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Top Schools, Top Grads Part III: Florence, Milan, Tokyo, Montreal, Dublin, Sydney

Thursday, Nov 25, 2010, 12:05 PM

The final installation of our Top Schools, Top Grads series travels from the traditional fashion institutions of Florence and Milan, to lively Dublin, avant-garde Tokyo, and creative Montreal, all the way to the magical Land Down Under.


Polimoda – Polimoda was founded in 1986 as a co-financed project between Florence and Prato in collaboration with FIT New York. Today the prestigious school is renowned worldwide as an Italian centre for excellence that teaches every facet of the fashion industry, from design and marketing, to sales, management and communications. The school prides itself on its ability to keep up with the ever-changing and constantly evolving fashion system, perpetually re-evaluating their methods of teaching to stay in tune and in sync with industry demands. Polimoda is a member of the IFFTI(International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes), works closely with Regione Toscana and the disctricts of Prato and Firenze, allowing the school, its students and graduates to benefit from European Union Funds.

Some graduates of note: Massimiliano Giornetti: Creative Director Salvatore Ferragamo, Italo Zucchelli: Creative Director Calvin Klein Menswear, Antongiulio Grande, Lorenzo Caprile, Filippo Fanini


Istituto Marangoni – With campuses in three fashion capitals including Milan, London and Paris, Istituto Marangoni is a truly international design school. Founded in 1935, the institute has a long and illustrious history of excellence in the fields of design and artistic expression. The school is particularly focused on admitting the best in young creative talent, nurturing and preparing them for a lifelong career in the fashion industry while preparing them for the market and its demands. Besides teaching Fashion Design, Istituto Marangoni offers one year master programs in Fashion Business, Fashion Buying, Brand Management and Fashion Promotion, Interior Design, Product Design and Graphic Design. At present more than 2,000 students from over 71 countries are enrolled at the school. Istituto Marangoni’s world renowned placement office manages to place an impressive 90% of its graduates in appropriate jobs and internships every year.

Some graduates of note: Franco Moschino, Domenico Dolce (Dolce & Gabbana), Maurizio Pecoraro, Alessandro De Benedetti, Stefano Guerriero, Rafael Lopez, Alexandro Palombo


Bunka Fashion College — Founded in 1919 as a small school for girls under the name Namiki Dressmaking School, Bunka Fashion College has turned out the lion’s share of avant-garde designers in Japan. Following the Second World War, the college promptly responded to a rapidly changing society by shifting its focus from strict tailoring to commercial-orientated fashion professionals. Catering to students interested in design as well as lesser known roles like CAD operator and visual merchandiser, Bunka is widely recognized as the design school of the Far East.

Some graduates of note: Kenzo Takada, Yohji Yamamoto, Atsuro Tayama, Keita Maruyama, Junya Watanabe


LaSalle – One of the top creative schools in Canada, LaSalle is known for its comprehensive range of courses, covering everything from Online Fashion Marketing and Event Planning to Fashion Design and Textile Embellishment. Although allowing for students to experiment and discover their individual style, the curriculum falls more on the structured side with a predetermined criteria to accompany every step of the creative process. With a placement rate of 86.4% and an average weekly salary of $464, it’s definitely one to consider.

Good to know: Since the inception of the TELIO contest in 2006, the first prize has always been won by a fashion student of LaSalle College.


DIT – Dating back to 1887, Dublin Institute of Technology continues to build on its long and proud tradition of providing a technical education of the highest standards. With over 500 students, the Faculty of Applied Arts offers a range of courses including Design, Postgraduate diplomas in Fashion Buying, Management, and Fashion and Textiles among others. The school is dedicated to providing its students with access to the latest technology and the most current methods and processes to realise their design vision.

Good to know: Since 2003 DIT students have been organising the DIT Fashion Show, which showcases the best in their design talent and also raises money for the DIT Foundation and the Student Assistance Fund, which helps students who are in financial difficulty complete their studies. This year saw Italian motor powerhouse Alfa Romeo join the cause as a sponsor.


TAFE – The highly competitive and notoriously selective TAFE has been at the forefront of Australian fashion schools since the 1980s, consistently producing an exceptional stream of graduates. Applicants are put through two selection stages before admission which include the submission of an extensive portfolio demonstrating individuality of design concepts and their expression, a sewing, aptitude and drawing test and an interview with the selection board. However, once through the doors, this will be your one-stop-shop for success. TAFE is world renowned for employing only the best tutors that will not only give you the tools you’ll need for a flourishing career, but also provide you with a network of contacts unparalleled in any other Australian design institution.

Some graduates of note: Zimmerman, Michelle Jank, Alex Perry, Akira, Romance Was Born

Sophie von Oswald | TribaSpace

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