Kellogg, the prestigious school of management at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago, has announced plans for a business course on fashion -- or at least, how fashion can play a role in industries as varied as fast-moving consumer goods to consumer electronics and home computers. ESSEC, the French business school, has an entire MBA program dedicated to a Luxury. And, fashion and luxury clubs are popping up at business schools around the world, from Harvard to Columbia to London Business School.
These are the latest signs that professional general managers are playing a more prominent role in the fashion and luxury industry. Before the emergence of major luxury groups, first LVMH, and then Gucci Group and Richemont, many fashion and luxury businesses were a family affair -- and this is still the case for many brands, most notably in Italy. But, with more and more luxury IPOs and the shift towards managing luxury brands within a portfolio, has also come the need for CEOs who are well versed in brand management, investor relations and supply chain optimisation.