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10 October 2012 00:00

Institut Francais de la Mode

The current Master in Marketing & Creativity (MMK) students have finished their three semesters in London and are now spending their final on-campus semester in Paris before heading out on their internships. A Parisian highlight thus far was their visit to the Institut de la Mode, a school famed for its programmes combining design, management and creativity.

Our MMK students Evita Karfi and Louis Rached tell more about the experience...
"During the first week of the Parisian term, the MMK students were invited to the Institut Français de la Mode to attend very interesting lectures dealing with trends and marketing. For those who don't know, IFM is a higher-level establishment for teaching, executive education, and expertise for the textile, fashion, luxury and design industries. The IFM enables postgraduate students to follow high-level programmes in both management and design; breaking down the barriers between them and showing that the industry is a mixture of products, brands, culture and design.

We started our first day with a session with Cecile Poignant, a Trend Analyst, who told us more about her job and the Trend Forecasting work she has been doing for the last 20 years.

Ifm _03-06We met later that day with Frank Delpal, a luxury-marketing expert, who works as a teacher in the IFM, who went through the history of luxury and the main trends happening nowadays. Mainly China and India are becoming more and more powerful due to their fast development and their 'difficult to ignore' population.

What better way to end our first day than to plunge into the world of fashion. We were invited to two exhibitions at the IFM, Balenciaga and Comme des Garçons. The exhibitions were quite small yet very interesting. Balenciaga's showcased the evolution of his elegant dresses along the years, starting with the detailed and complex textures and ending with a simple, subtle and very modern style in the last years of his life. Comme des Garçons showcased a group of oddly shaped white wedding gowns that addressed the status of women in Japan. All the dresses depicted married Japanese women as trapped and oppressed, giving marriage a very depressing and disturbing sentiment.

The next day, we met up with Odile Lobalovski, former CEO of Kenzo Perfumes. Odile, with a very impressive CV, is the person behind the huge success of the Kenzo Flower, a perfume that until today is one of the best selling perfumes all over the world.


ifm3We discussed with her the whole process of creating a new product - how to come up with ideas, the colours and the texture. She noted that, "Creativity comes from how you live outside the company,"and that the brief you are asked to present will always have to be in a common language that includes pictures and music, not only words. For the Kenzo campaign, Odile came up with a very smart way of promoting the product without having the budget for media coverage: the point here is to remember that great campaigns can emerge from very simple and smart moves in the market, rather than from spending an enormous amount of money on creating something very extraordinary.

We spent the last part of our day with Pascal Monfort, former Nike consumer culture and innovation manager. The striking fact about Pascal is that although his work revolves around a sports brand, he really emphasised how important high fashion is for his work. Pascal manages to combine both the consumer insights along with the latest trend research in order to come up with new creative and innovative products.

The two days we spent at the Institut Francais de la Mode was the best way to begin the final part of the Master in Marketing & Creativity programme in the French capital; a fresh start with great insights from the experts".

 

By Evita Karfi and Louis Rached, MMK students

 

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