12 November 2022

Talk with Theo Grassl, Member of the Executive board of the Fashion Council Germany and mentor of the The IED Master in Fashion Brand Management

This innovative and professionalising Master’s degree program in Fashion Brand Management will give students analytical tools for gaining a deeper understanding of what a fashion brand is; they will also be able to develop brand identities and distinguish them from one another, and make the brand appealing in society - thus also economically successful - through marketing and communication techniques which meet contemporary market and societal needs. A solid understanding of this holistic approach fits well with a rapidly changing environment, taking into account opportunities for innovations such as product convergence, disintermediation, and a growing entrepreneurial initiative with characteristics of consciousness, sustainability, and inclusivity. The city of Florence is the perfect place to find this type of knowledge because it is here that important fashion brands were born and continue to flourish today. The course will provide students with an opportunity to practice skills related to content creation, market research, and marketing strategies through the use of professional tools and processes. Additionally, students will develop transversal skills through 360° project management, critical and creative thinking, as well as multitasking skills and problem-solving abilities.

Theo Grassl works full time as a university lecturer, trainer, speaker at AMD, Akademie für Mode und Design Munich, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences and is also a member of the Fashion Council Germany:

I'm pretty excited to start my Mentorship with the Fashion Brand Management course at the IED in Firenze in April. There have been some lit questions coming up, what does it mean to study brand management in the contemporary and in the future of the fashion industry? It means more or less everything and it's more important than ever.  We are living in a very crazy world at the moment, driven by volatility, by complexity and uncertainty and it's getting more diverse from day to day. Especially in these times, people are thirsting for orientation. This is exactly what brands and brand management has to ensure, giving the people an orientation. Of course, one of the core goals of brand management always is differentiation, so how to be the customer's first choice, especially if there is such a lot of generic fashions out there and they are more or less all attracting the same needs. So therefore high expectations and according skill set, pragmatism and out of the box thinking are more or less indispensable for brand management.

What are the benefits, especially for international students when they are studying in Florence?

For me it's pretty easy, I can tell this in one sentence. It's the whole environment, you are instantly caught by this incredible mixture of the history, which is the past, and the present. 
You are breathing really this combination of fashion, of design, of craftsmanship and of art, and art is everywhere in Florence and by the end of the day, fashion is and fashion means art. Students will really profit from the role of Florence as one of the most important places of fashion production, especially leather. They will also profit of the dolce vita, of the Tuscan way of life, and by the end of the day, which is also very important, from education at the highest levels at the IED. Studying really in such an inspirational environment makes it much more fun than in an industrial city where you are constantly more or less looking at naked concrete walls.

I wondered how I would imagine the future of the fashion industry, especially in relation to the contents of the course as a leader in fashion industry and as a mentor at the IED Firenze, so what we did is that we really took the lessons learned from the past courses, from all the experiences we had over the years and enriched them with necessary contents for the future to drive the fashion industry. I see myself really more or less as being part of a wonderful team and giving the students the best possible skill set, to be a driver of a fashion business and the fashion industry when they finish this course. I will motivate them, I will really encourage them to play an active role, not a passive one, an active role and change it with respect and with empathy. With this Master Course in Brand Management we created a kind of a blueprint for the current and upcoming challenges in the fashion industry, and we at the IED will master these challenges, literally. 

Thank you very much and I'm looking forward to seeing you in April in Firenze at the IED, starting the Fashion Brand Management Master Course.

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