90861 - Sociosemiotics of Fashion

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Giampaolo Proni

  • Credits 6

  • SSD M-FIL/05

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Rimini

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Fashion Cultures and Practices (cod. 9064)

  • Course Timetable from Nov 17, 2021 to Dec 17, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has acquired the ability to analyise and understand the most common types of texts used in fashion and life style communication and design. The result is pursued by introducing the theories of semiotics in their application to the analysis and planning of commercial and social messages.

Course contents

The course is part of the program's last year offer and has been conceived for students who want to acquire pre-professional abilities in fashion communication management and design. Some entry competences are required that should have been earned during the first two years. In particular the students must be familiar with: the social approach to fashion; structures and processes of fashion communication and the vision of fashion in the framework of art and culture.

On this ground, the course will focus on channeling the personal creative potential of the participants into the design of rational brand positioning and strategy. To reach this result, the teaching will employ two main levers:

1. The workshop structure, that is, a practical and collective style of work;

2. A leading creative metaphor.

Such metaphor will take its inspiration from comparing the design of a brand to that of a character, a girl or a young woman, who will be created as the Alter Ego of the single student or a small group (depending on the number of students). The Alter Ego will be composed with her biography, her look, her tastes, her lifestyle, etc, as if she were a fictional character. Furthermore, to apply the concept of brand positioning, every character will be devised in relation with the others, in order to be different and original, yet to form a system of complementary identities, within a general ideal paradigm of female personality.

Macroarea 1. Principles of branding (less. 1-4)
1.1 The rise of branding
1.2 The particular case of fashion
1.3 Identity and positioning
1.4 Brand design

Macroarea 2. From character to brand (less. 5-6)
1.1 Personas, roles, alter egos
1.2 Positioning and mood boards

Macroarea 3. The Alter Ego Workshop (less. 7-15)
1.1 Introduction and assignment
1.2 Meetings and development of the project
1.3 Homework
1.4 Presentation of the reports

The workshop is based on a) class attendance, b) on-platform activities. It can be followed also in remote attendance mode, but the deadlines and requirements will be the same as for in class students.


Texts and other material will be supplied by the teacher via the e-learning platform.

Teaching methods

The course will be delivered in a 'blended' mode, that is, both in class and remotely. Students will be able to use the platforms made available by the university.

The course uses a Moodle e-learning platform. Subscription to the platform is compulsory. The platform allows students and teacher to interact, including those not attending classes, so as to reduce the differences between the two ways of learning.

The Moodle instance for the a.y. 2021-2022 will be available one week before the beginning of the course.

Students must request credentials from the teacher.

Assessment methods

Students will turn in a) all the materials collected during the work (audio and video, files, links, written texts etc); b) a written paper presenting the research results.

The Workshop's progress will be discussed in class and on the e-learning platform. Not attending students will discuss, present and turn in the project on the e-learning platform. They must contact the teacher to decide the topic and modality of their work.

Grades are assigned according to the following criteria:

18-20: There are no elements of excellence or originality in the student’s contribution, or deficiencies are just enough to balance the positive parts of the performance; (E-)

21-24: The performance presents some good points but is not fully developed or it shows some serious deficiency, though having a good general standard; (E E+)

25-27: The performance is good or very good, but some or several weak points prevent it from reaching a top grade. (D D+)

28-30: Very good, no flaws, some or several original elements (C C+)

30 cum laude: excellent under any aspect, original and outstanding (A)

(ECTS grading tables are reported for a comparison)


Subscription to the platform is required to follow the course and to be admitted to the exam, both for attending and non-attending students.


Please ask the teacher for the password to enter the Moodle platform during classes or by e-mail to giampaolo.proni@unibo.it

Teaching tools

Portable and desktop PCs, video projector, WiFi access point, internet connection, e-learning platform, personal smartphones.

Office hours

See the website of Giampaolo Proni