Dubai will soon be home to a boutique fashion school that aims to blend an innovative learning experience with Italian expertise to enhance local talent and shape the future of the UAE fashion and design industry.
Coming from the Italian city of Milan, recognised internationally as one of the world's fashion capitals, the well-branded fashion school Istituto Marangoni already has 15 enrollments in its Dubai campus. Starting in September, it will offer a variety of courses in the areas of fashion design, fashion business, fashion styling, interior design, product design and visual design in response to the needs of the UAE candidates at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Istituto Marangoni also has campuses in Paris, London, Mumbai, Miami, and Florence.
The school's famous alumni include Franco Moschino and Alessandra Facchinetti from Italy, Julie de Libran from France, Rafael Lopez from Mexico, Rahul Mishra from India, and Sandra Mansour from Lebanon, among others.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Stefania Valenti, Managing Director at Istituto Marangoni says, "As per our research, we felt that the Middle East was an ideal destination to create such an institution here because there are a lot of luxury brands here. There is an appetite for a culture that is very focused on luxury whether it is jewellery, accessories, or any other fashion collection."
"Two years ago, before Covid, I analysed the market here, and I got some insights that seemed very encouraging. It was evident that there was a lack of higher education in a vertical institution focused on fashion as a core business, multimedia arts and visual arts. There are institutions that are positioning themselves more toward interior and visual design. So, I understood the potential for us to be here, to bring a boutique school with a classroom that has a maximum of 20 students."
She further underlines the school will have a specific methodological approach that is "learning by doing".
Valenti adds, "We will teach students not only theoretically, but there'll be a lot of laboratory work where the students would create prototypes and collections as part of their course curriculum. The finalisation of specific collection and fashion styling would entail a lot of shooting and creation of projects related to its promotion utilising different tools. They will also be taught about new content production activity related to online syndication."
Additionally, the courses will also focus on fashion business, where students will learn how to create a business plan for the development of the brand worldwide.
"A lot of brands have intensive retail activity in the Middle East. We believe that fashion styling is another interesting area because it's fundamental to create and promote according to the needs of different continents and cultures."
The new Dubai school will be located in Dubai International Financial District.
Valenti further highlights that the faculty will be diverse, many of whom will be appointed from the teachers in Italy.
"The institution that we will open in Dubai will be a branch of Italy's Milano school. But we will also hire faculty from Dubai and other parts of the Middle East, and we have approached our alumni who are already present in the area."
Shedding light on the accreditations, she adds, "It is already validated by the Ministry of Education in Italy. We've applied for approvals to the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) to get the federal validation here."
Additionally, students from the Dubai branch will be able to spend one or more years at any of Istituto Marangoni's "cross schools" in other locations around the world.
"The bachelor's courses, fashion design, interior design, visual design and product design will be validated by the CAA while we will launch other courses that will be validated by the KHDA," adds Valenti.
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