MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Field trip to Italy 2016

By Teresa Chen, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2015-2016, Australia/Taiwan

As part of our very busy and action-packed curriculum, we were spirited away to Italy for a week to meet Italian luxury companies in Milan and Florence, and to observe first-hand the main differences between French and Italian luxury brands. 

The first most obvious observation was the way warmth and hospitality naturally poured out of Italians; they embraced our class with their inherent friendliness and generosity. We were invited to breakfast with Ferragamo in their grand headquarters - a building of renaissance architecture that is also the home of the Ferragamo museum. Throughout the week, we also had meetings with Altagamma, Acqua di Parma, Zegna, YOOX, and Valentino; we were all instantly made to feel welcomed and a part of the family. 

Which lead to our next conclusion about Italians brands; they were all about people. They listened to their customers and they care deeply for their employees, because they know and value the importance of family, and by working for the brand or being a customer of the brand, you become a part of the family. We definitely got the family treatment when we visited the historical and magnificent Palazzo Pucci and were personally welcomed by Madame Laudomia Pucci! 

The third observation was the Italian craftsmanship, detail to attention, and style; you can't miss it from a mile. We visited the workshops of Valextra in Milan and saw with our own eyes how their leathergoods were made; from the cutting of the leather, to the gold foil embossing, to each tiny leather buttons, each part was fashioned with painstaking care and passion of the craftsman.

This trip made our class even more accurately aware of the key ingredients required for a luxury brand to succeed, and many classmates have been converted by la dolce vita and the Italian craftsmanship and am convinced to return and work in Italy in the very near future.