Executive MBA travels to Milan, the Capital of Culture
LCF’s Executive MBA (Fashion) students, accompanied by tutors including course director Dr Jonathan Gander, travelled to Milan and neighbouring Como for a stimulating three day excursion to the cultural capital. We caught up with the second day highlights from the trip.
In the stylish headquarters of Ermenegildo Zegna, family member Benedetta Zegna gave an inspirational presentation. Sharing her insights, Benedetta outlined how the global luxury giant has developed its product portfolio through vertical integration. Extending its reach to international markets through retailing, wholesaling, licensing and collaborations, the company has added value at each stage. Ermenegildo Zegna has also achieved strategic advantage through producing exclusive fabrics and collections for many of their competitors. Very, very slick, yet also totally professional, Zegna was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the trip.
In complete contrast to the corporate world of Zegna, a visit to meet the marketing team at the nearby showroom of Antonio Marras illustrated the quirky creativity of a designer whose world is defined by his love of his homeland Sardinia. Hand crafted, vintage inspired, beautifully embellished form his artistic aesthetic.
‘In terms of inspiration, nothing stood out more than the Antonio Marras concept store. It was wonderfully whimsical and full of surprises. Every nook and cranny was highly curated and it was like looking inside the mind of Marras.’ Valarie Ball, EMBA Candidate
A guided visit around 10 Corso Como provided the group with insight into what is often considered the world’s first concept store. Founder Carla Sozzani developed a special and stylish environment where fashion, food, art, furniture, photography and design are edited and changed weekly. The group learned how the concept has travelled to the fashion capitals of Asia.
‘The whole experience felt like something so special, like a little secret oasis hidden in the middle of Milan.’ Valerie Ball, EMBA Candidate
Meeting the sales team at the main international office of LVHM owned Donna Karan provided the group with insight into a company in transition. The recently appointed Creative Directors Dao‐Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne from Public School will undoubtedly inject new vigour and direction for the DKNY brand.
Finally the group visited la Rinascente, Milan’s only department store, operating in prime position opposite the majestic Duomo. An enthusiastic group of managers from store operations, buying and marketing explained in some detail how the product portfolio is edited and targeted for a growing number of international tourists. An accompanied visit to the newly opened Annex demonstrated how the company is targeting Generation Y through events and social media.
The experience in Milan was joyful, uplifting and incredibly insightful. It brought together real world examples of many elements explored during the academic rigor of the Executive MBA Course. Most importantly everyone found it was stimulating and good fun!
‘…..Milan is an inspirational city to watch out for fashion trends in retail and fashion production. I strongly believe that the passion for fashion, food, art and design resonates with their culture and it was very inspirational for me not just as a visitor, but more importantly as an EMBA student in fashion.’ Anvadhya Jayadas, EMBA Candidate