FLORENCE, Italy — Polimoda, one of Italy’s most prestigious fashion schools, is introducing a fashion retail management masters degree in partnership with Gucci. The nine-month course, which launches in April 2018, will cover retail management, finance, merchandising and marketing and be taught, in part, by Gucci managers, who will guest lecture. The Italian fashion house, which is owned by the French conglomerate Kering, will also offer select graduates internships or job opportunities within the Kering network. “The Fashion Retail Management course will be particularly interesting to combine the know-how and flexibility of a fantastic company like Gucci with the unique insight of Millennials themselves,” says Danilo Venturi, director of Polimoda. “Retail is one of the key areas in fashion that’s really changing at the moment," he continues. "It is following the needs and thoughts of Millennials who account for perhaps the most important consumer group.”
Founded in 1986, the privately funded school has emerged as one of the country’s leading fashion education centres. The partnership with Gucci will add to Polimoda's spectrum of masters-degree collaborations with organisations from trend-forecasting agency WSGN to e-tailer Luisa Via Roma.
For Gucci, the collaboration with Polimoda will be the Italian house’s first major partnership with an educational institution.
“Retail is the heart of this business,” says Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive of Gucci. “In the last two and a half years at Gucci we have clearly demonstrated that a new, contemporary and joyful retail environment… really makes the difference.”
In the first half of 2017, Gucci sales rose by 43.4 percent. The brand has enjoyed stellar performance since Bizzarri and creative director Alessandro Michele rebooted the brand for Millennials with Michele's signature magpie-maximalist aesthetic.