My lecture at FIT lasted for an hour and a half, so I'm going to do a recap of the main points as it would be pointless to publish it fully.
"Creating a magazine today with great photographers, top models and designer clothes is an old way of thinking. The idea, the concept is important. A sequence of images, as beautiful as they can be, is boring when they do not express an idea and convey a message. A choice cannot possibly please everyone, but this is part of the famous risk I often mention in my blog, addressing my community which has formed spontaneously when we launched the site.
The risk of not being liked, of not being understood or appreciated is also part of that mystery that has always shrouded Vogue Italia. An experimental, unexpected magazine, featuring strong images. We communicate through the images and this is why it is fundamental for each image to hold a meaning. Our language, Italian, is spoken only in our country so its comprehension is partial elsewhere.
Images have to be communicative by themselves. Great issues such as the Black Issue or the one dedicated to plastic surgery or to the oil spill in the Mexican Gulf are the demonstration that a fashion magazine today can also deal with other themes than just clothes and shoes, and portray through its pictures life occurrences and also events that may change the evolution of things.
Everything can be discussed: from politics to economics, to lifestyle and trends all over the world. It's the way you look at them and convey them. And quality is the keyword. Keeping quality standards high not just to realize a beautiful glossy magazine, but to make it a collector's issue because of the themes treated.
The importance of the printed press today is still strong despite the power of the Internet. Yet we cannot avoid thinking that a natural selection is already underway. Many papers will be forced to close because they are unable to keep up with the rapidity of online news circulation. Quality makes you stand out from the crowd and be well-considered, so that you are not deemed as superfluous and, thus, disposable. We have to make every effort in this direction. Risk, quality and dream.
The launching of the site has been synergic with the magazine, giving out a signal of inclusion to everyone, something the magazine was not giving and could not give, precisely to maintain that power in terms of quality I was mentioning before. Yet with the site everything was simplified: language, content, ideas. The editor-in-chief speaks, answers and also discusses with the readers.
A process of democratization that has affected many people who would have probably never bought the magazine as at times it is perceived as too "hermeti." The web has opened up the doors and everyone can express their opinions and have them published right away. It's a direct, fast way to establish a contact and speak with everyone and also a new way to make friends and share ideas.
Yet Vogue.it features unique channels that you cannot find elsewhere, such as Vogue Black, Vogue Curvy, Vogue Talents, PhotoVogue and Vogue Encyclo. Channels that provide further opportunities to those who love fashion and want to carve up their own space in this world. Young fashion designer or photographers or girls with "rounder" bodies or black girls that still haven't found enough space on runways or in advertisement campaigns.
We address the young and support them with internships, through Vogue Experience or giving them the chance to take part in exhibitions and events. Interacting with the readers is the best part of an editor's job, even when the risk of being violently criticized is high, like when we launched the petition to close pro-ana/mia websites. A risk that is part of the job, so we must deal with it.
Traveling a lot around continents overlooked by fashion circuits, like Africa, one may see how much can be done with a magazine and a website. It's not a matter of pictures, but of providing opportunities for development totally unhoped for. A magazine is a unique instrument, amazing and full of possibilities. It's alive and makes people feel alive, but only if it's run with a honest and sincere commitment towards the readers. Helping out who is asking for support, be them an aspiring fashion designer or photographer or writer.
Considering a fashion magazine to be just like a showcase of clothes and accessories is a limitation today. Be open to all novelties. Be able to surprise but also being believable -- without ruling out any opportunity that may be realized through its pages, on the edge of imagination.
This is Vogue Italia, and this is why we can never get stuck in a predictable routine. You would be the first to be disappointed."
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