High fashion goes high tech at Milan Digital Fashion Week

There’s nothing like the glamour and thrill of a Fashion Week – the catwalks, the couture, the collections and the chiseled features. But this year, the fashion industry’s flagship series of events has had to undergo a rapid reinvention, taking place online instead of in person.

As part of that reinvention, Microsoft and Accenture have teamed to develop and deliver a digital platform to support Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana’s (CNMI) first-ever digital Milan Digital Fashion Week which went live this week. The platform digitizes key moments of Milan Fashion Week, helping to keep fashion brands, emerging designers and industry professionals connected to buyers, media, influencers and consumers from anywhere in the world. The platform offers an engaging, multi-channel experience that includes chats, videoconferences, bots, holograms and completely virtual spaces.

Accenture Interactive designed and developed the digital experience and the Accenture Microsoft Business Group built and implemented the innovative technology platform. Microsoft deployed its cloud and artificial intelligence solutions and expertise, envisaging and supporting the development of the digital hub.

The platform is organized into three layers: 1) a fashion content hub for live streaming of fashion shows, virtual catwalks and other industry-related events and roundtables; 2) a virtual showroom system, showcasing digital catalogues and ambience virtualization, as well as providing dedicated support to manage ordering processes; 3) and finally, a data-driven insights platform, accessible to professionals, to obtain business insights from people’s interaction with brands, events and content.

Luba Manolova, director, Business Group Lead Microsoft 365 & CyberSecurity Microsoft Italia, said, “Now more than ever, it is essential to look at new technologies as an opportunity to drive positive change. The fashion world represents one of the country’s flagships and by making available our cloud platforms, digital expertise and ecosystem of Partners/ISVs we mean to support this strategic industry in its recovery.”

The platform integrates with solutions already in use by Italian fashion companies and is intended to evolve to meet emerging needs of the sector by providing new functionalities. In the long term, the entire value chain will benefit by being able to digitize increasingly sophisticated activities such as the design and selection of materials. This can help reduce the environmental impact of operations and make processes more efficient, ensuring healthier and more sustainable rhythms to the seasonal cycles of fashion.

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