Maison Dior is focused on building on the history between women and Dior – Christian Dior Couture being anchored on femininity. On International Women’s Day 2017, Maison Dior launched the Women @ Dior Mentoring Program in ten cities (Paris, Marseille, London, Florence, Dubai, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai) to accompany young women in their career development. Young female talents across these cities have been selected and paired with a mentor currently working at Dior. IFA Paris student Monica Pozyn, from South Africa, was one of those selected.

Michel Temman: You were born in South Africa and grew up in Cape Town, a mythic city! How did you gradually become interested in fashion and luxury sectors while growing up and living there?

Monica Pozyn: It’s quite difficult to say. I’ve wanted to study and work in fashion since I can remember. Fashion has always been part of my life. Even at a young age, I used to spend my pocket money on shoes and the latest issues of Elle and Vogue Magazine.

M.T.: You're now pursuing a MBA in Fashion Business at IFA Paris in Shanghai. How will this program help you to pursue your career goals?At Dior Shanghai, the selected young talents and their mentors

Monica Pozyn: My objective is to find a career path that combines my passion for traditional, handcrafted denim with my interest in luxury. My thesis for the MBA in Fashion Business Program will focus on the influence of handcrafted Japanese denim and how this artisanal craft will influence the luxury industry. I believe that the knowledge, experience and exposure gained through the MBA in Fashion Business Course at IFA Paris along with the opportunity to be part of the Women @ Dior Mentoring Program will enable me to pursue my career objective and fulfill my dream.

M.T.: What about the experience to study both in Shanghai and Paris?

Monica Pozyn: The opportunity to study in both a developed and developing economy (Europe & Asia) is invaluable. The consumer beliefs, values, lifestyle and purchasing behaviors are completely different. You have to gain first-hand knowledge and experience in China to fully understand the consumer within the fashion retail and luxury environment - it is not something that can be taught.

Monica Pozyn (middle) with her mentor Emilie Krumb (left) and Lynn Chen the HR Director (right)M.T.: During your studies in Shanghai, you were selected, as a young talent and "Young Female Mentee" by the prestigious Maison Christian Dior, to join an innovative program called "Young Female Mentors". It is for discovering the diversity of Dior's métiers and also to understand better the long history between women and Dior. How did it go? What did you learn during these mentoring talks and sessions? 

Monica Pozyn: The Women @ Dior Mentoring Event was so inspiring. It was a privilege to be surrounded by such stylish, incredibly talented and career driven women. It is said that Monsieur Dior himself was surrounded by a team of talented women in the 1950’s. The heart of the Maison Christian Dior has always been female and therefore The Women @ Dior Mentoring Program is a vision created for women by women. Dior Shanghai shared Maria Grazia Chiuri’s vision with us at the first mentoring event, on the 15th of March. Her vision for the Maison Christian Dior is: Feminism - continuing to build on the heritage of Dior where talented women remain at its heart; Cool fashion - being able to mix couture with sneakers; One vision - Maria Grazia Chiuri believes in being involved in all aspects of Dior - from sketch all the way to the client to ensure a cohesive brand image across all product categories; and Heritage - to ensure the DNA of Dior remains rooted in its creativity and savoir-faire.

M.T.: Did this program change your vision of the Maison Dior? What did you learn specifically? 

Monica Pozyn: The Women @ Dior Mentoring Program has taught me one of the most important lessons in life: “Always strive for excellence - set the bar high and never settle for mediocracy!”

For more information on this program created by Maison Dior and the mentoring event, read our previous article: “Women @ Dior” in Shanghai: a new program organized by Dior for women

To learn more on the program pursued by Monica the young mentee selected by Dior: MBA Fashion Business at IFA Paris.