London Business School Gets into Luxury Management

Photograph by Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The London Business School is going luxe. On Oct. 22, the school launched its first MBA concentration in luxury management.

Gareth Howells, executive director for the full-time MBA program at the school, says the program is similar to the school’s eight other full-time MBA concentrations but offers more training via a consulting project and internship in the industry.

Through a partnership with Walpole British Luxury, a professional organization for the British luxury industry, London Business School students in the program will have access to brand name luxury companies such as Burberry and Alexander McQueen.

In the next couple of weeks, first-year MBA students at the school will apply to be part of the initial group, which will begin focusing its studies on the luxury industry in January. LBS will accept from 10 to 15 applicants.

Because of the opportunities to work with top people in the industry and gain real-world experience, LBS wants to keep the program small and exclusive, which is why the program requires an additional application for entry. Walpole executives and LBS faculty will interview potential students. Applications will have to show they have “a true commitment and interest in pursuing a career in luxury management,” says Howells.

As with the school’s concentrations in traditional fields such as finance and marketing, luxury management will include core courses and required electives. In addition, students in this program will sit in on a required lecture series with senior executives and industry experts. For example, Mark Henderson, chairman of the tailoring company Gieves & Hawkes, and Gillian de Bono, editor of the Financial Times magazine, How to Spend It, will discuss key elements of the industry.

All luxury management students will be matched with senior executives in luxury companies to mentor them throughout the course. Mentors will advise students on both academic pursuits and their future careers, says Howells. Each student will also take on a consulting project with a focus on a luxury brand and a summer internship in the industry.

Luxury management students will pay the same tuition as other MBA students in the two-year program, currently £61,400 ($99,000).

LBS joins B-schools with a concentration or program in luxury management, including SDA Bocconi, ESSEC, and NYU Stern School of Business.

Join the discussion on the Bloomberg Businessweek Business School Forum, visit us on Facebook, and follow @BWbschools on Twitter.