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The special project by Istituto Marangoni students and the Maison FENDI

Selected Fashion DesignMultimedia Arts, and Textile Innovation students work with New York artist Sarah Coleman to raise the bar on circular creativity. The upcycling project deconstructs materials from FENDI boutiques to repurpose them as artworks in entirely new contexts.

With online and in-person meetings, from brainstorming to the final execution, FENDI managers, Istituto Marangoni tutors in Florence and Mentor Sarah Coleman work with the students to develop an art installation that brings physical and digital together. The work will be showcased in autumn at the FENDI Factory exhibition space as a symbol of an increasingly integrated approach to sustainability.


Do you choose recycled materials when you go to the store? I don’t see it as something that can be left out.”

As visual artist Sarah Colemen stresses the importance of upcycling, putting it on the same level as quality and design, students share their expectations, excitement and desire to work together for a more innovative and sustainable fashion industry.

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Dis-cycling: A Bootcamp with Sarah Coleman and FENDI

Sarah Coleman and FENDI executives guide Istituto Marangoni students through an immersive experience.

With the mentorship of a New York visual artist and luxury materials by a leading Italian fashion house, the four-day Bootcamp at school for the DIS-CYCLING project was nothing short of inspiring. The disruptive vision of Sarah Coleman, the partnership with FENDI and Pardgroup, and the curiosity of Istituto Marangoni Firenze students and Alumni took inventive upcycling to new heights.

Students from multiple courses at Istituto Marangoni Firenze walked into a classroom on a sunny morning, unaware of where the next few days would take them.


There were waste materials from Fendi factories, including samples of fine textiles, colourful leathers, small metallic elements, and crystals from the Roman boutique’s windows. An interlaced motif became the highlight of the Bootcamp, appearing in almost every student’s creations. It became the starting point for the conceptual and material construction of a multi-sensory installation for the upcoming October event, Journées Particulières, in the new Fendi factory in Capannuccia (FI).

Four days of creative freedom. With the exceptional support of the school’s tutors, I’M Mentor Sarah Coleman and additional insights from FENDI executives, the students were inspired to rethink the Fendi house codes by unfolding their inventiveness, awakening their inner child, and exploring and experimenting freely with the materials. As they traced their ideas on blank pages, there were no more labels as students, mentors or tutors. It was just a small crowd of resourceful people sharing one goal: creating the extraordinary from scraps. 

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