Selvane Mohandas du Ménil is a visiting professor in the Luxury Distribution class of the Master in Luxury Retail Management Program. After having worked for many years with companies such as Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent in product and distribution-related positions, he is now Wholesale Director at Sonia Rykiel.
He has been teaching Luxury International Distribution in a special format session due to his professional obligations at IUM for the last 4 years. The purpose is to make sure that the students acquire a global understanding of what is at stake when it comes to distributing Luxury products on a worldwide basis, both from a symbolic, but also from a purely professional and business-related point of view. He has also been teaching Collection Merchandising and Retail Buying, to go more into depth on product-related topics.
In his point of view, Luxury Distribution is a pillar course in the Luxury Retail program. “For the two last decades, international Luxury Groups have been focusing on various topics in order to improve the profitability of their Houses. They first focused on Global Image and Product portfolio, so that their offer was lean and clear to the final customer, plus well-advertised. Once this cleaning work had been done, they had to focus on how to distribute the said products in the most efficient way. Distribution covers everything related to the business, i.e. finding the right locations and format of business, managing the right people, implementing the right processes, always at the service of a vision that needs to make sense. This is why this course seems to me quite crucial for students willing to enter a Luxury-related career.”
He is enjoying teaching, which is a like entering in a different world for him. “I am always happily surprised by the diversity of the students, their backgrounds, expectations and desires. I think that out of all the institutions where I teach classes, IUM is clearly the most international and open onto the world.”