Dubai: Creativity meets virtual reality as Sheikha Latifa launches Italian design school

Dubai Culture chief attends show hosted simultaneously in metaverse and Museum of the Future to mark ME debut of Istituto Marangoni


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Sheikha Latifa and Noura Al Kaabi attend the launch of Istituto Marangoni at The Museum of the Future. — Supplied photo
Sheikha Latifa and Noura Al Kaabi attend the launch of Istituto Marangoni at The Museum of the Future. — Supplied photo

Published: Tue 13 Sep 2022, 8:30 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Sep 2022, 8:49 PM

Italian fashion and design school Istituto Marangoni made its Middle Eastern debut in Dubai with a unique talent show took place simultaneously at The Museum of the Future and in the metaverse.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of the Dubai Council, attended the show at the Museum of the Future (MOTF) and in the metaverse.

The innovative concept blended the physical fashion show at the MOTF with digital catwalks in the metaverse, showcasing the creations of five top students of Istituto Marangoni fashion design courses. Located in Gate 8 at the Dubai International Financial Centre, Istituto Marangoni Dubai offers undergraduate and professional courses in Fashion, Interior Design, Product Design and Visual Design.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed said: “Istituto Marangoni’s Dubai branch is a valuable addition to the city’s rapidly developing creative and cultural landscape. Its diverse offering will provide creatives in Dubai and the region with the right tools to launch their design careers.”

Sheikha Latifa added that Dubai had consolidated its status as a global hub for design, one of the primary goals of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy launched last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In line with the strategy, Dubai Culture works to strengthen the education in the creative fields and, in turn, support the emergence of creative talents within the industry while establishing an ecosystem of creators in the emirate.

“Bringing global institutions with decades of experience in the field of design to the region reinforces our commitment to the sector and to being a cultural and creative hub. We look forward to the incredible talent that will graduate from the Dubai-based institute in the forthcoming years,” said Sheikha Latifa.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “It gives me great joy to welcome a globally renowned fashion and design school to Dubai. I see a great partnership in the making where the UAE and other MENA countries will have the advantage of a world-class design school while Istituto Marangoni will benefit from the untapped talent waiting to be harnessed.”

She added: “The UAE is making waves in the creative space and building an ecosystem for future generations to contribute effectively to the creative economy. We are focusing on developing our cultural and creative industries to make them a more significant part of the UAE’s economy. We believe nurturing talent is critical to developing the creative sector, and Istituto Marangoni will play an important role in achieving that. Imparting world-class education and specialised skills to our youth will boost their creative energy and support emerging talent.”

Stefania Valenti, managing director of Istituto Marangoni, said it’s an honour to celebrate the opening of Istituto Marangoni Dubai at the Museum of the Future.

“Today’s event showcases what Istituto Marangoni students can achieve. With the opening of our school in Dubai, we are offering local aspiring fashion and interior designers the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge required to kickstart their careers. We hope to contribute to fostering a new generation of fashion designers in the region, with special attention to empowering women in their aspirational field of interest, be it fashion, design or arts,” said Valenti.

With this launch, Dubai joins the ranks of other world fashion capitals, including Milano, Firenze, Paris, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Miami, that host an Istituto Marangoni school. Valenti said that with qualified professional staff from Italy and an innovative “learning by doing” approach, students at Istituto Marangoni Dubai will gain the skills to translate their passion and talent into successful careers.

The talent show took place simultaneously at The Museum of the Future and in the metaverse. Real-life models were joined on the catwalk by their avatars, resulting in a unique event that combined tradition with innovation and where reality and virtual reality coexisted.

The catwalk featured the works of the five top graduates of Istituto Marangoni’s Milan, Florence, Paris, London and Shanghai fashion design courses. The show’s grand finale saw luxury fashion designer and Istituto Marangoni’s famous alumnus Rahul Mishra display his work.

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