Will we all be wearing Gucci at our next graduation? Last April, Polimoda launched a new MA in collaboration with the luxury label. The Florence-based fashion school hopes to prepare students “to take up managerial roles in the fast-evolving retails business of international luxury brands.” Gucci, on the other hand, would be able to work with students directly and have first pick for internships. A new model for fashion education?
One complaint resonating especially among graduates is that their education is out of touch with the real world. Fashion degrees rarely go hand in hand with a business education. Geared towards creativity, it leaves students to fend for themselves when it comes to their business training. In this sense, a collaboration with a fashion house could offer first-hand education in what it takes to run a fashion label.
There is one core issue, however. How can schools ensure their students will be educated without bias? Can Polimoda truly be critical of Gucci or train their students in other schools of thought when it comes to running fashion businesses? The reality is that there isn’t just one way to become a top brand in the industry. Many fashion houses prospered exactly because they thought out of the box and approached it differently. A good business leader trusts his instincts and comes up with new ideas on the go, which actually relates to a more creative approach.
Nevertheless, it is significant that Gucci is showing interest in young talent. In an industry where headlines of abuse come out daily and great talents are lost to the hardships endured to enter and be a part of the system, it is refreshing to see a brand take an active role in the training of young talents. It might lead to biases in the education received by Polimoda but at the same time, it will give an invaluable first-hand look at how one of the top fashion companies in the world is run.