The House’s historic address of 30 Avenue Montaigne provided the symbolic location for the launch of this first instalment of the Women @Dior programme. The students and their mentors were welcomed by the House’s Human Resources team, which had initially conceived the project. “It’s very impressive to see you all here, because you are the leaders of tomorrow,” stated Emmanuelle Favre, Director of Human Resources, during the presentation of the project, which took place in the committee room where the board of directors habitually meets. After a few words of introduction on the Dior culture and its professions and on the special place of women in the House – they represent 69% of more senior positions – the day began.
Broken into small groups, the student-mentor pairs then discovered two usually off-limits places, which also happen to represent the House's beating heart. The Dior Héritage department, first, where the archives are kept. Under the astonished eyes of the young women, Soizic Pfaff, who runs the service, and Solène Auréal, an archivist, opened boxes and garment covers from Monsieur Dior’s era and took out collection plans and iconic dresses, some of which inspired the latest creations from Maria Grazia Chiuri, along with shoes, hats and couture jewelry dating from the House’s early years. The visit continued in the ready-to-wear ateliers, a contemporary setting entirely dedicated to savoir-faire, where everything has been ergonomically conceived to facilitate the work of the petites mains. "We have designed the lighting so that there are no shadows, and it comes as close as possible to sunlight so the perception of color remains unchanged,” explained Maurizio Liotti, director of the ateliers, as he guided the group among the dressmaking mannequins and the clothes being made, through the rooms where the fabric is cut, the creations assembled and the patterns executed. Then to the EllesVMH exhibition, which showcases the LVMH luxury group’s leading initiatives in promoting women's rights. Then the pairs got to know each other better at a break during which the students discovered their mentor's place of work. The occasion of a first exchange on the job of one and the aspirations of the other, laying the groundwork for the year to come.
After a workshop on emotional intelligence, at which a professional trainer taught the participants some keys to optimize their relationship with others by listening to their own emotions, the day ended with a networking cocktail, which brought the pairings together with other collaborators, both women and men. In the salons of 30 Avenue Montaigne, Sidney Toledano, President and CEO of Christian Dior Couture, answered the questions of the young women present, who then got the opportunity to discover the different spaces the soirée held: to experience a photo shoot or an encounter with a fortune teller, and above all to meet inspiring women such as start-up founders.