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Milan Digital Fashion Week Debuts With Tech from Microsoft, Accenture

Accenture and Microsoft have teamed up to develop and deliver a digital platform to support Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana’s (CNMI) first-ever Milan Digital Fashion Week, which made its debut on Tuesday. Fashion brands, emerging designers and industry professionals can use the digital hub to interact with buyers, media, influencers and consumers from anywhere in the world.

From July 14-17, fashion labels will showcase their Spring/Summer 2021 men’s collections and women’s pre-collections with direct streaming and closed-door events.

The platform will digitize key moments of Milan Fashion Week and is designed to both help sustain the fashion sales campaign ecosystem and maintain core industry relationships in an effort to address the challenges presented by the current market environment.

The hub includes three components: a fashion content center where brands live stream their fashion shows, host virtual catwalks and other industry-related events and roundtables; a virtual showroom system that showcases digital catalogs and provides dedicated support to manage ordering processes; and a data-driven insights platform where industry professionals can obtain business insights from consumers’ interactions with brands, events and content.

“For the first time in its history, CNMI is experimenting with a highly innovative formula through a live digital platform to tell the story of Italian fashion. We are very happy with our collaboration with two large companies such as Accenture and Microsoft for the creation of this innovative digital platform,” said Carlo Capasa, chairman of CNMI.

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“Today we are presenting a revolutionary project that will open Milan Fashion Week up to a broader audience of non-professionals: a demographic composed of younger generations that consume fashion via images and to whom CNMI has assumed the role as Fashion Translator with the aim of conveying the creativity and culture that emanates from the Italian fashion world,” he added.

CNMI, known in English as the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote and coordinate the Italian fashion industry and train and mentor young Italian designers. In March, the organization initially delayed its customary in-person Milan Men’s Fashion Week shows due to run from June 19-23 to run alongside Milan Women’s Fashion Week, scheduled for Sept. 22-28. This will be the first time that the events are held concurrently. CNMI confirmed in June that it will still go forward with the physical Milan Fashion Week as scheduled.

Capasa and his team created with Digital Fashion Week as a response to social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions and concerns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Milan Digital Fashion Week is available for viewing on the CMNI website ( and on CNMI social channels on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Weibo and YouTube.

The Etro runway show at the inaugural Milan Digital Fashion Week.
A model walks the Etro runway at the inaugural Milan Digital Fashion Week, where consumers and industry insiders can interact with the shows and brands online. ph Max Montingelli/Shutterstock

The hub integrates solutions such as Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 Customer Relationship Management and even enables brands to develop customized apps and virtual agents through Microsoft Power Platform. Additionally, global professional IT services company Avanade, a Microsoft Partner, and digital experience platform provider Episerver were selected to help collaborate on the platform.

Luba Manolova, director, business group lead at Microsoft 365 and CyberSecurity Microsoft Italia, said the technologies will help “develop new sustainable business models that will boost Made-in-Italy brands economic and social power.”

The platform integrates with solutions already in use by Italian fashion companies and is intended to evolve to meet the sector’s emerging needs. Technologies powering the hub are designed to benefit the value chain in the long run, such as by digitizing activities like design and material selection. This can help reduce the environmental impact of operations and make processes more efficient, ensuring more sustainable rhythms to fashion’s seasonal cycles.