Kilpatrick interviews Digital Fashion Leaders on the stage of LAC at Fashion Innovation Week

Based on their long-standing background in the Executive Search market, Kilpatrick chose to turn their attention to the dynamic world of start-ups who have a technology or product with a highly disruptive potential in the fashion world with a mind to sustaining their growth by hiring talented professionals driven by an innovation-oriented thrust, in line with the company’s values and vision.


To further deepen the topics, in the “Innovation Meets Fashion” session of the Fashion Innovation Week of March 26th, Kilpatrick promoted a round table hosting a few key players of the fashion industry to discuss the importance of human resources and their ability to adapt to an ever-changing world, of modern skills the current challenge requires as well as the importance of flair for innovation.


The aim of the session was to share and benefit from the experience and best practices of Key Note Speakers who, despite belonging to different contexts and scenarios, all have a feature in common – they are identified as “Digital Fashion Leaders”.


The session, moderated by Kilpatrick CEO Jaap Hoekstra, hosted:

  • Enrico Moretti Polegato, Chairman of Diadora, the leading Italian brand in the sports field that for more than 60 years has been manufacturing and selling athletic apparel, footwear and accessories.
  • Snehdeep Aggarwal, Founder and Chairman of Bhartiya Group, a diversified, global lifestyle corporation headquartered in New Delhi, India.
  • Francesca Toninato, CEO of 7 For all Mankind International, the world’s premiere premium denim brand known for its innovation, fits and finishes.
  • Sergio Caredda, Senior Director, HR Business Partner DTC EMEA of VF International SAGL, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel , footwear and accessories, with more than 30 brands.


The five speakers discussed about talent, in all its shapes.


How to effectively merge into the culture of a Company (family or listed ) from one side, or how to face geographical boundaries and cultural gap coming from a market getting more and more international, on the other side.


Talent is the centre of all enterprises”, Mr. Aggarwal dramatically summarized. “Acquiring talents actually is not a cost, but a profit”, he continued. “Without people at the core, you cannot do anything sustainable, or anything that can survive the world in the future”. But, he concluded: “Talent has no geography”.


We mentioned an “international talent platform” where to look at, that in a digital environment is extremely “fast moving”, as Sergio Caredda stated, “that you cannot stop innovating also through the development of people”. “Looking at the right talent and measuring it”, is the way. Because if talent is not only a cost, the talent should also demonstrate his profitability in a consumer-centred economy with “competences and capabilities to satisfy consumer needs”.


Also personal attitude can change dramatically a Company path. Enrico Polegato explained how having onboard the right – with new mindset – team can bring about a ton of change in his Company.


A talent can be hidden behind the most various professional figures – “not necessarily amongst the ones with the highest salaries”, admitted Francesca Toninato, especially “when you enter into the world of creativity, design and innovation”, where young, motivated and talented designers demonstrate a deep understanding of the brand and the capability of really adding more value to the Company.


Strategy for the future link to technology, not to millennials. Many roles in the future will require a shift into digital competencies, that are a wide field, deeply different from the past. Digital competencies are about “thinking experiences, thinking big data, about machine learning embedded in processes, all things completely new so far, and we need to think about them in our education, in our professional training”, explained Sergio Caredda. Agrees also Mr. Aggarwal. “The skillset will shift from mechanical to in-the-mind. So It’s actually skillset of the mind which has to be, in a very few words, the future”.


Enrico Polegato summarized saying that he is not thinking to “hardware or software skills”, but what he is looking for is “curiosity”. Curiosity is the base to move to the next stage because it gives you the sensitiveness to capture opportunities and inspiration outward, and “bring some fresh air from outside, into the company”.


To know more on Kilpatrick sponsorship of the 5th edition of the Fashion Innovation Award, please tap here.