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Having witnessed first-hand the extraordinary growth in the global luxury industry during the past two decades, Dr. Nicoletta Giusti was perfectly placed to lead the creation of the new Master’s in Luxury Management and Guest Experience, the first intake for which will begin their studies at Glion in September.

When Nicoletta talks about luxury, it is always worth listening. Born into a family retail business specializing in luxury menswear, she grew up surrounded by beautiful fabrics such as cashmere.

Having achieved two Master’s degrees, one at the University of Bologna and one at the world-renowned Sciences Po in Paris, Nicoletta then lead an important research within the luxury industry as a part of her PhD. During this project, she worked with major names such as Yves Saint Laurent and Ungaro.

In 1999 she returned to the University of Bologna, this time as part of the faculty, before moving to Grenoble Ecole de Management in 2014. At the latter she was selected as LVMH Ambassador, forging close links with the world leading luxury group.

Now at Glion, she has designed an MSc program that brings together her knowledge and experience in a format that prepares students for the current and future challenges – as well as the opportunities – in the fast-moving global luxury market.

“For me there is a perfect fit between hospitality education and the luxury industry,” she explains. “Firstly, it’s impossible to separate hospitality and luxury, since hospitality is part of today’s luxury world. Secondly, it takes a knowledgeable and cultivated person to fully understand luxury; and this fits the profile of the Glion student.”

Sharing a passion for luxury

As Program Director, Nicoletta will also be teaching in class; something she is very much looking forward to. “I think it is important to be in touch with students, to connect with them on an emotional level and to mentor them,” she says.

“I love teaching complex topics such as the sociology of luxury goods or the economics of luxury; but more than this I want to share something which is perhaps more intangible, but which is absolutely central to the industry. And that is passion.

“I am very passionate about what I do, and I enjoy connecting with students who have that same characteristic.”

An insight into luxury trends

Nicoletta identifies two key trends in the luxury industry, both of which have had an influence in the development of course content. The first is sustainability. “The younger generations really do care about sustainability and they will not compromise on this. So, it is a necessity for luxury brands to embrace sustainability and reinvent the way they operate to become more sustainable.

“The second key trend is around corporate values and the principle of doing good – even before profitability. We are seeing a movement, particularly among the top luxury companies, towards sharing good values, respecting people and having fun while working. Not everyone is succeeding yet, but there is a very strong commitment to this new philosophy,” she says.

It has taken more than 20 years for Nicoletta to develop her uniquely deep insight into the world of luxury. For potential MSc students preparing to start that journey she recommends becoming immersed in the art, food, wine and even movies that help to define the concept of luxury.

“For example, when you watch movies such as Babette’s Feast, The Leopard or Death in Venice it can really open your eyes to the way luxury connects with our culture. You don’t understand luxury if you don’t watch these movies.”

The first intake on the Master’s in Luxury Management and Guest Experience is September 2019.

To learn more about study topics, learning outcomes and to apply, visit our dedicated MSc page.

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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