Polimoda Guest Lecture


Expert and professionals: information directly from the Fashion System

Would you like to improve your knowledge of accessory design by listening to what the greatest milliner in the world has to say? Would you like to analyse  market perspectives in the Middle East with the CEO of the leading distribution and retail group for luxury brands in the Gulf area? Do you want to know about the man whose inspired project turned the Pitti Fair virtual?

For its students, Polimoda organises the “Guest Lectures”, a series of seminars with illustrious guests and experts from the fashion industry, marketing and communication, at the Aula Magna of Villa Favard, Polimoda’s completely restored new headquarters.

During the academic year, students of the institute have the unique opportunity to talk about fashion and beyond, with  leading exponents of the fashion system, experts in marketing, communication, design and branding, who put their skills and knowledge at disposal.

These events, combined with a teaching staff made up of experts and professionals with many years’ experience in the fashion sector, ensure a cutting-edge training, constantly updated and aligned with the professional reality, direct evidence of the latest trends in the fashion industry and a practical approach to the world of work.


Narrative and Design

December 5, 2013
Aula Magna
Villa Favard

Lecture and open discussion focusing on narrative in design, roles in the work relationship, and challenges of creativity by confronting uncomfortable ideas.

Sruli Recht is an Icelandic based Designer known for his innovative and inspiring designs, seamlessly blending advanced digital design and new experimental-technology with old-school tailoring, drapery and hand work/couture methods and by applying or inventing uncommon material types [rare leathers and natural materials along with man made technological fabrics] in his clothing, accessories and products.


Fashion Futures

November 28, 2013
5.30 p.m.
Aula Magna
Villa Favard

Clothing, as we know it today, is already becoming a thing of the past. A fresh dialogue is unfolding between the fabrics we wear and the technologies we use. Future fashions will make us faster, lighter, brighter, greener and cleaner. They will provide us with multi-sensory skins and wearable technologies, yet be comfortable, breathable, elastic and protective. Wearable technology will equip the wearer with completely new physical and intellectual abilities, or enhance existing ones.

The talk will show that as a new generation of designers envisions the forms, shapes and materials of tomorrow, garments are being transformed from passive substrates into active technological tools.  Future fashions will connect individuals with wider systems as well as each other, and enrich their lives in ways we never could have imagined before. Like the skin we were born with, the hi-tech clothing we wear in the future will be sensual and beautiful, fit perfectly, and feel completely natural.


BRADLEY QUINN is a British author and trend consultant with expertise in fashion, technology, textiles and design.  His books include Techno Fashion, The Fashion of Architecture, Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge, UltraMaterials, Textile Futures, Design Futures, Fashion Futures and the recently-published Textile Visionaries. As his publications chart new ways of thinking about products and materials, Quinn explores the furthermost boundaries of what today's generation of designers can achieve.


The book "Textile Visionaries" by Bradley Quinn will be available at Fashion Room (Via Il Prato 7/r, Florence).



by Ottmar Hailfinger

November 21, 2013
5.30 p.m.
Aula Magna
Villa Favard

Groz-Beckert is the world's leading provider of industrial needles, precision components and fine tools as well as systems and services for the production and joining of textile surfaces. Their products and services support the fields of Knitting, Weaving, Felting, Tufting and Sewing.
Founded in 1852, the company today has approximately 8,000 employees and generates sales of more than 500 million Euros. Groz-Beckert is active worldwide, with agencies, production plants and distribution subsidiaries in over 150 countries.

The presentation and seminar will cover: An Introduction to Groz-Beckert / Sewing machine needle fundamentals / Features of sewing machine needles / Needle characteristics and terminology  / Needle point styles / Decisions on the correct and ideal choice of needle / Relation of needle to thread size / Sewing problems / Tez-Technology and Innovation Centre.


Duane Michals | The Man Who Invented Himself by Camille Guichard | Terra Luna Films


Presentation of the 6th edition by Silvia Lucchesi

November 7, 2013
5.30 pm
Aula Magna
Villa Favard

Director Silvia Lucchesi proudly presents the 6th edition of “Lo Schermo dell'Arte Film Festival” (Screen Art Film Festival) to be held in Florence from November 13th  to 17th  2013 at the Odeon Firenze and various locations throughout the city.

Lo Schermo dell'Arte is a “project in motion”, unique in Italy and indeed rare to the world scene. Through multiple initiatives during the course of the year the festival narrates and analyzes  the complex relationship between contemporary art and cinema through film, video, installations, book launches, encounters and workshops.

