Bioggio TI/Zurich/Lugano - Guess has established the Gen Z Lab at its European headquarters in the Greater Zurich Area together with Microsoft and the Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center. The fashion company plans to approach Generation Z consumers by collaborating with young students.

The first participants in the GUESS Z Lab workshop were 32 students from the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI). With this laboratory at its European headquarters in Bioggio, the fashion company Guess plans to approach the young target group of people born between 1996 and 2010, i.e. Generation Z (Gen Z for short), according to a press release from the Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center (LTCC) in Lugano in the canton of Ticino. Paul Marciano, Chief Creative Officer at Guess, explains that this must happen in an “innovative way that would feel natural to the digital natives.”

The GUESS Z Lab was established together with Microsoft Switzerland and the LTCC. Carlo Terreni, LTCC President, comments in the press release: “LTCC was founded with the idea of growing local competencies. […] Our mission at the LTCC is to foster these initiatives in established businesses through collaboration with big tech, and in this case, direct with consumers.”

Dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska, Academic Coordinator of the Master’s in Digital Fashion Communication at USI, adds: “We gladly support such industry-academia collaborations that allow our students to discover first-hand innovative projects being run by leading fashion industry players, such as Guess.” The Master’s program is offered as a double degree by USI and the Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University.

The project should “be a two-way conversation”, according to Marciano: The fashion house hopes to learn more about this target group but also to show it “what it means to build, position, and grow a brand”. The second workshop scheduled for the fall plans to take on students from Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK in addition to students from the LTCC partners USI and SUPSI. Microsoft plans to contribute to the development of a “unique online platform” to continue the exchange with Gen Z on an international scale in 2022.

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