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Istituto Marangoni Miami launches exclusive program of events to time with Art Basel Miami

By Jackie Mallon


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Poster advertising Istituto Marangoni Miami's program of events during Art Basel Miami Credits: Istituto Marangoni Miami

The Miami design school has created a robust program of initiatives timed to this week's Art Basel Miami that includes panels, receptions, a design competition with an international furniture company and a buzzy pop-up in collaboration with a rap star and luxury retailer The Webster. 

Istituto Marangoni's programs launch with a talk and reception featuring fashion designer and beauty entrepreneur Francisco Costa, followed by a discussion between Vogue Brazil’s Editor in Chief Nô Mello, and Kate Minner, the VP of Marketing at Melissa, focused on sustainability and innovation. At a cocktail reception hosted by Kartell, the Italian furniture house, a new design competition with Istituto Marangoni Miami will be announced and Dr. Thelma Flores Lazo, Dean of Interior Design, will interview John J. Jenkin, CEO of Kartell USA, about the imprint of Italian design and discuss the details of the collaboration. The winner of the design competition will have the opportunity of seeing their product prototyped. Finally Istituto Marangoni Miami will host a talk with rapper Kid Cudi followed by a party with a special surprise DJ to launch a pop up shop featuring Kid Cudi’s ready-to-wear design venture, Members of the Rage, in collaboration with The Webster.

Poster announcing the design competition between IMM and Kartell Credits: Istituto Marangoni Miami

IMM will honor the Grammy Award-winning musician and multi-platinum recording artist Kid Cudi with an honorary Master’s degree in Fashion and Luxury Brand Management in recognition of his achievements and his role as a visionary in shaping the landscape of modern fashion and luxury. The Members of the Rage AW23 Collection will be on display at IMM from December 4th-15th, with all proceeds from sales going to the IMM Scholarship fund. “At Istituto Marangoni Miami, we aspire to redefine fashion and luxury. Kid Cudi's modern vision epitomizes today's zeitgeist – the inspiration we instill in our students to challenge conventions and push boundaries,” said Hakan Baykam, president and CEO of IMM in a statement.

Ahead of the activations, FashionUnited spoke to Baykam about the the relationship between fashion education and art, particularly in the context of the globally recognized Art Basel. He explained how the MOTR/Kid Cudi initiative, and the Kartell competition, originated from the institution’s commitment to cultivate connections with influential brands and innovators: “Our goal is to provide students with genuine, real-life experiences and insights from industry leaders. Both initiatives emerged from our aspiration to invite the very best in their respective fields to our campus, aiming to expand students' horizons in thought, business and design.”

Kid Cudi wearing his own brand Credits: Istituto Marangoni Miami

Fashion and art unite at Art Basel Miami

The school's efforts to reach beyond fashion's once tight boundaries are inkeeping with what's currently going on in both education and industry. Over the past few years school enrollment has been shrinking nationwide while global fashion houses are welcoming in creative directors from other industries such as Pharrell Williams at Louis Vuitton. From the standpoint of IMM, Baykam believes that fashion should be approached as an art form. “Whether it's good, bad, sophisticated, or tacky,” he told us, “It is a potent tool for conveying messages, and we really like to take this opportunity, when the world’s eyes turn to our town, to do something memorable.”

He likens the endeavor to how brands look to leverage the opportunity to create activations and experiences that connect with the Art Basel audience. Said Baykam, "As educators, we emphasize the significance of our students experiencing this closely, encouraging them to think about creating impactful experiences and stepping outside of the conventional boundaries."

Art Basel plays a crucial role in educating the eye, and no eye is more receptive to the impact of design innovation than that of the student. So for Baykam the relationship between Art Basel and fashion education is profound. "It allows us to understand the messages artists worldwide convey, the diverse mediums they employ, and their unique approaches to their craft," he said. "This is why we strongly advocate for faculty involvement in attending various fairs, taking students along, and engaging in any possible way. Art Basel's transformative impact on our city has really helped us give students a worldly education."

The fashion and design school founded in Milan in 1935, with campuses in Florence, London, Paris, Dubai, Shanghai and Shenzhen, and Mumbai, opened its Miami campus in 2018. It offers courses in fashion design, fashion styling and fashion business management and its interior design program continues to grow, with four new programs being added in 2024.

Istituto Marangoni Miami