MILAN — Luxottica said Wednesday that it will become a partner and a supporter of Bocconi University for five years to finance a program of study grants.
The grants will offer financial assistance to undergraduate and postgraduate students and support their training. The company will also support three international study programs along with the Bocconi social mobility project titled “Una scelta possibile [A possible choice],” created to give students from difficult social and economic backgrounds the opportunity to attend Bocconi courses by reimbursing all of their education expenses.
The three international programs include The World Bachelor in Business, a four-year study program for young adults from all over the world held at Bocconi in Milan, as well as in Los Angeles, at the University of Southern California, and in Hong Kong, at the University of Science and Technology, and the Double Degree in International Management, a master’s course held entirely in English. The first year is spent at the Fudan University School of Management in Shanghai and the second year at Bocconi. The third program is a postgraduate in business at the Mumbai International School of Business Bocconi, the international business school opened by the Milan-based institution in 2012.
Luxottica declined to provide financial details.
“For the past six or seven years, we have been living in a new and positive, extraordinary period, in a new world where anything is possible, with bigger markets and complicated dynamics, and we must have a gigantic ability to adapt our business models to each country,” said Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Luxottica, during the presentation of the project at the Bocconi. He urged students to travel, open their views and return to Italy, becoming “citizens of the world.”
“If they asked me if I wanted a superstar like [soccer champion Lionel] Messi or someone who would work anywhere in the world, I would say the second,” Guerra remarked.
Asked via Twitter to provide a reason to return to Italy, crippled by a high rate of unemployment and a lackluster economy, Guerra responded: “Either you love this country or you don’t. Evidently, it’s been a difficult decade, but you can’t just close shop and leave, you must reason on the next decade.” He also urged a return to the entrepreneurial culture of the Sixties, when entrepreneurs were such “not just to make money, buy a Ferrari and invest in a newspaper.”
Guerra said that Luxottica is “one of 50 or 60 similar companies” that operate according to basic key rules, such as creating an open, clear and credible relationship with customers, as well as a managerial structure, opening their boards and going public. “And they have continued to test and do the same thing, without ever resting on their laurels,” he said. “Also, they must be leaders and engage people.” The giant Italian eyewear manufacturer, which owns brands including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Oliver Peoples and Persol, produces under license for top names including Giorgio Armani, Coach, Prada and Ralph Lauren.
Guerra touted Italy’s blend of creativity, technology, culture and humanism, through which the country can overcome its problems. “I hate the word alibi, everywhere you hear people producing them, but each must be individually responsible, each with their own fundamental contribution. Too many shortcuts have been taken, looking for protection and lobbies, without ever taking risks,” he said.
Andrea Sironi, rector at the Bocconi, underscored the international competition and how universities must be actively present globally. “But nowadays a university cannot open itself up to the world and attract the best students and teachers without also promoting opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Luxottica has chosen to pursue the dual objective of promoting internationalization and social mobility with us.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast