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An unconventional journey through values and aesthetics of a well-established brand in the fashion and luxury industry: 'Augmented Beauty' is the title of the thirteenth Design Marathon born from the collaboration between NABA and BULGARI. From May 13 to 15, the Rome campus hosted 32 students who developed an innovative customer experience thanks to the countless possibilities of virtual reality.

The BULGARI metaverse and the winning projects

Design Marathon gave shape to a digital experience, in which virtual and physical worlds merge in a holistic, multi-platform journey. Eight teams of students from Rome and Milan investigated the brand's history and identity to create an authentic metaverse. More precisely, they had to define a proposal containing: an explanation of the concept underpinning the virtual experience and its visual elements, the main user journey, some technical features and possible stakeholders. They have been guided by mentors Gloria Maria Cappelletti (Editor at Large and Creative Director, i-D Italy, and NABA lecturer) and Martin Romeo (NABA lecturer).

The first prize was given to DOMUS BULGARI by Vittoria Di Nunzio, Gianmarco Gallo, Federica Gianni, Leonardo Possati - students from the Design Area of the Milan campus and the Communication and Graphic Design Area of the Rome campus. The concept of their immersive experience is an inclusive universe in which anyone, especially GenZ, can feel as valuable as an artefact of BULGARI's artistic heritage. Young users can enter the brand's metaverse without any fear; they can approach the world of luxury with calmness and curiosity. During a journey/metamorphosis, their avatars explore the BULGARI dimension until they transform into jewellery and works of art.

A special mention was acknowledged to THE HERITAGE GARDEN by Costanza Lusini, Giorgia Iurilli, Elisa Mantineo, Julia Pellicanò - students of the Media Design and New Technologies Area of the Rome campus and the Communication and Graphic Design Area of the Milan campus. Here, the project looks into the relationship between memories and new generations who record everything without keeping anything in mind. Thus, the BULGARI jewel becomes a token preserving and handing down the memories and stories of those who wear it. V BY BULGARI also received a special mention. The proposal was made by a team of students from the Fashion Design Area of the Milan campus and the Communication and Graphic Design Area of the Rome campus: Vincenzo Ciaccia, Cecilia Lioce, Elena Palumbo and Lorenzo Scaramucci. In this case, the brand's iconic snake becomes the avatar's guide. Worn as a ring, bracelet or necklace, it follows its master wherever she goes. Moreover, through gamification dynamics, users can acquire new customisations, powers and functions of their snake.

Jean-Christophe Babin (CEO), Antoine Pin (Watches Business Unit Managing Director), Massimo Paloni (Chief Operations And Innovation) and Ennio Piccirillo (Innovation & Transformation Director) assisted the students and provided all the insights they needed. The jury evaluating the projects on the final day of the event was also made up of Eduardo Barbaro (Worldwide Omnichannel Director), Livia Caloprisco (Digital Marketing & Performance Senior Manager), Federica Ammirati (Digital Marketing Senior Manager), Carla Granieri (Brand Heritage Specialist), Irene Bosio (Talent Acquisition Specialist), Alicia González (Innovation & Transformation Senior Project Manager). The winners were awarded by Lelio Gavazza (Sales & Retail Executive Vice President).

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