Louis Vuitton Fall 2017

THE ITALIAN CONNECTION: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is extending its vocational training model to Italy through a partnership between its Institut des Métiers d’Excellence (IME) and Italian fashion and design school Polimoda, aimed at training leather-goods artisans.

Founded in 2014, the IME program is involved in schooling more than 200 young people in areas including jewelry, dressmaking, winemaking, leather goods, culinary arts, watches, luxury retail and design together with partner institutions in France and Switzerland.

They include BJO Formation in Paris for jewelry, the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne for fashion and the Ferrandi Paris school for gastronomy. Polimoda becomes the first Italian school to join the initiative, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.

The training program will receive funding from the Tuscany region, a major hub of leather-goods production. The first year will welcome 12 students, combining classes at the Polimoda Design Lab in Scandicci with courses at Palazzo Pucci, IME’s headquarters, and hands-on craftsmanship training at LVMH houses.

Chantal Gaemperle, executive vice president of human resources and synergies at LVMH, said the IME initiative played a vital role in perpetuating the skills that are essential to the success of the group’s different activities.

“I am delighted to see the launch of this new program with Polimoda in Italy, an exemplary country regarding creativity, talent and fundamental savoir-faire that are essential to the LVMH group,” she said.

“This partnership is an important initiative for Polimoda, confirming the school’s competitiveness on an international scale and recognizing the success of our educational methods for fashion and design professionals,” said Danilo Venturi, director of Polimoda.

“It is also a major development for our region, recognizing it as a center of competencies and expertise and affirming the worldwide reputation of ‘Made in Italy’ excellence,” he added.

LVMH in March hosted the second edition of the IME Village, a yearly vocational fair, in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois with the aim of encouraging youngsters from the disadvantaged area to join the program.

Meanwhile, LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault said the program would find a permanent home with the creation of La Maison LVMH/Arts–Talents–Patrimoine in the Bois de Boulogne near Paris. Like the nearby Fondation Louis Vuitton, it will be designed by architect Frank Gehry.

After its renovation, it will house a concert hall with a capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 people, as well as exhibitions of very large art works; a second room for smaller events or exhibitions; artist workshops; an academy of fine arts and craftsmanship; and a top-floor restaurant with panoramic views of Paris.

Arnault said the location would provide a platform for exchanges between artists, craftspeople and the apprentices enrolled in the IME.

“The idea is to create a melting pot of creativity and experience with the dual aim of benefiting those apprentices and preserving this artisanal know-how, which is a national treasure and at the root of the success of the LVMH group and its 70 brands,” he said at a news conference in March.

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