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LVMH And HEC Paris Tie-Up Illustrates Demand For Luxury Brand Managers

Luxury goods conglomerate on lookout for future business leaders

Thu Oct 1 2015

Luxury group LVMH and French business school HEC Paris have announced plans to create a teaching and research program dedicated to luxury brand management.

The tie-up highlights the growing need for trained talent in luxury, a sector where there is a historical tension between creatives and executives.

For LVMH, owner of brands Louis Vuitton, Berluti and Christian Dior, the deal is an opportunity to engage directly with an international pool of potential recruits.  

Chantal Gaemperle, group executive VP for human resources, said LVMH “offers career opportunities that students are not always aware of”.

She added: “Our customer advisors, buyers, visual merchandisers, trainers and managers are the front-line ambassadors of our houses.”

LVMH already has long-term partnerships with leading global schools, including ESSEC Business School in Paris, Bocconi in Milan, Central Saint Martins in London, and Parsons in New York.

This HEC Paris agreement deepens the presence of LVMH in the education sector in a bid to prepare students for the careers available in luxury.

The Chair for General Management and Retail Excellence will train future luxury business leaders in every aspect of the industry, from sales and merchandising to logistics.

It will give students in the program access to “unique career opportunities”. Other business schools say there are job opportunities emerging in luxury.

Luana Carcano, director of the luxury business management MBA track at SDA Bocconi School of Management, said:  “There is always space for well-trained and passionate professionals.”

Angelo Manaresi, director of the MBA in Design, Fashion and Luxury Goods at Bologna Business School, said that the big luxury groups are “still hiring the most from the good business schools”.

He added: “But in the last few years medium and sometimes smaller firms have hired people with stronger managerial education, as they realize that they need to look out of the domestic market to address growing transnational luxury segments.”

LVMH joins the increasing number of luxury brands to develop partnerships with top business schools.

London Business School recently developed a second program in luxury management with Walpole, an organization comprising more than 170 British luxury brands.

LBS will also work with executives at Diageo, the world's biggest distiller which produces Smirnoff vodka, and fashion house Alexander McQueen.

ESCP Europe Business School last year established a Fashion and Luxury Chair to drive digital innovation in the industry.

And SDA Bocconi runs a course developed with Bulgari, the luxury jewellery brand.