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The global fashion business journal

May 22, 202410:56pm

Looking beyond fashion to reinvent fashion: 850 professionals at Barcelona Fashion Summit 2019

The seventh edition of the congress once again brings together in Barcelona the top executives of the largest companies in Spanish fashion business.

Feb 6, 2019 — 10:00am

Looking beyond fashion to reinvent fashion: 850 professionals at BFS19ay



How can fashion make up part of the lost ground facing other sectors such as technology or gastronomy? What can companies do to boost their transformation? How can fashion make the consumer fall in love again? These were some of the questions raised yesterd

in the seventh edition of Barcelona Fashion Summit, which once again became the event of reference on fashion business in Spain.


About 850 executives and professionals from the fashion business in Spain attended yesterday the meeting organized by Modaes.es with the support of 080 Barcelona Fashion, and sponsored by Board, Facebook, Minsait and TecnoCampus. Executives from Inditex, Mango, Tendam, Desigual, Tous, C&A, Gocco, Pepe Jeans and Scalpers were part of Barcelona Fashion Summit 2019’s expert panel, which attracted managers and entrepreneurs from all over Spain and some European and Latin American countries.


“We are not succeeding in explaining the value of the product and that is why we rely on the price,” said Domingos Esteves, Iberia General Manager at C&A, during the meeting.






“We know the client, but we have an internal inability to approach them,” explained José María Ruiz, CEO at Gocco. “The transformation does not have to do with technology, but with humanizing,” noted Ignacio de Pinedo, co-founder of Isdi.


“We must forget the feeling that we are going to disappear, the business evolves and we have to cope with change, we have to be rebellious and humble with ourselves, and look for talent to make such change,” pointed out Bernardo Blanco, founder of Yshey. “Change gives us the opportunity to renew ourselves and to fall in love again,” said Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.


These were some ideas presented during the day, in which the Maria Àngels Chacón, Minister of Enterprise and Knowledge of Catalonia, made the official opening. During her speech, Chacón announced a new Fashion Acceleration Plan to revitalize the sector, a project supported by the pillars of internationalization, commercialization and technology, and sustainability.





Chiqui Calleja, co-founder of the Larrumba restaurant group, drew several parallels between the restaurant industry and the fashion industry and delved into the importance of digitalization for both businesses. “At the moment, revolutions seem threats rather than opportunities, but once they are over, nobody wants to go back,” he said.


Marc Soler, co-founder of 21Buttons; Cristiana Zito, Head of strategy at the advertising agency DBB, and Dimas Gimeno, retail expert and former chairman of El Corte Inglés, were in charge of the rest of the morning presentations at Barcelona Fashion Summit 2019.


In his first public intervention after leaving the presidency of El Corte Inglés, Gimeno analysed how physical stores can stand out and encouraged attendees to “do what we have always done well, which is to know the client and know what he wants”.





“The degree of change and disruption is of such magnitude that the retail as we see it today will not be seen anymore,” warned Gimeno, who advocated for searching what the competitor does not have, thinking about whether things are done well and if it is exploiting the potential. In his opinion, “having physical stores should not be a problem, on the contrary, it is our great opportunity”.


On her behalf, Cristiana Zito made a journey through the parallels between the current challenges of the motor industry and those of fashion, which in both cases respond mainly to an issue of relevance for the consumer.


Young people, she explained, “do not even drive”, since today only 45% of those under thirty have a licence. “The car has gone from being perceived as an element of freedom to a problem and working in a dealership is the least aspirational job,” said Zito.






“The industry is undergoing a revolution: the product itself, the business model and the distribution,” pointed out the publicist, recalling that fashion, like the automotive industry, has always been based on dreams and the sector must reconnect with that.


“We can predict what is going to be sold, we can reduce stocks when facing a rapid change in trends, we can see empirical evidences thanks to big data,” said Marc Soler, who warned that “it is no longer enough to design strategies at one year away, but one month away, knowing how to predict it and putting it in store”.


In the afternoon, the presentations of Barcelona Fashion Summit 2018 were given by Arun Arora, partner of McKinsey, and Alfred Vernis, Sustainability Academic Director at Inditex. Arora delved into the key elements of innovation in strategy, chain, data and organization, and exposed the entry into fashion or retail of disruptors with new business models, from Alibaba or Amazon to rental, subscription and second hand businesses.


According to Arora, the mobile will channel the growth in the coming years, ensuring that 50% of the digital fashion consumption in the United States in 2022 will be made through the telephone.


After that, Vernis presented some initiatives on sustainability in Inditex and explained that the intention of the group “is not that when buying clothes you have to check the labels, but to go towards zero emissions”.


Fashion, from the point of view of an outsider

In addition to knowing the strategies of sectors such as automotive or gastronomy, Barcelona Fashion Summit 2019 also counted on the vision of entrepreneurs and experts linked to the sector, but with extensive experience in other industries.


In the first round table of the meeting, entitled La moda, a vista de ‘outsider’ (Fashion, from the point of view of an outsider), participated Daniel Muñoz (Desigual), Andrés López (Pepe Jeans), Maite Aranzábal (advisor at Domínguez) and José María Ruíz (Gocco), all of them with previous experience in other sectors such as the large distribution, the automotive or the toy industry. Francisco Ambrós, a Deloitte partner specialized in the financial services industry, discussed the topic with them.


Elena Carasso (Mango), Bernardo Blanco (Yshey), Carolina de la Calzada (Tous), Inés Arroyo (Laagam) and Ignacio de Pinedo (Isdi) participated in the second round table of the day, entitled Innovación en moda: ideas para la transformación (Innovation in fashion: ideas for the transformation).


The third round table included Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Ignacio Sierra (Tendam), Domingos Esteves (C&A), Borja Vázquez (Scalpers) and Javier Vello (EY), who discussed the challenge of making the consumer fall in love again.

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