

The broader target consumer base is presumably a sign of the times for the fashion sector in Italy and the rest of Europe. Once touted to reach $500 billion in value this year, the luxury fashion industry across the world has taken a substantial hit from the cut in discretionary spending that followed the Covid-19 outbreak. Expanding the sector’s reach and appeal amongst younger demographics is no doubt a strategy to shore up revenues.

At the same time, digitalising the fashion experience is also a step in the right direction. Accenture and Microsoft’s platform has not only supported this year’s Fashion Week, but it also has potential applications for the sector going forth.

For instance, the Digital Fashion Week is also backed by Microsoft Power Platform, which allows companies to develop apps and virtual agents for their products. As the consumer base gets more digitalised, specialised apps might just end up as a differentiating factor in a struggling market.

“Now more than ever, it is essential to look at new technologies as an opportunity to drive positive change,” said Luba Manolova, Director and Business Group Lead at Microsoft 365 & Cybersecurity in Italy.