It only takes a few minutes to look around, and a vibrant business ecosystem emerges. Here are stimulating architecture, multiple award-winning towers, ultra-modern office buildings, retail spaces, some of the world’s best restaurants, cafes and hotels, as well as art galleries, residential properties, larger-than-life real estate projects and public green areas. We are in the very heart of the DIFC-Dubai International Financial Centre, where Istituto Marangoni Dubai is now opening its doors as a gateway to Made-in-Italy fashion education, meeting UAE traditions and international influences. And here rises a 1,050 square metre prestigious school campus as a bridge between cultures.
Home to the most futuristic skyscrapers and many glittering special events, Dubai has undoubtedly established itself as the fashion industry’s new hotspot. With Western high-end ready-to-wear and haute couture brands finding a fertile market and local labels on the rise, the appetite for a reputed fashion school has grown in this incredible metropolis, rising from the desert as the ultimate destination where business meets lifestyle.
Istituto Marangoni Dubai opens its doors in the city's DIFC district, in a 1,050 square metre building
After two years of planning, Istituto Marangoni’s new school in Dubai is now ready to expand an international network of nine established units in Milan, Florence, Paris, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Miami, gathering high-profile mentors such as Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing, fashion stylist and editor Katie Grand, MSGM founder Massimo Giorgetti and fashion designer Paul Andrew.
"With the opening of our school in Dubai we are giving to the local aspiring fashion and interior designers the opportunity to acquire all the skills and knowledge required to start their careers,” stated Istituto Marangoni’s Managing Director Stefania Valenti. That's why Istituto Marangoni Dubai is offering a range of courses and programmes in various areas of fashion and design, starting in September.
Bringing Italian expertise and the school’s heritage to the UAE, the academic staff will be 70% Italian, joined by first-class tutors from all over the world and local industry players to make Istituto Marangoni Dubai a powerful source of inspiration and a nerve centre for prestigious career options. Actually, this has always been one of the core values of Istituto Marangoni: with many internationally recognised and award-winning fashion and design stars, including Domenico Dolce, Franco Moschino, Alessandro Sartori and Rahul Mishra, graduating from the school, Istituto Marangoni has made enhancing talent a mission since 1935.
Istituto Marangoni’s one-of-a-kind phygital fashion show at Dubai's Museum of the Future
So, it is no coincidence that Rahul Mishra, the first Indian designer to show at the Paris Haute Couture Week, made the grand finale of a one-of-a-kind, phygital and immersive fashion show in Dubai, to crown the celebrations for the opening of Istituto Marangoni’s new campus. In line with Istituto Marangoni's innovative approach, the Talents Show took place simultaneously at the city's Museum of the Future and in the Metaverse, where Mishra was joined on the catwalk by an outstanding line-up of five best graduates from Istituto Marangoni’s Milan, Florence, Paris, London and Shanghai Fashion Design courses.
Istituto Marangoni’s first Talents show featured Rahul Mishra's creations
Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and member of the Dubai Council, who was in attendance, said: “Istituto Marangoni’s Dubai branch is a valuable addition to the city’s rapidly developing creative and cultural landscape. Its diverse offering will provide creatives in Dubai and the region with the right tools to launch their design careers. Dubai is committed to placing design and creativity at the heart of its policies. In 2017, it was the first urban centre in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to be appointed a UNESCO Creative City of Design.”
Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, attended a unique Talents Show at Dubai's Museum of the Future, marking Italian fashion and design school Istituto Marangoni's Middle Eastern debut
Commenting on the first Istituto Marangoni Fashion and Design school in the Middle East, Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, stated: “I see a great partnership in the making where the UAE and the Middle East and Gulf countries will have the advantage of a world-class design school, while Istituto Marangoni will benefit from the untapped talent waiting to be harnessed.”
In the same spirit of bridging cultures, keeping an international perspective and seeing study abroad experiences as enriching and essential for the new generation, the Dubai hub enables students to spend one or more years in other Istituto Marangoni campuses via Cross School Study Options.
Moreover, the school has a further valuable aim. As Stefania Valenti pointed out: “Istituto Marangoni is committed to have an active role in The Middle East to encourage the creation of a new ecosystem between talents, institutions, stakeholders and industries; to build the new generation of fashion designers in the region. With special attention for empowering women in their aspirational field of interest, be it fashion, design or arts.” Indeed, education is a milestone of women’s empowerment as it enables them to respond to challenges, confront their traditional roles and strengthen their innate abilities by acquiring knowledge, power and experience as the glittering Emirate becomes a superpower.
Istituto Marangoni Dubai offers students a contemporary environment equipped with all the industry-specific facilities
That’s why Istituto Marangoni Dubai offers students a contemporary environment equipped with all the industry-specific facilities, promoting an innovative “learning by doing” teaching approach merging traditional academic studies with creative and practice-based activities. Therefore, students can work on their drawing and sketching skills in a few dedicated rooms and begin to master the process of turning a design into a piece of fabric in the pattern-cutting areas.
Istituto Marangoni Dubai's 249-square-metre terrace
A fabric library hosts a range of cutting-edge and standard samples and swatches of textiles, yarns, fabrics and other materials used across the industry. Students are invited to interact, be inspired and learn through different tactile experiences to see the impact various materials have on aesthetic outcomes.
Besides, the fashion and design library is home to information resources available as a reference to support learning. As fashion books, publications and monographs, as well as magazines, printed periodicals, journals and catalogues, are key to learning the history of fashion and contextualising studies, this place allows students to investigate various aspects, from historical and socio-cultural to photographic, graphic and artistic. Lastly, an outdoor terrace is a place to breathe fresh air and develop connections and synergies with fellow emerging talents and fashion insiders working or visiting the school.
Located in Gate 8 at the DIFC, with the most exciting places in the city at your doorstep, Istituto Marangoni’s Dubai school was designed by Italian architect Giulio Cappellini, who also customised furniture, including chairs, desks and sofas. These are the tables around which the next generation of talent will soon sit while drawing their path to becoming tomorrow’s new fashion experts.