A round up of luxury education programs offered in France, from ESSEC’s MBA in International Luxury Brand Management to the RMS Champagne Management Chair
As the home of cognac, fragrance, champagne, couture and foie gras, no one can deny that the French know a thing or two about luxury. And whilst the industry evolved from artisanal production, old-world tradition and a rich cultural heritage, the rise of modern powerhouses LVMH and PPR has also cemented France as the business capital of the industry: home to one of the largest armies of luxury brand executives.
On top of leading generalist MBAs such as INSEAD, there are more luxury focused professional educations programs in France than anywhere else in the world. Here we provide an comprehensive round-up of the most specialised curriculum available in France.
The European Centre of International Hotel Management offers an MBA in Luxury Management to enable students to advance their managerial careers, develop luxury industry expertise, deepen knowledge in specific luxury fields and provide a program that is compatible with professional activity. Within the program, students can choose to specialise in art & culture, international jewellery, leisure & events or international business, focusing on specific geographical regions.
Core modules cover standard MBA requirements, however specialty management subjects include: art markets, heritage, international luxury brands, communications & events, tourism, jewellery, hospitality and multimedia, TV & web. Workshops and classes take place in France, however field trips and seminars incorporate Brussels, London, Milan & Antwerp. Students can also elect to spend a semester in a European university or American accredited partner.
Created in 1995, the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management is designed to enable participants to develop a global vision of business, and equip them with the leadership and managerial abilities necessary in managing a luxury brand. Students may choose from a range of specialisations, including fashion and accessories, fragrances and cosmetics, watches and jewellery, wine and spirits, cars and technology or hotels & real estate.
The program is divided into five key stages: an initial introductory period focusing on gaining familiarity with luxury products and learning business fundamentals required for any MBA graduate. The second stage seeks to strengthen business knowledge and present luxury market trends, as the third is devoted to luxury brand management and semiotics. A fourth period deals with management and issues specific to the luxury sector, whilst students in stage five work in teams, to carry out a two-month field project for a company in the sector.
Participating in the HEC Executive MBA Program, students have the opportunity to major in Luxury, alongside one core program and two capstone projects. The HEC EMBA Luxury Major aims at endowing executives with all the skills and understanding necessary to develop and manage luxury brands and companies, designed for participants who either already manage luxury brands and companies or will be doing soon.
The ambitious programs leads participants deep into to the culture of luxury, in order to grasp the essence of its management. The business-oriented program was developed with the goal to make participants able to take the right and relevant strategic decisions related to the marketing of luxury brands anywhere in the world.
The Champagne Management Chair was set up by Reims Management School in 2007, to develop a research program for the Champagne industry at an international level, focusing on its specific management features, and offer training programs to professionals working in the Champagne industry. The Chair also works with researchers around the world, to stimulate research in the field of wine, focusing on the management and distribution of champagne.
This Chair has been created both with a view to promoting the Champagne industry and to helping it adapt to the constant changes taking place in the international wine market. Through the chair, Reims Management School also seeks to develop partnerships with prominent Champagne houses, to then provide benefits and expertise to students.
The MBA Fashion & Luxury Management aims to develop an entrepreneurial and managerial approach to fashion and luxury in an increasingly international world. The course is designed to enable graduates to develop strategies in the field of economics of fashion and luxury, design and manage projects, develop marketing and communication strategies, organise and manage the logistics of events and understand and manage financial and legal affairs.
Students undertake a mixture of culture, history, marketing, communication, manufacturing, legislation and financial subjects, alongside personal development and project management.
Luxury studies at the École Internationale de Marketing du Luxe are split into two programs: an initial 3 year bachelor program and a following 2 year cycle to attain the MBA spécialisé en Marketing du luxe. The bachelor program incorporates studies of culture, art and civilisation, marketing and communication, the luxury market and intensive English and foreign language courses. The initial two years are taught exclusively in French as students increase their understanding of English, whilst the remaining three years incorporate both French and English.
The final two stages, necessary to obtain the master, focus on luxury and innovation and the international marketplace, where students are able to further specialise in specific areas of marketing or elect to study subsectors such as wine marketing, gastronomy, leather, precious metals and licensing.
Language: French & English
The MSc in Luxury Management & Marketing is a specialised master, preparing students for an international management career in the luxury sector, through a multi-campus, multi-country experience. The program is designed to teach students how to apply specialist management knowledge to the industry and allow them to experience the differences in international business cultures and gain tangible work experience through internships and business projects.
EM Lyon also arranges company visits and seminars, alongside career days, where luxury brands are invited to campus to recruit future managers and high-quality interns. The program is based in Lyon but also incorporates study tours in Shanghai and Lausanne.
