Discursive structures refer to the space, time and actors in the advertising image. In other words, when and where the scene is set and who acts in it.

The three elements used are the following:
  • Actorization (actors )
  • Temporization (time)
  • Spacialization (space)
Through the architecture codes we can understand if the scene is set in Paris (in the image we can see the Trocadero or the Eiffel Tower), and so we have the space.

The architecture codes in this image of Marc Lamey
Through the furniture codes we can understand if the time in which the scene is set is the present time (in the image we can see a TV or a tablet), and so we have the time.

Mobile phones in this Dolce&Gabbana fashion show
Through the clothes codes and the gestural codes we understand that the protagonist is a monk or a fireman, a young lady or a rude biker, and so we have the actors.

The biker David Beckham
Sometimes the space and the time are missing in the image. There is not furniture or architecture and the model can be naked.

In this case we can obtain an idea of the concept as valid al-ways and everywhere.

Many coherent and integrated signs form a code. Some codes are very useful in understanding the time or the place where the scene is set.

The most used codes are the following:

  • Mimetic codes – are the codes of facial expressions. The movement of facial muscles makes a face happy, sad or angry, serious or funny, shy or determine.
The mimetic codes of Evan Rachel Wood
  • Gestural codes – are the codes of body’s movements. For instance, keeping your arms crossed sends a message of closing, while keeping them open instead sends a message of acceptance and warmth.
Different gestural codes
  • Hairstyle codes – are the codes of coiffure and headdress . For instance, colouring your hair purple or green sends a mes-sage of transgression, whereas having your hair clean, bright and in good order sends an idea of cleanliness and re-liability.
Hairstyle codes
  • Proxemic codes – are codes related to position of objects in space. For instance, having a lot of objects scattered on your writing desk send an idea of disorder and confusion. The same objects placed in your writing desk in good order send an idea of reliability, order, cleanliness and safety.
Proxemic codes
  • Kinetic codes - are codes related to the movements of objects in space. For instance, many people running fast can send an idea of danger, the same people walking may send an idea of dynamism and ordered movement.
Kinetic codes in this Nike adv
  • Furniture Codes - are the codes of furniture. A modern furniture can send an idea of rigor, minimalism, ergonomics and simplicity. Antique furniture can send an idea of authenticity, tradition, warmth and comfort.
The furniture codes of Maria Iqbal
  • Architecture Codes – are the codes of building. There is a difference between an apartment and a church, or between a school and a villa with a pool. Every building wants to send a different feeling.
Archictecture codes in this Chanel adv
  • Clothes codes – are used to send a lot of messages. A dress can be a symbol of elegance or transgression, of sensuality or can send the idea of a jaunty air.
Clothes codes in this Dior Cruise 2017 (photo Daniel Jackson )

This is not the usual glossy book on the world of fashion. It is a wellspring of valuable advice to understand and learn how to use the secret language of luxury objects and of fashion clothing and accessories. A language of forms, symbols,icons, codes and colours, which has subconscious effects on the perception, attitude and purchasing desire of the target.It is a must read for all those who work in the fashion & luxury communication business and wish to do so in the most impactful way possible.

“Fashion Semiology, the Language of Fashion and Luxury through Style, Communication and Marketing” continues ideally on the web, creating a strong synergy ween the print and the digital mediums. The images are, in fact, available either by using the QRCODE (an innovative feature in an essay) or by visiting the www.fashionsemiology.it blog.

Cinzia Ligas, semiotician, and Fausto Crepaldi, digital media director, are among the foremost experts in Italy in luxury communication. They are consultants in semiomarketing, fashion semiology, fashion video advertising and virtual fashion, and lecturers at various prestigious university institutes.

Fausto Crepaldi e Cinzia Ligas
Fashion Semiology
The Language of Fashion and Luxury through Style, Communication and Marketing

€ 29,00

First edition – June 2012
Publishing series “im books”


A text is a series of concepts that are linked together, be-tween a beginning point and a stopping point.

For example:

  • a picture, a film, a video, a photo or a painting are visual texts
  • a novel or a letter is a verbal text
  • a symphony or a play is a sound text 
  • a statue or a model are plastic texts

Lady Dior Cruise 2017 Advertising Campaign is a visual text

The models of Emporio Armani spring/summer 2017 fashion show are a plastic text
Text can be:

  • synchronic
  • diachronic
It is synchronic when all the signs contained in it are sent together in the same moment and the receiver can use them when he prefers.

It is diachronic when the signs are sent in different moment and follow a timeline and the receiver is obliged to follow the order imposed by the sender.

The video of Gucci 2017 Campaign is a diachronic text
So, a picture is a synchronic text, instead a video is a diachronic.

