With the Paris fashion school, French fashion aims to cultivate its soft power | Instant News


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French fashion heavyweights joined together on Wednesday to open the new campus of Paris’ leading fashion school Institut Français de la Mode in a rare move of togetherness as the industry faces wider difficulties recruiting workers into retail and craftsmanship roles.

LVMH Fashion Group chairman and chief executive Sidney Toledano, Chanel fashion president Bruno Pavlovsky and Herms executive vice president Guillaume de Seynes joined French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, and IFM dean Xavier Romatet to cut the ribbon for the new campus in Paris 13th arrondissement .

“You represent €150 billion in annual turnover; You are very important in France’s trade balance, in exports and in the employment of 600,000 employees. Fashion is an economic interest that relies on brands that represent considerable national prestige — Herms, Chanel, LVMH, Dry. Sometimes there may be a bit of friction between the house and their executives, which is normal given the economic and financial stakes. These brands project the power of French culture abroad,” Le Maire told hundreds of guests.

Education is one area where luxury rivals join forces. “We are an exemplary collective with a very precise goal: the creation and development of a fashion and management school. It is a very important source of recruitment,” said Toledano Vogue Business. LVMH recently announced plans to employ 25,000 people under the age of 30 by the end of 2022, covering all aspects of the multi-brand conglomerate. The need for top young employees who instinctively understand Gen Z customers has never been greater, but reaching them has become more difficult, recruiters say amid a rethink about work-life balance and health. Herms also needs to recruit as it anticipates an annual 6 to 7 percent growth of its production capacity, the brand announced on its recent Q3 earnings call.

IFM faces competition from prestigious schools such as Central Saint Martins in London and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. It also has the challenge of attracting talent to its expertise programme, which the industry needs to meet global demand for luxury goods as pandemic restrictions ease. IFM is betting on proximity to the luxury group’s headquarters and its curriculum blends management, design and craftsmanship, according to the dean of Romatet. The French fashion industry has struggled to recruit enough artisans to maintain demand for its luxury goods, and launched a late-2019 recruitment campaign called “Savoir Pour Faire” to recruit an additional 10,000 workers per year. Romatet says the fashion industry is hiring in all areas but there is a “tension” in workmanship. To bring the younger generation into these jobs, the school has developed apprenticeships, with 35 percent more internships than two years ago.

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