The undergraduate, master’s and short courses offered at Polimoda connect the legacy of the past, with new research and creativity. Professors offer experience-based learning, adapting courses to the changes in the industry as they happen, which is nurtured inside the Renaissance-style building of Villa Favard, the state-of-the-art Design Lab, and in the Polimoda Library. With 70% of students from countries outside Italy, Polimoda is a cultural force in the heart of Florence.
Language disguises the mind and fashion disguises the body. Given fashion is language, fashion is thought. The thought-moment is what we call concept.
On the contrary, today’s aesthetics of glamour reflect the ethics of possession, mass narcissism, screaming titles, finance and programmed obsolescence of technology.
The concept of fashion displacement brings attention back to what really counts: the body and mind of young students, their gaze as it is, full of dreams and nightmares.
The greatest aesthetic revolution is therefore the absence of glamour. It is not realism but simply reality, it is the present and future life of subjects, our students, who do not want to be objects.
Away with the masks and commercial promises, it is the time to concentrate on content and research the key that opens the doors to knowledge: to become what you are.
Danilo Venturi, Director of Polimoda
In 1986, Polimoda was founded as Politecnico Internazionale della Moda in an agreement between two international centres of fashion, and two trailblazers of the industry. Shirley Goodman, the former Executive Vice President Emeritus at FIT in New York and Executive Director of the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries, and Don Emilio Pucci, Marchese di Barsento and founder of the famous Florentine brand Emilio Pucci, came together to create a centre for excellence in fashion education, to serve the city as much as the global industry. The first classes took place at Villa Strozzi in central Florence that year, and the Institute has only grown in strength and influence since then.
In 1992, a second campus dedicated to knitting and textile creation opened in Prato, and later in 2000, a third outpost specialising in design was inaugurated in Via Baldovinetti. Bringing together these two purposes in one unified space, the Polimoda Design Lab put down roots in its current location in Scandicci in 2015.
In 2006, Polimoda welcomed its new President, Ferruccio Ferragamo, who was joined by Linda Loppa as the Institute’s Director. This marked a new era for the Institute, and together in 2011, they inaugurated the campus at Villa Favard where the school remains today. In 2015, Polimoda hosted the IFFTI Conference (The International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes), when six historical locations in Florence were taken over by research, fashion curation and art direction.
In 2016, the author of the guiding theme of this conference, Danilo Venturi, was named the new Director of Polimoda. As an expert on contemporary fashion and fashion education with specialised experience in brand management and creative direction, Venturi is currently leading the Institute to ambitious new heights.
The executive staff of Polimoda have esteemed backgrounds with decades of industry experience. Together they create a visionary future of fashion.
Ferruccio Ferragamo, President of Polimoda, is also the President of world renowned luxury house, Salvatore Ferragamo. As the eldest son of the company’s founder, Mr Ferragamo has a personal understanding and knowledge of the international luxury industry, and oversees the running of the Institute.
Danilo Venturi, Director of Polimoda, is specialised in creative direction and brand architecture. Holding an academic background in politics and a Master in Luxury Management from Polimoda, Mr Venturi has developed an interdisciplinary career across music, e-commerce, retail concepts, luxury and writing, and indeed authored Luxury Hackers (2011) and Momenting the Memento (2014). He was the Head of the Business Department at Polimoda before assuming his current role in 2016.
Linda Loppa, Polimoda’s Advisor of Strategy and Vision, has over 40 years’ experience in the fashion industry, and over 25 specialised in education. As the former Head of the Fashion Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Ms Loppa guided Polimoda as its Director for 9 years, before relocating to Paris in her current role, to establish connections and insight from the greater industry for the school.
Polimoda’s faculty come from the industry and currently work around the world in the fields of fashion marketing, management, finance, branding, communications, art direction, trend forecasting, footwear, textile development, and pattern and garment design.
The direct experience of these professionals is a vital resource to the Institute, guaranteeing a teaching method based on hands-on materials, feedback with relevance, and the implementation of projects that address current situations facing the industry.
These teachers are the core of Polimoda’s approach to experienced-based learning.