Isrid at the Villa Palestro in Rome, just before the start of the masterclass.

My intrinsic driver is to help others think in new, exciting and inclusive ways. I pull my energy by connecting people, ideas and expertise or inventing an innovative way to address current challenges. My fashion career expert class was about the challenges that graduates face when developing a career in fashion. This is why I loved to contribute to the International Study Tour from 14 to 18 September 2020, which was organized by Rome Business School and dedicated to "Exploring the Italian Fashion & Luxury Brands”. The tour was held for the MBA class in Luxury Brand Management of ESSEC Business School.

Your future awaits

My sixth sense and warm interest for talent and what people moves, has always been my compass in growing as a person and as a business. By having learned so much about myself through these interactions and the importance of this self knowledge to see opportunities for a career in fashion, I decided to slightly shift the subject of the class. I felt I needed to dedicate the presentation to the students and so we talked about Personal Branding and Future Guidelines for Fashion & Luxury.

I researched and designed the presentation in hot subjects and future domains to guide the students on zooming in and out on the current dynamics in the fashion and luxury industry and how this reflects on them. "What will be your own position and brand in the fashion industry? It is not only what you learn and all the information you have gathered. What is your core talent and competence to make a contribution to the fashion eco system?”

The state of the Fashion & Luxury Industry.

I can tell you one thing, a career in fashion and luxury is just great, but especially now and near future, it is going to be tough. If there’s one industry in which change is needed, it is fashion & luxury, so I challenged the group to deeply think about what role they would like to have in supporting this change? Personally, I feel one of the main reasons that the fashion industry is in so much trouble could be that we isolated ourselves from other minds and industries and forgot to put human and sustainability first. As life and work will be ever changing we always need to be kind to ourselves. In a world of uncertainties, the certainty you work with is you, to know what you are worth and to keep asking yourself questions. I shared a quote that is created on the building of the Willem de Kooning Academy ( Rotterdam ) that inspired me to always stay true and connected to myself and the possibilities of change: “I have to change, to stay the same.”So I kicked-off by sharing my story and business path, as an illustration and example of how I dealt, struggled and innovated through changes in the industry, in the macro economy and in my work and in my personal live. This personal approach created a warm and open connection with the group.

Key subjects of the class

Empowered with this energy, we discussed the current state of fashion and the key subjects that are influencing and changing the industry and who are also inter linked with each other. These movements influence and change the one and the other.

  • Business versus amateur: This item presented two domains, the giants who are mainly in the industry for investment, profit and data and on the other hand people who are defined by trendwatcher Lidewij Edelkoortas amateurs; the ones who are in it for the love of fashion and who dedicate their time and work to develop new ways of creating fashion. We looked at video’s of 3D designer Iris van Herpen, my interview with Digital Design House ‘The Fabricant’ and an interview with Suzanne Lee, the founder of Bio Couture, growing clothes from living materials.
  • Data and Technology:I presented an overview of technology transformations and trends throughout the whole design and production chain. Then we looked at the 5 key trends in tech and I showed 3 video’s of how data, Augmented and Mixed Reality are innovating the industry and are presenting us with a whole new way of merchandising, distribution and working together.
  • The future of work and jobs: We looked at a traditional organigram, which is top-down and a capability hierarchy. It creates execution, order and control. A new and more innovative set up for a company would be to work in an agile organigram which focusses more on customers, creating adaptability, speed and innovation. In these structures we can work in so called scrum-teams of different disciplines and speciality. I also presented a list of the top 5 jobs that fashion and luxury companies are hiring for and we could see that they are all linked to data and technology.
  • Eco-systems and networks: This was my wake-up call for the power of being connected, for co-creation and being part of networks. The importance for knowing and developing your own talents, competences, story and even your personal brand, in order to contribute to the business eco-system. However small, own a subject, be a thought-leader. Welcome to your future!
My great audience: The ESSEC Paris Business School MBA students Fashion & Luxury
To the right my colleague Eleonora who organized this field trip to Rome
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selecting with great care
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selecting with great care