Faculty

Polimoda faculty are industry leaders with unique ideas and innovative experiences. They are a driving force of inspiration and eternally committed to student success.

Jessica Alvino

Leading Teacher Design

Born in Naples, Jessica Alvino is a designer with almost a decade of experience in the fashion and graphic industries. Starting as a Freelance Designer in the knitwear world, she collaborated with Pitti Filati in 2011 and exhibited her collection with Filpucci yarns. Her curiosity for knitwear led her to work with companies like Maison L, Giovanni Cavagna and Conte of Florence. She won a scholarship at Osaka Bunka Fashion College in Japan and was noticed at Vogue Talents as well as in the FASHION 2 edition of alt // cramer. She has collaborated with Patricia Al’Kari, Luigi Giannetta, Nicola Indelicato and Palomar. A Polimoda graduate, Alvino is a Leading Teacher of Design and Fashion Design mentor. She divides her time between Florence and New York, working with Brooks Brothers as a Menswear Designer in the Outerwear, Tailor and Accessories categories. She is currently in charge of the Golden Fleece line.

Cristina Bellandi

Leading Teacher Design

Cristina Bellandi graduated from Polimoda in Knitwear Design and spent time in New Delhi at NIFT. She followed her passion and developed her knitwear skills, working in yarn and fiber research, stitches development, garment construction and finishing, and electronic machines programing as a prototype manager for Annabel Tricot. She’s worked as a freelance consultant and developer for companies and designers such as Angelo Figus and Nicola Miller, creating prototypes and stitches with artisan techniques for the Trend Area in three editions of Pitti Filati. Her mentoring background as a martial arts Master and Psychology degree at University of Florence helped her find her purpose in teaching and mentoring. Bellandi believes paying attention to personal needs and focusing on the right key is what it takes for creative expression.

Filippo Leone Maria Biraghi

Leading Teacher Business

Filippo Leone Maria Biraghi is a creative consultant, stylist and fashion historian with eclectic attitude and culture. He has worked as an editor and stylist for publications such as Max, Prestige, Style, M, Uomo, Panorama, BMM and Maxim. From 2009 to 2011, he was the founder and the director of a flamboyant web-zine. He was a visual and iconographic researcher for Azzedine Alaïa - Une Autre Pensée Sur La Mode - La collection Tati exhibition, curated by Olivier Saillard. He collaborated with Matteo Guarnaccia for Vivienne Westwood - Fashion Unfolds published by Moleskine. He has combined image construction and creative consultancy for brands such as Gai Mattiolo, Frankie Morello, Lee Jeans, Lee 101, Wrangler, Carlo Pignatelli and Costume National. He is a creative buying consultant and visual merchandiser for 10 Corso Como. He was styling coordinator at IED Moda in Milan before becoming Leading Teacher for the Fashion Business and Art Direction Department. Biraghi has been teaching for over 10 years. 

Lilit Boninsegni

Leading Teacher Business

Lilit Boninsegni was born in Tuscany. Since graduating in Branding at IULM Milano under Giampaolo Fabris’s direction, she has served as an account manager and director in global branding and advertising networks in Paris (Landor Associates), Milan (Young & Rubicam) and on client services teams, following brands such as Barilla, Heineken and P&G. She curated the start-up process for Lorenzo Marini & Associates in New York and worked for brands such as Poltrona Frau, Alitalia and Max Mara US. Boninsegni has worked in the branding and strategic marketing department at Toscana Promozione (Tuscany Regional Government Agency), developing a new brand identity for Tuscan Wines and tourism, and is a partner of XCONCEPT and new project Incontaminato. Lilit is a Fashion Communications and related subjects professor at Polimoda.

Amber Butchart

Fashion historian, Author and Broadcaster, Associate in Fashion Studies mentor

Amber Butchart is a fashion historian, author and broadcaster who specializes in the historical intersections between dress, politics and culture. She is a former Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London, and is a regular public lecturer at the UK’s leading institutions from the Tate to the V&A, and as far afield as Dubai and Hangzhou. Amber is a National Crime Agency External Advisor as well as a Consultant Forensic Garment Analyst, working on cases that require investigation of clothing and textiles. She also researches and presents documentaries for the BBC, including the six-part series A Stitch in Time for BBC Four that fused biography, art and the history of fashion to explore the lives of historical figures through the clothes they wore. Her publications include The Fashion of Film, Nautical Chic, a history of British fashion illustration for the British Library and her latest book: The Fashion Chronicles: Style Stories of History’s Best Dressed.

