A Fashion Advisor Orietta Pelizzari on the Future of Trend Forecasting and Luxury Marketing
My job is to create new opportunities, thanks to new ideas.
Orietta Pelizzari is an international fashion and consumer good advisor. She does Forecasting and Scouting of exclusive and unique styles and lifestyles. Orietta is also an international fashion expert and consultant for international Italian Fashion Presentations at the Italian Trade Agency.
How did you get into fashion? Please tell us a bit more about your career?
Orietta: I have a bachelor's degree at the academy of fine arts, with a specialization in TRENDS FORECASTING AND INTERNATIONAL MARKET.
I have always had a love for beauty and aesthetic sense, with a particular propensity for the social and cultural aspects. For this reason, my favorite readings have always been linked to philosophy and sociology, to understand how people's taste evolves. From this passion, I combine my curiosity for the discovery of other international cultures, and innovation.
Working in the world of fashion was very natural because I was able to combine the Italian artistic aesthetic sense with the study and discovery of new international social groups and the global propensity to innovate and create.
What is the most challenging aspect of trend forecasting?
Orietta: Trend forecasting means, having a vision, knowledge of the artistic, social and product scenario, letting go of intuition, and a lot of analysis method. Knowing how to grasp the details by reading between the lines.
You work with many leading companies within the fashion industry, like Camera Moda, Lineapelle, MICAM, MIPEL, LaRinascente, etc. All of them have a different focus. How do you manage to be an expert in various directions? What is your secret or success formula?
Orietta: My job is to create new opportunities, thanks to new ideas. Actually, I’m doing International marketing in the fashion and consumer goods. My aim is always to bring something new to embrace new opportunities. The challenge is to create a team with people from different countries, so I also have to overcome cultural barriers. This is the part I love most about my job. I always work with companies CEOs or decision-makers professionals, however, my consulting work is always very strategic and supportive.
My character is always to disrupt, to instill energy of "thinking out of the box" to innovate and create new paths. All this is a method and an attitude that can be applied to many disciplines.
My curiosity to enter different situations, allows me to know the dynamics of each business and to bring a new vision. It is not difficult. Need method, and connection of all the plugs. If you know the whole process, it is easier to understand the strategy and objectives of all parts of the structure.
Newness is my motto. I love technologies and futuristic visions. We are humans and we are able to shape our world thanks to visions and dreams.
Is there a prominent trend for the next few years everybody should know about?
Orietta: More than trends, I believe in social and aesthetic thought movements. Therefore I imagine a greater awareness in the concepts of transparency, truth and creative freedom. These three concepts are very important aspects for consumers who will be able to recognize them and for the brands that must be able to explain them with the most innovative means. Thanks to technology, we will finally be more attentive and critical consumers. An idea becomes a trend when followed by many people. We will have more trendsetters than followers. Independent ideas will be transformed in a new way to think and act.
Are there any specific qualities you pay attention to when scouting new designers?
Orietta: I observe the ability of a designer to be able to get involved even in situations that go beyond the comfort zone, the technical preparation and his/her ability to know how to work in a team.
You work with young designers a lot. What is their future, in your opinion, especially in the post-COVID-19 period? How the industry should support them?
Orietta: I think Covid-19 will eliminate all those designers who didn't really believe in what they did. The industry can do a lot for designers, as long as they are more humble and happy to learn continuously.
What should a fashion consultant know about besides fashion itself?
Orietta: To work in the fashion system it is necessary to know the sociological and cultural aspects of the new that will come, how people evolve, their political and human beliefs, the relationship with the beauty of different cultures, generations and genders.
Analyzing politics and the economy are two fundamental points for understanding global movements. In particular, it is necessary to know the method of analysis of how societies evolve on a cultural level because fashion is the superficial expression of human thought.
What is your take on sustainable fashion?
Orietta: My sustainability is the one that respects the cycle of nature, the work of people, the culture of a territory, the knowledge of creating without polluting, the understanding that truth lies in the middle.
I believe that there is no sustainability of fashion, but a sustainable way of life that is an integral part of our way to think and act.
Fashion is part of it. I can't stand with greenwashing and people who follow words without even understanding their meanings. Technology is an excellent way to preserve and invent new materials, as long as they do not kill the know-how of each country and territory. We need to define new words of Sustainability, like: Respect, Time, Desire, Feeling, Waiting, Culture, Sharing, Transparency, Repairing, Longevity, Truth.
How the COVID-19 pandemic influenced your business?
Orietta: All my work is based on relationships with international organizations to build new projects and business opportunities. Covid-19 created a new scenario, which had been in sight for some time. It's not a trauma, it's just a new way of doing things. I love challenging times. Just catch the moment and act with disruption.
How is the COVID-19 influencing your profession as a consultant? What transformations it will go through?
Orietta: If before I traveled 300 days a year, to meet people, observe and share thoughts, now I am stopped in a wonderful place, from where I can travel virtually. My work has not changed in substance, the tools and languages have changed.
Now I travel more than before because in less than 24 hours I can have meetings in Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Milan, London, Cape Town, NY, LA, Mexico City. At the same time, I do yoga every morning, meditate, and take regular and relaxed meals with my husband.
What is the future of the fashion industry in the post-COVID-19 period?
Orietta: The fashion business will evolve for the better. Taking into consideration that fashion is the most direct expression of the evolution of human beings' thinking and culture, we are now experiencing a natural change.
Many brands will fail and many will find new opportunities. Who will panic because one wanted things to remain as before, will be weaker. The others will be resilient and will be able to get involved in new opportunities.
What digital technologies are influencing the fashion industry the most?
Orietta: The virtual world is helping us to use a new language, made up of words, images, times and actions. The virtual B2B world will be a big challenge for small businesses. I believe that thanks to the pandemic virus, the younger generations will be the winners because they are faster in using digital technologies.
What advice would you like to give to those who are dreaming to become part of the fashion world?
Orietta: Fashion is not made up only of clothes and products, but of experiences. More experiences are consumed than physical products. A product is used because this tells us stories. The story of who created it, and who sold or gave it. The story of how many situations the same product has experienced with me or with its previous owner.
What future do you predict for independent fashion brands? How should they build their communication to get noticed?
Orietta: Designers have to stop creating things for themselves ... They have to create to inspire others respecting the cultural shift of everyone. Be humble, be competent, be flexible, be passionate when you explain your stories.
What transformations should the retailers go through in order to stay in business?
Orietta: Sellers are the personal consultants of each customer. Selling is an art because it means interpreting and anticipating your client's tastes, without giving the impression of selling. The retailers who based everything on profit are now bankrupt, so we understand that it is better to buy in small, multi-brand shops, where the owner is competent and gives us trust.
Both online and offline retail must be done by establishing a personalized relationship with the customer. The online serves as an editorial, to get to know the world of the store, the characters who created it, such as the buyers have scouted for new brands. The offline, brick-and-mortar shop, is used for the relationship with the customer, to get to know the customer, dialogue, and share a meal with the customer.
There is so much noise everywhere and the information that is not relevant to us. What is the best way to filter it?
Orietta: You need method and knowledge to analyze information from multiple points of view.
It is always important to observe information by evaluating the source and intentions. Never suffer passively the information. It needs a critical sense that is learned with knowledge.