The Luxury Education Foundation recently concluded its annual program, "The Design and Marketing of Luxury Goods," an interdisciplinary course developed by Columbia Business School and Parsons The New School for Design enabling students to collaboratively develop concepts for some of the world’s leading companies such as Bulgari, Haviland, Hermès, Loro Piana, and Maclaren.
"Now in its 15th year, the Foundation developed this program to provide business and design students the rare opportunity to interact with top executives in the luxury goods industry and learn the various stages involved from conception to points of sale," said Barbara Cirvka, Chair of the Luxury Education Foundation and Division President for Fashion, Watches and Jewelry for Chanel.
New Product Concepts for Haviland
The semester-long course functions as an incubator for new ideas for participating companies. This year's projects included formulating a marketing strategy for the launch of co-branded watches for Bulgari; exploring opportunities for Haviland china to expand into the hospitality industry; developing a new mobile phone and iPad application for Hermès; creating new luxury gift products for Loro Piana; and proposing a new second label for Maclaren. The participating companies are reviewing several of the projects for possible future development.
"The goal of this course is to teach students how design and marketing work together as integral part of the business process, and how communication and collaboration across disciplines play into the success of a company," said Amir Ziv, Vice Dean of Columbia Business School. "This is a terrific opportunity for our students to learn from real-world experience, and to gain insight into the design process from a leading design school."
Project teams bring together Columbia Business School students with Parsons design and management, communication design, fashion design, fashion marketing, interior design and product design students, who worked closely with executives from the participating companies to develop their strategies and concepts. The course is designed by Ketty Maisonrouge, an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and President of the Luxury Education Foundation, and taught alongside Parsons professors Heico Wesselius and Andrew Robinson.
“From taking advantage of new technologies to exploring new markets, today's luxury good companies continue to put design and innovation at the center of their business," said Joel Towers, Dean of Parsons. “Our collaboration with LEF and Columbia builds upon Parsons’ long tradition of partnering in ways that provide valuable co-curricular opportunities for our students."