Masks were removed strictly for the purposes of this photograph.

Specialization Series: Luxury, Today and Tomorrow

Luxury, Today and Tomorrow is a business-oriented program enabling participants to understand how specific luxury strategy is, and make the right and relevant strategic decisions concerning the marketing of luxury brands worldwide. It is among the 7 Specializations in 9 locations across the globe on offer to EMBA participants in order to expand their knowledge of a specific industry, identify strategic opportunities, and fine-tune analytical and decision-making skills.

The luxury industry has a unique set of challenges to hurdle.

The future promises new technologies, new generations, and new business models; as such, luxury cannot remain stagnant. At the same time, it must continue in its fundamental pursuit of differentiating itself from premium brands; luxury strategy aims to wriggle free from price sensitivity and volume pressures by elevating clients and framing the brand as another world, not simply promising more than premium.

The EMBA Luxury Specialization delivers the concepts, skills, know-how and benchmarks to develop a luxury strategy, manage luxury brands and companies today and in the future. Like all EMBA Specializations, it is made up of two one-week sessions that run in May-June and October. Each session amounts to an intense, immersive 5-day workweek, for a total of 10 days per Specialization.

The Luxury: Today and Tomorrow Specialization immerses participants in the culture of connected and innovative luxury, along with the essence of its esoteric and stringent management demands. An unmatched combination of world-class faculty and a constellation of luxury CEOs among its alumni enables HEC Paris to offer its EMBA participants an exclusive program in luxury management.

HEC Paris EMBA visit to Ferrari

Participants got a look under the hood at the gold standard of automotive luxury: Ferarri.

“The Specialization is stimulated by its many participants who are already experienced managers in the field of luxury,” says Academic Director Anne Michaut.

A focus on the business end

The program faculty boasts a rare blend of the best in academic expertise and business experience in the luxury sector, a trademark feature at HEC Paris. Each professor has a distinct personality with outstanding business and/or academic track records. They have written best-selling books that have become the worldwide references in the field. Some of these include “The Luxury Strategy” –translated all over the world; “Kapferer on Luxury”; “Luxury Brand Management”; “The New Strategic Brand Management”; “Reinventing Brands”, among others.

The Specialization is an open window on the drastic evolution of luxury worldwide. Pushed by technology, the tastes of new generations, sustainability imperatives, along with clients’ reliable fervor for newness, the Specialization offers participants the 360-degree opportunity to examine the luxury sector from a financial, governance, HR, production, and logistics standpoint.

EMBA Participants visiting Mantero

Participants during a recent on-site visit to Mantero, where they were personal guests to 4th-generation family owner Lucia Mantero

Moreover, the luxury sector appeals to a global consumer: 20 to 30 percent of industry revenues come from consumers making luxury purchases outside their home countries. Asia in general, and China in particular, is now recognized as the most lucrative potential market for luxury goods. Even if recent luxury sales may have dropped due to falling numbers of Chinese tourists, studies maintain that Asian consumers as a whole are steeped in an enduring love affair with luxury. Brands also expect growth from the other BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa). As such, they leverage travel retail to increase their business growth rates, a clear indicator of bright prospects for the luxury business.

“As a fashion business professional on a journey transitioning to luxury, there was no better choice to make amongst the HEC Executive MBA Specializations.”

Luxury has also aroused the interest of many corporations who see “premiumization” as a profitable strategy and of governments who recognize the exportability of their own luxury sector. But luxury brand management is not the same as conventional brand management. In fact, it requires the unlearning of classic management and marketing rules and the learning of what needs to be called the “anti-laws of marketing”.

This specialization is a response to the needs of luxury corporations and of those managers, who will have to develop the business of their brands by addressing more strategic issues and challenges, or create new luxury brands. The significant number of luxury company CEOs among its alumni means that HEC Paris is uniquely positioned in this field as the world leader in luxury education.

Participant Helen Lee:

HEC Paris EMBA participant Helen Lee

Participant Helen Lee wearing a Mantero coat and mask, during a visit to that company’s premises.

“I recently had the pleasure of completing the Luxury specialization with Professor Jean Noel Kapferer and it has been a wonderful experience.

The topics were engaging and there were interesting guest speakers with valuable onsite visits. Still, the hours were long and intense but cover quite a wide range from the fundamentals of luxury all the way through the most recent developments for digitalization and China immersion. Overall, the program is very well structured and a huge value addition to my earlier skillsets. Highly recommend it for anyone that is interested in learning more about the Luxury field!”

“..the hours were long and intense but cover quite a wide range from the fundamentals of luxury all the way through the most recent developments for digitalization and China immersion.”

Participant Motunrayo Olaogun:

HEC Paris EMBA Participant Motunrayo Olaogun

“As a fashion business professional on a journey transitioning to luxury, there was no better choice to make amongst the HEC Executive MBA Specializations. In fact, my ultimate reason in selecting HEC Paris was for the quality of its luxury program, which indeed was exceptionally well-structured and delivered.

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to listen to real life experiences from experts across various businesses in luxury. For example, I didn’t know much about luxury watches, and I was fascinated by the exposure into that world.

The most unbeatable encounter was the immersion into luxury as a service in its own right. The awareness of oneness with luxury, as if I was living, breathing, eating, sleeping and being luxury throughout the Specialization week.

Personally, the highlight for me was the presentation on sustainable or “new” luxury. It was an insightful session. And as a sustainability enthusiast, I think it has become impossible to talk about luxury without discussing sustainability goals and values that are currently shaping and will continue to shape tomorrow’s luxury.”

More CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies have graduated from HEC Paris than any other university in Europe, and nearly 4,000 graduates are currently CEOs, CFOs, or have founded their own companies. According to the Financial Times, the HEC Paris has the best EMBA program in Europe and #3 in the world; click here to learn more.

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