LVMH has partnered with the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) and Parsons The New School for Design to launch “LVMH Fundamentals in Luxury Retail: A CPC/Parsons Collaboration”, an innovative education program designed to train Chinese-Americans in New York in luxury retail skills.
Significant numbers of the Chinese-American community in New York have found it challenging to find job opportunities and achieve a standard of living that meets their aspirations. Among the reasons are the fact that many have immigrated only recently and need to gain greater familiarity with American culture. At the same time, luxury retailers, including LVMH brands, have encountered a shortage of candidates whose profiles are matched to serving the growing number of Chinese-speaking customers.
To address both these issues, LVMH reached out to CPC, a nonprofit that provides community services and promotes economic self-sufficiency and integration for Chinese-Americans. Together they contacted Parsons to develop the “LVMH Fundamentals in Luxury Retail: A CPC/Parsons Collaboration” project. The ten-week program aims to equip students with the skills needed to work in a luxury retail store.
Topics covered in eight weeks of classroom sessions led by Parsons professors, as well as LVMH managers and training professionals, will range from the history of fashion and understanding consumer trends to communications skills. Following this first stage at the prestigious design school, students will work during a two-week internship at a New York store of an LVMH Group brand.
“With close to five decades of experience with new immigrants, CPC is confident that this joint effort by LVMH and Parsons will bring unprecedented results in creating new career paths for the many untapped talents in the Chinese-American community,” said David Chen, Executive Director of the CPC.
Chantal Gaemperle, Group Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Synergies of LVMH, added: “This project addresses a specific need among luxury retail stores to best serve their Chinese-speaking customers while boosting career advancement opportunities for this important community in New York City.”
Three sessions are planned for 2014, the first to begin in March. Recruitment of students through the CPC is already under way. Application to the program is open to all members of New York’s Chinese-American community who speak English and Mandarin, who are currently under- or unemployed, who have a high school diploma or equivalent, and who are passionate about fashion and retail.