Getting a job in a luxury company may not seem like an easy feat. For the most part, this is true: securing careers at Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and other well-known luxury brands are notorious for requiring established connections or previous experience.
However, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. A quick search online will show you that there are many students and young professionals with little to no experience who managed to land careers at Louis Vuitton and more.
Often, there’s no secret formula to this — as with any industry you’re hoping to break into, it ultimately comes down to your own determination, grit and passion for the job. Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t specific things you can do to get your foot in the door.
Here are three tips on securing a job or an internship at a luxury company, from students and graduates who have managed to break into the industry.
How to secure careers at Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and other luxury brands
Take a short course or degree
A sure way to get your foot in the door is through the route of education. There are plenty of degrees, short courses and more that provide a direct route into the fashion and luxury industry as a whole.
SKEMA Business School, for example, has one-year master’s programmes in Global Luxury and Management as well as Luxury and Fashion Management. These courses are steeped in experiential learning opportunities, often seeing students travel to fashion capitals such as New York, and work directly with luxury brands for short stints. From this, they can land careers at Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi and more.
Short courses are no less useful. L’ÉCOLE School of Jewellery Arts in France — which has the support of major luxury company Van Cleef & Arpels — offers exclusive courses on everything that a future jeweller should know, from the history of jewellery to the making of a jewel. These can last from two hours to a day.
“[These courses] give you a 360-overview of luxury as a whole, starting from understanding the basics of luxury and taking you through each and every facet within the field,” shares Delvina Dsouza, who took a short course in Luxury Brand Management at FAD Institute of Luxury Design and Lifestyle in Dubai.
She added that studying at the institution ensured that she was able to take advantage of its connections with major players in the industry. Through this, Dsouza managed to secure an internship at YSL.
Start off in a retail job
Alternatively, if you’re keen on starting work immediately, consider getting in through a retail job. Many people start their careers at Louis Vuitton, Chanel and more by working in their retail stores.
YouTuber Betty Roseville has some key tips:
- Make sure to submit both a CV and cover letter in your application
- Apply during the Christmas period, as brands are busiest this season (i.e. launching new products, running campaigns, etc.)
- Appearance matters! Go for a sophisticated, clean look — the best way to discern what the company is looking for is to scope out how employees dress in-store
- Showing that you have customer service experience is a bonus
“A general rule of thumb is showing some level of progression in your resume,” she shares. For example, Roseville started out at KFC, then secured a job at a supermarket, MYER, and from there managed to score a position at Tiffany & Co., Burberry, and more. “You just need to show that you’re willing to learn and that you have a strong commitment to work.”
Expand your network
Most people who have managed to break into a role with no prior experience will tell you that networking is key — and the luxury industry is no different. Forming connections with students, professors, and working professionals can be a major boost in helping you land your dream job.
A key way to do this is to establish your presence on LinkedIn. “The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you’ll get your name out there and get noticed,” shares freelance writer JoAnna Pendergrass. “Also, being more active allows you to expand your network and establish meaningful connections with other[s] in your field.”
More than that, LinkedIn will give you direct insight into what goes on in the industry, what roles are on offer, and what skills are currently in demand. This way, you’ll be able to stay on top of the latest news surrounding the luxury industry — which any employer, regardless of field, will surely see as an advantage.