Whilst the media eye this week has been focused across the continent, as designers continue to unveil their Fall creations, there was one breaking piece of fashion news which caused fashion journalists to redirect their attention back to this side of the Mediterranean.
The first UK MBA (Master in Business Administration) course in fashion will launch this September at the University of Arts London. The 18-month intensive course will cover all aspects of the fashion industry from production to public relations to buying. Even though it is a billion pound industry which continues to grow and flourish, there is a growing need in fashion houses for high-calibre executives. This is an issue Course Director, George Bouvier, hopes the fashion tailored MBA will resolve.
Over the past few years, growing numbers of MBA graduates have swapped the consulting and finance industries for fashion. Now the technology and retail industries are intertwined it has become imperative for fashion houses to employ skilled businessmen and women. The launch of this new course shows that the industry has recognised there is a need for MBA talent to help companies expand their online presence in one of the world’s most competitive marketplaces. Additionally, the nature of the fashion industry means there are far more complex business difficulties to overcome which Bouvier addresses.
“There is a strong demand for a broader skill set. Life cycles in fashion are much shorter than in other industries. Trends crop up in different areas around the world and it is impossible to predict what will happen in six months’ time,” he said.
“The fashion industry is not like working in a bank. Leaders must manage very creative individuals, as well as production and sales teams.”
The announcement of this course also comes at a pivotal time in the fashion event calendar. After another successful year of London Fashion Week, for the remaining skeptics and doubters out there who refuse to take the fashion world seriously, this course is testimony to its success and importance. With the first set of fashion MBA students graduating in just over a years time, the sky is really the limit for all those involved in this industry.
By Hattie Lee