This new course, taught by Prof. Thomas Brownlees, is designed to transform students into active members of the Florentine business community by joining 440 Industries, a consultancy firm committed to helping local fashion businesses tackle global challenges.
The class is structured so as to provide students with the opportunity to engage directly with local entrepreneurs and managers working in the Florentine fashion district.
Real-life business cases are discussed by applying theoretical frameworks and case scenario analysis in order to provide advice and consultancy to a selection of businesses in the fashion industry.
Therefore, classes have a mixed structure, including interactive lectures, in-class discussions, case analysis, guest lectures and site visits.
The connection to the Florentine business community provided by the course will enable students to not only put into practice the theory component of the course but also allow them to understand cultural and conventional elements of conducting business operations in Italy.
The Fall 2019 Business Consulting in the Fashion Industry students will be assisting Flora Lastraioli, a Florentine haute couture brand managed by the third-generation entrepreneur Matteo Pecchioli. Mr Pecchioli will be working with the students to identify a new branding strategy, which aims at engaging with younger customer segments, and update the classic collection towards new, vibrant moods.
Matteo Pecchioli has been managing his family business for almost a decade, and is focused on maintaining the brand’s tradition, as well as keeping the brand current and attractive to new generations of consumers. Because of its family heritage, in order to manage the brand, students will need to learn about the fashion industry and focus on the values of “Made in Italy” and the challenges of the luxury market.
In order to make the best of this experience students will have access to the behind-the-scenes of the firm’s management and marketing department and will be involved in the decision-making process as well as act as a focus group to suggest ideas and initiatives that the brand can develop in the new fashion seasons.