With over 10 years’ experience at Loewe (LVMH) as Planning & Project Manager, José Luis Férnandez Borrero takes over as director of the Master from Marisol Parra in order to further raise the bar of the programme and share with students the keys to fashion product management.
As José Luis himself puts it, the luxury and fashion sector has a series of components that make it extremely attractive: its level of integration that makes it possible to touch all the stages of the value chain, its tempo, set by the collections and fashion shows, the professional and personal profiles that are required in the different areas, the orchestration of its varied ecosystem of suppliers, the relationship with customers, the communication of its creations, aspiration, magic, passion...
All of this in the context of a catharsis of regeneration and adaptation to the new rules of the game set by new technologies, new types of relationship, new social trends and new global environments.
Come and discover more about this exciting scenario and the Master in Fashion Management in the interview below.
Throughout his professional career of over 20 years, he has worked in different positions in two such seemingly different sectors as telecommunications technology and luxury and fashion. He has had the opportunity to execute many projects and to design and lead the transformation of many processes relating to planning and operations in general, where technology and people were essential.
What is your vision of the strategic management of fashion products today?
Nowadays a set of factors that change the formula of the balance of fashion product companies as we have understood it to date are becoming increasingly important.
On the one hand, we have the product, with certain value components that are almost immutable and remain constant over history: adaptation of its functionality, design-focused creativity, the careful selection of materials that make up the product, the quality of its production, its capacity to transcend its function by becoming an object of desire or even a cult object.
On the other hand, the context, in which new dynamics can be seen. Technological development is a key factor generating opportunities for new business models that change the structure of production and distribution networks. E-commerce and the Internet reduce barriers and allow an extremely wide range of products and services to be offered. Experience, service, the way we relate to customers, competitors and each other take on importance. External elements such as globalisation or the financial crisis generate new trends that radically change the profile of the customer of luxury and fashion products and the competitive environment.
The sector needs professionals who are able to understand the need to harmonise these two components, to obtain the magic formula, to analyse and act as an integrated system, both in order to begin an adventure with a minimum level of guarantees and in order to continue and to renew over time.
And following this line, what does this Master offer?
From my point of view, it offers two fundamental aspects.
The first would be the design of the programme, which fits perfectly with the needs that I was referring to before and on this point, I would like to highlight the vision of Marisol Parra and her team. The programme devotes half of its specific content to delving into the key aspects of the nature of the product, how to manage it and communicate it over time.
For this purpose, we focus on the major categories: garments, bags, shoes and on different segments: luxury, consumer. The other half focuses on that context I was referring to before: understanding the customer and the new relationship, the main tools for analysis and management and the development of skills that will complete the students’ profile.
The second relates to immediacy. The teachers are professionals who face the challenges of the sector every day and this means that what they transfer to the students is extremely direct, which in turn gives the Master a very practical profile.
What professional opportunities does this Fashion Training provide?
The programme’s natural professional opportunities are oriented towards product-related departments in companies involved in fashion and luxury, product managers, project managers /purchasing in areas of development, merchandising or in communication-related areas, such as key account managers in showrooms.
And then, of course, opportunities relating to entrepreneurship, on analysing the entire value chain, product management, design, distribution, sale and communication, students can launch their own business with a much more strategic vision and a greater likelihood of success.
Could you name some of the leading teachers that the students will have the chance to meet?
For me they are all leading teachers because dedicating time to teaching by extending their working day requires a vocation, passion and eagerness to share, which makes them special.
To name just a few, the students will find in the programme profiles like that of Eva Álvarez, Senior Product Manager at Loewe, who will talk to them about luxury product management. Mauro Álvarez, Operations Director at UNOde50 about product management relating to accessories and jewellery.
Delving into the part of distribution and online sales channels, they will have Borja Zamácola, Marketing and International Director at Neck & Neck.
Victor Ucles, Head of Communication at Bricor (El Corte Inglés) for the part on communication.
With regard to the product design part, we have Laura Alvarez from Pepe Jeans and the store image part with Diego Ospina, Visual Manager at Dolce & Gabbana.
In short, a set of interesting professional profiles that have extensive practical experience that they can share with students.