Reflecting on Milan

The new semester is already in full swing but before we came back to NYC we got to spend a week in Milan learning about Italian Luxury.  The DBI in Milan was a two-week excursion with the first week on NYU’s campus learning about the basis of Luxury from Thomai Serdari. For the second week, we flew to Milan to learn from a mix of site visits to companies like Montero and Lamborghini and classroom time at Bocconi.  We spent a ton of time learning and the rest of the time exploring and celebrating how far our class has come.


Even though I am in the Fashion and Luxury program, most of my attention had always been in fashion or beauty retail.  I had never really appreciated or understood luxury until learning from Thomai during those two weeks. We started by covering what exactly luxury is; the perfect intersection of philosophy, science, engineering, and design. Followed by how the luxury industry has evolved from open-air markets to our current market.  There is no one who can make the luxury retail space sound more like an enchanting, mystical and beautiful than Thomai. After her lectures, I could fully see the beauty of luxury goods for the first time.


The following week in Italy made these lectures on craftsmanship come to life.  We watched silk printing happen in real time at Montero and took a tour of the Lamborghini factory that made me interested in cars for the first time.  These visits truly encapsulated what craftsmanship means in the modern day.

For me, the visit to Milan was especially meaningful since the first night was my 26th birthday. The FLUX class is small at 27 but large enough that getting a dinner reservation for all of us seemed difficult.  Luckily, our class is full of people with different skills who are willing to help out. A classmate took the lead for me and planned a birthday dinner, found the restaurant, took care of gathering information on who would or wouldn’t make it, found a place to go dancing after, and kept a google calendar invite in check for me. Thanks to her my birthday was perfect, almost all 27 people gathered for dinner and then went dancing with me to American top 40s (which was my one goal for my birthday celebration). I am so grateful that I got to spend my birthday in Milan celebrating with classmates. They even sang Happy Birthday to me in Italian at a site visit earlier that day!