Savoir-Faire visit | Champagne Krug , Reims , Champagne, France

By Caroline Olszewski
(GMBA-Luxury Brand Management)

On Friday September 30th, the ESSEC GMBA Luxury Brand Management cohort boarded the TGV train heading East from Paris to visit Reims, a town nestled in the Champagne region of France. 

Upon our arrival, we enjoyed a delicious lunch, savoring the French cuisine with seasonal dishes before heading to the main event: an exclusive visit at Krug Champagne. This visit, which is specially reserved only for VICs (very important clients), was an immensely special experience. For many of us, this was our first experience tasting Krug, so to have it be accompanied by a full tour was incredible. We were greeted with our first glass of Krug before receiving the full history of how Krug came to be, from its foundation in 1843 by Joseph Krug, to the six generations of Krug family who have continued to keep the dream alive. We then were wrapped in cashmere shawls before descending down into the cold cellars, to learn more about the barreling and aging process, and what gives Krug it’s unique and exceptional taste. We even saw bottles dating back as early at 1880! It’s hard to imagine how different the region and life were back then compared to now.

After exploring the cellars, our group went into the tasting room to enjoy a Krug Vintage 2008 and Krug Grande Cuvée. One of the unique characteristics of Krug is their love of music, and how the emotions you feel while listening to music can enhance your experience of sipping on Krug champagne. We listened to two separate music pieces, each which complimented the tasting notes and feeling that each bottle evoked. Sadly, after two hours it was time to leave Krug. 


Afterwards, we explored Reims and saw the Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral, a historical location where the kings of France were traditionally coronated for over 800 years. We then returned to Paris at the end of the day feeling bubbly and filled with wonderful memories of our second Savoir Faire visit of the year! Looking forward to the next one very soon. Stay tuned!

Savoir-Faire visit | Ecole des Arts Joailliers, Van Cleef and Arpels, Paris

By Sherley Vargas Issac & Aastha Sethi
(Students of the Global MBA Luxury Brand Management track)

ESSEC's GMBA - Luxury Brand Management class of 2023 visited L'Ecole des Arts Joailliers, the Van Cleef & Arpels school for jewellery for their first Savoir-Faire event of the year on 26th September 2022

Open to all, the mission of the school, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, is to share jewelry culture with the widest possible audience. It invites enthusiasts to immerse into the world of jewelry by offering exclusive programs, revolving around three main themes: savoir-faire, history of jewelry, and the universe of gemstones.

The GMBA cohort had the opportunity to attend two unique and informative courses offered by the school:

1. Introduction of the History of Art Nouveau jewellery

A 2-hour course conducted by art historians; this was a great way for the luxury trackers to understand the chronical ofArt Nouveau which marked a turning point in the history of art and of jewelry, by offering a radically different aesthetic. The flawless storytelling and artistic references allowed participants to enter the vision of artist-jewelers of the beginning of the 20th century, which was inspired by sensuality, softness of colors, curves and 3 F’s (flora, fauna, and femininity).

2. From French Jewels to Japanese Lacquer

This course introduced the cohort to the traditional Japanese practice of creating Urushi lacquer jewelry, with the help of a Master of Japanese Urushi Lacquer from Van Cleef & Arpels' High Jewelry ateliers. Japanese artisans have been using urushi lacquer to transform common objects into works of art. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for participants to design, create and keep their own Urushi Lacquer butterflies while applying three techniques: maki-e (literally translated as “sprinkled picture,” it’s the use of gold or silver powder to create a design), color application and shell mosaic using mother of pearl.

After this exceptional experience of learning about the history and craftmanship of High Jewelry, the Luxury Brand Management cohort is all set to learn about Wine and Spirts at their upcoming Savoir-Faire visit to Krug Champagne in Reims

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