For me, among the most invaluable aspects of the course were the balance between theory and practice, and the opportunity to work with students from many different countries
The Fashion Management Program at HEC Paris provides students with extensive insight into an industry that is often overlooked in the business world. Students get to benefit from not only the head professor’s expertise and connections in the fashion world, but also from the network of HEC Paris alumni from the top companies in the industry. The Program starts off with the introduction of a real life case study by the representatives of a sponsoring company. Students work on this group project over the course of two weeks, and present it to the jury of brand representatives and the head professor on the closing day of the program. The case study requires the students to do competitor analysis and brand mapping, as well as to understand the brand DNA and accordingly come up with marketing strategies. Based on their research, students act as consultants to the sponsor company.
The syllabus of the course was designed in a way that the students are able to gain knowledge from many areas of the fashion industry, such as product development, marketing, CRM, retail, and distribution. After introductory classes on fashion management which cover industry segmentation, brand-identity prisms and value chains, guest speakers from companies which in my cohort included representatives from LVMH, Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld. We have an opportunity to not only gain in-depth theoretical knowledge about each branch in fashion management, but also up-to-date, real life examples and an insight into processes in different companies. I highly appreciated the fact that the experience level of the guests ranged from directors in big companies, to young designers starting their own fashion brands, providing a variety of perspectives.
The program offers close contact with professionals for students interested in different areas of the industry, whether design or business-related. More importantly, it builds an understanding in students that the two have to go hand in hand in a successful fashion brand. Notably, each lecture succeeds in tackling current challenges that fashion brands face in today’s age of digital media and high millennial influence. I found one of most invaluable aspects of the course to be the balance between theory and practice, and the opportunity to work with students from many different countries, which proved to be helpful when considering different global markets in the final project. After an intensive two weeks, I have a realistic idea of my options if I were to consider a career in this field. I can gladly say that the HEC Paris Summer School Program left me inspired about my own future.