A few years ago, I saw a luxury goods MBA being advertised at a business school fair. At the time, the school's booth got a lot of browsers but very few prospective students actually stopped to talk with the admissions representatives and learn about the school and its program. If you were interested in pursuing a career in the luxury goods industry in the United States (e.g., fashion, design, luxury brand management, etc.), your best bet was to jump right in without getting an MBA.
These days, an MBA can be a great launching pad for a luxury goods career. Harvard Business School, for example, has become a breeding ground for fashion entrepreneurs, and most U.S. MBA programs have a professional luxury goods club. But if you want to focus your MBA education solely on the luxury industry, European business schools are where it's at.
Among these is ESSEC Business School in France, which has a luxury brand management program--and particularly strong ties to the industry. Its graduates have earned jobs at tops luxury brands like Calvin Klein and Coach.
SDA Bocconi in Italy offers 15 main concentrations and six niche concentrations, two of which focus on luxury and fashion. MBA students are required to take one main concentration and one niche concentration, meaning luxury goods students are doubly specialized: in a particular profession/are and in the luxury industry.
The International University of Monaco offers only three MBA concentrations, one of which is luxury management. So it should come as no surprise that the MonacoMBA is a leader in the industry. In fact, the school offers a mentorship program that pairs MBA students with luxury professionals, including some from Campari, Giorgio Armani, Gucci and Fraser Yachts Monaco.
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