7 important things about fashion schools emerged at Fashion Education Market Monitor Summit

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In 7 points, let’s look at the most important considerations about all the news and researches regarding the state of play of fashion schools that have emerged during the Fashion Education Market Monitor Summit.

Held on 10th october at Grattacielo Pirelli (Milan) and organized by Istituto Marangoni and Deloitte, the Fashion Education Market Monitor Summit was a really important appointment that for the first time in Italy have started to analyze the actual situation of fashion schools all around the world and especially the request of fashion market about education of young designers and product developers.
Istituto Marangoni
With the contribution of guest speakers like Santo Versace and Brunello Cucinelli, interviewed by Maria Latella,  the round-table with the major representatives of italian scholols like Sara Azzone (director of IED, Milan), Alberto Bonisoli (director of NABA, Milan), Andrea Lupo Lanzara (vice-president of Accademia Costume & Moda, Rome) and the researches commissioned by Istituto Marangoni to Deloitte (international leader on financial and strategical consulting), this meeting has underlined the global situation of fashion education, the role of teaching, the importance of craftsmanship and technical skills, the work placement after studies, the gap between industry and scholar method, the needs of fashion schools and the real requests of market.
Santo Versace interviewed by Maria Latella during the“First Fashion Education Market Monitor Summit”
The market of wolrd-wide fashion education is enormous (approximately 760 millions of euro) and is in continue expansion every year. The major concentration of schools is present on the western market (USA and Europe) but the asian schools are growing very fast in number and quality. In Europe the best and more schools are in UK with 15 schools (that believe a lot about young talents and is creating a school network to support them), followed by Italy with 12 and France with 10 schools. About Italian educational system, we have the major level of internationalisation with students who come from all the world and two schools among the first 10 in the international ranking. 
The value of fashion education market

At the question “would you recommend to young people who want to work in fashion to attend a fashion school?” the 25% said no, while the 40% yes and the others don’t reply. Why the 25% said no? It’s a great number and it’s the sign that something’s wrong in the fashion school’s system. One of the most criticism made by respondents (among a champion of 3000 fashion professionals) is that the students must be prepared with more effectiveness about the real life inside an industry, with a focus on operative and technical skills and not only theorical knoledges about design and creativity. Another important point emerged during the summit is that the teachers should be more linked with industry, maybe working directly in product or style teams or with connections with the producers. Students should be prepared on the future panorama of fashion system and its  technological progress.
collection fitting at Accademia di Costume e Moda (Rome)

As said by the creative director Brunello Cucinelli, guest speaker during the meeting, one of the most important thing to do for the future development of fashion is to understand the great value of the craftsmanship and practical jobs in the realization of fashion products. Industry now, as it was in the far past before crisis, absolutely needs expertise and capability to work with hands. Also Santo Versace make a point on this situation, because is really important to communicate the value of manual work to young generations. Not only population of designers and stylists in short.
“Today we need to focus on total commitment, passion, courage and above all humility, fundamental to success”
Patternmaking lessons at Accademia di Costume e Moda (Rome)


Analysis of the interviews and statistic data underlines that the ex students coming from european and american schools have more employment opportunities in the high end fashion, while the others who have studied in the chinese schools find jobs in fast fashion, maybe for the intrinsic characteristics of chinese industry, long-standing considered the factory of the world and that just in the last few years has started to invest in other level of products and in the education of young designers.
Italian schools have a primary leadership regarding style, while americans and english schools are more strong in fact of design and product. Many students, however, find job not as designer or creative director, but in other fields of industry, such as product, communication and graphic.
Famous ex students works at Accademia di Costume e Moda (Rome)
The gap between fashion school system and industries is still too much big, especially in Italy. While in Uk and Usa students start to work for companies very soon and make collaborations with famous brands right during their studies, in Italy is really necessary to create a strong link between the two realities. The most technical schools, that unfortunately in Italy are less than we’d need, must be connected with the daily routine of the factories, because some types of jobs can be learned only with the direct experience.
In my opinion is also important to introduce (speaking about italian situation) some important changes in the scholastic system, with technical high schools that can prepare students to the concrete knowledge of manufacturing machinery, new and old skills and in particulary with a great investment on wearable technologies and new frontiers of fabric and product develpment.
Accessories lab at Accademia di Costume e Moda (Rome)

The desire of creating a network between international schools is real. Many important fashion schools have opened during the years different affiliates around the world (such as Marangoni, IED or ESMOD) and there’s the amazing example of 1 Granary (the online platform and magazine to showcase talents coming from Central Saint Martins, Parsons and Antwerp’s Royal College), while other schools are famous but still remain to much isolate. The need of make a system among italian schools is for attire much more students from other countries to regenerate the industry with new and more creative lifeblood.
This network must involve political instituations and fashion organizations like Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and Pitti, because the schools should be backed by all the system  and not left alone in the great responsability of creative, cultural and technical education.
Fashion schools needs a strong connection with industry, maybe through collaborations and partnerships and more importantly with a serious campaign of recruitment and support of young talents.
A student collection at Accademia di Costume e Moda (Rome)

The summit has focused the concrete needs of modern fashion idustry and the types of roles fundamental for its growth. In this moment the market is run by new kind of demands, no more only by the creative proposals of designers. The target is changed and the fashion industry must conquer the new generations of customers, looking what’s happening in the social media and in the streets. Following this  perspective, the future jobs in fashion will be about product, logistic and web. The perfect candidate for a job in fashion product development should have great skills about interpretation of data and informations on customers and market, mixing engagement attitude to modern digital and technical skills.
For the 95% of interviewed the industry needs more product developers, so important for the life of industry itself, that should have also business knoledges and a strong sensibility about fashion and style.  And what about fashion designers? Maybe are not the most requested professional figures actually, but they should be prepared in different fields, not only design, and develop a great sense of entrepreneurship.
Students works at Accademia di Costume e Moda (Rome)

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