Elise By Olsen

Editor, publisher and curator, Undergraduate in Fashion Art Direction mentor

Elise By Olsen is an editor, publisher and curator. With an expansive list of art and fashion projects, she has collaborated with institutions such as British Fashion Council, 89plus (Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets), Business of Fashion, Thaddaeus Ropac, Central Saint Martins, TEDx, and brands such as Galeries Lafayette, SSENSE and Gucci. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Wallet, a new publication dedicated to critical dialogue within the fashion industry: the business, the money, the politics. In Wallet’s past issues, she has examined topics such as authority, publishing and education, speaking to the major financial and political clout of an increasingly global industry. Prior to founding Wallet, Elise was internationally recognized as “the world’s youngest editor-in-chief” at age 13 in international press. Her first publication, Recens Paper, is a renowned youth culture magazine, from which she has now resigned.

Rodolfo Del Chiaro

Leading Teacher Design

Rodolfo Del Chiaro is an accessories designer from Lucca, a small medieval town between Pisa and Florence. His career started in 1999 after completing the Shoe Design program at Polimoda and interning at Tod’s. Following four years of serving as an assistant designer, junior designer and eventually senior designer, Del Chiaro specialized in women’s bags and small leather goods collections. In 2005, he left the company to become a freelance designer and worked on women’s and men’s bags and small leather good collections for many different companies such as Sergio Rossi, Fratelli Rossetti, Jil Sander and under the creative direction of Raf Simons, Trussardi, Salvatore Ferragamo and many others. 

Keanan Duffty

Fashion Designer, Musician & Author, Seasonal in Personal Branding mentor

Keanan Duffty is an award-winning British fashion designer, educator and author of Rebel, Rebel Anti-Style (Rizzoli, 2009). As a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Duffty has worked as Design Director for Aveda, Ben Sherman, Dr. Martens, Gola, Gwen Stefani's LAMB, Reebok, Moods of Norway, and John Varvatos Star USA. In 2007, Duffty collaborated with David Bowie to create a collection for Target, and in 2016 was the curator of the 2016 CFDA Awards’ tribute to Bowie, featuring Tilda Swinton. Duffty also created New York University’s Master of Science program in Fashion Business.

Johannes Egler

Undergraduate Design Coordinator

Johannes Egler is a designer, project manager and Fashion Design and Merchandising Professor at Polimoda. He is specialized in the training of creative thinking, design development and collection planning. Implementing Merchandising and Business strategies to the full process from research, drawing, draping & pattern-making to the industrialization of the product are Egler’s strengths. He has experienced different levels of the fashion market, working as a designer, consultant merchandiser in high-end designer brands as well as fast fashion enterprises and retail business. Johannes is a versatile creative, strategic visionnaire and designer of his own Premium Women’s Apparel Collection since 2001. 

Filippo Fanini

Leading Teacher Design

Filippo Fanini started experiencing the world of fashion in early childhood, immersed in his family’s company specialized in luxury leather apparel development and production and working with brands such Herno, Isaia, Montanà by Gareth Pugh, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein collection, Vionnet, Burberry Prorsum, Gianfranco Ferré, Trussardi, Dirk Bikkembergs and others. After graduating from Polimoda in Fashion Design, Filippo interned at Calvin Klein, Marithé+Françoise Girbaud and worked at Salvatore Ferragamo in the menswear department alongside Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti. He is currently working on his brand, based on the concept of recycled leather called Edmos while freelancing for Theory Luxe and Frauenschuh for the development of upcycled backpacks. He loves outwear, particularly with constructed garments, imprinting his vision, redefining and moving the established codes and combining contemporary, cutting-edge sophistication with one-of-a-kind, sublimely-crafted products.

Alessandra Ferroni

Leading Teacher Business

Alessandra Ferroni is a consultant for various companies interested in developing products in Italy and/or abroad (China, India, Thailand, Portugal, Spain and Turkey). She teaches fashion marketing classes at Scuola di Scienze Aziendali; Fashion Buying, Product Management, Buying techniques and Buyology at Polimoda as well as a Workshop in Apparel Merchandising and Leadership Development for Retailing at FIT Study abroad.
From 1987 to 2000, Ferroni was co-owner of a Buying Office representing the UK Specialty Store chain Solo; represented Irish designer Paul Costelloe for Made in Italy production of Ladies RTW and knitwear and represented May Department Stores Company as a full Buying Agent for all Western and Eastern European countries. She managed 35 people between the Florence office staff and the branch offices and supervised all product development, orders production, operation, administration and shipping departments.

