As 2018 comes to an end, we can’t help but revel in the stellar connections and game-changing episodes that have shaped Polimoda’s future for the coming year. From top-notch partnerships to fostering insightful dialogues and industry links, here’s to our 12 favorite moments from the past 12 months, from start to finish.
As part of a media partnership announced in October 2017, Polimoda and The Business of Fashion launched a three-part online lecture series held by our director Danilo Venturi, unpacking major shifts in society, the 3D business model and what it means to brand the subconscious. Shot in Villa Favard, the exclusive e-lessons unveiled the key concepts behind Polimoda’s Master in Fashion Brand Management, one of the institute’s flagship courses mentored by Venturi himself.
On February 9th, award-winning journalist and writer Andrew Wilson held a Polimoda Rendez-Vous on McQueen’s enduring success story, subject of Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin (2015), the artist’s biography authored by Wilson. Held eight years after his death, Polimoda’s celebration commemorated Alexander McQueen’s incredible legacy to uncover the lesser-known facets of this extraordinary talent, hosting an exclusive book signing in the Polimoda Library for the occasion.
Our alumni amaze us more and more each year – and 2018 was one for the books. March witnessed the second edition of Polimoda Alumni Night, an exclusive event that consisted of a meet & greet cocktail party and the presentation of the first-ever Polimoda Alumni Award to Nicholas Kunz for her outstanding global achievements. The CFDA member and creative director of Nicholas K took the Polimoda Rendez-Vous stage to address her shift from corporate to design, joining alumni Torsten Hochstetter, Christian Pellizzari and the legendary Italo Zucchelli–among others–in bringing their expertise and creative inspiration to Polimoda this year.
April marked a defining moment for Polimoda as it announced the 2019 opening for its third campus in the Manifattura Tabacchi. Nestled in the western stretch of Florence’s central district, the monolithic giant inaugurated roughly 1000 square meters of space in October for tailoring workshops and classrooms. Polimoda’s official new campus will be edified in the 6000 square meters of the “edificio dell’orologio”, contributing to the larger restoration project transforming the urban area from industrial wasteland to a hive of modern Florentine culture and life.
On April 26th, Polimoda jetted off to Berlin for the 3rd edition of Fashion Displacement, a panel discussion focused on bridging the gap between the industry’s lightning speed and the pace of education. Held during Gallery Weekend, one of the top contemporary art events in Germany, the speakers consisted of top-level professionals and thinkers, including Christiane Arp, Laudomia Pucci, Christopher Lacy, Branko Popović, Sam Cotton, Johann König and our director Danilo Venturi. Moderated by Linda Loppa and organized in partnership with Vogue Germany, the expert minds presented both problems and solutions for furthering the dialogue between emerging students and industry kingpins.
Polimoda’s mission entails keeping students linked to the ever-changing industry through hands-on experience and direct mentorship from top professionals. This year witnessed the start of the institute’s new Masters in partnership with Gucci, in addition to adding three major partners to its mix of prestigious collabs: the Master in Art Direction with Vogue Italia, Master in Bag Design with Valentino and Master in Shoe Design with Ferragamo, offering students the unique opportunity to engage with the real-world and learn directly from leading fashion figures.
Separate Collection, the 2018 Polimoda Fashion Show, followed the fashion footsteps of prominent designers–from Gucci to Gosha Rubchinskiy–setting up show in the repurposed future third branch of Polimoda, Manifattura Tabacchi. On June 12th, the 21 fashion design graduates, mentored by CFDA Director of Education and Professional Development Sara Kozlowski, walked their final-year collections before a jury of renowned fashion figures and industry professionals, developing their designs from the notion of recycling and rethinking the value of clothing, materials, places and identities.
Kids support kids: Polimoda truly amplified its range of offerings this year outside the university mix, opening the doors of its villa to budding creatives of a different kind. Students age 8-12 flooded the Florence-based institute’s halls, garden and Library for the first-ever edition of Junior Summer Camp, a week-long program dedicated to all things fashion realized in collaboration with Pitti Immagine and the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. Proceeds from the summer camp were donated to support the Fondazione Meyer, an institution established to support the Meyer Children’s Hospital of Florence.
Another thread that defined the academic year, our Rendez-Vous guest lectures broke new records for the school, kicking off 2018 with British GQ editor-in-chief Dylan Jones and Sarah Blair and Christopher Lacy of Barneys New York. This year the lectures–featuring Renzo Rosso, Laudomia Pucci, Sara Maino, Gianluca Cantaro and more–shaped the event into a hotbed for imparting one-of-a-kind insight and invaluable advice to our aspiring talents. We can’t wait for what 2019 has in store.
Invested in fostering meaningful dialogues with top fashion thinkers, Polimoda launched THEOREM[A]: The Body, Emotion + Politics in Fashion, a fashion publication ideated by our director Danilo Venturi and published by Skira Editore. Formatted as a series of interviews conducted by author and curator Filep Motwary, the text investigates the dressed body through the eyes of icons, from Hussein Chalayan to Jean Paul Gaultier, Pamela Golbin, Iris van Herpen, Harold Koda, Michèle Lamy, Thierry-Maxime Loriot, Antonio Mancinelli, Suzy Menkes, Violeta Sanchez, Valerie Steele, Jun Takahashi, Olivier Theyskens and Viktor & Rolf.
Polimoda’s many collaborations transcended fashion and entered the cultural landscape, giving life to the first-ever Polimoda Duets, a series of documentary interview videos involving some of the most outstanding figures of our time. In each episode, a global cultural legend divulges their take on the modern world, opening the institute to the worlds of art, music, cinema and modern culture. Marina Abramovic kicked off the first edition, part of an ongoing collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in occasion of Marina Abramovic. The Cleaner.
Fashionista’s 2018 Fashion School Rankings were the cherry on top a record-breaking year. After placing in the top schools since the start of the ranking in 2010, Polimoda made its greatest climb yet, confirming its place among the top 10 fashion schools in the world and as the best fashion institute in Italy. Nearly 4,000 students were asked to provide feedback on their respective schools for this year’s ranking, which ultimately considers location, tuition, alumni and overall resources to create a comprehensive guide for aspiring fashion students.