Luxury brands open their doors to EMiLUX students

Executive Master in Luxury Management


With the Behind the Scenes initiative, participants in the Executive Master in Luxury Management spent a full day shadowing staff in the hotels and retail stores of 14 prestigious brands.


Embarking on an extraordinary journey deep into the heart of luxury, the seventh Executive Master in Luxury Management (EMiLUX) by SDA Bocconi has reached new heights of excellence. Picture a day immersed in the refined ambiance of fourteen prestigious brands: Bottega Veneta, Tiffany, Cartier, Valentino, Gucci, Loro Piana, Kiton, Brunello Cucinelli, Maison Margiela, Jil Sanders, Moncler, Mandarin Oriental, Principe di Savoia (The Dorchester), Bulgari Hotels and Resort. It’s more than just education; it's a gateway to a career in retail or hospitality, infused with personal touches that make the experience unforgettable.


Executive Students, organized into small groups, set out on a profound exploration. They kicked off with the morning briefing, delving into performance data related to advisors, categories, and sold out pieces, dissecting strategies, and catching glimpses of upcoming collections. It was within these discussions and unveilings that the true meaning of luxury unfolded.


Shadowing Client Advisors throughout the day, participants gained firsthand insights into the essence of luxury service, even without direct customer interaction. They discovered the pivotal role of the Hospitality Manager, a linchpin connecting the soul of the store to its community, overseeing operations with finesse. By observing and learning, they absorbed the essence of conversion rates, not just as numbers, but as a narrative of connection with clients.


For those shadowing into luxury hotels, revelations were equally perspective-altering, witnessing the orchestration of impeccable hospitality: from observing the meticulous 'Check' process to understanding the art of personalization in guest experiences, passing through the subtle art of housekeeping and the obsession with guest needs, they grasped the significance of every detail in crafting unforgettable stays.

However, it was the focus on Very Important Customers (VICs) and Very Very Important Customers (VVICs) that illuminated the zenith of luxury retail and hospitality. These interactions weren't just transactions but narratives of engagement, up-selling, and cross-selling within an exclusive clientele. 


As the Behind the Scenes project concluded, EMiLUX students were entrusted with crafting detailed reports— a tapestry of insights to be shared and discussed with the host companies and their CEOs. These reports sparked reflections across three key areas: Store/Hotel Environment and Processes; CRM and Clienteling; Stellar Aspects and Areas of Improvement.


From the cohesive unity of teams that thrive on collaboration and tenure, to the newfound allure of luxury retail as a welcoming, service-oriented haven, the reflections were a testament to the transformative power of this experience.


"The most stunning aspect was the team spirit within the stores. Encountering a group so tightly-knit and passionate about their collective endeavor was inspiring. Notably, the longevity of many employees, with tenures stretching beyond a decade, spoke volumes of their dedication," one testimonial noted.


Another shared, "This experience was eye-opening, igniting an interest in the retail sector I never knew I had. The luxury boutiques, far from being intimidating, revealed themselves as bastions of warmth and impeccable service."


And then, the moments of genuine connection: "Watching a customer celebrate their birthday with their Client Advisor—amidst hugs, smiles, and laughter—felt more like witnessing a reunion of old friends than a professional transaction."


"Behind the Scenes peeled back the curtain on the complexities of luxury retail and hospitality. It highlighted an entrepreneurial spirit within stores that not only adhere to brand guidelines but also actively contribute to the brand's narrative. The dialogue between store and brand has become reciprocal, a symbiotic relationship where insights flow both ways. The responsibility and significance of a director or store manager, overseeing anywhere around 60-70 employees, have never been more pronounced", EMiLUX Director Gabriella Lojacono says.

Participating in such an experience as part of an Executive Master is truly unique, transcending traditional company visits to immerse participants in the operational heart of luxury sales floor and ‘back of the house’. This exceptional opportunity, nurtured by the mutual respect and strong relationships between SDA Bocconi and the luminaries of the luxury industry, enriches not only the participants but also elevates the discourse in management education.



SDA Bocconi School of Management

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