Italy and specifically, Milan have a long, illustrious association with high fashion and luxury. It is here that the bespoke trousseau of the royal families of Europe would often be put together with Venetian lace by the nimble hands of Italian seamstresses. Leading market analysts and industry experts on the whole agree that luxury goods routinely perform better than others, even during times of economic downturn. The reason for this lies in their innate ability to meet the demand for the ‘exceptional’ expressed by an increasingly growing number of customers. In order to meet these expectations, luxury companies are on the lookout for candidates with cutting edge design skills, outstanding craftsmanship, the ability to deliver a unique customer experience and the ability to create strong associations through brand recognition.

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in fashion textiles and luxury goods management aims to teach the student how to design their ideas and transform them into luxuriant, viable products that satisfy all potential requirements and can be created for a niche segment with exquisite sensibilities, far beyond the mass manufacturing. This field also encourages and enables students to cultivate and enhance their creative and artistic problem-solving solutions in mastering silhouettes, assemblies and constituents of clothing and luxury goods. Students pursue an analytical as well as critical approach to fashion and events, develop originality in conceptualization and talent as well as hands-on ability and methodological understanding.

It is a privilege to be accepted into the Instituto Marangoni, Domus Academy, Istituto Europe di Design (IED), SDA Bocconi School of Management,  Politecnico di Milano School of Management – Neoma Business School (MIP), Bologna Business School – University of Bologna and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy. The programs taught at any of the above universities are recognised world-wide and certain universities like the Politecnico di Milano are listed in the 2018 Global MBA Rankings – Tier One with three programs: MBA, Executive MBA and Online MBA. Also, the business schools in Italy have the prestigious EQUIS accreditation (European Quality Improvement System) and enjoy top ranking for the luxury specific discipline as mentioned in the Eduversal and QS World University Rankings.

The MBA program for Luxury Management is for a 12 month duration with an intake in September. The medium of instruction is English, although it is advantageous for the candidate to speak Italian. Also, the students can opt for a variety of modalities in terms of frequency like part time, full time, online mode of studies etc. However, for students who wish to study as regular full time students, the minimum requirement is a four year bachelor’s degree program or a three year bachelor’s degree program with one year of relevant professional experience. However, it is best to check with each school for its specific mandates.

For students who come from non-English speaking countries, the TOEFL/IELTS may be mandated to ascertain the proficiency. Unlike the Americas, the GRE/GMAT are not required for this program. Once they receive a letter of acceptance, the student must apply for a national ‘D’ visa to enable them to stay and study in Italy for a duration exceeding 90 days. Also, international students may also seek employment while studying after applying for a work permit, but one must keep in mind that the issuance of one may take well over two months. However, the rules differ for EU students and non-EU international students. The former can work up to 20 hours a week during the course and without restriction during vacations. However, non-EU international students cannot work for more than 20 hours a week, in term or during vacation and not at all, if they are enrolled under the National ‘C’ visa. Furthermore, any infraction of the rules can attract a fine of 1000 Euros. Also, international students who can do part time jobs are paid €5 – €15 per hour, depending on the work.

The tuition fees for the programs range from 10,000 Euros to 23,000 Euros, as per the school and the program. Bologna University Study Grants for International Students, Italian government Scholarships for foreign and IRE students are some of the scholarships that may be availed to subsidize the cost of tuition, as per merit. Student housing in Italy is often managed by the university office for international students. These accommodation offices provide information on renting apartments, which are generally cheaper than the cost of finding housing on the private market in Italy where the rent can range from €300-600 a month, depending on the size and location.

BMW Group, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari Roma, Calzedonia Group, Chanel, Chopard, Diesel, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Karl Lagerfeld, L’Oréal Luxe, LVMH Fragrance Brands, Max Mara Group, Michael Kors, Moncler, Montblanc, Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Starwood are some of the fashion houses that routinely recruit on campus at Neoma Business School from the IMLUX program.  The schools collaborate with the main industry leaders of today’s global marketplace, working closely with national and international employers promoting partnerships with them and organising activities all year round to bring to the students, the latest recruiting insights and market trends. The growth of the luxury market, unmindful of economic realities has underlined the immense growth potential of the segment. Italy is the destination of dreams for all those who choose to make their career in the management of bespoke luxury and glamor.