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London College of Fashion

Richemont OpenVisionnaire Challenge

LCF students succeed in the Richemont OpenVisionnaire Challenge

Written by Michelle Ashton
Published date 23 August 2019

LCF students shot to success in this year’s international OpenVisionnaire Challenge by Richemont, when 3 LCF student teams were selected as part of 8 finalists, from 560 participants. Not only did LCF dominate the final, but 2 of our teams went on to win competition prizes for their projects.

The challenge offered students across the world a chance to showcase their inventiveness, asking them to develop new concepts around Richemont’s products and materials, customisation, services or experience. The brief was for entrants to explore how to anchor the Richemont brand in a future eager for new technologies. All of the teams found their hard work being recognised to be an unbelievably fulfilling experience. Sasha and Léone felt that making it into the competition final “was a very rewarding moment. Richemont’s headquarters are beautiful and exceeded our expectations in every way”.

The final took place in Geneva at Richemont’s Headquarters, and consisted of a 2-day programme which saw them touring the offices, receiving pitch training and presenting their final concept to the prestigious jury. This was followed by an award ceremony and networking event. Maria and Deborah truly appreciated the experience, saying “It was amazing to have the opportunity to present our idea to Richemont judges, employees, and to the other teams of students.

To have developed a project for a group like Richemont was an excellent way of demonstrating the skills we have gained at LCF and during our previous experiences”.

Their project addressed the problem of over-packaging products, and focused on reducing the environmental impact packaging has by using an easier, digital experience for Richemont customers.

Maria Teresa Flores Parra and Deborah De Mello at Richemont
LCF MBA student, Maria Teresa Flores Parra, and MA Fashion Futures student, Deborah De Mello presenting their final project at the OpenVisionnaire Challenge

Diana and her team mate also decided to focus on sustainable design in their project, combined with engineering. They created a new sustainable way of manufacturing Richemont’s luxury watches, by up-cycling premium materials from luxury waste.

Sasha and Léone however explored Richemont’s services and customer experience in their project, proposing the creation of exclusive, rechargeable gift boxes. These would be combined with premium audio devices and HD LCD screens, allowing the customer to record a personalised video message for the gifted occasion. Alongside their innovative gift box creation, the pair designed a branded love campaign which could be used when bringing the service to market. The judges liked the simplicity and elegance behind this concept, awarding them third place in the competition, agreeing that the duo had maintained Richemont’s highly regarded values of exclusivity, distinctiveness and timelessness.

MA Strategic Fashion Marketing students presenting at MA Strategic Fashion Marketing students presenting at Richemont
MA Strategic Fashion Marketing students, Léone Scheurer and Sasha Ialova, presenting their project at the OpenVisionnaire Challenge

We caught up with Sasha, Léone and Diana after the final to find out what this experience has meant to them.

Congratulations on your success everyone – what was it like to take part in the final of this challenge?

Sasha and Léone: When we received the news that our team made it into the final 8, we were beyond excited! We felt super lucky to have been chosen for the final and immerse ourselves in the company culture for two days.

Diana: It was incredible! Presenting our ideas in front of very inspirational people, such as the Head of Innovation at Richemont and the CEO of Regions, has given us lots of new skills – and we have made lots of new friends and connections from all over the world.

It’s great you’ve had this opportunity, and your teams won! How does it feel to have placed in the competition?

Diana: We are very happy, and excited, to have won the Jury's Special Prize.

Part of the prize is to receive a two day experience at the Richemont HQ working directly with the innovation team, so it is a big opportunity for us to develop our idea into a future business.

Sasha and Léone: It was a surreal and extremely rewarding experience! At the end of the event, we were awarded a massive diploma and a highly valued gift certificate as a third place prize. However, our personal, professional and academic development is definitely our biggest takeaway from the entire experience.

Design in Fashion Team at OpenVisionnaire Challenge
BA Fashion Design Development student and Federico Vaghi, student at Queen Mary University of London, winning Jury's Favourite Prize at the OpenVisionnaire Challenge

What have you got out of the experience?

Sasha and Léone: Participating in the challenge and making it to the final round was an unbelievably fulfilling experience and great learning opportunity.

Not only was our work recognised by Richemont, but we also gained important industry skills and experience.

We are honoured to have been a part of Richemont’s OpenVisionnaire Challenge and we would like to thank everyone who supported us through this journey!

Diana: Also, very important for us, we have been contacted by the Head of Partnership from Roger Dubuis Maison. Roger Dubuis was one of our main targets when creating this project, so the fact that they were interested in our idea was fantastic. It was confirmation to us that this is real, and it is the time to develop our business idea further. It was a unique experience and it was an excellent beginning for a successful future. Thank you LCF and Richemont for this memorable time!

MA Strategic Fashion Marketing students, presenting at the OpenVisionnaire Challenge
Léone Scheurer and Sasha Ialova, MA Strategic Fashion Marketing students, presenting at the OpenVisionnaire Challenge