From glamorous catwalk shows to launching a collection and successfully selling exclusive high fashion items to high-end buyers, Dior Boutique Director and International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) brand ambassador Christopher Watney walked students through the entire process in a series of guest lectures recently.
Presenting from London, UK, where Watney is based, the series of three online lectures gave ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) students a real insight into what goes on behind-the-scenes of the trillion dollar fashion industry.
As Boutique Director of the House of Dior, New Bond Street, London, UK, Watney is at the pinnacle of a career in luxury retail.
The House of Dior, the largest of its kind in the world, encompasses four floors and all universes (product categories) under one roof, from Women’s Ready to Wear to BabyDior, Maision Dior (Homeware), Leathergoods and Accessories, Fine Jewellery and Timepieces, Dior Homme Menswear and Perfume Christian Dior.
Ahead of the actual lectures, Watney held an interactive session where students were able to ask specific questions, such as how difficult it may be for students from Australia to break into the European market. Watney was able to answer realistically, reminding students that it takes hard work and long hours to reach the point where he is now.
“Start at the bottom and do all the jobs no one else wants to do,” Watney encouraged the students, using real examples of how many contemporaries in the luxury retail sector had started their careers working on the shop floors.
As part of the online lecture series, ICMS students were given a virtual tour of the Dior Boutique in London, guided through the architecture, art elements and design process that went into showcasing Dior’s luxury items.
“It was such a wonderful opportunity for fashion students to rack Chris’ brain and we thank him for his honesty, expertise and candour,” Fiona Buckingham said.
“The insight he gave into an industry our students aspire to work in was incredible, and we thank him for the time and effort he put into the comprehensive and interesting lectures. I know he is an absolute hero and role model to many of our students and he gave so much information and knowledge while generously sharing his immense experience. One day hopefully many of them will follow in his footsteps as he graciously gave them a clear blueprint for success in the industry.”
ICMS Professional Scholarship Program Ann Whitelock Courtney O’Connor, who had a hand in securing Watney as the ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) ambassador, said the online lecture series was a prime example of how the career-focused higher education institution, located in Northern Beaches and the city of Sydney, NSW, bought industry leaders in direct contact with students. This strategy allows students to learn from the best about the career they wished to pursue, and because the best are currently in the field, their advice and experience could not be more relevant.
“What an enormous coup it is for us here at ICMS to have someone of Chris’ calibre and incredible humility, make such a contribution educating our fashion students about what he knows best,” Whitelock Courtney O’Connor.
“His detailed advice, interesting anecdotes and articulate lecture series gave our students a priceless window into the fascinating world of luxury retail. Not only did he lift the veil on what goes on at the pinnacle of fashion buying and selling, he did so in an engaging manner that really inspired our students. We thank him for his passion for education and developing others, as well as all the industry lecturers ICMS bring on board to give our students relevant and topical insights into the fields in which they will one day blaze their own trails.”
To find out more about the ICMS BBM (Fashion and Global Brand Management) degree, click here: https://www.icms.edu.au/course/bachelor-business-management-fashion-and-global-brand-management
For more information on House of Dior, click here: https://www.dior.com/
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