Luxury Brand Management | A Memorable visit to Chanel 19M

A blog by Sheersha Dash, current participant in the Luxury Brand Management track of the Global MBA program.

A key highlight of ESSEC’s GMBA Luxury Brand Management program is the highly customized curriculum focused on the Luxury industry, and which also gives plenty of opportunities to meet major players in the market during field trips and ‘Savoir Faire’ visits, that no other program can provide. These exceptionally tailored Savoir Faire visits are unique to ESSEC’s GMBA-LBM program, and offer the most incredible and rare experiences to its participants.

 One such experience for the GMBA-LBM-2022 cohort was the Masterclass by Bruno Pavlovsky, Fashion President, at Chanel’s recently inaugurated 19M atelier, the new site for its Métiers d’Art. Its goal is to preserve and develop the savoir-faire of the Métiers d’art by bringing all the houses together under the same roof including : the embroidery of Lesage , the Montex atelier and MTX, its decoration department,  Lemarié (flowers  and feathers), Massaro (bootmaker), Maison  Michel (millinery), Lognon (pleating) and Goossens (costume jewellery & decorative objects).

It was the much talked about Métiers d’Art show by Chanel, a collection imagined by Virginie Viard – held at their industrial chic space 19M, that was attended by Friends and Ambassadors of Chanel, such as Vanessa Paradis, Sofia Coppola, Pharrell Williams, etc. The very next day of the show, was the Masterclass by Bruno Pavlovsky which was attended by students from a very select few Fashion and Luxury Management schools. One such invitee was the GMBA LBM cohort from ESSEC Business School. By the time we arrived at 19M, us 11 participants had already realized the exclusivity of the event. We were led to the lobby where we were served refreshments before the masterclass started. Post refreshments, we were ushered into the really urban and chic space, all visualized by Rudy Ricciotti, where we were seated on concrete benches to hear Bruno Pavlovsky speak.

Standing in front of almost 200 students, Mr Pavlovsky gave his insights on cultivating a strong brand identity, creating a luxury experience, placing creation at the heart, and sustaining know-how. He also talked about how Chanel, through the 19M project, has been giving back to the community surrounding the 19M. It was truly insightful and eye-opening, and the talk was followed by a barrage of questions by inquisitive students, including those from our cohort. Next was the talk by model and music producer Caroline de Maigret, and Dimitri Chamblas, who choreographed the film that was shown before the show. Their talk was also followed by a lot of questions.
The next round of talks was a surprise for us, as we didn’t know the agenda for the rest of the day. To our amazement, we saw Pharrell Williams, Brand Ambassador – Chanel, walk on to the podium. We were all quite pleasantly surprised and excited at the same time. Mr Williams talked about his pet project “Black Ambition” that he’s working on back in the US, a non-profit initiative to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and about his interactions with Chanel’s craftsmen at the Atelier, and also answered the fervent questions fielded by excited students, with utmost grace and humility. We all just realized that this day was getting better and better. However, like all good things do, this event was to come to an end. That was not all though, as they had one more surprise for us – Chanel gifts for some of the best questions of the day of which ESSEC received more than one!
We finally bid adieu to 19M, with some of us proudly carrying Chanel gift bags, and all of us beaming excitedly with the exceptional experience we had just had at Chanel, thanks to ESSEC’s GMBA Luxury Brand Management program. Such days don’t come by easily, and we were thankful and happy that it did for us!

Savoir-Faire Visit: A private visit to Atelier Louis Vuitton

Last year, marked the 200th Anniversary of Louis Vuitton’s birth, the founder of the eponymous luxury house. To mark his bicentennial, Louis Vuitton, the namesake brand, has gone out of its way in paying rich tributes by way of a documentary, fictional novel, art piece, creative installations, and the iconic Louis Vuitton trunk makeovers. How could we at ESSEC’s GMBA Luxury Brand Management, miss out on the fun then? As part of our program’s ‘Savoir Faire’ site visits, this time we were invited to the Atelier Louis Vuitton at Asniere-sur-Seine, the iconic mansion where Louis Vuitton once lived and which today also includes next door a museum and limited editions workshop.

