1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience!
My name is Nicola (Nico) Sterchele, I am Italian but I consider myself more of a global citizen, having lived and worked in several countries across the world. Currently, I am based in Italy, but I lived 6 years in Paris, 3 years in London, 3 years in Switzerland and beyond Italy, I studied also in Iowa (US) and Finland.
During my professional career, I’ve touched on many different areas of marketing. I’ve been pretty lucky to consider myself a 360° marketing expert but I have a preference for everything that encompasses digital marketing. Along with my 15+ years of experience, I moved between different roles, from digital acquisition specialist to product marketing manager, and then finally VP of marketing overseeing global marketing for several startup companies, driving demand generation and communications/branding.
I’ve worked in several industries though JOOR is my first time working in the fashion industry. I started and worked for 10 years in fintech and then I moved to startups in visual production serving fashion clients, but never breathing and speaking fashion as I do currently at JOOR.
2. Why did you decide to join JOOR and what is your role?
I’m really proud to have joined JOOR, which is a NY-based company with a global footprint and offices around the world. JOOR is also a remote-friendly company, so employees can visit other offices to liaise with their international colleagues. Personally, I joined because it is the leader in its industry: digital wholesale. In fact, with 10+ years of existence, it has become the industry standard platform, used by more than 395k retailers and 13,600 brands worldwide.
In my role, as Marketing Director of EMEA, I have the objective of strengthening the leading position of JOOR among brands and retailers leveraging several marketing channels such as events, PR, media partnerships, digital campaigns, and co-marketing with clients and partners.
3. How was your relationship with the fashion industry?
When I was younger I was into fashion trends and I followed several stylists. I loved the first collections of DSquared2, then I followed the British and unconventional style of Vivienne Westwood and the style inspired by the youth subcultures of Raf Simons. In the following years, I appreciated Margiela’s minimalism and easy-to-wear wardrobe of the french brand A.P.C. Then I was into sneakers and I loved the first collaborations among luxury brands and sportswear brands, like PUMA X Jill Sander and then the first edition of Adidas Yoji Yamamoto (before they launched the brand Y3).
So after graduating from Marketing & Communication I was hoping to work in fashion, but destiny wanted me to join the payment industry. As you might imagine, the payment industry has always looked at the fashion industry, mainly because the latter has been a driver for e-commerce (and so boasting the online payment adoption). Big online retailers have driven the expansion of ecommerce in EMEA in the last 10 years, like Ventes Privee, YOOX, Luisaviaroma (among many others) and so with my work in the world of online payments, I was interfacing directly with these retailers and brands for co-marketing campaigns with the aim of creating consumer engagement.
But only with JOOR, I was able to work directly in the fashion and wholesale world.
4. What's your biggest takeaway from the position of the tech industry at the moment?
There are a lot of buzz words in the fashion tech industry currently: NFT and Metaverse are at the top of that list, but I believe that the efforts of technology will be directed at two fundamental parts that fashion needs, sustainability and social impact.
I’ve been interested in the world of sustainability for a few years now and recently I attended the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, an event joined by fashion brands and technology providers to discuss how to make this industry more sustainable and what the roadmap will look like.
I strongly believe (and hope) that fashion-tech will focus on this particular issue, improving several components to make the supply chain more sustainable and transparent.
First of all the use of data for traceability: In fashion-tech as in other industries, the next trend will be to build a robust infrastructure and interconnection between systems to leverage and distribute data among all the supply chain. From sourcing the right material to sharing the information on labor practices and the environmental and social impact, the key development will be to make data accessible from the initial suppliers along the manufacturing chain.
Lately, different players have been leading this change, from companies such as HIGG, which provide sustainable data and build reports on environmental impact to the PLMs, such as Centric Software, which provides tools for the product development lifecycle that has started to track the impact of brands’ on the environment to maintains the level of internal transparency. Other companies like Fashion Revolution reviews and rank the largest fashion brands on their social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts on their operation and supply chain, or SBP, which provides a set of tools to measure a brand’s environmental and social performances by looking at different sources of information.
The other area of development in the sustainability area is the launch of the product Digital ID, to track a single product from production to sale. With this solution brands and consumers can have a comprehensive product view thanks to a digital profile stored in the cloud, enabling traceability, intelligence, and connectivity across the entire lifecycle. I believe more and more providers will develop innovative solutions in the incoming years.
5. What do you think about NFTs?
I find it difficult to express an opinion now because it’s still not confirmed if the NFTs will become an established trend in the future. NFTs started to be well applied to the world of art, but we are still at an early stage in the fashion apparel industry.
But I believe that the technology behind the NFT, blockchain, could be leveraged for Product ID identification and traceability (again :)) as it exists for other industries.
Blockchain technology provides in fact an opportunity to increase traceability and sustainability through the creation of a common source of verifiable information on transactions, accessible to all supply chain parties, regardless of their location. But the route to this is still long, as it needs to be adopted by all the operators, and it’s still a new technology and expensive.
6. Anything else we must know? Interesting hobbies?
On a personal level, I love food more than anything. I have a list of the best patisserie, restaurants, and brunch places in every city I’ve lived. I also love outdoor sports so I enjoy hiking, trail running, and everything connected with nature. I am a coffee nerd, loving specialty coffee from around the world: my morning would not be perfect if I don't start with a V60 made with Ethiopian coffee or with Aeropress with Colombian natural coffee.
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