CEO Talks: Saint Laurent's Francesca Bellettini

Saint Laurent is the latest major fashion entity to get behind a program to nurture young talent. The company has developed what it terms “a training program for couture savoir-faire”  in partnership with two schools, the Institut Français de la Mode and the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

The six-month program will focus on innovation and sustainability, with the first course launching in September. Essentially, it’s an internship at Saint Laurent headquarters with students working in the company’s offices in addition to 25 days of courses held at the schools. Saint Laurent staff will work with interns from both schools in an experiential format central to which will be craft and creativity. At the end of the program in March 2018, the students will present a special project before a jury of school faculty and Saint Laurent staff.

The application process is currently underway and still open. Interested students can contact IFM and ECSCP.

“Preserving our heritage while evolving and being very relevant in our epoch is a pillar of our strategy, and investing in talents is an imperative condition to build on our success even further,” said Francesca Bellettini, president and chief executive officer of Saint Laurent. “I am very proud of this partnership with such renowned and prestigious institutions as the IFM and ECSCP, which will greatly contribute to the implementation of our strategy.”

Sustainability is one of the key tenets of the corporate mission of Kering, Saint Laurent’s parent company. When the company in January released a three-pillar plan targeting environmental impact, social aspects and innovation through 2025, collaborating with educational institutions was part of the framework.

While presenting the plan’s roadmap, Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering, noted that reducing the impact of the firm’s Environmental Profit & Loss by 40 percent was a goal. Twenty percent will be through the use of sustainable fabrics.

“For the other 20 percent, we need to rely on innovation,” she said at the time, noting efforts would be made in raw materials, and by collaborating with innovative start-ups and universities to develop alternative materials and technologies.

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