Get to know Polimoda

Heritage, research and creativity

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Get to know Polimoda

Concept History Management Academic Staff

The undergraduate, master and short courses offered at Polimoda connect the legacy of the past with new research and creativity. Professors stem directly from the industry and offer experience-based learning, adapting courses to shifts in the fashion landscape as they happen. The school’s campuses incite this growth, from the Renaissance-style Villa Favard to the state-of-the-art Design Lab, Manifattura Tabacchi and the Polimoda Library, home to one of Europe’s most significant collections of fashion publications. With 70% of students from countries outside Italy, Polimoda is a cultural force in the heart of Florence.

Concept

Once we were what we were
then we are becoming what we had
then what we consumed
and now they have made becoming what we throw away

Danilo Venturi, Director of Polimoda

Human-centric values uphold the institutional foundation. Polimoda brings attention back to what really counts: the body and mind of young students, their gaze as it is, full of dreams and nightmares.

Knowledge is the key to personal power and potency. The trinity of evaluation consists of ideas, realizations and presentations. Coupled with research, these tools become the keys to the doors of knowledge.

Forgo the glamour. Today’s aesthetic of glamour is the separate collection of tomorrow, as it reflects the ethics of possession, mass narcissism, screaming titles, finance and programmed obsolescence of technology.

Waste and overconsumption are generated by the lack of identity. Through the rethinking of clothes, materials, places and even ourselves, we restore dignity and open the doors to new, possible futures for upcoming generations.

Closing the gap between education and industry. Polimoda bridges the gap with educational structures to provide real-life insight, experience and knowledge to possess the most realistic understanding of the fashion world.

The time has come to concentrate on the mind and the heart, the essence of you. Amidst a world obsessed with filters and living in an augmented reality, strip away the embellished outward layers.

Language disguises the mind and fashion disguises the body. Given fashion is language, fashion is thought. Speak up, speak out. Displace fashion; an educated opinion will shape your way.

Growth manifests in the presence of change. Away with the masks and commercial promises, it is time to concentrate on content, on life experience and your true understanding of self to become what you are.

History

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.

Management

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.

Academic Staff

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.