Fashionista marketing in Milan

Greetings from Milan – Italy’s center of fashion and business! We are in the midst of Milan Fashion Week, which along with making public transportation a bit more lively, has provided me the opportunity to live and breathe fashion for a few days. From seeing buyers dining at the Armani cafe near Via Montenapoleone, to lurking outside fashion shows for a chance to get a glimpse at bloggers and fashion icons, fashion is all around.

Guest Blogger: Paulina Gallagher is an Olin Business School student studying Marketing with a minor in Communication Design. She is the recipient of the Avram A. & Jill Glazer scholarship for study abroad and is spending the spring semester in Milan, Italy.

Paulina Gallagher 1

Fellow Olin students Jenna Burns and Gabriella Shink and me on steps at Via Montenapoloene during fashion week

As a marketing major, I have enjoyed being able to witness the multifaceted PR and marketing strategies that come into play during fashion week. Experiential marketing, in particular, has always intrigued me as a glamorous side of marketing, and the collaborations happening in the streets of Milan during fashion week are no exception.

Waiting outside the Gucci show to see fabulous outfits - like this blogger’s pretty ensemble - photo by Paulina Gallagher

Waiting outside the Gucci show to see fabulous outfits – like this blogger’s pretty ensemble – photo by Paulina Gallagher

My favorite example of marketing at work was a collaboration between La Rinascente, a world-renowned luxury department store in Milan, and photographer Scott Schuman – better known to fashion lovers as The Sartorialist. This event brought publicity to both The Sartorialist blog and Rinascente, and I saw first hand how successful marketing events can be for raising awareness and connecting with your audience. As a plus, I had the opportunity to meet and be photographed by one of my favorite photographers!

Fashion week has provided a concrete integration of fashion into my daily life, however, on any given day Milan is the most stylish city I have ever visited (let alone lived in).

When I first arrived in Milan, I struggled with culture shock and finding my place in such a chic world. Do I stand out as American? How do Italian students look like models in an 8:45 a.m. class?!

I was used to feeling special at Wash. U – sporting a fun coat or colorful boots was often enough to make me feel stylish on campus. Suddenly, I was surrounded by people who just seemed better than me.  It took some time, but I have been able to embrace my own style and accept that I will probably never look Italian – and that’s ok. I enjoy supplementing my closet with pieces from Zara and vintage stores around the city, and am careful to not get caught up with envy when I see students sporting the latest it-bag. Getting into a routine also helped with getting over culture shock. Finding my favorite cafe and and grocery store may seem like a simple task, but it has made all the difference in making me feel more at home.

Ciao! – Paulina

The best espresso in Milan at 10 Corso Como - photo by Paulina Gallagher

The best espresso in Milan at 10 Corso Como – photo by Paulina Gallagher

P.S. If you’re ever in Milan, make sure to check out 10 Corso Como for amazing espresso and people watching, and go to Humana Vintage if you’re looking for a unique piece to make you stand out during fashion week.


 

 

 

Top image: FASHION DLUX, Alberta Ferretti Runway Milan Fashion Week, Feb. 28, 2015, Flickr Creative Commons; thumbnail image on homepage: Mike Beales, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, Flickr Creative Commons

 

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