Condé Nast Italia

MILAN — Condé Nast Italia is launching a new editorial project — and it’s entirely social and platform-free. Called LISA — an acronym for love, inspire, share and advise — it will be unveiled this evening in Milan with a special event at the Piccolo Teatro Strehler.

“It’s obvious that the late Millennials and Generation Z are not only customers, but they also strongly and decisively influence Baby Boomers. We must understand this and relate to this kind of communication,” Fedele Usai, chief executive officer of Condé Nast Italia, told WWD. He explained that LISA kicks off on Spotify, Instagram and Facebook and will later also include a presence on Snapchat and Musical.ly.

Usai observed that “98 percent of Generation Z members and Millennials spend a lot of time on social media for information but, surprisingly, more than 78 percent of Baby Boomers are engaged on social media. So they all find themselves in the same places and using the same language. Generation Z influences the big spenders in terms of language and communications. No 60-year-old wants to feel treated like a 60-year-old.” Usai emphasized the “explosion” of Instagram and the highly successful communication employed by Gucci and its creative director, Alessandro Michele.

Usai said that the new group of seven writers, “cool hunters” and editors tapped to create LISA, aged between 23 and 25, will work with collaborators to discuss different topics and trends in “a disciplined way. There is no room for haters.”

Editorial director and corporate communication director Luca Dini reinforced this “positive message. We will provide a strong sign of confidence and hope, also through the use of ironic language.” Dini said he and Usai were “very happy” with the resulting product after working on LISA over the course of one year.

Usai did not disclose the investment in LISA, but shared that Condé Nast Italia has revenues of 20 million euros from the digital channel and has 22 million unique users.

Dini and Usai contended that LISA is the first social-only editorial project in the luxury segment at a global level. “We are putting ourselves out there, opening up to the world, but this is entirely born in Italy,” said Usai, adding that an international expansion is in the works. LISA is expected to be available in the U.S., possibly before the summer and probably on Snapchat. “We are also very interested in China, but this is more difficult because of the different social media employed,” he noted.

Given the breadth of the Condé Nast publications, Usai pointed to synergies with LISA. “Condé Nast has wonderful brands and this is important because it will allow us to approach the younger generation and create a link,” he said. “This is the first consumer to consumer project,” he touted.

In November, Condé Nast Italia launched the first Social Academy to train a new, certified generation of influencers and Usai also pointed to this “important motor.”

The main purpose of the initiative is to teach the correct way to use social media, which focuses on quality content and respect for ethical standards. These include being specific about advertised posts and managing the number of followers and likes with transparency. As a result, once the courses are over, the newly formed professionals will receive certification and will be integrated in Condé Nast’s network of social influencers, which already counts 300 people.

Developed in partnership with L’Oréal Italia’s luxe division and with the scientific and educational support of Milan’s SDA Bocconi School of Management, the first session centers on the beauty and lifestyle areas.

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