In previous editions, the festival has hosted international artists such as: Phil Collins, Omer Fast, Alfredo Jaar, Mark Lewis, Shirin Neshat and Sarah Morris, Isaac Julien, The Otolith Group and Melik Ohanian. Among this year’s guests are Adrian Paci, Simon Starling and Deimantas Narkevicius.

More information: www.schermodellarte.org   

During the festival “LO SCHERMO DELL’ARTE FILM FESTIVAL 2013, 6th edition”, running in Florence from 13/11/2013 to 17/11/2013, all Polimoda students can benefit from a reduced entry fee by simply presenting their Polimoda academic booklet at the time of payment.

Reduced tickets for all festival shows:

Ticket Price: € 4.00 (Valid for all the shows from for all the shows from 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.)

Ticket Price: € 5.50 (Valid from 9 p.m. to the end of the shows)

All-Day Ticket:
Ticket Price: € 8.00 
(valid from 6.00 p.m. to the end of the shows)

Tigran Avetisyan, Spring/Summer 2014 | Provided courtesy of the designer


Occupy Fashion: Place|Space|Touch|Tell|Time

October 24, 2013
5.30 pm
Aula Magna
Villa Favard

Today fashion is facing a crisis, both in terms of its systems of meaning and value. This paper raises a series of provocations about the current state of fashion by tracing its historical development from the late-twentieth century to present and by drawing parallels to a broader socio-political and economic context. It will focus on the globalisation, corporatisation and conglomeration of fashion business over this period and the impact that this has had, emphasising the creative sector. Recently there has been growing dissatisfaction amongst fashion’s own ranks – a consensus that in its transformation into a big global business, fashion has become overproduced, under-inspired, homogenised, inward looking, repetitive. After decades of pursuing a business model in which profit margins were prioritised over genuine innovation, creativity or ethics, today we are confronted with a system that has significant negative implications for individuals, societies and the environment and that appears to be entirely unsustainable.
By invoking the language of Occupy, an activist movement which began in New York’s Zuccotti Park in September 2011, this paper aims to redress the political within fashion and provide a set of strategies for recalibrating the limits of our expression and agency within and beyond the current fashion regime, beginning with a radical reengagement in process, experience and empathy.

Leanne Wierzba is currently a Research Fellow at the Winchester School of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum, where she is working toward a future exhibition at the V&A on luxury, in partnership with the Crafts Council. Previously, she served as a resident curator at Fashion Space College, London College of Fashion where over the course of two years she worked on a programme of exhibitions exploring a diverse range of subjects including fashion illustration, leather artefact, eyewear and 3D printing. Her writing on fashion has been published internationally in magazines and journals including SOMA, Dazed Digital, Dazed and Confused, Under the Influence and Flux. Her experience in fashion was gained first-hand, working in ateliers in Vienna, New York, Paris and London. She holds an MA History of Design from the Royal College of Art and a BFA Fashion Design from the California College of the Arts.


From concept to content to context
Fashion fascination becomes an essential experience, giving form to meaning and matter.

October 16, 2013

5.30 pm
Aula Magna
Villa Favard

Manon Schaap | Creative Director

After graduating in Fashion Design at ArtEZ, Arnhem in The Netherlands, Manon began her career as a creative director in Paris at the trendforcasting office of Li Edelkoort, then joined Jil Sander for several years and established her own studio in 1998. A creative, consulting studio on brand identity, product development and image strategy.

Throughout her career Manon collaborated with a wide variety of renowned high level clients and projects in the field of fashion, design, perfume & cosmetics as well as luxury department stores. Next to this Manon was the creative director of inspirational magazines such as View on Colour, Bloom and Provider magazine. Beside to her work as creative director Manon is dedicated to guidance of talent, students and professional alike and is giving workshops and lectures at national and international Fashion & Design Institutes and a well seen member of creative councils, incentive funds and international juries.

Since 2010 Manon co-founded, out of passion and frustration, SALON/, a platform for design, fashion, art and culture, where both young and upcoming talents and established designers and artists present their work and their process on various locations throughout a city.
Every location leads to a specific presentation, which can take the shape of an installation. SALON/ aspires to stimulate an interaction between designer, public and space, where process and experience take central stage.

