THREE’S A CHARM: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton marked the start of the third year of its Institut des Métiers d’Excellence training program, which involves recruiting aspiring artisans from poorer neighborhoods and preparing them for a variety of careers.
One hundred and seventy-eight matriculating students assembled Tuesday afternoon in the auditorium of LVMH’s headquarters here, where Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, gave an overview of the prior 2015-16 training year.
Each of the 64 students got their diplomas in 2016, the second year running of a 100 percent success rate. Eighty-two percent obtained work, an apprentice’s contract or were continuing on with their studies.
For the first time, LVMH gave 49 graduating students, who fulfilled certain criteria, an appellation of excellence. Outside of the school, prizes were also bestowed on IME graduating class students. Eight leather goods trainees and three in jewelry were awarded in the Meilleur Apprenti de France (or Best Apprentice in France) competition, where five got the gold. And there were 11 laureates in the Vigne et Vin contest that judged vine-pruning abilities.
Two more courses of study were added to IME’s curriculum this year. One is in culinary arts, run in association with the Ferrandi Paris gastronomy program, and watchmaking, with the new École d’Horlogerie LVMH in Switzerland.
IME is done in partnership with top French schools in jewelry, dressmaking, winemaking, leather goods, client advisory and retail design. They include the École de la Bijouterie-Joaillerie de Paris for jewelry and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne for fashion.
The goal of the initiative, which was begun in 2014, is to promote such careers and ensure the transmission of know-how linked to French luxury goods. Also behind the program is a will to create equal opportunities, part of LVMH’s corporate social responsibilities, and to heighten awareness of the rare craft skills behind products bearing such names as Dior, Chaumet, Givenchy, Kenzo and Make Up For Ever.