Just say ‘Off White’ and black and white stripes immediately come to mind. Think of Tiffany and you immediately recall that specific shade of blue. If this happens, and the identity of a brand is so immediately and closely connected to certain visual codes, it is thanks to the visual fashion brand communicator. This figure is responsible for translating the elements that distinguish and characterise a brand into images.
The work of the visual fashion brand communicator starts from the enucleation of the factors that characterise the brand. Factors that can be concrete (for example, the quality of raw materials and manufacturing), but also conceptual (such as prestige or modernity) and emotional (proximity to the consumer). Once these elements have been established – and obviously shared with the company’s management – they transform them into clear and impactful messages. The range of actions are broad and range from institutional communication (for example, the material used to present the brand to stakeholders) to product communication (such as campaigns for the launch of a collection).
The Visual Fashion Brand Communicator has solid communication background. They are familiar with the techniques at the basis of effective communication and know how to decline them according to the means used. Furthermore, they often have specific knowledge – which can be achieved during the university years or, later, with a master’s degree – of digital communication, which is central to fashion brands today.
The work is complex. Making an error when communicating a brand idea can be devastating in terms of image and, therefore, business results. This is why it is important to pay attention to detail: whether it’s a text or an image, everything must be perfectly consistent with the brand’s identity. Attention to detail must not, however, be separated from the ability to have an overview, and to be able to grasp the overall effect. Another essential soft skill for this role is to be open minded in a double sense: firstly, it is a matter of knowing how to develop alternative, unconventional strategies and solutions, and, secondly, of always be listening, always looking for new stimuli and ideas, which can come from the most disparate fields.
The Visual Fashion Brand Communicator can develop their skills within the Master in Fashion Styling & Visual Merchandising of Domus Academy that is designed for candidates who have a first-level degree and/or professional experience in fashion design, fashion styling, visual merchandising, design, photography, architecture, or communication. The programme is also open to candidates with a background in industrial design, journalism, media, or related fields, if they are motivated by interest in the program’s topics and possess a strong portfolio.
There are two types of Master in Fashion Styling & Visual Merchandising from Domus Academy. The Academic Master (60 ECTS credits) is developed over 5 modules, a curricular internship and a final project workshop and it allows to gain an Academic Master’s Degree accredited by the Ministry of University and Research (MUR), a qualification recognised in Europe and worldwide, as well as a Domus Academy Master Diploma. With the Double Award Master (90 ECTS credits), students have the opportunity to integrate the course of study consisting of 5 modules, a curricular internship and final project workshop, with additional lessons and a more in-depth individual project thesis. With the Double Award Master, students can obtain an Academic Master recognized by the MUR and, in addition, a Master of Arts officially recognized by the British system (Privy Council) and issued by Regent’s University London.
The visual fashion brand communicator is familiar with image editing programs (such as Photoshop) and video editing programs (eg VSDC, OpenShot). They also know how to use writing and presentation programs (Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, Canva).
Their career will develop within a company. It typically starts with a junior position and then it develops and expands in terms of action and responsibility. They can, therefore, become responsible for a brand on a national level and, subsequently, on several countries. The salary level increases in parallel with the position. Sometimes, once some experience has been acquired and a solid network of relationships established, they can choose to work as a freelancer. In this case they can propose themselves as a consultant and can work for various (and different) companies.
The Domus Academy’s Master in Fashion Styling & Visual Merchandising includes theoretical courses in Fashion Culture, Integrated Communication Strategy, Fashion Marketing & Management, Professional Accelerator Activities, as well as workshops in Fashion Styling and Retail & Visual Merchandising. Moreover, an elective workshop to be chosen among Fashion Buying, Entrepreneurship through Design and Identity Design.