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Course 2017-2018 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 95

BSS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 95 (I sem.)

Course Objectives
Milan is recognized as a fashion capital, with first-rate shopping and design districts where prestigious brands have their Headquarters. Taking advantage of a cross-industry approach, this course provides an in-depth understanding of business models and growth strategies of the global fashion and design industries. You also complete a project work in class run with an industrial designer with an outstanding international experience.

The course provides an overview of the global fashion and design industries and an in-depth understanding of business models and growth strategies.
The course adopts a cross-industry approach, analyzing business strategies pursued by companies in different contexts: apparel and accessories, interior design, beauty, both in the high end and mass market segments. All these industries show a high rhythm of innovation and are based on creativity. A specific focus is dedicated to the “Italian Model”.
The core topic in all these industry scenarios is the connection between pure creativity and managerial activities. This is why a focus in the course is deserved to management of creativity through a project work run in class. Students participate to an evaluated assignment aimed at putting into practice research methodologies learned in class.
Course objectives, attuned to the industries mentioned above, can be synthesized as follows
  • Understand the dynamics of the global landscape
  • Analyse innovation strategy and how companies manage the product portfolio
  • Highlight the relationships along the value system and the importance of suppliers
  • Depict the main retail business logics;
  • Learn how digital strategies could enhance customer loyalty.
Traditional lectures alternate with case discussions, interaction with outstanding guest speakers and group work sessions.

Course Content Summary
  • The fashion business: industry definition, emerging business models, value drivers, strategic business models.
  • Market segmentations: luxury, extra-luxury and masstige.
  • The creative process. Product management: shorter product life-cycles and wider product portfolios.
  • The seasonal nature of the fashion business and its implications on operational processes. make to order, fast fashion, replenishment.
  • Merchandising plan.
  • Distribution strategies (Wholesale and Retail Channels).
  • Marketing & Communication strategies on off line and on line channels.
  • Managing growth: line and brand extension, licensing versus vertical integration.
  • The role of Made in Italy.

The course includes six core modules.
  • The Backdrop of Business Strategy: introducing the industries related to fashion and design and the relevance of Made in Italy.
  • Creativity and Management: Methodologies and Tools.
  • The Fashion Industry.
  • The Beauty Industry.
  • The Interior Design Industry.
  • The Jewellery Industry.


Company visits (to be confirmed).
Gucci (Florence, Tuscany); Fashion&Design Tour (Valentino, De Padova, Milano); Beauty meets Fashion (MAC Cosmetics, Via Dante, Milano).

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods
  • 40% Project work.
  • 60% Individual Written Exam on 21 July 2017.

Handouts and selected readings available at the Bocconi Library and E-learning platform.
  • G.LOJACONO, G. ZACCAI, The Evolution of the Design Inspired-Enterprise, MIT SMR, Spring, 2004.
  • E. CORBELLINI, S. SAVIOLO, Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies, ETAS, 2009, not compulsory.
  • P. VARACCA, N. GUERINI, N. MISANI, et al., The Italian Fashion Industry in 2010, ECCH, n. 11012, 2012, paper available on the web learning.
  • P. VARACCA, (con A. BRANCHINI, E. MERLOTTI, N. MISANI), Fashion & Luxury Insight,, 2015.
  • Cases: Almax, Boffi, Davines, The Blond Salad.

The basics of Business Strategy and Key Financial Ratios.
Last change 14/06/2017 12:15