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Michael VIVIANI (ISTEC 2005), Area Development Manager Americas & Russia at HERMÈS Men.

What has your professional career been since ISTEC ?
Firstly, I was employed by  Sinv_,  an Italian group which designes, manufactures and sells clothes and accesory brands, such as See by Chloé, McQ Alexander McQueen, RED Valentino, as the Retail Manager Europe. This experience was my chance to do two things I had wanted to do, straight away, evolve in the fashion world and mix with the international field. Moreover, I was able to work with several brands and see many environments, which gave me the opportunity of having a global vision of fashion and its distribution.

After 5 years at  Sinv_, I joined Catherine André as Sales & Export World Manager. This pleasant French family company gave me the keys to manage international development and dealing with new markets, the problems that are all very different and most interesting to those that I had experienced beforehand.

In 2012,I had the pleasure of starting to work  with  Hermès, as Area Development Manager Americas and Russia, for Male Ready-to-Wear. Today, I have the opportunity of representing Male collections, on commercial subjects and image subjects, for markets that particularly attract me.

The best example is Mexico. I first discovered this counrty during my stay abroad in 3rd year at Istec. Hermes is the most luxurius and prestigious brand, always seeking perfection and from the first day was a driver element in my profesional life.

Introduce us to Hermès and your position there
Hermès started in  1837. Thierry Hermès was then 36, had been living in Paris for some years when he opened his little store as a maker of saddles and harnesses. His profession involved designing and manufacturing harneses and differnet equiment for horses. In 1867, thirty years after opening his store, Hermès received the medal of first class honor during the universal exhibition of 1867. After that, his success was huge : the tzar Nicolas 11 ordered his horse equiment there. The clients of Hermès were only prestigious people and the brand won its way into the world of luxury.

Nowadays, Hermès proposes luxury products from various fields (fashion of course, leather goods, arts of the table products, watches, horse-riding products…).
The ambition of the brand is to creat new products of the finest quality, joining up with tradition and modernity on all levels.

Hand-made products is one of the strong points. Mostly, everything is hand made. Innovation is also a speciality of the brand and it does not hesitate to shake established fashion codes in the Ready-To-Wear collection. This taste for the unexpected alongwith top French quality is indupitably one of the major elements of the success of Hermès.

My position has several objectives : contributing to the collection projects, helping our buyers in making their choices, setting up each season the distribution network for the new collections, developing tailor-made activities, giving support to the sales activities and lastly taking care of the brand image in the 49 sales points that I am involved with…So many opportunities to discover and make every day.

What advice would you give to students who wish to work in the Luxury and International environment ?
Passion is of the essence in the world of fashion and luxury. Passion for your work but also for the hand-made product, for what is rare, for the beauty of a creation.

Passion naturally leads to curiosity which is fundamental to my mind.

Being inspired, looking and watching, studying, understanding, listening, asking…..so many details that can make all the difference, particularly in an international context, being aware of different cultures, markets and anticipating new trends.

What advice would you give to succeed and evolve in one’s professional path ?
The working environment is very competitive, requiring permanent talent, speed and efficiency. These elements are not only linked to learning but also to personality. You must not be afraid to be ambitious and realistic. You must have objectives to drive your career, while identifying the keys that lead to success. Put yourself in danger ! Don’t be set on theory or techniques, but look at what’s happening in the world around you. Do things that you don’t necessarily know how to do. I think that the best are not those who know their job well but on the contrary, those who know the environment well and can stand back, be pertinent and efficient.

What are your best memories as a student at Istec ?
Although I could say : our Istecien evenings, I have two major memories. Fistly, my term in Mexico which proved to be an unforgettable experience and really changed me. The rest is the peole I met during  those 4 wonderful years : teachers, professionals, and my comrades at Istec, who have become my best friends.

Contact : Michael Viviani via ‘l’Association des Diplômés’ ISTEC : c.wisdorff@istec.fr