Daniele D'orazi, Digital Marketing Lecturer At Istituto Marangoni

Industry EML Italy

Professor Daniele D'Orazi teaches Online Branding, Digital Marketing and Sustainability at Istituto Marangoni. Starting in 2015, he has taught in London, Miami and now Milan and Florence. He is currently writing a book about marketing for sustainable start-ups. He trained Finalists at EML Italy in how to Instagram like a pro – we caught up with him to find out why he does what he does, and the secret to success on the ‘gram.

What do you talk about in your training on social media?

I advised the EML Finalists about self-branding and self-expression on Instagram. I have a few little exercises about self-branding - about knowing yourself a little bit more, how to explore your “second talent” and turn all these things into content. My training is very broad because young people today spend a lot of time on social media - in theory, they know every possible law when it comes to marketing! But it's the branding side of the business that is a bit less clear for them. I cannot give them a recipe - it is more important to encourage them to try things out.

Twenty years ago, models didn't have social media. Do you think it's a positive or negative development?

People become a bit obsessed with self-promotion. I think we should try to see social media more as a tool of self-expression rather than self-promotion. I think there is a growing trend to have a life offline too - I think that can help people to relax about what happens on social media because you don’t have to show absolutely everything, and you can have some time off.

How did you become a professor in digital communication?

I was living and working in London. I studied at the London College of Communication, and I was experimenting with new media. This was 2010 when Facebook was the new thing. And I started working for a digital agency, which became very well-known and award-winning. We had the chance to work with small brands, but also big brands such as Harrods, Woolmark and Joseph. And so that was quite interesting, actually. And then, in 2015, a friend of mine, called me up and told me that there was an opening here at Marangoni. So it started in London, and then I went to Marangoni in Miami for one and a half years, and we opened a school there. Then I came back, and I am between Milan and Florence. I really like Marangoni, I think that we are doing something good.

What do you think sets Marangoni apart as a fashion school?

Many other schools have a specific thing that they excel at. At Marangoni, you can gain from many disciplines and across many courses. You can get a very good grade for one specific thing, but if you want to do something else or if you want to explore another area, you can expand with a range of options.

You must meet a lot of young people with interesting ideas; is it exciting to be working with people who are fresh to the industry and bring new perspectives?

I always say I get paid to learn, which is really quite nice! It's actually a big challenge for me because you have to keep up, in every sense, but it's great because it pushes me to stay in the know. And I like the fact that I'm passing what I have learned in life on to the next generation. The kids I teach are the CEOs of the future. And that's a nice part of what I do, when I see a student on LinkedIn doing something great.

How important is it to enjoy social media?

First of all, I think that having fun is the number one thing in your life - you should enjoy what you do, and if you're not having fun, ask yourself, is it right for you? I'm not saying if you go to the Post Office to post a letter and it's not fun that you shouldn't do it - some things are always going to be a bit boring! But on the other hand, I think it's very important to find the fun in life! So if you don’t enjoy social media, but you want to progress as a model, so you recognize that it is something you need to improve - then you can find a way to approach it from a different perspective. It will be so much easier if you enjoy doing it. Think of it as your way of talking to the world exactly as you want to!

Lastly, what's your advice to any young person looking to get into the fashion industry?

Take it with a pinch of salt! That's it. Of course, you should try to be yourself, but try not to take it too seriously! Life, your career, it's like social media - you can think of it as a chore, or you can think about doing it while having fun with it. And if things don't work out the way you want - it's fine. You will learn along the way!

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