The new training pathway from HOMI Fashion&Jewels Exhibition will launch as of 12 p.m. on 26 November 2020. Arranged together with Fiera Milano Media – Business International, the initiative aims to support the community of reference at the exhibition dedicated to fashion accessories, bijoux and trendy jewellery organised by Fiera Milano
A rebirth in order to relaunch. The business world in general, and Italian manufacturing in particular, is currently seeking new ways to interpret the current scenario, one that involves both the COVID-19 health and economic emergency and the digital transition, an increasingly important element when it comes to managing a decidedly uncertain situation, both today and tomorrow. In this context, understanding how to relaunch a segment like that of fashion accessories, which has always relied on physical interaction with the final product, workmanship quality and tradition, becomes a real challenge to be faced on all levels. But it’s a test that Made-in-Italy goldsmith art can successfully pass thanks to its skill and creativity.
Hence the training pathway from HOMI Fashion&Jewels Exhibition in collaboration with Fiera Milano Media – Business International, which enriches the content of the Fiera Milano exhibition dedicated to the world of accessories and their extraordinary creations with a series of digital talks in live streaming that will cover the main issues, highlight new trends and offer new insight into what is a continuously evolving sector.
On 26 November 2020 at 12 p.m., the virtual stage will host a webinar entitled “SLOW RENAISSANCE AND INNER IDENTITY: future trend scenarios for accessory and jewellery” that will outline guidelines for the sector to follow in coming months. Future scenarios relating to aesthetics, styles, materials and innovation in the accessories and fashion jewellery field that are formulated thanks to data from research and analysis carried out in collaboration with Milan Polytechnic.
This will be followed by a meeting and discussion between guests, professionals and experts from across the sector. Among those set to attend are Alba Cappellieri, Professor in the Design Department at the Milan Polytechnic, Susanna Testa, Researcher in the Design Department at Milan Polytechnic, Beatrice Rossato, PhD Candidate in the Design Department at Milan Polytechnic, Paola Coti, Founder and Creative Director of Aonie, and Simona Scala, Creative Director of Ornella Bijoux.
We asked Alba Cappellieri, who is also the research coordinator and event moderator, for a few details:
Professor Cappellieri, jewellery and accessories are historically emblematic of the made in Italy. Can you explain why this is, also considering the insight of the Milan Polytechnic?
"Beauty, quality and variety are the characteristics of Italian style that the world recognises and Italian jewellery in the 21st century is based on the coexistence of heterogeneous values, in which the nobility of materials is no longer enough to sanction the value of an object or clearly mark the difference between jewellery and non-jewellery. Italian jewellery is in fact based on an extraordinary variety of shapes and contexts, from the atelier of the master goldsmith to the manufacturing firms that combine cutting-edge production technologies with the manual work of modelling. Very few countries demonstrate a range of goldsmith activities, crafts and traditions as rich and dynamic as that found in Italy".
With the COVID-19 emergency showing no signs of stopping and a manufacturing market that is trying to resist in every possible way, what does Milan Polytechnic data tell us about the sector trends to watch for in coming months?
"Italian skill lies not just in its production but in its know-how, the combining of the manual and the technological, with the same skill applied to both fashion jewellery and luxury jewellery, micro businesses and large firms. Considering such a heterogeneous context, it is impossible to envisage one single guideline for the sector. In this regard, our research for HOMI Fashion&Jewels has identified two main future directions - Slow Renaissance and Inner Identity - from which stem eight micro-trends that aim to trace better defined aesthetic, style, material and production guidelines. Slow Renaissance tells of a rebirth as gradual illumination, a consequence of the darkness of the crisis. Art, science and culture flourish once more thanks to a return to classicism, a pull towards the original and natural. A response to a dark period that examines the resources of the individual, the digital and the invisible with the aim of making up for lost time with small daily pleasures. Inner Identity, on the other hand, is a more introspective response to the crisis. Irrational escapes and illogical behaviours as a reaction to the crisis and a decline waiting to happen. Habits and lifestyles are transformed into a distorted, silent and daunting parallel world, to be faced with a self-sufficiency that limits, as far as possible, our need for the international, or with new apotropaic products that stand up to the uncertainty of the contemporary".
From the search for a new identity to expressive dematerialisation, accessories simply cannot ignore the digital in the age of the 6 in 16:9 inches. In a world that is increasingly dominated by artificial intelligence, how can we continue to value and showcase the individual with the tradition of a sector that makes physicality one of its essential characteristics?
"The use of technology or the birth of new virtual universes does not exclude people. Far from it. Often the technologies are inclusive and materialisation helps to make the processes participative rather than exclusive. This creates a network and generates collective enthusiasm about being part of something. Sold and promoted on-line, jewellery can even be worn thanks to virtual ‘try-on’ platforms, already used by famous luxury jewellery brands in order to attract a wider audience. The new frontiers that we face involve a virtual reality where our non-physical avatars interact in our place, building digital worlds in which actual trading takes place. And jewellery has a physical place even in this intangible environment. As for the digital, jewellery is definitely a part of this change, as much with its processes as with the increasingly clear presence of new forms of presentation. One of the scenarios we have considered is called "16:9" and stems from the idea that contact is condensed into one screen and the human body is selected in 16:9. A digital frame decides which parts of the body can be shown, adorned, embellished and emphasised. The head, face, ears and neck are the main players in a form of remote communication that resizes the surfaces that fashion and jewellery have long explored".
From virtual fashion shows to remote exhibitions, the fashion and luxury world are experiencing a crisis like never before. In your opinion, on what three essential assets should a brand base its relaunch strategy?
"Social distancing has undoubtedly seen companies prioritise the digital in terms of their immediate crisis response. Now that we are all more aware of the change, we need to focus on quality, on a slow but strategic restart, and on innovation, not just digital and technological but also generational, so that we can integrate young talents and give them the chance to grow at such a difficult time. There is a saying in Latin, ‘festìna lente’ (make haste slowly), an oxymoron that combines two opposing concepts, speed and slowness, and that indicates a particular way of behaving, without hesitation but with caution. And I believe this should be the guiding principle behind a relaunch".
HOMI Fashion&Jewels Exhibition has always been a trend setter but it is also a vehicle for important messages, such as the sustainability and creativity of a market that was growing steadily up until before the pandemic. Starting from this assumption then, what is the most important message we should be sending the market today and why?
"The most important message is to take care. To take care not just of the environment, but of time, people, the quality of what we do and the surroundings in which we live. The crisis has taught us to create a scale of priority, to identify what is important and what is superfluous. Taking care of ourselves and others is the most important thing right now, and the only way for us to recover".