Luxury Brand Management at the GCU British School of Fashion and London Business School

In the fall of 2013, Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU)—known as a leader in fashion education since the 19th century—inaugurated a new fashion business school in London and soon after opened a satellite campus in New York City. Rather than focusing on the design aspect of fashion, however, the GCU British School of Fashion instead aims to offer a specialized business education with applications to the fashion industry, as the school’s former director, Christopher Moore, explained in a FashionUnited article at the time the new campuses were being revealed: “The remit of the School is clear: we are about the business of fashion. While there are other great international design schools, we are quite different. Our aim is to be a leading School for the business of fashion.”

The British School of Fashion’s MBA in Luxury Brand Management program aims to impart industry tools and skills related to such topics as consumer behavior, globalization, and strategic management. The school also professes a commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and fair trade as part of its core values. With support from a number of British fashion brands, which have included Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, AllSaints, and the Arcadia Group, the school’s faculty also features a team of honorary professors and fashion industry leaders. Moore told the BBC, “Over the past decade, there has been a significant professionalization of the fashion sector, and there is now a need for high-quality fashion business graduates.”

Another London-based institute, London Business School, has also taken steps to attract applicants with an interest in luxury brand management and retail. Although the school does not offer a degree on the subject, students can partake in numerous activities in the field throughout their studies. One of the most notable opportunities is the Walpole Luxury Programme, a partnership with the luxury brand alliance Walpole British Luxury. The program aims to arm students with the tools necessary to take on global management positions after graduation. Students take elective courses, visit companies, participate in workshops, complete internships, and work with a mentor from Walpole throughout the program.

The London Core Application Practicum (LondonCAP) module is a hands-on learning opportunity during which students work with companies on projects related to their interests—a notable past partner is the British Fashion Council. Students can join the Retail & Luxury Goods Club, which is one of the largest clubs on campus, with more than 3,500 members. The group welcomes industry speakers and organizes career treks to such locations as Milan and Paris, in addition to hosting an annual e-commerce conference, where past speakers have represented such companies as Net-a-Porter, Marks & Spencer, and LVMH.

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