28 Feb Jo Malone delivers landmark masterclass
Global entrepreneur Professor Jo Malone CBE inspired the latest generation of business talent at a landmark event at the British School of Fashion last night (27 February 2019).
In a conversation hosted by University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, Professor Malone called on students taking postgraduate courses in luxury brand marketing and fashion to seize opportunities and “never stop learning”.
Citing her disadvantaged upbringing in a council house, where money was always tight, and examples of hiccups in her subsequent career, she stressed that mistakes and tough times are wholly inevitable for entrepreneurs – but ultimately make them stronger and better at what they do.
Professor Malone built a global brand by creating original fragrances and said: “If I have one piece of advice, it is to try to deal with a tough situation by slightly changing your way of looking at it.”
Professor Malone said she was moved and delighted with her Lifetime Achievement Award and an Honorary Professorship from the University in 2016. She said the recognition meant all the more because she is dyslexic and left school with no qualifications.
She made the journey from business start-up in 1994 to business empire just a few years later and admitted: “I was living some people’s dream”.
However, her life took a different turn when, at the age of just 38, she developed breast cancer and was given nine months to live.
With intensive treatment, she recovered and sold her international business ‘Jo Malone’ to Estee Lauder. She now runs a successful fragrance company Jo Loves and has written a book Jo Malone: My Story.
Professor Malone’s interview with Professor Gillies was warmly applauded by the audience of around 100 at the campus in Shoreditch, London.
Arunima Joshi, who studies MBA Luxury Brand Management at the British School of Fashion, said ”It was really inspiring to listen to her talk about her life journey and I’m now really motivated and inspired to start my story!”
MSc Fashion Business Creation student, Mehak Johari, was delighted to attend the event “The event was amazing. We had a great time with Jo Malone. Her speech was really motivating and positive for us.”
Arina Troshina, from the MSc Luxury Brand Marketing programme, was equally as inspired “The speech was really inspiring for me as a future marketer who would like to work in the luxury industry”
The is event is the latest in the British School of Fashion’s Masterclass series which has seen industry experts such as Henry Holland, Imran Amed and Jane Sheperdson deliver inspiring talks at Glasgow Caledonian University London campus (GCU London).
Find out more about our industry connections and the programmes we provide at the British School of Fashion here.