Having the opportunity to pitch marketing strategies to one of the world’s top fashion brands is something few individuals will experience in their lifetime. To do it in Paris, a global fashion capital, alongside a team of dedicated classmates? Well, that’s just one example of what made the Poole College of Management’s Global Luxury and Management (GLAM) program so special.
The GLAM program – a dual-degree master’s program that offered students a Master in Management with a concentration in Global Luxury from NC State’s Poole College of Management and a Master of Science in Global Luxury Management from SKEMA Business School in France – graduated its last cohort of students this May, sunsetting a program that has provided hundreds of students the opportunity to gain valuable exposure to a booming luxury industry.
As part of the program, GLAM ‘21 graduates Tanaysha Smith, Darlasia Salmond, Columbus Hinson IV, Aubria Hill, and Mikayla Morrison were tasked with marketing the iconic Lady Dior bag to a younger consumer population using a multi-channel communications strategy.
“We ultimately came up with a 360-degree strategy using influencer marketing to appeal to the Gen Z consumer,” explains Smith. “It was amazing working on a team because we are all creatives at heart and the brainstorming ideation meetings were phenomenal. We ignored thinking outside of the box and constructed something even greater than any box could contain. There were a lot of late nights and change in direction but we landed with a great strategy that the Dior team appreciated.”
The team developed an all-inclusive strategy entitled “#TheyDior,” which was a compilation of social media and influencer marketing that appealed to men, women, LGBTQ+ youth, as well as the traditional consumer, explains Hinson.
“We developed new ways Dior could engage consumers on Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and use the game ‘Among Us’ to attract new consumers,” Salmond adds.
To create an effective marketing strategy, Hill said the team had to tap into the brain of this up-and-coming generation.
“Gen-Zers crave innovation and a sense of individuality, and they want to see themselves represented,” Hill says. “Our project captured the essence of Generation Z and our goal was to ‘shake the table’ when it came to representation at French luxury fashion houses.”
Their project landed the team amongst the top 3 teams in the international competition, and served as an exclamation point to a trip they, at times, doubted would happen. COVID concerns throughout much of the year meant the GLAM cohort had to hold their international travel plans loosely. But for Hinson and his fellow classmates, the opportunity to travel to Paris as part of the program was too important to miss.
“Of course, travel was difficult due to COVID, but we made the most of our experience. I would have rather gone and experienced Paris, rather than not experiencing it at all,” Hinson says. “When looking back on my time with the GLAM program, I will remember our cohort coming together to fight for us to go to Paris. It shows how resilient and passionate we are about this experience. It was definitely emotional but an experience to remember, and as the last GLAM cohort, it meant a lot to us.”
After graduating from the GLAM program, the Dior Challenge team will go their separate ways. Morrison has accepted a position working in client relationship management for luxury jewelry and specialty retailer Tiffany & Co., and Hinson and Hill have accepted fully immersive intern positions with leading luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton. Hinson will continue to build his creative directing portfolio with hopes to lead creative for a luxury fashion house or his own atelier. Hill currently has her own fashion design evening wear and bridal brand, the Symone Hill Collection. Salmond is currently weighing internship offers from two luxury brands, after which time she hopes to pursue a position as an executive fashion director in a luxury company while pursuing a doctorate degree in business management.
Smith, too, is working through various offers and interviews she has in the pipeline, while also focusing on her creative consulting business, which she says will be very similar to the GLAM projects she’s worked on over the course of the year – creating strategies for luxury brands.
“GLAM has certainly provided me with a great network of luxury professionals and transferable skills that I can take to any sector within the luxury industry,” she says.
But despite the distance, the team will carry with them a special bond they built within the GLAM program.
“Our cohort had to fight for the opportunity of a lifetime and that brought us closer together,” Hill says. “I’m so proud of how we managed to work hard throughout the pandemic and I will never forget that feeling when we got the news that we were able to go to Paris.”