Angelo Di Segni, Santoni WW Retail Director | What Changes to Expect in Post Covid Retail?
Updated: Sep 20
If you work in this world you have to be dynamic and ready for any change.
Angelo Di Segni is a WW Retail Director at SANTONI.
"From my point of view, if small retailers don't invest in new ideas to differentiate themselves from the large group, they will disappear. I think in any situation the retailer should read the changes in the market and find a quick answer to apply." -Angelo Di Segni
How did you get into fashion? Please, share with our audience the key moments of your career?
Angelo: I started as a buyer when I was 25 years old. I have decided to work in the fashion system since I was in university.
What are the companies you worked for?
Angelo: Gente Roma, Valentino, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Santoni.
You have worked for many fashion brands. Are there any common characteristics these companies have?
Angelo: The fashion brands were very different, the common characteristic was the timing. I always chose smart companies ready for the relaunch.
What are some qualities a candidate for a managerial position should have?
Angelo: Proactivity, problem-solving, vision, and passion for his/her Job.
During your 16-year experience at Gente Roma, you must have seen how the retail industry has changed. What was the most surprising for you?
Angelo: I never had a surprise. If you work in this world you have to be dynamic and ready for any change.
In your opinion, what is the future of retail?
Angelo: In the future, small shops will close and the fashion system will be managed only by large or smart brands, and only with retail and e-commerce. Because in fashion it is essential to control the service.
How can the heritage brands save their identity in a trend-driven and digital technology-driven environment?
Angelo: Using digital technology to communicate the heritage.
What is the most challenging about managing the retail part of a big luxury brand?
Angelo: To keep the level of service high and to maintain the right layout.
Are there any tips you would give those who want to work in fashion retail?
Angelo: They have to understand that the professionalism of this world is more difficult than others, because you have to deal with management but at the same time you have to take care of the image and keep the public interest alive, and this is a second job.
How the COVID-19 pandemic influenced your business?
Angelo: Everything has changed now and in the future. If we believe that the situation will return as in the past, we are driving in the wrong way. We must be dynamic and read the changes day by day.
How is the COVID-19 influencing your profession? What transformations it will go through?
Angelo: We don’t know exactly what transformation it will go through. Now we are working very hard with the aim of keeping the world of fashion alive. The challenge is complicated because people's needs are shifting towards different interests and it will be important to shift the focus back to fashion icons again.
What is the future of the fashion industry in the post-COVID-19 period?
Angelo: E-commerce will take a large part of the cake. But retail will be important as a marketing investment and in the near future, I think people will return to simple life even if they won't abandon the virtual world and return to the classic way of shopping as an alternative.
What digital technologies are influencing the fashion industry the most?
Angelo: Digital is influencing everything because it is a profound part of our habits. The social tool is the most important way to use technologies. And day by day we will discover a new idea to surprise customers.
What transformations should the retailers go through in order to stay in business?
Angelo: From my point of view, if small retailers don't invest in new ideas to differentiate themselves from the large group, they will disappear. I think in any situation the retailer should read the changes in the market and find a quick answer to apply. But customer service will be very important because when customers spend money they demand high service.
Understanding the current worldwide emergency, what changes do you think may appear in the fashion industry, and where they could bring the whole system in the future?
Angelo: The world has changed, but if we read the story these changes have happened constantly. In the past the means to erase everything was wars. Now nature has found a different way to start over. We must follow Darwin's laws "during the change will survive not the strongest animal, but the one who knows how to adapt best".
We have to adapt to the new world, with new rules and new balance. How ? Understand what is happening around us and make the right decisions