FLORENCE, Italy — Founded in 1986, Polimoda has emerged as one of Italy’s most prestigious fashion schools. Headquartered in Florence, the Renaissance city where designers from Guccio Gucci to Salvatore Ferragamo were born and bred, the school’s ethos is focused on raising independent thinkers, while building practical skills and nurturing personal development.
Polimoda's location in the Tuscan capital plays a significant part in the student experience: Students split their time between two campuses, attending classes at the Villa Favard — a historical Italian palazzo that dates back to 1858 and overlooks the Arno River — and its Design Lab, which houses workrooms fully equipped with the latest technology and is situated in Scandicci, Florence’s garment production district.
The two locations juxtapose old and new, something the school looks to emulate in its approach to teaching. “As an institution, Polimoda seeks to balance its Florentine legacy of the finest production, art, craftsmanship, fashion brands and trade fairs, with its role as an international centre of learning, capable of expressing its opinion on a world stage,” Polimoda dean Danilo Venturi previously told BoF.
The school’s courses are similarly diverse, with a unique offering of master’s degree programmes and partnerships with trend forecasting agency WGSN, e-tailer Luisa Via Roma, Italian fashion house Gucci and luxury conglomerate LVMH. According to BoF’s Global Fashion School Rankings 2016, over 80 percent of both undergraduate and postgraduate students felt satisfactorily prepared for the industry. The school’s success is also reflected in a graduate employment rate of 88 percent.
As part of a new media partnership with the school, BoF takes a closer look inside the storied institution.