During their study trip, students studying in the luxury field have the opportunity to understand the luxury codes and the business logic behind the glamorous curtains of the luxury world.
MSc in Luxury Management and MSc in Marketing of Luxury Goods and Services students said goodbye to their textbooks as they embarked on a trip on luxury lane in Milan, Italy. The four-day trip, organized by Annalisa Tarquini, Director of the Master in Luxury Management program, took students inside the world of luxury goods and services as they met and toured with a variety of key industry players such as Richemont, Chloé, Bottega Veneta.
This type of study trip fulfills three main objectives:
- offer students the opportunity of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the luxury sector.
- make students understand the luxury codes and the business logic behind the glamorous curtains of the luxury world.
- help students acquire a specific knowledge of the industry trends and international markets as well.
It’s Tuesday morning, 7 am. We are all waiting in front of our university for the bus that will take us to Milan. On the way, as the sea starts to disappear, we get closer and closer to the immense Italian mountains; there is a lot of fog but it is still beautiful. Everything is calm, people are sleeping. As we approach the Fontanafredda vineyard, I am woken up by a ray of sunlight. I open my eyes and see a magnificent picture: vineyard landscapes everywhere, all green and this beautiful castle of Fontanafredda we are arriving to.
The first visit consisted in: an explanation on how this beautiful place came to life, visiting the park that surrounds the Fontanafredda castle, seeing the “cold/ice cave” that is used to keep the wine in cold temperatures, seeing all the wooden barrels that contain the wine during the making process…
It was very interesting as we got to learn about the details wine-making, a very long and meticulous process. We had the chance of having a delicious wine tasting that took place in the cellar, we had several glasses and the atmosphere was very joyful. This was followed by a lunch in the restaurant: tasty bread, refined meat Tortellini, wine and prosecco, followed by a chocolate amaretto mousse. We took the bus again to get to another wine cellar called Contratto. It was already getting dark as we arrived there and it made the walls of the old stone building even more beautiful. We could sense the heritage the place had. This was a charming cellar, we visited the underground cave where all the wine is kept, we had the chance of having a demonstration of “wine turning” from Mauro the oldest employee at Contratto, and finished the tour by a great wine tasting with ham and cheese. Another two hours separated us from the Hotel in Milan. As we arrived, we all had a few minutes to get settled and then got to a restaurant called “Pupurry”. Beautiful place (once again), there was good music, a good ambiance and the food was delicious: several appetizers (eggplant and parmesan, salad, chips…), beef with rosemary, wine, risotto with saffron… DELICIOUS.
Exhausted but happy for this second day in Italy, there we go for the visit of Chloé, the bag manufacturer. It was incredible to see the entire process of a sample/prototype that was then used and shipped to the factory for the final making. The machine used, the craftsmanship and expertise of all those people was unbelievable. We were amazed by the quality and meticulous work provided by the people at Chloé. One bag takes only a few hours to make but goes through different stages: the designing, the pattern making, the material check, the different metal adapting, sewing…
We then went to a very nice and fancy hotel called MagnaPars and had the chance to have a nice lunch there. We visited the Fragrance lab and boutique that is in the Hotel, this makes the place so unique since each room has a different perfume that was created on site.
This was followed later in the afternoon, by the visit of Emilio Pucci in a showroom, beautiful building very “Versailles” style, tall doors with gold around them, nice wall paintings… We had the chance to see a few pieces of Emilio Pucci, and it was very interesting to talk with the HR director and the Retail Director. They share with us insights about the challenges Emilio Pucci encounters as a niche brand. It was a real opportunity for us to understand firsthand how companies work nowadays.
Later that night, we had a networking cocktail party at the Metropolis bar with IUM alumni and professionals of the luxury sector living in Milan such as Bottega Veneta, Pernod Ricard, Alberta Ferretti, Fashion Technology Accelerator, Malcom Tyler, and Moncler.
What a better way to start a day than by having a breakfast offered by Bottega Veneta? We visited the Bottega Veneta home building, a beautiful house, decorated with perfection, with tall walls covered of paintings with the Renaissance style. It was a fascinating visit, we were amazed by the details, the explanations, and also how long it takes for a client to get one piece of furniture (a few months). We then had great croissants and juice to start the day full of energy.
After that we arrived at the Italian Richemont group headquarters, and had the opportunity of meeting the HR director who gave us a presentation on the group with interesting information about the huge heritage of one the leading conglomerate in the luxury industry. During the presentation, we also found out the criteria they look for while recruiting fresh graduates.
During our afternoon break, we had a few hours in Milan. I stayed on La Piazza del Duomo in Milan, a beautiful and crowded place. It was getting dark, the sky was pink, all the lightings for Christmas were on and a good coffee with a chocolate cake just made my day.
We then visited the Palazzo Parigi, an amazing Hotel site, beautifully decorated with style, big white stone stairs, tall flowers, classy furniture… We had the chance of visiting the kitchen of the starred restaurant, the restaurant and bar, a bedroom and a suite. We were impressed by the details in each room: Clarins beauty products, marble bathroom, view of Milan, King sized bed… A very Luxurious place.
A little sadness in the heart knowing it is already the end of the Milan trip. We had such a fun and great time that we do not want to leave just yet. The day started with a visit of the Pernod Ricard Italy office and an amazing presentation of the luxury division. It was great to learn about all the brands owned by the group, the different experience they offer to customers, and the events they organise each year. It was very interesting and followed by a tasting of their three famous liquors: The Glenlivet whisky on the rocks, Plymouth Gin tonic and Absolut Elyx vodka with soda.
In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit Pomelatto the Milanese jeweler, we were all amazed by the beautiful site: jewelry showroom with all the different product collections, advertising campaign in black and white in beautiful frames on the wall, and a great presentation of the brand, the history, their strategies… That was it, our field trip to Milan was over, but I know we left Italy with memories in our hearts.
I would like to thank our Professor Annalisa Tarquini for everything, the opportunities of meeting important and inspiring people, visiting beautiful and unique sites, getting to know better each luxury sector (hospitality, fashion, jewelry, food and beverages…) and for the unforgettable memories.
Written by Stephanie Jaquet, MSc in Marketing of Luxury Goods and Services 2019
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