Interview Sissi Johnson, brand Strategist, pour le ELLE Ukraine
Mon tout dernier article pour le ELLE Ukraine : ma rencontre avec la brand Strategist Sissi Johnson. Bonne Lecture, et n’hésitez pas à la suivre sur son profil Instagram!
Cette article est disponible uniquement en anglais
From Italy to Ukraine, a discussion with Sissi Johnson
I had the chance to assist in January to the Fashion & Technology Summit organized by Luisa Via Roma, a day of discussion with top notch brands and IT companies. I met there Sissi Johnson who participated as a moderator. She lived in Florence, was on her way to Ukraine and has so many interesting thoughts to share on the future of fashion. Meet this amazing Paris and NYC based brand strategist and, among other things, Mansur Gavriel SS16 muse.
Hi Sissi, can you present yourself?
Sissi Johnson: I am a Brand Strategist, FashionTech Advisor and a Contributing Writer for The Huffington Post USA. My role is to help businesses especially from niche markets expand globally. For individuals, mostly entrepreneurs, creatives and digital influencers, I do personal branding.
We met during LVR Fashion & Technology Summit. What was your role in this event?
SJ: I was thrilled to be invited to moderate at the event. Panels included top technology and fashion Executives from Facebook, Instagram, ShopStyle, Google, Samsung, Conde Nast, Swarovski and more.
Fashion and technology are now deeply connected. What do you think about Luisa Via Roma approach?
SJ: Fashion and technology have always been deeply connected. Fashion is technology. As soon as humans learned to sew, the necessary art of clothing emerged as a technology. That said, information technology has completely changed the way we consume clothing and Luisa Via Roma really pioneered the online movement for retail. The brand went digital in 1999 at a point when most other designer brands saw social media as being too low-brow and imagined social media marketing would undermine luxury brand messaging. Luisa Via Roma showed the world that online platforms can be visually beautiful enough to match luxury fashion’s standard and that it was possible to bend the web to their needs. The store continues to lead the way digitally with its innovative, socially-driven content.
Florence is becoming a really serious appointment on fashion calendar.
SJ: How do you see the city evolve? What could be the next steps? Florence is carving its own path within the global fashion scene by being a true hub of fashion technology. Italy is leading the way with online retail. I’m not convinced we need another fashion week city. The industry needs to encourage fashion cities like Florence to flourish and bring something innovative to the fashion business.
You actually lived in Florence and know well the city. Your 5 fave spots here.
SJ: I received my MBA from Polimoda and loved living in Florence! So many spots but one of my favorite places for a cozy stay is Tornabuoni Suites. They are located in a traditional central yet tranquil Florentine building. Alessandra, the host is absolutely lovely! For breakfast you cannot beat Gilli on Piazza della Repubblica and dinner at La Giostra. Don’t leave town without having gelato at Vivoli or the sacred daily aperitivo at Volume.
You just came back from Kiev. Tell us about the creative energy, the amazing designers you met and the pieces you want to wear right now.
SJ: Kiev is incredible and has so many awesome emerging designers that are putting this city on the fashion map in a big way. International Fashion capitals already benefit from so much exposure. It’s important to support emerging markets. Theo’s coats are out of this world, Lalo for signature knitwear, but Also Kuzyomin’s timeless sophisticated silhouettes, Chakshyn for romantic frills and Shushan for statement bliss. Fashion Scout has its roots in London and the platform has played a huge part in getting new Ukrainian designers into the spotlight by partnering up with the More Dash collective and Mercedes- Benz Kiev Fashion Days.
Fast fashion, emergent fashion countries as Ukraine, crazy calendar, designer’s burnout… Fashion world is waiting for its revolution. Your point of view as a fashion expert.
SJ: There are many layers to it globally online and offline. The fashion revolution has been happening. From my perspective, it’s really not just fashion. The question is can creativity, sustainability and capitalism co- exist, if so, how? We have been in this cycle of over-sharing, over-the-topness, over- producing and over-consumption. Many of us are ready for this bubble to burst out and are already taking steps in an alternative direction. Look at all the apps and platforms allowing to trade clothing, you can find the fanciest designers pieces on there. While this may not be considered fabulous by some, it’s still happening. Conscious is the new glam. It’s not so much about products anymore, consumers crave human experiences and transparency. For example, now that emerging designers can showcase their work on social media, consumers have a direct relationship with the minds that make the clothes. They can once again become connected with what they wear, as they did before we all became so disconnected from what we consume. You know ? We are constantly triggered to buy before we can even enjoy our latest purchase.This lowers the creative value of any good, even the most luxurious ones. That’s enough to have a high-profile designer departs as we have been witnessing for the past months. The digital space allows us to make more informed decisions about what we buy. 6 years ago, Adile Cretallaz, one of my mentors told me that in the future, luxury won’t be a fancy designer bag, car or any other material goods per se, but rather authenticity, clean air, silence, quality sleep and privacy. Watch it all unfold…
Thank you Sissi!