Business schools open up a nation or even worldwide network for the entire MBA community. Different professional organizations, chapters, and clubs are platforms for students across different schools to meet and exchange.
The New York City is unarguably the best place for fashion in the U.S.. Just look at the business schools – both Columbia and the Stern School of Business have state-of-the-art retail and luxury clubs and each year they host annual conferences attracting hundreds of leading industry players and business school students to attend.
Last Friday, I attended the 7th Annual Luxury & Retail Conference held by Stern and I totally got my mind blown. As a second year business school student, I went to a lot of events of various themes and sizes across the country, but this, so far, was the best one. Not only because the topic was most relevant, but the line-up of speakers and organization rivaled those of WWD’s events at a much more affordable price point – $75 for non-Stern participants.
The Conference included three breakout panels and a key note by Barbara Cirkva, Division President, Fashion, Watches, & Fine Jewelry, Chanel. Retail’s Reinvention, the panel I took part in, featured five speakers, two start-up founders and three executives from Louis Vuitton, Moda Operandi, and Warby Parker. All three companies are at the forefront of retail innovation with distinct business models – Louis Vuitton continues its legendary journey that creates unparalleled customer experience; Moda Operandi offers exclusive pre-order of the latest runway haute couture; Warby Parker makes designer quality eyeglasses at revolutionary price tag.
I was very much inspired by the concluding sentences by the three panelists, wisdom drawn from their respective personal growth and I would like to share with all of you here:
“Stay humble. Be honest about what you know and what you don’t know.”
– Alexander Winokur, Vice President of Client Development & Digital, Louis Vuitton Americas
“Work with people you admire and you will learn so much from them.”
– Indre Rockefeller, Director of RTW, Moda Operandi
“Be willing to take baby steps.”
– Shannon Malone, Director of Product Strategy, Warby Parker
Now, take a look at the Stern style!
(Photo credit: Stern Retail & Luxury Club)