Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Future of the Jobs in Luxury, Fashion and Design

The world of fashion, luxury and design has been captivating hearts and minds of people for centuries. We want to be close to what is beautiful, attractive and valuable. It makes us feel good. It makes us feel valuable, just like the precious pieces that we create, handle and sell in multi-million dollar boutiques around the globe. We want to be associated with such names as Patek Phillipe, Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera and such. What is all this industry about? Basically - about anticipating the dreams of people, helping customers live those dreams and revel at the intimate proximity of sheer beauty.

Contrary to popular opinions, creative people sometimes do know how to make money, and not surprisingly, the luxury industry is growing, while others are shrinking. As I learnt from my professor, María Eugenia Girón (former CEO of Carrera y Carrera, by the way), it's nearly a 160 billion euro industry (2009), which continue growing or at least was not as susceptible to the recent downturn as other parts of the global economy:

A rapidly developing industry means a lot of change. A lot of change means many opportunities. Ergo, for a steep career curve you should move closer to the rich and beautiful, and here's the catch:

  • there is a psychological dissonance between the perception of the industry and actual salaries for people working there (for more info see my earlier post: HR in the Luxury Industry)
  • to get up in the ranks, you will have to start at the very bottom. A couple of weeks ago we had the CEO of Louis Vuitton for Spain, Portugal and Morocco coming to IE with a presentation about career opportunities for MBA students. The only MBA entry position around the world in LV is a Store Manager. They believe that the only way to learn the ropes is to get your hands dirty (as dirty as it can get selling EUR 25 K handbags).
Yet, hundreds of freshly baked MBAs join this industry each year and with the change in values across societies, the luxury industry is also trying to be more responsible and sustainable. When 80% of customers would choose a product demonstrating its sustainable nature at the same price, it becomes evident that we are moving from conspicuous to responsible consumption. Look at these example of fashion/luxury ventures, which are definitely "greener" than the others:
  • CIEL: only sustainable and socially responsible sourcing;
  • Ecoalf: recycling PET bottles to make textiles for their fashion creations;
  • BabyDeli: only ecological product for babies.
CSR practices of a company nowadays have a definitive power to skew the employment decision of many young and bright specialists, who care about the future, and I believe we can expect the fashion and luxury industry to be more and more attractive for business school graduates.

1 comment:

  1.  I have been working in the fashion industry for 10 years now, and I found finding a fashion job when first starting out a little difficult, but I have come across some great websites that had quality fashion positions: and Everybody wants experience first, which can be hard if it’s your first fashion job,however I found doing a short course in Fashion Design a great way to get experience and knowledge of the industry.La Mode College has some great short courses, and they include how to get work experience as well.They have a short eBook on how to get into the fashion industry and become a Professional Fashion Designer.Worth a read! Hope this post was helpful!!

    Fashion And Design Jobs



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