A sign is a bifacial entity composed of two parts: the signifier and the signified.
The signified is the concept, the idea that one wants to send. The signifier is the perceptible part of the sign: is the drawing, the sound or the object that forms the sign.

Signs are divided into three groups:
  • symbols
  • icons
  • indices
The sign is an icon when the signifier looks like reality. For instance, a girl’s picture is an icon of that girl, because is similar to reality, is similar to the girl.

It’s a symbol when the signifier doesn’t look like reality. For instance, a red, white and blue flag is the symbol of France, because it’s not similar to reality, It’s not similar to the whole of France. It represents the France but obviously it doesn’t look like French people, French language, French food, French towns or French geography. In conclusion, doesn’t look like France.

The index is a natural sign, without a sender. For example a rainbow is an index, a natural sign that before this moment it had rained. Nobody drew this sign on the sky. There isn’t a sender. There is only this wonderful natural sign.

It’s important to understand the role and the rules of this concept.

It’s a very useful tool to analyzing and creating an effective fashion and luxury visual text, synchronic rather than diachronic.

Eidetic categories refer to the forms of the objects that are emphasized, by discriminating and isolating the different areas on the visual surface.

Based on Western social conventions, specific meanings are given to certain lines and graphical forms on a vestment.
  • curved lines define womanhood and tenderness
Curved lines in this Gucci Adv
  • straight lines define manhood and dynamism
Straight lines in this Dolce&gGabbana campaign
  • diagonal lines ascending towards the right represent dynamism
Diagonal lines ascending in this Ermenegildo Zegna image
  • diagonal lines descending towards the left indicate falling
The falling of diagonal lines descending
  • open circular lines give a sense of comfort and warmth
The sense of comfort with oper circular lines
  • closed circular lines denote closure and élite
The idea of élite in this Cartier Adv
  • lines forming a vortex create a sense of escape or movement
The vortex of Pantene Pro V
  • semicircles give a sense of openness and warmth

  • acute angles and broken lines indicate aggressiveness

  • triangles and pyramids give a sense of strength and balance.

According to the most prevalent graphics theories, another point to seconconsider is that the observer’s visual interest moves from large to small and from irregular to regular objects, and all this may alter the reading experience.

These basic rules of human perception should be weighed to decide, depending on the chosen relationship between sender and receiver, what forms are better suited to design and produce the fashion creator’s dress text.

If the idea is to create an item embodying aggressiveness, strength, elegance against the flow, or a collection evoking warmth, respite, tenderness and strength, the forms and the cut should be tailored to these categories.

More info about fashion semiology:


Sustainable fashion or eco fashion is part of the larger trend of sustainable design where a product is created and produced with consideration to the environmental and social impact it may have throughout its total life span.

According to the Vogue, eco fashion “does not appear to be a short-term trend but one that could last multiple seasons, the very word season being up for grabs in a climate-affected world”.

Ars Europa, with many years of popular and successful collaboration with leading Institutes of Fashion, Art, Design and Management, has arranged a micro training course about “Sustainable Fashion and Luxury Communication”.

The course aims to illustrate to the students the perceptual values (marketing oriented) of Eco Fashion communication and its visual representation, to help them to choose the best solution in the creation and representation of the eco fashion advertising and to understanding the sustainable luxury market.

With these cognitive tools, learners will be able, therefore, to decide which communication and marketing strategies are most suitable for communicating the creation of sustainable Fashion and Luxury, in relation to the perceptual results to be achieved in order to characterize the its communication with those iconic or symbolic values best suited to bring out in the end user’s desire to purchase.

 All of the applicants will receive a certificate of participation with designation as a qualified “Sustainable Fashion Specialist”.

Limited number of participants are allowed.

Several topics of our program of study will be the following:

  • Introduction: Semiomarketing for sustainable Fashion and Luxury Communication and the Extrabrand
  • The envelopment of the Marketing Mix in sustainable Fashion and Luxury Communication: the 8th P
  • Sustainable Fashion and Luxury advertising and creative strategies
  • Marketing communication strategies for sustainable Fashion and Luxury brands: a general strategic plan
  • Sustainable Fashion and Luxury Business Communication Optimization
  • Target Satisfaction and Customer satisfaction in Sustainable Fashion and Luxury
  • Sustainable Fashion and Luxury communication: the storytelling for involving the target
  • Online and video communication and advertisements for sustainable Fashion and Luxury brands

Directed Study tasks
Analysis of fashion and luxury communicative artifacts marketing oriented of Italian and international sustainable Fashion and Luxury brands.

More info:

Blogs are still one of the best ways for brands to power their content machines – and fashion retailers have some of the best content hubs out there.

What’s great about blog content is that it works in tandem with social media and email marketing to serve as a key customer loyalty builder.

