THE first MBA course in fashion will launch in September at the University of Arts London. The 18-month Master of Business Administration programme will allow students the opportunity to network with leading industry figures.
“This MBA will be a first for the UK and is unique in that CEOs and directors from the industry will share their experience,” George Bouvier, the course director, told The Times. “Fashion has characteristics that other industries don’t have. It is a trillion dollar industry, far ahead of the music industry in earnings, yet there is a shortage of high-calibre executives.”
While there are currently broader creative MBA courses available, this is the first solely dedicated to fashion. The program will be based at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden, and cover all business areas of the industry – from PR, to production, to buying.
“There is a strong demand for a broader skill set. Life cycles in fashion are much shorter than in other industries. Trends crop up in different areas around the world and it is impossible to predict what will happen in six months’ time,” said Bouvier. “The fashion industry is not like working in a bank. Leaders must manage very creative individuals, as well as production and sales teams.”
It’s estimated that 90 per cent of course applicants will be from overseas.
“In the arts, people keep working until something is perfect, but in this industry we have to balance time spent with costs, asking: ‘Is this perfectionism orself-indulgence?'” he added. “People don’t usually go into creative industries to make massive amounts of money but we try to temper their passion with a solid business background so they understand the constraints and develop abusinesson solid financial footing.”