Being a Project Manager, by Ysia Bugeia


In the framework of specialities chosen for a Fashion Master's 2 Degree (Marketing or Production), Ysia Bugeia Ferron, previously a Project Manager for different major Fashion houses in Paris, presented the particular aspects of her job, and then participated in a question and answer session prepared by the students.

Fashion Master's Degree Student: Could you please give us details of your career so far?

After getting a DEUG - Diploma of General University Studies in Economics and Management at the Sorbonne in Paris, I went to the Marseille Kedge Business School and obtained the Diploma with a specialisation in Marketing. I then joined Nina Ricci as an Assistant Responsible for the Accessories Collection, and then moved to be Assistant to the (female) Fashion Manager in the Ready-to-Wear Department. After that I became a Junior Product Manager in the Shoes department, and then moved over to Leather Goods. Then, at Lanvin, I wanted to become more involved in men's fashion as Senior Leather Goods Product Manager.

Fashion Master's Degree Student: In your opinion, what are the major strengths of the Fashion Houses where you have worked?

Nina Ricci and Lanvin are French Fashion Houses which have a rich history and a certain number of codes. It gives them their strength, but is also a weakness. When a Fashion House has a particular attitude and certain codes which are anchored in the collective subconscious, it is not always easy to renew your way of thinking and develop in a new direction. You have to force yourself to work with the history and with the codes, which are very valuable and very important. But at the same time you have to try and surpass them, and yourself, and create something new.

Fashion Master's Degree Student: Why are you getting involved in the Master's Degree in Fashion and Textile Metiers course?

I have been living in Marseille since last year. I've always liked explaining, teaching, sharing... For me, it's a real pleasure to have such an opportunity to share my passion and talk about the incredible industry I work in with a new, young generation.

Fashion Master's Degree Student: Given your experience, what do you think of the Master's Degree in Fashion and Textile Metiers and the approach used by the Maison Méditerranéenne des Métiers de la Mode?

I think that the MMMM is an excellent organisation which combines training and education with an active support for young entrepreneurs. They have known how to change with the times, and offer really good opportunities for a large number of students and young designers. It is really important to have a structure like this in Marseille, offering this type of quality service. Don't forget that Marseille is the second most important fashion network in France after Paris.

Fashion Master's Degree Student: Do you think that the academic content and format of the Masters Degree course will produce good Project Managers and Developers?

The academic content is very interesting as it provides a global view of all the metiers, skills, jobs and trades in the fashion industry, from the creation stage through to the sale of the finished product. On top of that, you also get some excellent lecturers and guest speakers. They give you an idea of what it's like "in the field". They are all professionals in the fashion industry able to pass on their passion and their experience, and capable of giving you some tips and advice on how to succeed in their world. In fact, your first jobs are fundamental. It's then, when you are actually working, on the ground, that you learn the technical aspects of the business which are completely indissociable from the theory that you learn here. It's when you talk to stylists, suppliers, craftsmen, but also when you talk to your team and the management of the company, that's when you learn all the different facets of your job as a Product Manager. That's when it becomes a metier.

Fashion Master's Degree Student: What sort of advice would you give to graduates from this course?

Be curious!! Don't limit yourself in the choice of Fashion House, or Brand, or Label; they will all bring you a lot of different things. Work hard! Stay humble, don't forget that you must also teach and pass on to others.