Real training and virtual backup: this is the project Sapienza Fashion – ModaSapienza, based on a series of seminars held by top managers, analysts and entrepreneurs who best represent the Italian and international fashion system. We produced the website www.seminarimodasapienza.it with its corresponding Facebook page (modasapienza) and twitter account (#modasapienza). The website was launched in January 2012 following a warm-up period in December 2011. Currently, at the beginning of March 2012, it boasts 3159 individual visitors with an average of 3.53 pages viewed per visit and an average of 2:55 minutes spent on the site, with an encouraging 42.96% of returning visitors. The seminars are tweeted live and have an average of 1870 followers. According to data from Google Analytics, gathered on March 11th 2012, visitors to the site are mainly aged between 18 and 24 (58%) or between 25 and 34 (24%), the share of visitors over the age of 35 is 10.1%.
The website is frequented by 90% Italians followed by English-speaking visitors, Spanish, Thai, and Portuguese. For the next quarter the site aims to provide a section in English and Spanish (already foreseen from the start of the project); these sections will be provided by native speakers in languages other than Italian on the course alongside Erasmus students at the university who took part in a publicly announced selective process (their curricula can be viewed in the "redazione/editing" section of the website).
"The fashion professionals " seminars have both a business perspective and a didactic purpose: they aim to highlight the personal experiences of all professionals involved in the fashion industry (from the creative and production areas to finance, from distribution to web design and media planning) and, at the same time, showcase multiple perspectives on the evolution of the sector by promoting debates on its future prospects. It is an important step towards strengthening the relationship between students and representatives of the fashion system in a fruitful and mutual exchange: for the high achievers from the university (in order to attend the seminars students must obtain an average higher than 27/30 and must have passed all the exams stipulated on their study course) and for the speakers themselves (*) who, through the experience at La Sapienza, will encounter an extremely enlightening degree course that is also a hotbed of new ideas for their professional fields.
Six external supporters/sponsors (i.e. Wind telecommunications; Price WaterhouseCoopers; Havas Media; Levi's; Fullsix; Articolo 1 management search) have backed the project; together with the faculty coordinator they have brought the technical aspect of the website to fruition and will continue to collaborate with the series of seminars by offering training and internships to the most deserving students.
The website and the journalistic activities linked to it were created to strengthen this link between the academic universe and the world of production, giving students the opportunity to test their skills in journalistic research, selection of news items and writing.
Unlike any other fashion website www.seminarimodasapienza.it values and enhances the codes and objectives of the institution within which it was created. Each news item comprises interesting and/or useful activities for the training or professional development of the majority of visitors/readers, it must have cultural goals and it must be initiated or activated by young persons under the age of thirty. Consequently, special focus is placed on fashion business in cultural and eco-friendly projects and on budding entrepreneurs in the sector.
Hence, the site offers mainly:
− video and text abstracts of speeches from "The fashion professionals" series
− a video gallery and a photo gallery of interviews and news, plus, ad hoc styling and/or photography projects
− a "Forum" for both students and professors dedicated to debates on relevant issues. The same tutors will participate, for example, on the subject of internships
− a "Backstage" section dedicated to the news
− a "Parterre" section for students' comments
− a "Thesis" section (work in progress) which will contain abstracts of the best theses of the course
− a "Press" section: a rota of four fashion students who, on a daily basis, publish pdf files of the most interesting items from the Italian and international press related to fashion and style issues (mainly from The Herald Tribune, WWD, The Wall Street Journal, Le Figaro).
− An "About us" section that gathers press releases on the website activities and the on the presenters who have participated in the seminars.
Within the next quarter a biographical and research/support section on the activities of young designers will be setup; it will contain their curricula, their history and a series of sketches and videos of their work. The names of the designers who will participate in this section (entitled: "30 cum laude") are already being selected by the students. All major sections of the site in Italian will be translated into English and Spanish.
N.B. The website is in the process of finalising its registration as a newspaper at the Tribunal of Rome with the definitive title: modasapienza.it .This legal step will enable students who have collaborated with the website for at least two years to be admitted to the register of journalism publicists of the Association of Journalists.
Course president and publisher/tutor: Alessandro Saggioro, PhD. Concept and project director: Fabiana Giacomotti, lecturer. (A professional journalist and editor). Website and FB/twitter coordinators: Francesca Berton and Federico Flamminii Albani (students from the Masters in Science of Fashion and Costume). Seminars coordinators: Cristiana Todisco with Eleonora Lanave and Eleonora Luciani. Eighteen students from different countries collaborate with the site.
* Seminars speakers include prominent names of the fashion community such as: Mario Boselli (president, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana); Patrizio di Marco (president and ceo, Gucci); Matteo Marzotto (president, Vionnet); Michele Norsa (ceo, Ferragamo group); Gaetano Micciché (general manager, Intesa Sanpaolo bank); Anna Molinari (creative director, Blumarine); Federico Marchetti (founder and ceo, Yoox Group); Umberto Nicodano (lawyer, president Valentino spa); Silvia Venturini Fendi (creative director Fendi, president Altaroma); Giuseppe Zanotti (creative director, ceo, Vicini spa)