SALON/  was founded with the ambition to encourage a dialogue between design, fashion, art and culture and give insight in deeper layers of the creative disciplines and the new cultural entrepreneurship. SALON/ is about the commitment to the métier, the creation, craftsmanship, the individual talent and passion for the interdisciplinary results when working together. Within the last 3 years SALON/ established already 15 SALON/ initiatives and events.


The Young Luxury Consumer - An anatomy of consumer motives and behaviour

May 15, 2013

The traditionally held view that the ‘luxury customer’ is over 35 years old with abundant disposable income is outdated. As more and more people experience and consume Luxury in different ways the palette of target customers has grown exponentially, both in diversity and numbers. But what do we know about the younger consumers of luxury? What drives their behaviour and attitudes towards it? Do they themselves know? This presentation takes a magnifying glass and looks at some key inner thoughts and attitudes that influence –subconsciously- the young adult luxury consumer.

George Bouvier BA MSc
Director of Executive MBA (Fashion)
London College of Fashion
University of the Arts London


Dress Thinking

May 9, 2013

The rising prominence of fashion in both the popular and academic fields is a fairly recent phenomenon. Sociologists, philosophers and radical thinkers from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century have been interested in the fashion system as a means of expressing aesthetic taste, political ideas and social identity. Nowadays however, this interest in fashion has been supplemented by the emergence of critical literary writing that it can finally call its own.  The importance of this change is reflected in the variety of groundbreaking texts which now attribute their significant cultural force to fashion.

This preface goes some way to introduce themes that show fashion in an animated dialogue with important protagonists such as; art museums, archives, dictionaries, cities and Renaissance women…


Giulia Bonali is an Italian academic living in London. Since completing her MA in History of Design and Material Culture at the Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum, Giulia has been teaching undergraduate BA Fashion Design at the University of Creative Arts (UCA) London, and at the University of East London (UEL).  In 2011, Giulia was appointed joint module leader for first year undergraduates studying BA Fashion Communication at Liverpool John Moores University. Currently, Giulia has begun a PhD at the Birkbeck University of London focusing on the study of fashion as a starting point to explore the period of cultural transformation that followed the April Revolution in Portugal in 1974.

Photo Credits: Federico Cabrera


Curating Fashion, Fashioning Art. On the Productive Co-existence of Art and Fashion.

April 18, 2013

In everyday life, art and fashion have always merged. In the art world, however, fashion has long been treated like a stepchild. Art is by definition timeless, i.e. beyond the influence of fashion trends. Fashion, on the other hand, is synonymous with continuous change. Fashion is always at risk of becoming old and dying.

For centuries, fashion was a cuspidor of high culture. Moral philosophers and feminists rallied against it. Fashion, to them, represented either moral decay or a patriarchal social system oppressive to women.

Fashion did not do well in academic circles either, and for a long time it was considered too frivolous for serious study.

Negative attitudes are now subsiding. Fashion has achieved cultural status similar to art. Moralists have calmed down and feminists have been allowed to wear make-up. Academic chairs in Fashion studies have been established all around the globe. Fashion is increasingly conquering museums and acquiring large publics and wide media spread.

The lecture discusses recent developments in fashion and art by analysing how both fields have benefitted from the proximity of the other. The lecture brings forth examples of how fashion is transformed into art, and how art is used in highlighting the value of fashion as art. The lecture specifically discusses a recent curatorial project by Vänskä, which she curated for the World Design Capital Helsinki in 2012, and which is now being transformed into several new exhibitions in the USA and in Japan in 2013 and 2014.

Annamari Vänskä, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Curator


Guest Lecture by Alberto Sgheiz and Federico Semino - Greensense Communication Agency

February 21, 2013

The conference will discuss issues on the logic conforming to eco-sustainable communication and all that relates to it: its main traits, links, meaning, significance and the methods and objectives that such communication necessitates.

The speakers will highlight and present the topics under a number of viewpoints: cultural, anthropological, sociological, political and regulatory, bringing concrete examples from various sectors, with particular reference to the world of Fashion.

About the speakers:

Alberto Sgheiz
Co-founder and partner of Lorenzo Marini, Agency CEO

Federico Semino
Former Polimoda student, graduated June 2012 in Fashion Marketing & Communication. Art Director since January 2013


Young designer originally from Stockholm, Erik Bjerkesjo produce his footwear collection in Tuscany

11 January 2012
Former student on the Master in Advanced Fashion Footwear Design, after graduating successfully from Polimoda Erïk Bjerkesjö launched his own collection of clothing and accessories, marked by a minimal and contemporary aesthetic typical of the Swedish style. Back to Polimoda, Erïk presents a range of men’s footwear produced by expert Tuscan craftsmen and characterised by a state-of-the-art branded sole: a detail that embodies consummate mastery in the creation of products of the very highest quality. The Guest Lecture is an opportunity to listen live to the designer’s experience in the launch of his own brand.