The moment we arrived, we were guided on a private tour of the house by its Director, Mr Thierry de Longevialle. We were told that the Maison is not open to the public, so it was a great privilege that we got to see the beautiful house for ourselves, while we participated in a detailed conversation with 

Mr Longevialle on brands history and how the founder and then his son, George Vuitton, led the Luxury house to great heights. We were drinking in the interesting anecdotes and information with the refreshing drinks that we were served; the excitement level clearly building up for the next phase of the tour.

We were then led to the Atelier, where the exhibition to mark the founder’s bicentennial was set up. All around us, the iconic Louis Vuitton trunks had been given all kinds of makeovers by international artistes, as diverse as the K-pop group BTS, to stylist Ibrahim Kamara, to long term collaborators such as Alex Israel and Stephen Sprouse. Our senses were on an overdrive as we saw all shades of kitsch to classy, to artsy, to understated art on the trunks. We were given a thorough tour of the exhibition by a Guide who narrated interesting stories behind each piece of art. We took our own sweet time observing each trunk, taking pictures, and taking in the vision of its artist.

After this exhibition, we were ushered to the small in-house cinema, where we relaxed into the plush chairs, and watched a beautiful documentary on the craftsmanship and skills that goes into making a Louis Vuitton trunk the icon that it is. Just seeing the minute attention to detail and the rigorous craftsmanship that goes behind making these luxurious items that have a legacy of their own, was so enriching. We came out of the theatre room, with so much more appreciation and awe for the craftsmen above anything else, for they are the creators and the grassroots of this historic and iconic brand.

Our next stop was the quaint bookstore, with an almost quirky look, with Louis Vuitton city guides lined up in all of the rainbow hues. We were spoilt for choice as we shopped for city guides, glossy coffee table books, and even unusual posters. By the time we had finished our shopping, we were told that finally it was time to wind down our visit. Even though we didn’t want to, we had to bid adieu to the lovely people at Atelier Louis Vuitton, who gave us such an enriching afternoon with their warmth and hospitality. This one was for the keeps!

The Future of Trust: Blockchain!

      The biggest revolution after electricity and internet…

We’ve probably all heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies recently, but do we really fully understand the underlying and disruptive technology that they rely on? In this article we will talk about the future of trust: Blockchain!

Back to 1982 and a brief history of blockchain

Following the global financial crisis of 2008, an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto created an unprecedented document: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. The first conception of decentralized blockchain was based on this innovative and enhanced design. The terms block and chain were used independently in Nakamoto’s original paper until 2016, when they were merged into one phrase, blockchain. And this fueled a complete new era in technology and probably the most significant revolution after electricity and internet...

The technology adoption curve of crypto users vs. total worldwide internet users is depicted in the diagram above. Crypto has a far faster adoption rate than the Internet, with an average annual growth rate of 80%.

What if we try to sum up blockchain in a single sentence?

Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, continually updated and immutable ledger that records the history of transactions in a chronological order.”

So what is blockchain and why is it so unique?

Let’s start with the structure of the name:

Block: the file is made up of data blocks + Chain: each block is connected to the previous block, forming a chain.

Blocks store the hashed and encoded records of valid transactions in a hash tree. A hash is a string of letters and numbers, that serves as an unique fingerprint for every block in the blockchain. The blockchain is made up of a sequence of blocks, each of which contains the hash of the previous block. This repeated process is performed to ensure the integrity of the prior block to the genesis block, which is the first block.

When a transaction in a block changes, the block's hash changes as well. When the block's hash changes, the next block displays a discrepancy with the previous hash it stored. As a result, blockchain has the distinct characteristics of being tamper-proof.

The blockchain stores data in a huge network of computers known as nodes, each of which has a copy of the blockchain. Every time a new block of transactions is added to the network, all members must check and verify that all transactions in the block are genuine. The new block can only be added to each node's blockchain when it has been approved by all nodes in the network. This process is called consensus.

To summarize, anyone attempting to attack or edit data on a blockchain must change the majority of computers in the network, which is how blockchain functions as a highly secure data storage technology.

To summarize, here are some key points!

Blockchain is:

  • Distributed because it is a massive global spreadsheet that operates on millions of computers.
  • Open source because it’s published transparently and it’s not owned by any company, institution or individual.
  • Peer-to-peer because it does not require intermediaries to validate or settle transactions, which makes blockchain a viable solution to the problem of insecurity and exploitation by central authorities, platforms and organizations.

Without a question, blockchain technology’s core and unique characteristics may be applied to a variety of industries, creating new potential opportunities for the future.

