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, Department of 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.

Matilde Bini

Leading Teacher, Department of Business

Matilde Bini studied Russian in Florence and pursued a Masters in Marketing at Bocconi University in Milan. At the start of her career, she took on the role of Eastern Europe Retail and Franchising Coordinator for luxury fashion brands. She was also a Merchandising Planner for the most renowned multinational luxury groups in the fashion field. Today, Matilde is a Retail Management and Merchandising Consultant. Her educational mission is to teach students all effective principles of Retail Merchandising through a technical approach focused on working practice.

Amber Butchart

Fashion historian, Author and Broadcaster,  Master in Fashion Critique 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.

Paolo Cigognini

Chief Marketing Officer at Alexander McQueen, Undergraduate in Fashion Business mentor 

Paolo Cigognini is Chief Marketing Officer at Alexander McQueen. In the four years since he joined the Kering-owned luxury brand, he has been responsible for masterminding, implementing and communicating its positioning worldwide and has established its image at the forefront of international fashion. Prior to joining McQueen, Cigognini was Chief Marketing Officer and E-Commerce Director at Dolce & Gabbana (2014 - 2016) and, before that, Worldwide Communications Director at Bottega Veneta (2010 - 2014) and Communications Director (UK, France, Middle East) at Bulgari (2004 - 2010).

Marco De Vincenzo

Founder of Marco De Vincenzo and Leather Goods Head Designer at Fendi, Master in Collection Design mentor 

Marco De Vincenzo was born in Messina and at eighteen, Marco moved to Rome to study fashion at the Istituto Europeo del Design. At twenty-one, the designer joined the creative offices of Fendi where he currently holds the position of Leather goods Head Designer. In 2009, he launched his eponymous label. That same year, Marco won the competition “Who Is On Next” organized by Vogue Italia. In 2014, LVMH signed a partnership with Marco leading to international growth for the brand. Today, Marco de Vincenzo is recognized internationally as one of the most innovative and interesting voices in fashion, made in Italy. What distinguishes Marco’s work is his innate tendency for contradiction, which leads him to experiment and research innovation in every collection.

Filippo Fanini

Leading Teacher, Department of 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, Department of 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, Department of 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).  

Massimiliano Giornetti

Director 

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 the iconic Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang. He became Polimoda’s Head of Fashion Design Department in 2019 and was named Director of the school in February 2021. 

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

Creative Director, Undergraduate in Fashion Design Management mentor

Torsten Hochstetter has over 26 years’ experience in the sportswear industry. Before devoting 7 years to his recent role as Global Creative Director of Puma and 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 Creative Director of surf brand O’Neill.

Hochstetter’s career began with a tailoring apprenticeship in Munich, studying at Polimoda in Florence and eventually taking on the role of Menswear/Accessories Designer for s.Oliver group.

Caroline Issa

CEO and fashion director, Tank magazine, Undergraduate in Fashion Design mentor

Montreal native Caroline Issa is CEO and fashion director of London-based quarterly title Tank and editor of online magazine Becauselondon.com. In 2015, she launched a line of ready-to-wear essentials with Nordstrom as well as a capsule collection for Label/Mix and a jewelry collaboration collection with Monica Vinader in 2019. She has landed brand collaborations with the likes of Prada, LK Bennett, Hugo Boss, La Mer and Cartier. In 2004, Issa founded Tank Form within TANK, a creative agency that has devised advertising campaigns for brands such as Mulberry, Silhouette, De Beers and Monica Vinader. In 2007, she launched Becauselondon.com — a digital magazine — and a print edition featuring Fashion Scan. She worked as an external examiner for Central Saint Martins MA journalism and fashion promotion courses and can be found on numerous juries for fashion awards such as Hyères Festival and the Arles Photography Festival.

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.

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.

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.

Silvia Tolaro

Supervisor, Department of Design

Polimoda Fashion Design 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.

Kris Van Assche

Artistic Director, Master in Creative Direction mentor

Polimoda Fashion Design 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.

Anita Wong

Merchandising Consultant, Undergraduate in Fashion Marketing Management 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 in 2011 before taking on the same role at Club 21 in Singapore. From 2016 to 2020, she worked as a Dior consultant. Wong now works as a Merchandising Consultant for international companies.

Eva Zimmerman

Supervisor, Department of Business

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.