Philip Fimmano

Executive Director Curator at Trend Union / Studio Edelkoort, Master in Fashion Trend Forecasting mentor

Philip Fimmano is a contemporary fashion and lifestyle specialist, and expert in trend forecasting. His work with Trend Union, one of the most renowned trend forecasting agencies founded by Li Edelkoort, Bloom magazine and strategic studies for many international brands, has led Fimmano to work in industries as varied as textiles, interiors, food, craft, luxury, travel and retail. He is the Director of the New York-based creative studio Edelkoort Inc., co-founder of Talking Textiles, exhibition curator and invited speaker at Musée du Quai Branly, Nordiska museet, Royal College of Art and five NIFT campuses across India.

Silvia Fossati

Leading Teacher Business

Silvia Fossati studied Strategic Communications and Planning at the University of Arts, Berlin. She began her career in Public Relations, focusing on Digital Marketing & Communications across the Italian and German interior design and fashion industries. In 2016, she joined Polimoda as a lecturer in Digital Strategic Planning and Digital Marketing.
She was a speaker at several events, discussing fashion start-ups and creative industries. Fossati is the author of Myth and Innovation. Re-Edition of Design Classics (2014, German edition).  

Alice Ferraz

Digital Influencer and Founder of F*hits, Master in Fashion Marketing & Communications mentor

Catalyst, blogger and digital guru Alice Ferraz is considered one of the 20 most powerful women in Brazil by Forbes Magazine, and is ranked in the BoF 500 for her role in shaping Brazil’s luxury market while supporting local designers. Ferraz first launched her own PR agency in 1996, and has since served star clients ranging from Moda Operandi to Caudalié and Marc Jacobs. In 2010, she launched Fhits, Brazil’s first network of bloggers considered one of the top ten most innovative companies only two years after its release. The digital media house – which includes Clooset, Brazil’s first social commerce platform – today hosts more than 300 digital influencers and roughly 40 million visitors on its multiplatform every month, making it South America’s largest online audience for a beauty, fashion and lifestyle website.

Massimiliano Giornetti

Head of Fashion Design Department, Undergraduate in Fashion Design mentor

After graduating in Fashion Design at Polimoda in collaboration with the London College of Fashion, Massimiliano Giornetti began his career in Haute Couture in Rome alongside designer and Polimoda alumnus Anton Giulio Grande, starting in the Men's division of Salvatore Ferragamo in July 2000 and subsequently taking over creative direction four years later. In 2010, he took on the Women's ready-to-wear collection, thus becoming the first Creative Director of Ferragamo and holding the role for sixteen years. Memorable moments include the first resort collection held at the residence of philanthropist and art collector Doris Duke and the 2013 fashion show at the Denon wing of the Louvre; the first time the French museum lent its space to a fashion show. In 2017, he also collaborated in the relaunch of iconic Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang. His arrival at Polimoda marks the inception of a new chapter in Fashion Design.

Serge Girardi

Fashion Editor & Creative Consultant, Master in Fashion Styling mentor

Serge Girardi is a fashion editor and creative consultant. His career began in Paris at Comme des Garçons, working as a men's shop manager for 5 years before transitioning to Public Relations within the company. He served as Fashion Editor for Vogue Homme International before becoming Numero Homme Paris' Fashion Director in 2001. During his 17-year tenure at the magazine, he collaborated with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Liz Collins, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Matthias Vriens, Matthew Brookes, Eric Nehr and Nagib Taib. He has also worked as a fashion editor for T Magazine, Under the Influence, Les Echos Week-end and Man of the World and served as a men's fashion consultant for Zegna, Salvatore Ferragamo, Berluti and Fendi.

Torsten Hochstetter

Global Creative Director of Puma, Master in Creative Direction mentor

Torsten Hochstetter has over 25 years’ experience in the sportswear industry. Before devoting time to his current role as Global Creative Director of Puma, leading the global product design team, Hochstetter served as Creative Director of Adidas for 15 years, working as Head of Design at Adidas Tokyo before shifting to lead the American design team in Portland, Oregon. Following his tenure at Adidas, he was also Creative Director of surf brand O’Neill. Hochstetter’s career began after studying at Polimoda, taking on the role of Menswear/Accessories Designer for s.Oliver group.