Jointly created in 1991 by ESSEC Business School and the LVMH Group, the Research and Teaching Chair is a specialised track of studies in luxury brand management, exclusively available to ESSEC MSc in Management students. The program provides a unique opportunity to combine practical theoretical knowledge of luxury brand management and the luxury industry at large, as well as hands-on experience through a field project and professional internship.
The ultimate objective is to prepare students to become efficient managers in the luxury industry upon graduation. Curriculum includes five compulsory courses: semiotics and communication, international luxury brand distribution, brand management, contemporary Issues in luxury marketing and luxury retail management.
Identifying change management and globalisation as two strategic priorities for luxury brand survival, the Management des Entreprises du Luxe et de la Mode program, offered by ESLSCA, seeks to approach studies of luxury from a historical, sociological and cultural perspective, alongside modern considerations of the French economy, overall industry and legislation.
The program pays particular attention to what constitutes luxury, its history, its players and evolution as well as covering strategic marketing, creation & design, communication strategies, international marketing, human resources management, intellectual property law, financial management and also an intermediate French language course for non-francophones.
Created by Cartier in 1990, the Institut Supérieur du Marketing du Luxe offers students and young professionals specialised MBA courses, in Luxury Brand Marketing and International Management , to enable discovery and understanding of the secrets and techniques of the world of luxury, and acquisition of the skills necessary for management and communications.
Students are expected to study the history, geography and general economics of the luxury business, analysing the financial strategies and performance of different brands and groups. The course then goes on to examine, marketing, merchandising, distribution, international trade, sales, strategy, logistics, transport, advertising, quality, competition and business ethics, as related specifically to the luxury industry.
The International University of Monaco offers three Master programs focused on the luxury industry: luxury brand management – food & wine, luxury goods & services and luxury retail management. All programs seek to combine personal development initiatives with in-depth introductions to prestige and luxury, international marketing and brand management, communication strategies in a global environment and consumer behaviour.
Depending on the course or specialisation, students then go on to focus on sub-sectors and the relative principles of supply chain, marketing, financial planning, human resources management and legislation. Some programs then continue on with industry based learning, in the form of placements and internships.
ISC Paris is parts of the highly selective French “Grandes Ecoles” recruiting system, which group’s higher education establishments operating outside the sphere of Universities. In France, only 50 management schools are entitled to run a “Grande Ecole” program with a Masters in Management, and only 30 of these are, like ISC Paris, members of the prestigious Conférence des Grandes Ecoles.
As part of a three-year Masters program, ISC Paris offers a one-year specialisation in Marketing Management for the luxury industry. Designed to teach students specific strategies, knowledge and technical skills relating to different markets within the sector, the curriculum includes luxury product marketing, distribution, pricing and communication, and also covers brand management, human resources, economics, international trade, travel retail, tourism, project management and strategy.
Language: French & English
ISTEC offers an International Master for the Luxury Industry in Paris, incorporating a brief seminar in Italy and a six-month internship. The aim of the program is to offer a high-level specialised Master course that provides hands-on training, to facilitate students’ professional integration in various areas of the luxury industry. The combination of lessons, seminars and internship is designed to initiate and foster a sense of responsibility, innovation and creativity in each student.
The curriculum has been designed to address the ever-changing environment of the luxury industry, where companies need to address issues such as globalisation, brand image, product diversification, emerging markets, increased diversity of customer bases and their expectations regarding the increasing range of goods. Accordingly course modules include marketing, design, communication, distribution, operations, legal issues and general management, as well as exploring the history and culture of the industry and its various subsectors.
Language: French & English
The Luxury and Fashion Management MSc is designed to be international in orientation to reflect the industry itself: international manufacturing and distribution, cross-border ownership and global branding and communications. This program focuses on design, trend-recognition and marketing skills, more specifically new product development, and marketing, strategic brand management and communications delivery.
The program also covers globalisation, value management and marketing and sustainable development studies alongside a traditional general management focused MBA curriculum. Classes are complemented by various conferences and seminars given by full time, leading professionals from small and multinational institutions in the global and local markets. Small classes with a high international ratio mean students build fruitful inter-cultural relationships with one another and with their teachers, and the obligatory internship period, where students work full-time in luxury and/or fashion, helps develop a professional network within the industry.
Possibly the only luxury program offered in a French public university, the Université Paris-Est Marne-la Vallée offers a Master of Innovation – Design – Luxe. The program trains managers to be able to interface between marketing and business creation and is designed for students that have previously trained in management, engineering or design, specialising in the luxury industry.
Core luxury modules include business management specific to design and luxury, marketing, strategic management of business innovation, communications, international marketing, merchandising, sociology and the corporate history of luxury goods. Students may then also choose to study design management, sustainable development, project management, distribution, art history, innovative design and economic management.