Focus on fashion schools: ACCADEMIA KOEFIA, the place where Haute Couture is born

Outfit by Martina Domenici

Are you looking for a fashion school in Italy? Continuing our trip to discover the best Italian academies and universities for aspiring fashion designers, today we speak about ACCADEMIA KOEFIA in Rome, where the magic of Haute Couture happens.

There are educational realities that carry out the great tradition of Made in Italy and the creativity of Italian craftsmanship. Surely ACCADEMIA KOEFIA, Accademia Internazionale di Alta Moda e Costume, is one of that and also one the most important fashion schools in our country.

Drawings made by the students

I had the great pleasure to vist the school, settled in the historical center of Rome near Vatican, during the last edition of AltaRoma AltaModa, when they invited me to an open-lab day organized to give the possibility to discover the real life of the school. In that occasion I spoke with teachers and students, making a long chat with Antonio Lo Presti, responsible of the educational system, a very kind person and really enthusiast about his work. 

During our talk he explained me how the school works, the programs and the thousands of initiatives they’re making to improve even more the educational offer and the support for students.

ACCADEMIA KOEFIA is part of Italian fashion history, founding its roots in the activity of Toni Alba Koefia, a revolutionary dressmaker who invented a new technique, similar to the French moulage, to cut the paper model directly on the dummy, becoming famous in the 30s for her pattern cut-method. 

Paper pattern cut-method

The scool was founded in 1951 with courses for designers and fashion models, focusing on Haute Couture and becoming  in a few years a reference point for fashion education in Italy. Since the Eighties and in particular in the 2000s the academy partecipated to numerous international events, establishing important collaboration with many fashion schools all around the world, like the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, Istituto Secoli in Milan, La Sapienza University in Rome and the BeijingInstitute of Fashion Technology in China. 

Now KOEFIA is active member of the PSFM Piattaforma Sistema Formativo Moda and partecipated with it to the last edition of Fashion Graduate Italia.
ACCADEMIA KOEFIA at Fashion Graduate Italia

The most intersting thing about ACCADEMIA KOEFIA is its attitude for Haute Couture interpreted with a modern method that doesn’t forget the heritage of tradition and of Italian craftsmanship. It’s reputation in fashion system is very high and based, more than on marketing operations, on word of mouth thanks to the high-level of professionalism reached from the students coming from this school.
Creation by Francesca Palla

The educational program is really complete, preparing the student to the entire design process from the sketch to the patternmaking, to the realization of prototypes and with a special eye for the decorative elements which turn simple clothes into real pieces of Haute Couture, like embroidery, knitwear, macrame, felt-works and accessory design.
The creation of a fabric

ACCADEMIA KOEFIA offers three types of long-term courses and many intensive short courses. The 1st year of the two undergraduate courses in fashion design have the same program and then, starting from the 2nd year, the student can choose among two different paths.

Creation by Monica Mecchi


The European Bachelor PROJECT AND RESEARCH 3-years course is particularly focused on fashion design process, from the reaserch and analysis of international trends to the realization of sketches and planning  of the collection (including accessories and sportswear). 

The preparation is theoretical, technical and practical, with subjects like history of art, costume and fashion, marketing and business, through laboratory activities like textile creation and decoration, modelling and tailoring, with technological laboratory through the study of digital illustration, visual and graphic design, realization of a professional portfolio for the final thesis.
The portfolio of Claudia Porcu

The European Bachelor 3-years course of COUTURE is particularly focused on the realization of the Haute Couture product through the development of highly specific technical skills. Great part of the program is dedicated to laboratories of advanced modelling and tailoring with great attention given to the most decorative elements of clothing, like the realization of handmade embroideries, knitwear and millinery.

Millinery course


The Master of HAUTE COUTURE PRODUCTION is a 2-years course which can be customized following the specific needs of students, who can attend to one ore more semesters. Focused on the luxury market, the course’s teachers follow the students in all the phases of the Haute Couture production starting from the analysis of trend forecasting and development of the collection, to patterns and prototypes.

Student at work


The intensive short courses, with a duration from 4 to 9 months, are dedicated for who wants to achieve a professional preparation in a specific field.

FASHION DESIGN is a 9-months course that prepares students for projecting a collection through artistic and technical knowledges giving also a basic preparation about visual-graphic design, modelling and tailoring.
Fashion design short course (photo by Pietro Piacenti)

HAUTE COUTURE TAILORING in the 9 months of its duration is projected to give a great practical preparation about Haute Couture production with a special eye to modelling, millinery, embroideries and knitwear.

Haute Couture tailoring
FASHION STYLING is a short course which lasts 4 months preparing students for the effective communication of fashion products, especially regarding the work of stylist in fashion magazines, organizer of events and image consulting.

CAD-CAM 6-months course is a really specific program in collaboration with Lectra to learn the technical knowledges more used in fashion industry.

GRAPHIC FOR FASHION lasts 6 months, is a really interesting and brand-new type of course, thought for who wants to work as graphic designer for fashion, learning how to draw and color flat-drawings and sketches or to project all the technical elements of a product.
Graphic for Fashion course

The teachers of the academy usually come from the school itself, especially for practical subjects and the teaching of “Koefia method”, while for the theoretical subjects many teachers come from the professional and cultural world, like Sofia Gnoli (expert of fashion history), Stefania Severi (expert of art) and the famous fashion journalist Biancamaria Piccinino.
A teacher explains the tailoring construction of a corset


There are many interesting things about ACCADEMIA KOEFIA. Their first strenght-point is the really advantageous cost-effectiveness. Considering the high level of preparation and the real influence among insiders of fashion industry, the courses are not too much expensive. For example the Undergraduate courses cost € 7200 for year while the Master course costs € 10000/year.
The tailoring laboratory

KOEFIA offers also 2 scholarships to cover the half value of the 1st year cost bound to worthy aspiring students who present their portfolio. The valuation of the personal portfolio, with also the orientation-test, is the vehicle to better advise aspiring students about the best educational pathway for their need and skills.
Portfolio by Simona Ballirano

Other remarkable point is the certification of qualification. Since 2014 ACCADEMIA KOEFIA is accreditated by E.A.B.H.E.S.(European Accreditation Borad of Higher Education Schools) for its Bachelor and Master courses, that are recognized in Europe and worldwide. The undergraduate Bachelor course in the 3 years gives 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) while the Master gives 60 ECTS for each year.
Haute Couture tailoring course

The relationship between the school and fashion system is really close, especially regarding the world of Haute Couture, with brands like Balenciaga, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and in particular with Maison Valentino that each year choose some students for its “Bottega d’arte”. Other projects are made in collaboration with textile companies like Imatex, Forza Giovane or Suitex for a direct job placement. 

In fact the realistic percentual of students who work is really high (over 70%) and many of them find a job in the modelling and tailoring sector. Among famous ex-students we can find Camillo Bona and more recently Tiziano Guardini, a young Haute Couture designer with an ethical and ecological approach.
Creation by Tiziano Guardini, ex student of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA

To showcase the talent of its students, ACCADEMIA KOEFIA  organized each year a fashion show during AltaRoma AltaModa, under the artistic direction of important names of fashion design like Marco De Vincenzo. To the show partecipate all the final year students with one creation completely handmade.
ACCADEMIA KOEFIA's final show in june 2017


Via Cola di Rienzo 203 - 00192 Rome (Italy)

Field Office:
Via Ezio 24 - 00192 Rome (Italy)

Telephone 0039 06 3207774

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