Presentation of the 5th edition by Silvia Lucchesi

8 November 2012

Lo Schermo dell'Arte Film Festival (Screen Art Film Festival), directed by Silvia Lucchesi, presents its 5th Edition which will be held in Florence from November 21 to 25, 2012 (Odeon Firenze, Cango-Cantieri Goldonetta and other locations around town).

Lo Schermo dell'Arte is a “project in motion”, unique in Italy and one of the few world-wide, which, with multiple initiatives during the course of the year, narrates and analyzes the complex relations between contemporary art and cinema through film, video, installations, book launches, encounters and workshops. In previous editions, the festival has hosted such international artists as Libia Castro, Phil Collins, Omer Fast, Alfredo Jaar, Mark Lewis, Shirin Neshat and Sarah Morris. Among this year’s guests: Isaac Julien, The Otolith Group and Melik Ohanian.

The presentation will be held in English.



"Stephen Jones is the maker of the most beautiful hats in the world." Anna Piaggi

November 14, 2011
Stephen Jones is the most famous milliner in Great Britain and one of the most sought-after in the world. Polimoda invited  the British hatmaker to enable students to become more familiar with his unconventional and out-of-the-ordinary designs, which are exhibited at some of the most prestigious museums all over the world.
During his twenty-five-year career, Stephen Jones has dressed the most popular actors, singers and international celebrities and has collaborated with a number of leading fashion designers, including Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano.(PDF)


The Calvin Klein challenge.

October 13, 2011
Fabrizio Rensi, Business Development Director Europe and Middle East for Calvin Klein,
was the speaker at a guest lecture addressing “The challenge of Calvin Klein". Rensi explained how the brand, created in 1969, has adapted to the ever-changing demands of the market without betraying its essence, but on the contrary by renewing and offering innovative  product lines and extensions. Rensi explained some of the main events occurring during this process of development, which is still in progress.

Photo Credits: Ben Benoliel


July 22, 2013

Stefan Siegel, founder of NOT JUST A LABEL, will be sharing his expert knowledge about how to start up in the fashion and arts sector and how to successfully manage your creative business.

He’ll be giving advice and tips on what students should and shouldn’t do, using case studies from his own business, NJAL and extensive past experiences.

Stefan Siegel, a native South Tyrolean - the German speaking part of Northern Italy, kick-started his colourful career during his Economics studies when he gained experience in the fashion and media industry working for prestigious design houses and advertising agencies. Followed by a successful modelling career he worked on five continents before achieving his MA in International Business Administration in 2004. After graduation he joined the world of finance, working for renowned companies such as Ernst & Young and Sal. Oppenheim in Switzerland, and finally the Merrill Lynch M&A Investment Banking group in London specialising in the Consumer & Retail sector, advising publicly listed fashion powerhouses. Stefan used his gained experience to launch NOT JUST A LABEL (NJAL). Although launching the company with his brother Daniel on a shoestring in 2008, NJAL today is the leading global platform for emerging fashion designers and ranks among the most
respected websites in the fashion industry. As the world’s leading designer platform for showcasing and nurturing today’s pioneers in contemporary fashion, it represents over 13,000 designers from 100 countries. It is an infinitely expanding destination devoted to facilitating growth in the fashion industry and has established itself as a distinctive creative hub fostering innovation.


Architecture of Fashion: from retail environments to Brandscaping

March 7, 2013

The Fashion system in the broader sense of the meaning permeates every single aspect of our daily lives.
It uses all means to make itself noticed and expand its influence.

It uses photography and cinema, music and art. Not least, it  “dresses up” in architectures.

Dichotomy between architecture and fashion, between ephemeral and permanent blurs. Their relationship gets tighter and tighter.
The Fashion System wants from architecture innovation, surprise, flexibility, mutation.

It wants to be represented at its best, to be legitimated.

It wants to have a set scene for brand values.

Architectures must be charged with a lot of other meanings, they must be mise en scène of the zeitgeist, and of the brands.

Architecture for fashion is a fashion statement itself, ephemeral ideology, Eye-deology.

