Portraits

On 20 and 21 March 2017 the Prada Group, in partnership with the Yale School of Management and Politecnico di Milano School of Management, hosted a conference entitled Shaping a Creative Future. The event aimed to explore possible new connections between sustainability and innovation and to provoke stimulating conversations among international leading personalities in the academic, creative and business fields.

As part of this, the Politecnico di Milano organised a contest on the topic of ‘Brand Heritage and Market Value’.
The winning project was a video created by a group of five students: Vivian Larsen, Bruno Nieto, Anastasia Osintseva, Anna Kostykina and Minliang Shi.

“It’s funny: our team is made up of people born in the BRIC countries, and bricks are the key image in our project. Our names are Vivian, Bruno, Anastasia, Anna and Minliangh, we are between 23 and 27 years old, and we come from Brazil, Russia and China. Our studies in marketing and communications, international affairs, business and English literature mean we have a diverse range of experiences, but we all felt deeply drawn to the contest when our professor at the Politecnico di Milano suggested we enter.
It was difficult at the beginning: we held several brainstorming sessions and restarted from scratch several times. One thing, however, was clear right from the start: investigating the relationship between brand heritage and the market required a customer-centric approach. So we carried out numerous interviews and analysed a series of best practices.
We see discussing a brand’s tradition and values as setting in motion a never-ending story, a large collective narrative that not only looks at the past, but is also told in the present and future tenses. We have an almost ‘genetic’ perspective; a hidden string connects everything we all are with that which came before and everything that will come afterwards. Certain topics are crucial in this ongoing narrative: sustainability, altruism, a sense of community, the digital world and new technologies. Thanks to all these things, a simple purchase can become something bigger and, along with the actions of lots of other people, can build the future, brick by brick.
Letting this vision take shape was an exciting adventure. We knew we faced a lot of competition; luckily as a group we have a wide range of skills, from movie making and writing poetry to set design and performance.
That’s how our video came about: just over three minutes long, it describes the past and the future, poetry and technology.
It is difficult to describe how excited we were when we discovered we had won. The experience has undoubtedly taught us a lot, and filled us with pride. When we heard our project cited during the conference, we realised that more important than the award itself was the fact that our work was being shared, and could inspire other people.
Today, having experienced the satisfaction of winning, we are even more confident about our ideas: we are all responsible for building a more sustainable world, and to do so we must change our habits, as well as influencing those around us.
In the future, we would like to work with luxury goods companies to help them find new innovative and sustainable ways of looking at business, telling big stories that keep brand DNAs alive while at the same time making people both think and smile.”

21 March 2017

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