Here are some examples of real-world blockchain use cases that can be applicable for enterprises, institutions, and governments:

  • Payment Systems & Cryptocurrencies
  • Cyber Security
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Advertising Insights
  • Networking & IoT Operating Systems
  • Insurance
  • Private Transportation & Car Sharing
  • Online Data Storage
  • Charity Ecosystem
  • Voting Mechanism
  • Secure Sharing of Medical Data
  • Music Royalties Tracking
  • Retail Industry
  • Real Estate Industry
  • NFT Marketplaces

In the next articles, we’ll go through in depth how above-mentioned blockchain use cases will reshape the future in numerous industries. Don’t miss it!

      A blog post by The CryptoLab

MBA in Luxury Brand Management participant's visit to L’Oréal Luxe

Building on the long-standing partnership between ESSEC Business School’s GMBA in Luxury Brand Management and L’Oréal Luxe that has been in effect since the very founding of the MBA in 1995, the participants of this year’s cohort were invited to the L’Oréal headquarters in Clichy for a morning of discovery and discussion animated by Isabelle Minneci, Global VP HR, Manuela Pardini, Global Talent Acquisition Director and Marta Bianco, Global Talent Acquisition Manager.

The morning started with a guided tour of the L’Oréal Headquarters, during which participants were encouraged to envision a typical workday at L’Oréal as they walked through lush gardens with iconic art pieces, peeked inside labs and explored fitness rooms.

It goes without saying that the cohort was left feeling impressed by the historic yet modern headquarters and inspired by L’Oréal Group’s commitment to creating a dynamic and desirable place to work.

Then, the participants attended the screening of a special message left for them by former ESSEC alumni Nicolas Hieronimus, Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal. Inspired by his words and success story, the cohort were keen to learn more about their possible futures at the L’Oréal Group. The floor was then opened to welcome interpretations of L’Oréal’s manifesto motivation ‘Beauty that Moves the World’ as the audience was then guided through the mission, values, profile, portfolio and plans of L’Oréal and L’Oréal Luxe.

With L’Oréal being a pioneer in both beauty and digital, participants from both the Luxury Brand Management and Strategy & Digital Leadership tracks were grateful for the comprehensive presentations given by undoubtedly influential figures within the company and the opportunity to ask them questions about business strategies, digital innovation, sustainability and more. It was a morning to remember, marked by a shared commitment to excellence and knowledge.


ESSEC GMBA Luxury Brand Management – Visit of La Samaritaine

Visit of La Samaritaine, 01. December 2021

On the first day of December, with the joy of Christmas already in the air all around Paris, ESSEC's Luxury Brand Management GMBA cohort had the great opportunity to visit DFS’s latest addition to its luxury department stores in the heart of Paris: La Samaritaine. The retail store, a heritage building originally opened in 1905, focused especially on attracting international tourists while still transporting the spirit of “French living”, just recently reopened in June 2021, after being closed for more than 15 years. The 3-hour visit was split into two sessions: first, a 1.5 hour company presentation and the second half being filled with a store visit.

During the company presentation, Xavière Canali,  HRD, demonstrated how DFS fits into the brand portfolio of LVMH and introduced us to the global operations of DFS. Next, Cécile Favre,, Marketing Project Manager for DFS, provided interesting insights into how her team created the campaigns for the store’s reopening, its 150+1 year anniversary, as well as its current Christmas campaign – always trying to create a perfect symbiosis of modern values, technology and La Samaritaine’s traditions.

During the second part of the visit, the cohort had the opportunity to visit La Samaritaine’s beauty floor, which with 3,200 square meters is the largest beauty floor in Europe. The team of La Samaritaine shared interesting insights on the floor’s architecture and design, but also on how and why specific brands displayed on the floor were selected. 

Additionally, the group got the chance to visit the VIP-rooms of the jewelry & watches floor, with the Sales Manager sharing his experiences of working at La Samaritaine. The afternoon came to an end on the top floor where the participants were able to admire the huge art nouveau fresques of beautiful peacocks dating back to 1905, that have been painstakingly renovated over a period of 4 years. 

And so ended another unique moment of insight into the world of luxury retail and we thank DFS for their continuing partnership with the ESSEC GMBA Luxury Brand Management program and offering us this privileged visit.