Vitruvius goodbye!
Principles, they change. What counts today is legitimacy of appearence.

Fashion stores punctuate the urban landscape and they tell stories of brands, company missions, global aesthetics; they mix up with the attempt to propose complex lifestyles, examples of a global design or total living.

Through 30 years of architecture for fashion and communication strategies, from Elio Fiorucci to Rei Kawakubo through Calvin Klein to Giorgio Armani, learning the japanese lesson and overturning the logical with Prada we wonder what the next scenario of such a conflictual love-hate relation is going to be.

From epicenters to guerrilla stores’ luxury raves, from minimalistic aesthetics to pop editorialism all signs point to one thing.

Good design, alone, is not enough anymore.


Architect; graduated in Venice with a thesis on the use of architecture as a marketing tool.
He studied at the IUAV Institute of Architecture in Venice, Oulu University, Finland, Domus Academy and IED majoring in Marketing for Luxury Goods.

Marenco Mores worked as fashion editor while researching on strategic marketing.

He is currently Merchandising Manager for Calvin Klein Collection Accessories.



"A survey of social and artistic influence between Picasso and Warhol. How photography affected art history of 20th century. Supreme shots of fashion photographers during the magazine saga of glittering publishers."

January 22, 2013

Davide Faccioli, after graduating in Economics in 1986, founded "Compagnia dell’Immagine", the first advertising agency specializing in luxury goods.
He became member and co-editorial director of the Lupetti & Co, publishing house for business and communication. In 1992 he created Photology, a company operating in the international photographic arts field with galleries in Milan, London, and a Foundation in Bologna, and since 2001 teaches photojournalism at the La Sapienza University in Rome.


Luxury in the Middle East: market perspectives  & consumer dynamics.

November 16, 2011
Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of the Chalhoub Group, the leading distributor and retailer of luxury brands in the Middle East, hosted a workshop entitled "Luxury in the Middle East: market perspectives  & consumer dynamics”.  The workshop aimed to give to Polimoda students an overview of social and economic scenarios in the distribution of luxury products,  consumer dynamics and the development prospects of the markets in the Middle East area.


Lecture with Linda Loppa and Polimoda teachers

October 27, 2011
Linda Loppa, Director of Polimoda, and a group of teachers including Annamaria Tartaglia (Luxury Management and Fashion Communication), Lapo Baglini (Marketing Management and Branding) and Danilo Venturi (Brand Management), tabled a discussion about the perceived gap in the fashion world between creativity and management.
Teachers debated and explored the two concepts in depth, laying the foundations for a mode of integrating these aspects and building harmonic scenarios. (PDF)

Sound of Fashion


Sara Lenzi & Gianpaolo D'Amico.

July 14, 2011
Sara Lenzi, sound designer and live performer, works as consultant for different brands in the fields of sonic branding and product sound design. Sound design is the art of acquiring, creating and manipulating audio elements for different purposes and it is employed in various fields, including fashion. The lecture by Sara Lenzi, who was accompanied by Polimoda teachers Danilo Venturi and Gianpaolo D'Amico, aimed to explore the new frontiers of sound design in the fashion universe. (PDF)


The Digital Fair Project.

June 30, 2011
Francesco Bottigliero, General Director of  Fiera Digitale – Pitti Immagine Group, analysed and presented to Polimoda students a preview of the E-Pitti project, one of the first virtual fairs ever  created. The project, launched on 4 July and involving 120 Internet professionals, now boasts 1,100 online stands embracing a catalogue of 8,000 products, 60,000 images and 1,000 interactive videos.

International Fashion Marketing


International Markets: Cina/India.

May 19, 2011
Raffaello Napoleone is CEO of Pitti Immagine s.r.l., the society which organises some of the world’s most important fashion events, such as international quality clothing and textile fairs, communication happenings, cultural and research initiatives for the fashion system and fashion as the aesthetic expression and global evolution of taste. Napoleone gave a lecture for Polimoda students about the new international markets that fashion is looking towards, including  China and India.

Guest lecture Eelko Moorer


Conversation with… Eelko Moorer.

April 18, 2011
Eelko Moorer is one of the most interesting new talents in Dutch design. His designs have always crossed boundaries between performance and product, comfort and discomfort. Moorer creates ​​his shoes driven by irrationality, constantly striving to make possible what appears to be impossible. One of the most influential accessories designers in the world, Moorer is currently exhibiting his collection "Jungle Light" at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. (PDF)

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