Lola Young

Member of the House of Lords and Activist, Master in Sustainable Fashion mentor

After an extensive acting career, Lola Young went on to become professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University, a writer, broadcaster and cultural critic. She subsequently became Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority before being appointed an independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords in 2004. Baroness Young founded and Co-Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights and has previously served on Select Committees on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on EU. As Chair of the Young Review, and Agenda: the Alliance for Women and Girls at Risk, she has addressed racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system and the vulnerability of traumatised women and girls respectively. Baroness Young holds several honorary doctorates, has sat on the Boards of several national cultural organisations and charities, has been a Chair of judges for the Orange Prize for Literature, The Observer newspaper Ethical Awards and the Man Booker prize 2017. She is now focused on strengthening legislation that addresses modern forms of slavery in supply chains, with a focus on fashion and sport.

Sven Marquardt

Photographer, Seasonal in Fashion Photography mentor

Born 1962 in East Berlin, Sven Marquardt was a defining part of the emerging punk, new wave and art scene in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood in the mid-1980s. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, he temporarily halted his work as a photographer and immersed himself in the reunited city’s rising night club scene, working as a bouncer at Ostgut club and the legendary Berghain. Today, Marquardt is considered the only East Berlin photographer whose work follows the tradition of visual artists Arno Fischer and Sibylle Bergemann. He has published three art books and a memoir and has collaborated with Hugo Boss, Levi’s and Germany’s cultural institution Goethe Institut.

Gabriele Moschin

Head of Education

Gabriele Moschin is a creative brand strategist, planner and copywriter living and working between Milan and Florence. At Polimoda, he serves as Head of Education for both Fashion Design and Fashion Business Departments. Previously, he was a Senior Professor, teaching Branding, Strategic Planning and Fashion Communications for both Undergraduate and Master courses. Moschin has worked for many international communication agencies such as M&C Saatchi, Attila & Co. + Chandelier Creative NY, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sudler & Hennessey and SapientNitro (Publicis Groupe). He was also a lecturer for IED and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.

Elisa Palomino

Fashion Designer & Educator, Master in Fashion Design mentor

Elisa Palomino is a recognized fashion designer with over 25 years’ experience working in the luxury fashion industry, academia, museums and galleries. Her training includes working at luxury brands such as John Galliano, Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Moschino and Diane von Furstenberg. In 2010, she launched her own label, showing at New York, Milan, Rome, Madrid and London fashion week. Currently an educator at Central Saint Martins and international fashion lecturer at several universities, Palomino supports and promotes fashion design students engaged in sustainability and has pioneered the adoption of sustainable practices in fashion education. Her research focus is interdisciplinary, within the context of sustainability, integrating traditional craftsmanship methods with new technologies. Her research aims to activate new models for sustainable textiles encouraging indigenous artisans to continue to produce craft and to pass their skills onto others, particularly within their own communities, creating socially engaging and participative art projects. She has run successful network projects and is a Fulbright Scholar at the Smithsonian Institution Arctic Studies Center.

Bruce Pask

Men’s Fashion Director of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, Master in Fashion Merchandising & Buying mentor

In his current tenure since 2014, Bruce Pask has served as a fashion editor and stylist at notable fashion publications for two decades, holding fashion directorial posts at T: The New York Times Style Magazine, GQ Magazine and Cargo Magazine. His extensive styling and costume work with Annie Leibovitz has included numerous covers and celebrity features in Vanity Fair, as well as campaigns for The Sopranos and American Express. He has styled campaigns and runway shows for top clients over the years and has been a stylist/creative consultant for magazines from Fantastic Man to Hercules and Wonderland. He was also costume designer for the Broadway revivals of Design for Living and Promises, Promises. He received Emmy honors for his designs for the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors television broadcast and co-costume designed, along with Oscar-nominated designer Julie Weiss, the 85th and 86th Annual Academy Awards.

