TRSM students recently had a peek behind the curtain of one of the most revered luxury retail brands in the world.

The Sector Studies Fashion class (offered through TRSM’s Retail Management program) had a rare opportunity to tour the brand’s flagship Toronto store in the company of Benoit Louis Vuitton, a sixth-generation member of the Vuitton family. The session was held February 2, 2018.

Mr. Vuitton has had several responsibilities with the company, including traveling the globe to specialize in watches, working in marketing in New York City, and now serving as Store Director for the Louis Vuitton Maison on Bloor Street in Toronto.  On the exclusive tour, he provided students with valuable insights into the history of the brand and the complexity behind luxury retailing.  The class also participated in a panel discussion led by Shauna Williams-Ridge, Senior Learning Manager for Canada, and Benedicte Jacquel, Client Development Manager for Canada.

Only at TRSM will students get a behind-the-scenes look at an iconic fashion brand’s store and hear first-hand from key members of the company.  This unique experience definitely struck a chord with students.  Here is what a few of them had to say:

Attending Louis Vuitton’s panel discussion has allowed me to gain insight into how the luxury brand has grown to where it is now and what is to come. With this opportunity, our class has been given the chance to propose ideas on new events to attract the millennial customer as a new targeted consumer segment. I am excited and beyond grateful to see where this opportunity takes us.” – Katelyn Kozdras

The overall experience was rewarding as many insights were learned about Louis Vuitton and the luxury goods market. This included the company’s overall DNA, which consisted of travel, tradition (innovation), quality and, of course, savoir faire with regards to standards, all of which contributed strongly to the company’s success. It was interesting to learn more about the history of the company (DNA), its retail structure, along with consumption patterns of the market. I look forward to using this information in our final project/recommendations in the future. – Patricia Guzikowska

My expectations for the store visit and panel discussion were completely blown away. Learning about how Louis Vuitton’s core philosophies affected every other part of their business reignited the excitement I felt being a fashion and retail newcomer. The company’s passion for exceptional products and experiences is inspiring, and many other companies should look to follow in Louis Vuitton’s footsteps. – Roberto Lagman

The Louis Vuitton Maison Toronto visit reaffirmed my decision to pursue a retail management degree. It is exciting to immerse myself in an industry that is undergoing such rapid and dynamic changes. The luxury retail industry has and will continue to inspire, excite, and challenge me. I am looking forward to working on the brand and finding techniques to attract millennial clients Kiana Jamal

There was a sense of excitement that arose from stepping inside the two-storey luxury store in Yorkville.  It was almost like walking into an art gallery, but instead of paintings or sculptures, the walls and the displays were filled with beautifully crafted exotic handbags, shoes, clothes and accessories.

The store managers recognize the importance of understanding how to cater to millennial luxury shoppers, which is part of the reason we were invited into the LV world. They wanted to hear our thoughts on how to better serve this evolving market segment, which seems to be the trend amongst luxury retailers Karine Degraff

Pictures by Jessica Singh 

Posted by Donna Smith

Dr. Donna Smith is a Professor in the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson University. She teaches and publishes in the areas of social media, fashion, and consumer insight.