A highly followed blog, and its content distributed across multiple channels, helps brands stay top-of-mind for when consumers are ready to buy.

That approach has worked for Active in Style, a UK-based women’s activewear retailer.

Active in Style Home Page

The blog has helped establish the brand as an authority in the health and wellness space, says Thomas Gibbons, the company’s Digital Marketing Manager. The main mission of his team, which is comprised of six in-house writers and three freelancers, is to maintain a loyal readership.

“Educating and building awareness of your products is as important as stocking a great product; they need to complement each other,” he says.

However, they are looking ahead to adding more interactivity into their content plans.

Mr Porter is another site that’s known for shoppable content. Editorial feature stories, like the one below, revolve around beautiful photography and let users click and shop the items in each image.

Mr Porter Home Page
J.Crew is a retailer who’s already mastered the shoppable blog experience. From real people “test driving” new products and sharing their thoughts, to behind-the-scenes looks at how pieces of clothing are made, to style hacks and local tours, this blog reads like an elegant fashion magazine – but with embedded product links that easily let customers transition from reader to shopper.

J.Crew Home Page

Expect shoppable content links and other technologies embedded within blog content to become the norm.

Along those lines, most CMOs agree that personalization is the key to success, according to research conducted by Forbes, entitled “Publish or Perish.”

Their analysis found that marketers who deliver personalized web experiences get double digit returns in marketing performance and response. Looking ahead, retail marketing teams will seek out platforms that contain modules that can serve up content based on user behavior and preferences with the goal of increased conversions in mind.

“Like anything in this industry you need to be innovative, interesting, and fashionable,” says Gibbons.

Eighty percent of marketers surveyed name email as the most important channel for real-time personalization, according to Adobe’s Digital Marketing blog. Fashion retail brands that aren’t using personalization could have an untapped goldmine that’s waiting to be discovered.

Case in point: Alex and Ani, the jewelry and accessories retailer, used to send all their subscribers the same email – but conversions weren’t high. That led them to delve into their data to get a better sense of user behavior, preferences, and interests.

With those findings, Alex and Ani experimented with personalized emails. They sent targeted emails to re-engage people who had abandoned shopping cats, and deployed personalized emails and onsite experiences with dynamic recommendations. Their efforts resulted in a 73% increase in monthly email revenue.

Alex and Ani experimented with personalized emails
2017 guidelines? As the Adobe piece points out, it will no longer be enough to simply drop a contact’s first name into a standard email: “To be contextually relevant is to take into consideration where readers are now, where they came from, and where they are going next.”

Brands will need to deliver emails that appear to speak to consumers as individuals, based on their habits and behaviors. B2B companies have been doing this well for a number of years, but expect to see some crossover into the B2C retail world.

As Eric Stahl, VP of Product Marketing at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, puts it: “There is a bright future for email in the multichannel world… Email will leverage every interaction from the Internet of Things, location, behavioral data, and customer preferences to deliver messages to the customer in exactly the right context.”

Eric Stahl, VP of Product Marketing at Salesforce Marketing Cloud
With brands increasingly targeting millennials and Generation Z, they’ll turn to email automation programs that will help them delight consumers and build trust. Look for that in the form of more abandoned cart messaging, birthday emails, and “top pick” round-ups based on past purchases.

Major labels have started experimenting with chatbots to deliver content and customer service to fans.

And coupled with the fact that younger generations increasingly expect customer service over social media and mobile apps means that brands need to be on those channels and ready to supply content and information that answer users’ questions.

While 87% of shoppers say that sales associates influence in-store purchasing decisions, more than half of shoppers feel that service is lacking online, according to Salesfloor’s 2016 Omnichannel Retail Associate Study.

During New York’s fall Fashion Week, Tommy Hilfiger launched Facebook Messenger’s first “fashion bot” to promote its Tommy x Gigi collection with Gigi Hadid. Users could click to message the brand on its Facebook page; after doing so, the chatbot walked them through the collection. In addition, customers could ask the bot questions and receive answers – the Tommy Hilfiger team pre-programmed it with more than 7,000 responses.

Fashion bot with Gigi Hadid
Soon after, Burberry rolled out its own Facebook Messenger chatbot in time for London Fashion Week. The bot gave users access to content around Burberry’s new collection, and offered real-time customer service.

The chatbot of Burberry

Brands can’t afford to skimp on customer service, so expect to see more companies leveraging chatbots and other forms of automated technology to deliver content and address customer issues.

Twitter announced that they were releasing two customer service chatbots for direct messages.

And Facebook had granted brands access to reach out to consumers directly via Messenger – provided that customer had previously engaged with the brand through a message or click-to-message NewsFeed ad.