The New One-Year Fashion & Luxury MBA
A look behind the curtain at NYU Stern's new MBA designed specifically for fashion and luxury mavensBy TED PRZYBOCKI
The latest trend in fashion isn’t about textiles and shades, it’s about the people behind the scenes.Today’s fashion and luxury brands are experiencing a growing need for business-savvy talent. Yet the typical path to a career in fashion or luxury has not historically included an elite business school.
The new Fashion & Luxury MBA was created to ﬁll the gap. The only program of its kind and the ﬁrst fashion and luxury focused MBA for a US business school, the program establishes a new category of MBA.
Stern’s program—centered in the fashion and luxury capital of the world—provides a foundation of business acumen to students committed to management roles in apparel, accessories, beauty, jewelry, high-end automotive, ﬁne wines and spirits, real estate, wearable tech, and more.
Students take three categories of courses—business core, function-focused courses, and industry/sector focused courses. First, the business core includes leadership, finance, marketing, accounting, strategy, etc. The function and industry courses run in parallel through the remainder of the program. Students develop functional expertise in their chosen discipline—ﬁnance, marketing, merchandising, operations, new ventures, etc.—and take a two-part industry core-courses in consumer behavior, retail analytics, omnichannel strategy, supply chain management, luxury marketing, the future of fashion, etc., and a series of large applied learning projects to give students the opportunity to work with our industry partners and apply what they are learning to real challenges.
“More and more fashion industry and luxury sector companies understand the competitive advantage of adding business-educated talent to their creative ranks,” said Kim Corfman, faculty director for the one-year Fashion & Luxury MBA, “especially in the face of technological disruption.”
“With the dramatic changes we’re seeing in how products are manufactured, marketed and sold,” said Corfman, “it is the perfect time to launch this new program. More than ever, the industry needs business talent pre-pared to respond not only to the challenges of today, but those we can’t yet imagine.”
"More and more fashion industry and luxury sector companies understand the competitive advantage of adding business-educated talent to their creative ranks." - KIM CORFMAN, faculty director for the one-year Fashion & Luxury MBAIn addition to their course work, students will have access to the Stern Fashion Lab —a new central hub being established for industry-related projects, speakers, and net-working opportunities. The executive board draws from long-standing relationships be-tween Stern and the fashion industry and includes such inﬂuencers as Ron Faris (Nike Digital Studio), Alexis Maybank (Gilt Group), Uri Minkoff, and fashion and entertainment executive, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
In the fashion and luxury industries, recruiting is non-traditional, and connections with inﬂuencers are key.
“One of the priorities of the Fashion Lab is to make sure we maintain and strengthen those industry connections,” said Jeff Carr, Stern professor and champion of fashion education. “In addition to being a platform for dialog and education, the lab provides a system for connecting our students into that network.”
“Time is of the essence in fashion and luxury,” said Corfman. “For students who are committed to management roles in these worlds, this innovative MBA gives them a faster way to get there and succeed, with experience and access built right in.”