Monday 7 May 2018

Fashion Displacement - Berlin edition

Fashion Displacement 
Professionals to rework the industry in partnership with VOGUE Germany

On April 26th 2018 the Florentine Fashion School Polimoda invited a selection of influential teachers and decision makers of the Fashion industry to the Aufbauhaus Atelier in Kreuzberg for this year’s edition of Fashion Displacement, organized in partnership with VOGUE Germany. Berlin was the third city after New York (2016) and Florence (2017) in which the panel discussion was held. Topic of this year’s event was the question of ways to build bridges between professional training and the fashion industry.
The topic was discussed by:
- Christiane Arp (President of the Fashion Council Germany and Editor-in-Chief of VOGUE Germany)
- Laudomida Pucci (Deputy Chairperson and Image Manager at Emilio Pucci)
- Christopher Lacy (Director of Customer Experience and Strategy at Barneys New York)
- Johann König (Art Dealer and Gallery Owner,König Galerie)
- Branko Popovic (Co-founder & Co-Director of FASHIONCLASH foundation)
- Sam Cotton (Fashion Designer and Co-founder of Agi&Sam)
- Danilo Venturi (Director of Polimoda)

The panel discussion was chaired by Linda Loppa, one of the most significant women in Fashion. Loppa had been the director of the Polimoda for nine years, before she moved to Paris in 2015 to commence with her current role of establishing connections and insight from the continuously growing industry for the institute.
Loppa’s introduction of the guests was not quite done yet when the participants of the panel already started their debate. They all agreed immediately: the gap between the education in the industry and the actual working situation is currently too wide. Therefor not many designers are prepared to start a business after their studies.

 "Polimoda offers its students classes to deepen their knowledge in the business area. That way the foundation f or their later career is set”, Danilo Venturi, the Director of the Polimoda explains and adds that “this means that the graduates not only have a deeper understanding of their future businesses but it also gives the more creative students a chance to strengthen their ability to guide a team and manage joint projects.” Christiane Arp, the chief editor of the Vogue agreed, adding that “At the same time, the expectations towards the young designers are rising. Nowadays, fashion mainly means business. I miss the freedom of great thinking. For me, education also means conversation. In Germany there are more than a dozen Fashion Schools but still many young talents decide to leave the country for their training and some don’t return.”

Hence, the participants of the panel discussion increasingly see the obligation of the fashion companies. Educational institutions like the Polimoda can give students the appropriate education during the studies but the industry needs to prepare itself to also offer a durable approach to the training institutions. Both need to close ranks to offer the young talents the ideal career conditions.

“I think that today, your career is fundamental for your own independence and happiness” underlines Danilo Venturi “It is also a place to set forward the visibility and practice of equal rights. The educational environment is the place where people are trained in order to cover a job position, so it has to correlate and be effective in that sense. Nonetheless, the educational environment is also the place where the mentality of young people is formed. These young women and men will shape the future of the world in either a sustainable or unsustainable manner. As fashion is the most complete discipline, including humans, society and the industry, filling the gap between fashion education and fashion industry, is a mission with universal implication.” 

Polimoda is known worldwide for its independence in thinking and action by combining business and design across all departments. Considered by the Business of Fashion as the best fashion institute in Italy, and amongst the top ten in the world, Polimoda balances the know - how of Italian design and production with an international vision. The undergraduate, master’s and short courses offered at Polimoda connect the legacy of the past, with new research and creativity. Professors offer experience - based learning, adapting courses to the changes in the industry as they happen, which is nurtured inside the Renaissance - style building of Villa Favardand in the state-of-the-art Design Lab. With 70% of students from countries outside Italy, Polimoda is a cultural force in the heart of Florence.


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