Alumni Spirit | Dream Builder

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Gabriella Rebolledo is in love with fashion and luxury and her career spans all continents. Originally from Venezuela, she was trained in New York and reinvented herself in Switzerland, a country that flourishes in luxury, especially watchmaking. Her story is one of bold adjustments, from her beginnings at Salvatore Ferragamo in New York to her growth at Tag Heuer in Switzerland. Gabriela embodies ambition, perseverance, and creativity in the demanding world of luxury.

Switzerland, the cradle of luxury

Passionate about fashion, Gabriela Rebolledo had to redirect her career and settled in Switzerland in 2014. After a bachelor’s in communication and media in Venezuela, followed by specialization a few years later in fashion marketing at the prestigiousParsons School of Design in New York, the young woman traveled all the way to Switzerland, her new playground.

Unfortunately, at the time,Switzerland’s fashion industry lagged behind,” explains Gabriela. “Initially I wanted my career to be in fashion marketing. In New York, I worked at Salvatore Ferragamo, before moving close to Switzerland for personal reasons.”

On the other hand, the luxury industry thrives there, especially watchmaking. Luxury may be less dynamic than fashion, which changes every season, but it does have its own rules, which attracted Gabriela.

A springboard for excellence

Newly arrived in Switzerland Gabriela pondered her future. Of course, she already had experience of communication in fashion marketing, but she didn’t have a work permit, which prevented her from finding a job. She therefore decided to go freelancing and focused on HR and communication assignments.

Several HR directors suggested that she follow a training program in Switzerland, to reinforce her résumé and make it more attractive – it would also develop her network in her new country. Which is how she opted for école CREA in Geneva and its luxury marketing program.

and I also loved the many projects we worked on,” says Gabriela. I remember really getting into a project for Jitenshaa start-up which produces customizable high-end bikes. My studies also took me to Paris, Monaco and Milan, at the heart of the luxury industry. It was perfect for getting to know the environment”.

First steps at Richemont

In order to sign off on her two-year master’s at CREA, Gabriela completed her end-of-year internship. Given the number of openings in the watchmaking market, she tried her luck in this sector. She then became a communication and marketing assistant at Richemont and contributed to the launch of Baume watches (now Baume & Mercier).

Baume is a watchmaking brand which designs its pieces with ecological materials. The brand is entirely digital and has no brick-and-mortar stores. A 3D configuration tool was used to customize the watch with a choice of face, bracelet, etc. It was a very rewarding internship,” remembers Gabriela.

Given her previously acquired experience, the company entrusted her with a number of tasks. Baume being a new brand, there was everything to do. She handled communication, the customer journey, CRM, copywriting, events and so on, all at the same time. owever, work had never scared Gabriela, quite the opposite! In September 2018, she obtained her diploma and set out to find a salaried position in Switzerland.

Climbing the ladder at Tag Heuer

Tag Heuer,the famous luxury watch brand, offered Gabriela her first position. She was hired as CRM Campaign Manager, an area she was comfortable in, having practiced it at Baume.

I arrived at a key moment for the brand. It was all about digital transformation and everything had to be done. There was no visual coherence between the various markets, only two newsletters were sent every year… I took on a huge centralization job,“says Gabriela.

She set up processes for managing the brand’s global and local communications. She also worked on developing the transactional program, which then simply consisted of an order email. She also implemented other automatic notifications, including those which clients receive on delivery, so they can find out how to take care of their watch or how to configure it.

Two and a half years later, Gabriel asked to join thee-commerce department, something she was increasingly interested in. Alongside her job at Tag Heuer, she developed her own e-commerce store retailing ethical products: Greena.

She thrived in her new position as e-commerce project manager. At the heart of the company’s strategies, she worked with many other departments: marketing, IT, finance, legal, etc. She also launched many projects such as abandoned cart notifications, payment by instalments and watch engraving in the US, UK and Japanese markets.

Agile management

In addition to her position as e-commerce project manager, a position she has held for three years, Gabriela obtained a new product owner position:

In the past few years, Tag Heuer had already adopted the agile method. The aim is to make project launch easier, with the MVP (minimum viable product) concept, and to improve projects gradually with two-week sprints. The brand has a range of feature teams to meet the needs of departments. I hold the position of product owner in the e-commerce feature team. My role is to guide this feature team to ensure that there is sufficient time to work on priorities, by communicating the vision, roadmap and business objectives.”

The future of luxury

The luxury world may not progress as fast as fashion, but it is evolving. According to Gabriela, two trends will appear in the coming years: customization and an omnichannel approach.

The new generation is ready to pay good money, but it has to be for a unique product, created especially for them. They wantultra-customization, which can involve engraving – something Tag Heuer offers – but also choosing materials and colors or creating your own bracelet.

In watchmaking, it’s also very important to implement an omnichannel strategy. Clients want an excellent experience anywhere, both in store and on line.

We’re working on this a lot,” explains Gabriela. For example, I recently launched the ‘stock visibility’ project. The client can look up the online website and check the availability of product in stores close to them. This is important because the client may want to see the product in a store, or they might not be comfortable with the idea of handing over a large sum of money on the Internet.”.

“Up close and personal with luxury”

If Gabriela were to advise luxury marketing students, she would tell them to do internships as soon as possible. Studies are important of course, but getting up close and personal with luxury speeds things up considerably. Working at the same time, as she does, can also be useful, if you’re good at time management.

Lastly, according to Gabriela, the key skill you need in the luxury center is to understand whereclients are coming from and this holds true , whatever the product. You need to be aware of the client’s needs to provide them with a high-quality experience.

En plus du networking très intéressant, j’ai beaucoup aimé le grand nombre de projets, raconte Gabriela.

Gabriela Rebolledo

Alumna CREA

Updated 6 December 2023