MBA Students Study Fashion Industry in Rome

By Purnell T. Cropper | October 5, 2012

During their international business experience to Italy in September, more than 30 Arcadia University M.B.A. students in two cohorts visited Brioni, an Italian fashion house that specializes in the sale of handmade men’s suits, to learn about business within the fashion industry in Italy.

Located in Rome, Brioni is known for outfitting high profile clientele, from James Bond to Donald Trump, as well as world leaders. Complete with its own tailoring school and made-to-measure concept, the company represents the cutting edge of the sartorial expertise and tradition of Italian design. Brioni was acquired in 2011 by PPR, a French luxury and sportswear group and collection of complementary consumer brands with global recognition.

Students met with Antonella DeSimone, Co-CEO and granddaughter of the company’s co-founder Nazareno Fonticoli, and Mehdi Benabadji, PPR’s Strategy Marketing Director, who shared that the company’s global managerial structure and expanding strategic sales network have made Brioni an unmatched international company in the luxury tailoring market.

Students learned how the company’s professionals manufacture and market its products, how the brand remains faithful to its position of international supremacy, and how Brioni plans to continue to develop its presence worldwide, then visited the company’s retail store following the meeting.

“Brioni brought our cohort a sense of the fashionably rich clothing Italy has to offer,” said Melissa Simmons. “Male celebrities and public figures in power around the world choose Brioni because of the power it signifies. It was by far the most impressive company we visited.”

“I liked that we were able to hear directly from the granddaughter of the founder of the company,” said Steven Francis. “It was also interesting to hear from the PPR’s marketing director and about the acquisition of Brioni.”

“[Brioni’s] homegrown tailors and own training university give them a competitive advantage in the industry,” said LaToya Jackson. “I especially loved their discrete word-of-mouth marketing strategy.”