Italy’s Fashion Chamber Cracks Down on “Gifts”

The ubiquity of influencers who have garnered fame on borrowed wardrobes is, these days, a reality, while self-made icons – like Lee Radziwill or Jane Birkin – are sadly a thing of the past.

As the fashion sector struggles to define what an influencer actually is, organisations like the Federal Trade Commission in the United States are cracking down on false influencer advertising. In other words, if an influencer has been paid to wear a brand’s clothing, they will now be obliged to say so.

On Wednesday, in an interview with NOWFASHION, Carlo Capasa, the head of Italy’s fashion chamber, said the time has come for “influencers” to specify whether or not their clothes have been borrowed or gifted to them in exchange for monetary retribution.

“The fundamental aspect is to protect followers,” Capasa said. “It is essential to clarify the correct use of hashtags and a correct definition of different cases, such as gifts or clothes on loan, not forgetting the need to distinguish the difference between influencers and celebrities.”

According to a Eurostat survey from 2017, the uses of hashtags and promotion of brands through influencers on social media has significantly increased since 2013. 

Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana published a report last week entitled “Influencer Guidelines and Interpretive Rules for Influencers.”

The report followed a similar one published by the FTC in October which stressed the need to protect consumers from “deceptive or inaccurate information online, which pollutes the e-commerce marketplace.” The FTC added that it was poised to take legal action against such behaviour.

“Dishonesty in the online marketplace harms shoppers, as well as firms that play fair and square,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Posting fake reviews on shopping websites or buying and selling fake followers is illegal. It undermines the marketplace, and the FTC will not tolerate it.”

In an ever-changing fashion landscape, the current digital revolution has created a variety of new possibilities and trends which have been affecting a number of sectors of the Italian and international industry. Industry leaders have also struggled to define what an influencer versus a celebrity actually is.

Although a legal definition of influencer does not exist, Italy’s Istituto dell’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria has provided a definition which can help define its limits and determine the difference between an influencer and celebrity: “influencers are figures who are able to influence consumers in choosing a product and express opinions about a brand.” On the other hand, unlike influencers, a celebrity is someone who has gained popularity within the entertainment industry who can also be an influencer.

Social network platforms have become the main tool for influencer communication, although they were not initially conceived for a commercial purpose. The role of the “influencer,” in particular, has recently risen in popularity, increasing the number of opportunities for brands to operate in a sector that has very peculiar characteristics in terms of relationships, image, and reputation.

Elsewhere in the document, Camera cited the need to include a different, more specific hashtag for gifts, such as #gift followed by the brand name, which should be used by the influencer whenever the influencer posts content in which he wears a product given by the brand.

At the moment, these guidelines are not legally binding, and for now they represent a framework for brands to adopt when envisaging their social media-driven campaigns.

In light of these changes, a dialogue between social platforms and the authorities is called for in order to define the tools embedded in platforms that, on one side, allow a transparent communication and consumer protection, and on the other side, facilitate the brands and influencers’ disclosure activity.

“Italian brands are among the main protagonists in influencer marketing activities. For this reason, the good practices identified by the document published by CNMI can become a reference for the entire fashion system. It will also be essential to open a dialogue with national and international institutions so that the needs and peculiarities of our sector are taken into account,” said Capasa.

