For the first time, the house of Dior welcomes 200 young women from all over the world, from France, London, Milan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, New York… An unprecedented event. The House had never before brought together so many talented females of so many nationalities. This unique convergence will take place following the principles of Sorority – the feminine solidarity that exists beyond traditional, cultural and geographical frontiers – and The Hand – the hand that extends, helps, carries, and shares. Each of the Dior mentors shares her experience and expertise, but also her vision and kindness, with her «mentee».
Dior‘s mentors, who will welcome and guide the young women selected throughout the year, are all Dior employees, under 30, and chosen according to three criteria: talent, ambition, generosity. The «mentees» are, for their part, the leaders of tomorrow, brilliant students in Fashion, Business or Engineering schools. This event will be an opportunity to bring together the duos formed last year and those new ones which will be determined in 2018. The number 8 being not only Christian Dior’s lucky number but the symbol of infinity, too, this year will be a very special one because, besides hosting these 200 exceptional participants for a tailor-made program over two days, Dior will also introduce a singular artist whose focus is infinity. A NASA collaborator, the sculptor Anilore Banon will present her project Vitae, concerning the sending to the moon of her sculpture symbolizing humanity in a million hand prints.
The Hand will also be present in this maxim that will inform our exchanges: Own your destiny! (i.e. “Take your professional destiny in hand!”), based around an immersive journey to get to better know the House and its unique heritage, its many professions and métiers, and its leaders, both female and male. Also, to get to know each other better, because it is together that we learn to advance better, to know ourselves better. Over the course of the year, an international sorority network, led in each of the candidates’ cities by the Dior teams, will prolong this act of coming together and the creation of these exciting pairings. The program will be spread over two days, on March 12 and 13, and will be organized around plenary sessions stimulated by three symbolic axes – Education, Empowerment, Elevation – which will guide us and inform each other:
-The art of Education through two immersive visits to places that are usually off-limits, where the beating heart of the House is to be found:
-The Dior Heritage service where the precious archives are kept, Dior’s gold reserve, the foundations of the House, rare objects and documents, peerless treasures in an extraordinary setting, inexhaustible sources of inspiration for future collections. Here, the past is present in the future.
-The ready-to-wear and haute couture ateliers where the supremely skilled «Petites Mains» work, creating and making the magic of Fashion possible everyday.
-The art of Elevation. Guided by Christian Dior’s star, the couturier’s lucky symbol, the participants will discover the codes of luxury in order to appropriate them, through workshops led by the experts from the Dior Academy and the Stimulus law firm who will initiate them in emotional intelligence.
-The art of Empowerment. In an ode to the hand that extends to share and transmit, the participants will meet in the boardroom with the House’s executives who will share their journey. These discussions will be led by the author and director, Florence Sandis, who will put in perspective mechanisms to break through the glass ceiling.
In order to make their professional dreams a reality, the young women will then be invited to experience “the power of voice” and “the power of words”: an expressive workshop led by Stéphane de Freitas who created the Eloquentia competition (and who has just been nominated for the Césars), followed by an interactive poetic conference, “My Destiny as a Star, the future is in your hands”, by Vincent Avanzi, Chief Poetic Officer.
By promoting the transmission of knowledge and by sharing its vision of the evolution of women in the professional world and the society of the future, Christian Dior Couture (for which three out of four Creative Directors are women) has made the logical and necessary decision to accompany and foster the young talents by helping them discover Dior‘s savoir-faire and their origins in order to better comprehend the challenges of tomorrow.
This inestimable legacy sets them apart from other houses, these sacred links of meaning and culture, will be shared with and unveiled to these leaders of the future. We cannot know where we are going if we do not know from where we have come, if we do not help each other. This “cultural continuity”, spoken of by Hannah Arendt, must be continued today more than ever through education and transmission, two values so dear to Dior.
Photos: Courtesy of Dior.