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Live, interactive and one-to-one: Polimoda online learning to make fashion education accessible globally

By Partner



Polimoda, recognised as one of the top-ranked fashion schools in the world, is looking to revolutionise online learning with the launch of its new fashion courses, spanning 28, 80 or 300-hours, allowing global access to students who can’t currently travel to Florence, Italy.

There are 10 E-learning courses to choose from, starting from July to October, on topics including Collection Merchandising, Digital Styling, Fashion Brand Management, Fashion Design, Fashion Business, Personal Branding and International Fashion Business.

Each of the courses will be taught using a modern format of live, interactive and one-to-one teaching, featuring a blend of digital interaction, original online learning materials and traditional classroom methods such as practical assessments, guided by industry mentors including Laudomia Pucci, Caroline Issa, Massimiliano Giornetti and Niccolò Sbaraglia, ensuring that students learn skills directly from industry experts.

“Our mission aims to prepare the future generation of fashion professionals, help young people express their potential and contribute to giving a new impetus to the industry," states Polimoda director Danilo Venturi. “This is something that we feel is, now more than ever, precious in this moment of fashion revival. That's why we did everything we could to respond promptly to the emergency, passing to online courses for our students, offering over 1000 hours of online lessons per week, then reopening our offices and our laboratories as soon as it was possible to do so. Today, we are taking it a further step: through our new E-learning courses, we want to allow students from all over the world to access the best training, wherever they are.”

The 28-hour courses offer toolbox and insights aimed at enriching personal and professional backgrounds, while the 80-hour courses can be compared to seasonal courses offering learning before embarking on a more structured path. However, it is Polimoda’s 300-hour course that it is the jewel in the course catalogue as it offers in-depth specialisations on Fashion Design and Fashion Business allowing prospective students to learn faster than a Masters from anywhere in the world, all you will need is a wi-fi connection and the passion to learn from experts in the industry.

Photo: Niccolò Sbaraglia, by Serena Gallorini

Polimoda Fashion Business: “The new generation of managers must focus on the practical and have operative skills and emotional intelligence,” Niccolò Sbaraglia

For the 300-hour courses, the mentors will be Polimoda's head of Fashion Design, Massimiliano Giornetti, former creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo and head of Fashion Business Department, Niccolò Sbaraglia, an economist and production manager who specialises in luxury accessories and product communication strategy.

“A mentor is someone who can transfer a method to others,” explains Sbaraglia. “I’m not just interested in lessons, I’m interested in talking with my students and exchanging ideas. I hope to become a point of reference for them. I believe the knowledge of the people you work with can become the basis for a new business model. The new generation of managers must focus on the practical and have operative skills and emotional intelligence.”

The business of fashion has become a talking point over the years, more so with the ramifications of Covid-19, and the 300-hour Fashion Business course will focus on macro areas of study across vision, management and communications, aimed at preserving and reshaping the identity of a brand, using both conventional and unconventional tools. Modules will include: Sociology of Imaginary, Contemporary Fashion, Fashion Brand Management, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Communications, Brand and Corporate Valuation in Fashion, Digital Market and E-Commerce, Fashion Sustainability, Global Economy, Editorial Styling, Fashion Writing and Consumer Behaviour.

Sbaraglia, added: “I'm looking for people, not just students. People who have the desire and energy to redesign the future of business. We’re here to help them develop the tools they will need to accomplish this.

“This course focuses on the new possible and sustainable business model so students will have the opportunity to explore humanity and society within the industry as well as strategic marketing and communications.”

The aim of the courses are to be “contemporary and transversal” to all countries, taking learnings from the fact that 70 percent of Polimoda’s students are international, as well as impart on-the-job experience, with Sbaraglia sharing his experience from founding two companies, T-project showroom and PLUMA - ITALIA, as well as his role working as a trend forecaster of leather jackets for LGM Kering group, while Giornetti aims to share his knowledge and personal experience as a creative director for one of the most prestigious Italian fashion houses on his design students.

Photo: Massimiliano Giornetti, by Serena Gallorini

Polimoda Fashion Design: “An online learning experience can put you in the truest condition of exploring yourself and society in a more in-depth way,” Massimiliano Giornetti

The Fashion Design 300-hour course is more than just about designing a collection, the online course combines both theoretical and practical, through sociology, anthropology, fashion studies, drawing and photography, to enhance the skills of a fashion design student.

Giornetti, explains: “The designer will be able to create a cohesive mood board and develop collages that will be useful in defining a precise silhouette that ends in a lineup. It is a combination of interactive tools supervised by a team of teachers coming from the fashion industry.

“I personally believe that in fashion nowadays, it is not the earlier experience that matters, but a strong motivation and a very coherent aesthetic vision. You must have the ability to go deeply within yourself, abandoning the idea of following trends and focusing on the ability to authentically express yourself and your uniqueness.”

The former creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo, adds that online remote learning also has benefits, as it allows students to “focus on research and the development of their collections without any form of distractions” and offers an opportunity for future design talent to reorganise their research by not placing emphasis on fashion images, but also on society, politics, religion, diversity and nature. “I think all of these references will be very useful for students who want to come up with an innovative idea for fashion design.”

“Many years ago, I starting allowing my assistants to work from home because it's a context that can better enhance and magnify creativity,” added Giornetti. “That is why I believe this e-learning course will be extremely successful. You can enjoy the best of the Polimoda educational method in your natural ambiance. This is extremely powerful to bring out the authenticity that Fashion Design requires today.”

When it comes to limitations regarding e-learning, Giornetti states that the online learning experience “can put you in the truest condition of exploring yourself and society in a more in-depth way. The only limitation could be with 3D, the other side of the Polimoda education, but I think in this moment of change, focusing on the theoretical and on design is really interesting.”

Polimoda’s highly specialised working and research methodologies, which have been adapted to succeed online, is critical to its high placement success rate, with 92 percent of the school’s students receiving placements following their courses.

Life after 300-hours? Sbaraglia states the Fashion Business course will offer “transferable skills” not just useful in the fashion industry and could see its graduates working in a wide range of areas like trend or communications agencies as well as in industries such as technology, art, publishing, cinema and music. While Giornetti adds that while the Fashion Design course doesn’t offer the traditional on-the-job experience its mix of consumer behaviour and sociology of imaginary will support students in better understanding the opportunities in the fashion industry.

Applications for the 300-hour courses are being accepted now, to start in October, priced 9,000 euros.

Polimoda, founded in 1986 is the beating heart of the ‘Made in Italy’ brand, conceived as an initiative conceived and financed by the Cities of Florence and Prato and fashion-sector trade associations. The fashion school offers a wide range of educational courses, from 4-year Undergraduate courses, 2-year Associate programmes, 9-month Masters, 1-month Seasonal courses and now its new E-Learning courses, all of which offer high-level training requested by the sector, from managerial and strategic to creative development.

For more information on Polimoda’s E-learning courses, and its 300-hour “faster masters” in Fashion Design and Fashion Business you can view on the school’s website: https://www.polimoda.com/courses/e-learning

Images: shot by Serena Gallorini, courtesy of Polimoda

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