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
Vulnerable Masculinity and Versatile Workwear
By Elisabeta Tudor
While the first two days of the Paris' Fall/Winter 2020 menswear shows showed that several brands...
By Elisabeta Tudor
While the first two days of the Paris' Fall/Winter 2020 menswear shows showed that several brands were turning to more formal styling, this third day was marked by a less assertive, more fluid take on masculinity.  Chinese designer Sean Suen explored fluid tailoring infused with dark romance. His...
While the first two days of the Paris' Fall/Winter 2020 menswear shows showed that several brands were turning to more formal styling, this third day was marked by a less assertive, more fluid take on masculinity.  Chinese designer Sean Suen explored fluid tailoring infused with dark romance. His light workwear pieces came with a hint of sophisticated tailoring. They were characterized by a...
Virgil Abloh’s Tailored Louis Vuitton
By Gianluca Cantaro
The power of today's communication and branding are tools...
By Gianluca Cantaro
The power of today's communication and branding are tools that big Maisons like Louis Vuitton have mastered and the hype around the acclaimed monogram boosted by name of the designer, Virgil Abloh from Off-White, affected their men's line. Since Abloh...
The power of today's communication and branding are tools that big Maisons like Louis Vuitton have mastered and the hype around the acclaimed monogram boosted by name of the designer, Virgil Abloh from Off-White, affected their men's line. Since Abloh started his master plan and developed the company’s sampling, he has turned the brand into a...
Romanticism in Tailoring by Valentino
By Gianluca Cantaro
The delicate music and voice of Fka Twigs's live performance gave the Valentino show a peculiar...
By Gianluca Cantaro
The delicate music and voice of Fka Twigs's live performance gave the Valentino show a peculiar atmosphere, emphasising romanticism – the main theme of the collection. The tailoring approach that Pierpaolo Piccioli used for jackets, coats, suits and sportswear was stiff and structured. The...
The delicate music and voice of Fka Twigs's live performance gave the Valentino show a peculiar atmosphere, emphasising romanticism – the main theme of the collection. The tailoring approach that Pierpaolo Piccioli used for jackets, coats, suits and sportswear was stiff and structured. The romanticism aspect was expressed by fluid lines mixed with a distinct design: the jackets were opened on...
Formalwear and Future Nostalgia
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week kicked off at a derelict building on the 15eme arrondissement with...
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week kicked off at a derelict building on the 15eme arrondissement with the Études show. The Parisian collective has made a name for itself by cleverly anticipating trends ad infusing them with their own identity, creating unpretentious, super covetable collections. If this...
Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week kicked off at a derelict building on the 15eme arrondissement with the Études show. The Parisian collective has made a name for itself by cleverly anticipating trends ad infusing them with their own identity, creating unpretentious, super covetable collections. If this season was no exception, that means we’re in for a tailoring comeback: pleated and tapered trousers...
In Milan Ideas Are Recycled
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
The fashion industry is forever filled with good intentions. It embraces one cause after another....
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
The fashion industry is forever filled with good intentions. It embraces one cause after another. Yesterday, it was defending minorities. Today, it fights for the environment. At last week's Pitti Uomo in Florence, you could not even find one single exhibitor who didn't feature a garment crafted...
The fashion industry is forever filled with good intentions. It embraces one cause after another. Yesterday, it was defending minorities. Today, it fights for the environment. At last week's Pitti Uomo in Florence, you could not even find one single exhibitor who didn't feature a garment crafted from eco-friendly or recycled fabrics — a garment that was produced in conditions respectful of...
By Gianluca Cantaro
Gucci abandoned the co-ed formula to go back to fashion week with a proper mens show (58 looks and only 10 were womenswear). "It's my fifth anniversary at the helm of Gucci and I wanted to go back and rediscover all my...
Gucci abandoned the co-ed formula to go back to fashion week with a proper mens show (58 looks and only 10 were womenswear). "It's my fifth anniversary at the helm of Gucci and I wanted to go back and rediscover all my collections," explained Alessandro Michele after the show. "My first collection also happened to...
In Paris '70s Revival and Back-to-Nature Movement
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
Sankuanz, Paris Fashion Week’s official opening act this season, moved away from his streetwear...
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
Sankuanz, Paris Fashion Week’s official opening act this season, moved away from his streetwear bread-and-butter without completely abandoning it — after all, the brand is among Hypebeast’s and Ssense’s darlings. Chinese-born designer Shangguan Zhe chose to start his show with a series of sharp...
Sankuanz, Paris Fashion Week’s official opening act this season, moved away from his streetwear bread-and-butter without completely abandoning it — after all, the brand is among Hypebeast’s and Ssense’s darlings. Chinese-born designer Shangguan Zhe chose to start his show with a series of sharp moiré suits for men and women. They were part of an eclectic collection with punk, cyberpunk,...
Menswear on The Rise as Gucci and Ferragamo Return
By Sofia Celeste
Amid a relaxed fashion week that opened with the 25th...
By Sofia Celeste
Amid a relaxed fashion week that opened with the 25th anniversary of Dsquared2 and closed with the return of Gucci to the Milan menswear calendar, designers were upbeat about the future of menswear.   According to a report released by market...
Amid a relaxed fashion week that opened with the 25th anniversary of Dsquared2 and closed with the return of Gucci to the Milan menswear calendar, designers were upbeat about the future of menswear.   According to a report released by market research group Euromonitor International, the menswear sector is forecast to grow 22 percent by 2024 and...