MILAN – The Istituto Europeo di Design fashion school prides itself on offering a method of teaching that is the opposite and complements the Anglo-Saxon approach based on performance.
Danilo Venturi, a former Polimode CEO who was recently appointed director of the IED unit in Florence, is also in charge of leading its global expansion and has formed a link with Moda Lisboa, Portugal’s fashion organizing body, to give local talent visibility.
The school counts units in six Italian cities such as Milan, Florence, Rome, Turin and Venice, among others, and has already expanded abroad, running schools in Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao in Spain and in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil.
“The IED is a‘ southern ’school with a teaching model that contrasts with and complements the Anglo-Saxon one,” Venturi said. Asked for more details, he offered that students and content be at the heart of the academic offering and not the success of the former.
He described the school’s approach as “humanistic”, as it appreciates cross-pollination and collaboration between the departments of fashion, art, design and communications.
“I always had the same perception of IED before and after I joined it. This is a school that is out of competition with other academic institutions, with a different positioning, not a ‘ranking’ school, “he claimed.
Although the school was already branching out internationally, some of the competitors were even more internationalized. To that end, Venturi said there are several geographic areas that IEDs could also use.
“I don’t rule out that the school will expand its footprint in Europe, Asia and America by 2025,” he offered, highlighting the IED’s ambition for North America, which is part of the school’s 2025 agenda but kept other details secret.
In addition to opening new units or acquisitions, he sees cooperation as a third way to expand, which would also support the income of foreign talent in existing schools. Collaboration is “a way to create value for all parties involved without necessarily relying on commercial pressures. Even if the IED is marketed as a [business] entity, it still remains a school, ”Venturi said.
Of the 5,600 students worldwide, 30 percent are international, and the most represented countries are Australia, the United States, India and France. Venturi argued that the pandemic had some impact on the school’s international appeal.
“My mission is to relaunch this process and Florence is a key lever,” the CEO stressed, noting the city’s famous connection to art and creativity and a more accessible lifestyle compared to the metropolis, where fashion schools are often concentrated. According to him, restoration work will soon take place in the unit.
Aware of the evolving trends in fashion education that need to reflect social and behavioral transformations, the CEO proclaimed the ability of IEDs to translate them into their curricula.
“We don’t draw academic benchmarks, but there are trends that define today’s world of creativity,” he said, embedded in the academic offering.
He mentioned the convergence of different fields, such as in the case of mixing art with finance and technology in NFT and creative directors, who combine creativity and business vein; disintermediation, which evaluated the challenging role of brands and media for creative culture, as well as awareness that goes along the line of responsibility and sustainability.
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