Fiona Petroni Granata

Masters Design Coordinator

As a designer with extensive international experience, Fiona has over 25 years of expertise in men’s and women’s ready to wear, specializing in design and collection development, range planning, print and accessory design and product development over many categories and market segments. Fiona has designed and developed collections for leading brands in Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, both as an external consultant and in-house manager and has also gained broad experience consulting on special projects in areas outside of design such as brand development, merchandising and retail strategy. Together with her industry roles, Fiona has collaborated for many years with fashion design schools in Europe and the US, lecturing and creating industry-related areas of study for fashion programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Kutay Saritosun

Director of Fashion Brands, Seasonal in Sustainable Fashion mentor

Kutay Saritosun is a textile engineer and sustainability aficionado with a passion for the environmental and social impacts of the textile industry. As CSR Senior Executive at ISKO, Saritosun worked in close cooperation with leading sustainability platforms such as SAC and BCI as well as prestigious certification bodies of Nordic Swan and EU Ecolabel. His public speaking engagements have included guest lecturing at Parsons School of Design, participating in panel discussions globally and presenting at EU Green Week by the invitation of the EU Environmental Commission. Mentorship activities have included the CFDA+Lexus Fashion Initiative 2018/2019. Saritosun currently serves as Director of Fashion Brands at bluesign technologies ag, helping to unite chemical suppliers, textile manufacturers and brands to jointly reduce their impact on people and environment.

Niccolò Sbaraglia

Head of Fashion Business Department

Born and raised in Florence, Niccolò Sbaraglia is an economist specialized in statistics and a production manager dedicated to luxury accessories with a niche in product communication strategy. Following 8 years in New York City, running his companies T-project showroom and PLUMA Italia, Sbaraglia returned to Florence after accepting a teaching role at Polimoda for the Craft to Business course and working as a trend forecaster of leather jackets for LGM Kering group. While managing PLUMA, Niccolò became Leading Teacher of Business and Communications at Polimoda, teaching both Undergraduate and Master courses with a focus on production, craftsmanship, and statistics. Niccolò believes in the power of art and fashion to open the dialogue on all cultures of the world.

Silvia Tolaro

Master Business Coordinator

Polimoda Master Coordinator and Resident Lecturer in Sociology of the Imaginary, Silvia Tolaro has a conceptual and interdisciplinary approach to cultural and countercultural fashion phenomena. With her international experience in Trend forecasting, Tolaro provides consultancy for emerging designers and specializes in cross-cultural analysis while addressing new paths of social behaviour. Combining her in-depth research and educational background in Fashion Management, she works with the creative and learning process, mentoring the next generation and shaping a socially conscious and human centric approach to fashion education and the industry.

Morteza Vaseghi

Designer & Art Director, Undergraduate in Fashion Art Direction mentor

Morteza Vaseghi is a multi-disciplinary designer & art director with an interest in image-making and video. Born in Tehran, with studies in graphic design and illustration at the University of The Arts, London College of Communication, Vaseghi has worked on global projects within the fashion, art and music industries since 2005. Through research-based design and systematic approach, he works independently and with clients, ranging from individuals to institutions, creating concept-based distinctive results. He is the former art director of Recens Paper, the current art director and designer of Wallet.

Danilo Venturi

Director, Master in Fashion Brand Management mentor

Danilo Venturi is specialized in creative direction and brand management. He graduated in Politics from the University of Bologna (Università Degli Studi Di Bologna, UNIBO) and subsequently completed a Master in Luxury Management at Polimoda. Mr. Venturi has developed an interdisciplinary career across music, e-commerce, retail concepts, luxury branding and writing. He is the author of the book Momenting the Memento. He was the Head of the Business Department at Polimoda before assuming his current role as Director in 2016, following in the footsteps of his mentor Linda Loppa. His responsibilities include supervising all educational content, marketing and communication activities, as well as taking the time to mentor Master in Fashion Brand Management students, the program that built the foundation for the current methodology of the school.

Anita Wong

Merchandising Consultant, Undergraduate in Fashion Merchandising mentor

Anita Wong's career in the retail industry began three decades ago when she was hired as a Marketing Officer at Esprit’s first flagship store in Asia and promoted to Buying Manager. Inspired by her mentor Joyce Ma, Wong started working at Joyce Boutique as a Buyer and returned to the company as Vice President of Merchandising. She joined Christian Dior Asia Pacific as Merchandising Director before taking on the same role at Club 21 in Singapore. In 2011, she became a consultant for Dior. Wong now works as a Merchandising Consultant for international companies.

Eva Zimmerman

Undergraduate Business Coordinator

Eva Zimmerman’s expertise lies in the field of commercial development for fashion brands. She developed her skills by working for different Belgian, French and Italian fashion houses before taking on her position as a resident professor and coordinator for the Undergraduate courses at Polimoda. Eva carries an educational background in political sciences and fashion branding.