“Training is the most powerful tool we have to enhance our human capital and our product,” says Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci at the presentation of the École de l’Amour. The project, launched in December 2018, aims to preserve, innovate, pass on the artisanal and productive skills of the Florentine fashion house belonging to Group Kering.
Located inside the Gucci ArtLab (an area of 37 thousand square metres where 800 employees combine craftsmanship and experimentation in an innovative start up style environment) the l’École de l’Amour offers a training plan that is divided into three different courses. Two of these, the Scuola dei Mestieri and the Scuola di Fabbrica, are aimed at new graduates or unemployed youth between 18 and 26 years of age, the manpower necessary to give a future to a sector struggling to compensate lack of turnover. “Among my employees, there are many over 65 that I struggle to replace with young people in the twenties. They are kind enough to stay in the company because they are linked to my parents and my grandparents who started the business ", Fabio Pietrella, President of Confartigianato Moda and owner of Musetti Fashion Group reveals. “However, if we look for these workers in the masters, in the academies, etc. there will be no future. We must shape training, focusing on collaboration between school, company and territory ".
For this reason the teaching staff of the École de l'Amour is made up of specialized craftsmen, managers in the company that dedicate some of their time to lessons, and retired colleagues who come back to share their professional experience. “The project, in fact, was created at ArtLab, the perfect expression of the corporate culture that we are building and developing: a place where learning and developing skills, a laboratory of ideas, an environment where we work with passion, indeed, with love” Bizzarri concluded.
If we look for the master craftsmen in the academies, there will be no future. We must shape the training
So what’s the “subject” of the courses? Design processes and production of leather goods in the six months provided by the Scuola dei Mestieri; a specialization in "production operator" during the two-year period of the Scuola di Fabbrica. Training paths that to this day have trained 60 professionals who will join the 205.504 artisans of the Italian fashion sector (which, in total, entrepreneurs included, counts a workforce of 510 thousand). A hard core of technical and manual skills that contributed to a 4.7% growth in textile, apparel, leather and footwear production recorded in the first four months of 2018, an added value per employee that in the last five years has increased by 13, 3%. Efficiency in a family format: “When you enter small businesses you have a great opportunity not to be a number but to know all the company functions," said Pietrella. “This is why it takes free minds, that haven’t specialized too much yet. We are not interested in someone with a master's degree in "blue-colored yarn marketing", but brilliant people that understand the basic idea of what their vocation is and want to take on a challenge
A need that tools such as school internships still struggle to satisfy. And Gucci is not the first brand to get in the front row. Fendi, Brunello Cucinelli, Dior and other fashion brands have long decided to take responsibility for training their future employees. École de l’Amour, though is characterized by a wider window: Gucci Equilibrium, a program and a worldwide portal dedicated to connecting people with the planet and the culture of purpose that inspire the brand’s activity.