ESSEC Business School, a pioneering vision for luxury


ESSEC Business School signs a partnership agreement with the Château de Versailles and launches the ESSEC Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair with the support of CHANEL, the LVHM Group– represented by Dom Pérignon – and Van Cleef & Arpels.

“Luxury at ESSEC is both part of our heritage and one of our constantly developing strengths. These new partnerships reinforce one of ESSEC’s key areas of expertise and secure our position as a strategic partner for members of the luxury industry on a global scale.” emphasizes Jean-Michel Blanquer, Dean of ESSEC Business School.

The Château de Versailles and ESSEC Business School unite to promote the arts and master crafts

The Château de Versailles and ESSEC Business School unite to create an ecosystem dedicated to the transmission of the art of French living, know-how, luxury careers, heritage and creation.

“The Château de Versailles and ESSEC have always shared a passion for excellence. This invisible and timeless link between past and present that constitutes craftsmanship contributes to the increased influence of France. It was only natural that our two institutions came together in support of our shared ideas.” explains Catherine Pegard, President of the Château de Versailles.

This partnership is based on three major areas of development:

  • Strengthening our common actions in the field of education in regards to both initial training and executive education.  Essentially, this will allow students and executive education participants from ESSEC to participate in activities organized at the Château de Versailles and potentially do internships there as well.

    The Château de Versailles and ESSEC will also develop specific modules for ESSEC students who intend to develop their careers in the field of culture and art management. Summer school programs will also be jointly organized by the two institutions. Additionally, professors from ESSEC will work with teams at the Château de Versailles to identify the issues they face and in turn develop business case studies about them.
  • The Château de Versailles is one of the founding partners of the Center of Excellence in Luxury, Art & Culture, created by ESSEC in aim of understanding and accentuating a responsible vision of luxury which is embodied by the French art of living. The Château de Versailles will in particular facilitate meetings and exchanges between ESSEC students and the artisans working in these trades. ESSEC, by way of the Center of Excellence, will regularly work on the issues proposed by the Château de Versailles.
  • Spreading the French know-how in Asia: ESSEC and the Château de Versailles intend to contribute to the promotion of French culture and know-how in the Asia-Pacific region primarily by relying on the anchor that is the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore.

The creation of ESSEC’s Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair

The signing of the partnership agreement between the Château de Versailles and ESSEC also presents the opportunity to launch the new Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair.

The manifestation of age-old manners and an exceptional know-how, for which Versailles was the ideal pillar of expression, today represents a major challenge for luxury players. In a globalized environment, these skills require not only conservation efforts but also those of value creation and promotion. To showcase such exceptional know-how to the world presupposes constant effort to innovate in order to reinvent the inherited legacy, but also to design very specific business models to ensure their advancement.

In order to respond to these challenges, ESSEC, in partnership with CHANEL, the LVHM Group– represented by Dom Pérignon – and Van Cleef & Arpels, launched the ESSEC Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair.

According to Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at CHANEL, “CHANEL’s commitment to the preservation of master crafts – our historical partners who hold a unique cultural and artistic heritage and who are also privileged suppliers to the fashion and luxury industry – has allowed the perpetuation and transmission of these various workshops’ exceptional know-how while also promoting development and innovation. This commitment is what drives us to support the creation of ESSEC’s Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair. These skills are what contribute to the increased influence of France abroad and it is essential to continue to develop and enhance them."

"By partnering with ESSEC’s Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair, LVMH, a world leader in luxury, reaffirms its willingness to share its passion for excellence with younger generations and transmit its know-how and experiences which are at the heart of its ecosystem and which it strives to preserve daily. The Group’s commitment to the Chair is realized through the support of the Dom Pérignon brand, a centuries-old luxury house which embodies the most noble, creative and innovative know-how. This new partnership further strengthens the historical link between ESSEC and the Group, which have been partners for 25 years through the LVMH Chair.” declares Chantal Gaemperle, Director of Human Resources and Synergies, LVMH Group.

“Throughout its history, Van Cleef & Arpels has continuously expressed its commitment to the values of excellence and innovation. Today, the Van Cleef & Arpels House is committed to preserve the fine jewelry and watch trades and support their development on a daily basis. This explains our commitment towards ESSEC’s Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair.” explains Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Designed to train managers, investors, entrepreneurs and artisans to understand and appreciate the uniqueness of these trades, the Chair is a space for teaching, reflection, research and exchange. Each year, it will enable approximately twenty students from ESSEC’s Master of Science in Management program to learn about the challenges and developmental strategies, acquisition, industrialization, transmission and internationalization of these trades and understand their specificities in regards to management techniques and their business models.

The Chair also intends to develop research programs in collaboration with its partners as well as with major institutions such as the Château de Versailles - which will also take part in the aforementioned collaborations.

According to Simon Nyeck, Chaired Professor of the ESSEC’s Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair, “The sustainability of artisanal expertise is now a critical issue for luxury houses. The objective of the Chair is to train managers to learn how to remain faithful to their heritage and culture while also embracing modernity; this, all to be done while also innovating and constantly reinterpreting in order to advance."

ESSEC’s new Savoir-Faire d’Exception Chair as well as the partnership with the Château de Versailles will be part of the Center of Excellence in Luxury, Art & Culture. It is an ecosystem which will regroup the institution’s expertise in this domain including: the LVMH chair; the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management; as well as the executive education modules developed in collaboration with SDA Bocconi. The Center of Excellence will also work in close collaboration with dual degree program offered in partnership with the Ecole du Louvre.

Read the press release
Download the Center of Excellence in Luxury, Art & Culture brochure

Photo © Château de Versailles, Christian Milet

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