Milan. It isn’t every day that a heavyweight from one of Italy’s most famous luxury fashion brands addresses a room full of curious fashion and design students. It happened at Istituto Marangoni Milano, where Valentino’s Chief Brand Officer Alessio Vanetti just launched his mentorship programme.
Valentino’s Chief Brand Officer Alessio Vannetti launching his Mentorship Programme at Istituto Marangoni Milano
With the project targeting students from the Fashion & Luxury Brand Management Master’s course, Vannetti caught up with them to map out their first steps: he will guide these talents through market analysis and brand strategy methods for the next few months. If the best is yet to come, Vannetti’s opening speech on branding and communication impressed enthusiastic learners who admired his presence and skills as a persuasive and fascinating speaker.
The conversation began with a brief history of the man himself. From a music journalist to a passionate scholar studying fashion to be a part of something bigger, Alessio Vanetti has achieved it all. A fashion veteran, he has been involved in almost every major movement in the industry. From Alexander Mcqueen’s designs to Prada’s divergent visions and Gucci’s transformation under Alessandro Michele, Vanetti has left a piece of himself in every brand’s history. While speaking about his extensive experience, he focused on the significance of communication and its importance in transforming a brand and ensuring its success. Notable projects simply go to waste if they are not communicated to their audience well.
Alessio Vannetti and Fiorenza Sarotto, IM Fashion Business Programme Leader, with Istituto Marangoni students from the Fashion & Luxury Brand Management Master’s course
About his current position at Valentino, Alessio Vanetti stressed the importance of pushing the brand’s DNA globally and providing consumers with a brand experience. Creating partnerships is vital to ensure a smooth transition into a new area for heritage brands like Valentino.
With a focus on the global image, South Korea was the chosen area for students to work on in the upcoming weeks. From analysing competitors to understanding the retail and distribution system and developing a branding strategy for the target market, it is safe to say that the students have their work cut out for them.
Concerning the competition, Alessio Vanetti pointed out the direct competitors of Valentino and the unintended overlapping that may occur, given that they are targeting a similar audience and market. Fendi, Saint Laurent, Chanel and Dior were a few mentioned competitors, but each has its own brand values and in-built essence that makes them stand apart despite the similarities.
These mammoth fashion entities align with the philosophy of being the greatest globally. Apart from focusing on Europe and North America, which are the norms, brands are experimenting and setting their roots in Asian markets where the demand is overtaking supply. Valentino is one such brand that has noticed this new growth and is entirely focused on creating local projects (Valentino’s pink house installation in Aranya, China) and making them global phenomena for everyone to witness.
Alessio Vannetti and Angelo Ruggeri, IM Fashion Styling Course Leader
For a client-centric brand like Valentino, the colossal growth on social media and the fan base created for the brand only allows the house to expand and experiment in ways like never before. After making Zendaya the global ambassador, the brand has attracted a much younger, trend-focused crowd and has managed to tap into a rather rigorous market. The brand’s clever placement of its bags in popular shows like White Lotus has only pushed the cause further.
Through Alessio Vanetti’s words, Valentino is slowly but successfully becoming a brand sought out by the new generation. However, the brand will not abandon its classic and historical roots and indulge in a futuristic path via the metaverse. The brand has joined this new dimension but does not plan to prioritise it as much as many competitors did. For Valentino, the metaverse is simply another tool to communicate with consumers.
The informative morning closed on a rather enlightening note. For his new project with Istituto Marangoni Fashion & Luxury Brand Management Master’s students, Alessio Vanetti emphasised that the participants were embarking on a journey they had never tackled.
“Make what people don’t know they want” – Alessio Vanetti, Chief Brand Officer of Valentino
Valentino’s Chief Brand Officer Alessio Vannetti and Angelo Ruggeri