Inside LVMH North America's Next-Generation Advancement Programs
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Students at LVMH Summer Intern Day PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH
Luxury is often seen as an exclusive industry, but conglomerates like LVMH North America are making efforts to offer opportunities with diversity top of mind.
LVMH North America DEI intern Oluade Swan. PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH
Through partnerships with INROADS and Fashion Scholarship Fund (the late Virgil Abloh announced the creation of the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund in 2020, raising $1 million to support the next generation of Black fashion industry leaders), LVMH North America (@lvmh) gives Black and brown students and early professionals the key to unlock their luxury career aspirations.
Jill Pemberton, chief financial officer for LVMH North America, and Corey Smith, head of diversity, equity and inclusion for LVMH North America, at the 2023 National Black MBA Association Conference in September PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH PHOTO BY: ANDRE JONES
“The biggest lesson that I learned about the industry through my internship experience at Louis Vuitton is that behind every project or collection there is a team working tirelessly to make the vision a reality,” Tracey Jean-Claude says. This year, she became a Fashion Scholarship Fund “Post-Modern” scholar and interned at Louis Vuitton Americas in New York City.
Students at LVMH Summer Intern Day in July 2023, in recognition of National Intern Day. PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH PHOTO BY: AUROLA WEDMAN/ALL COURTESY OF LVMH
There is also the INSIDE LVMH Certificate program, where early professionals can apply for a free certificate. The program is open twice a year, with spring registrations opening during the week of April 22. It entails completing four modules (including two mandatory ones titled “LVMH & The Luxury Industry” and “Luxury & Sustainability”) and a final quiz during an eight-week time frame. Through this program, students are immersed in the fundamentals of luxury.
Fashion Scholarship Fund scholar Amira Linson at the nonprofit’s luncheon in April 2023 PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH PHOTO BY: AUROLA WEDMAN
“While pursuing my INSIDE LVMH Certificate, I learned about the vastness of luxury. I had no idea how many companies fell under the LVMH umbrella and how many industries the parent company catered to,” says Amira Linson, a University of North Texas graduate. She was a Fashion Scholarship Fund “Post-Modern” scholar in 2022 and 2023, and also interned at LOEWE in Paris. “Learning about LVMH’s hospitality maisons, along with their wine and spirits maisons, was shocking because I assumed the company stayed within the realm of fashion, accessories and cosmetics. Learning more about the luxury hotels within LVMH such as Cheval Blanc, and wine and spirits brands like Hennessy Cognac, led me to the realization there is luxury in all industries.”
Attendees at the 2023 National Black MBA Association Conference PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH PHOTO BY: ANDRE JONES
“The INSIDE LVMH Certificate program allows students to gain this firsthand insight into our ecosystem, coupled with all the things that we do, from a campus engagement perspective that Jasmine leads. We do a ton of fireside chats with our executives, our internship programs, career fairs, job shadowing, you name it,” says Corey Smith, head of diversity, equity and inclusion for LVMH North America. “We really do it in this effort to show early career professionals that, yes, you can have the career of your dreams, whether it is on the corporate side or on the more creative side in this industry. We really expose them to what that potentially might look like and give them a flavor of it early enough so that they can decide early on in their career if that’s something that they want to pursue.”
Fashion Scholarship Fund scholar Tracey Jean-Claude at LVMH Summer Intern Day. PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH PHOTO BY: AUROLA WEDMAN/ALL COURTESY OF LVMH
After serving as LVMH North America’s diversity, equity and inclusion intern, Oluade Swan hopes to enter the same field after graduating from Hampton University. “Having the opportunity to work in this sector at LVMH as an intern provided me with firsthand experience in understanding how the French company addresses diversity and inclusion issues,” Swan says. “It also gave me insight into the measures they are taking or planning to enhance in order to rectify these issues. As an early career professional from an underrepresented background, joining a team that can make a positive impact for others like me is empowering.”
Students at LVMH Summer Intern Day PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH PHOTO BY AUROLA WEDMAN/COURTESY OF LVMH