Fashion schools, Milan confirms itself as a reference hub for international students

4 min read


From the most classic print on fabric to the design of sustainable garments. From the communication of a brand on social media to modeling and jewelry design. In Milan (and surrounding areas) it is possible to train in practically all areas of that multifaceted ecosystem called fashion and which, when extended to the so-called “connected sectors” in 2023, achieved 111.7 billion euros in turnover, of which a share of approximately two-thirds carried out across the border.

A significant portion of students come from abroad who, whether they have high school or already graduated, are looking for para-university, university or post-graduate training in the sector. After the setback caused by the pandemic – when students were unable to travel, but did not stop choosing Milanese schools even with distance learning – foreigners began to return to the Lombardy capital in search of a high-quality education level, but also of a strong connection with Italian fashion companies. With which, in fact, all the large schools work closely.

Ied Milan and Accademia Galli, from textiles to adaptive fashion

«We do workshops, collaborative and thesis projects with Italian companies such as Otb, Stella McCartney, Wolford – explains Olivia Spinelli, head of Fashion School at Ied Moda Milano – because our intent is to offer students a concrete approach, so that Once the students have finished their studies, they already know how to work.” In Lombardy, and limited to the fashion area, Ied has around 1350 students between the Milan branch (which has the largest percentage) and the Aldo Galli Academy of Fine Arts – Ied Network. The percentage of foreign students reaches 30% on the average of the segments and around 50% in the masters, with peaks reaching all foreign students for example in the master’s in «Textile design – product research sustainability» in Como: «The students are all foreigners and come from India, Iran, Belgium, USA, Switzerland”, explains Alon Siman-Tov, coordinator of the three-year Fashion and Textile Design course at the Accademia Aldo Galli. The master’s degree, moreover, is quite unique in its kind: «It has the aim of completing the path and working on sustainability – continues Siman-Tov -, we work on certification and legal aspects of the legal theme of contracts and certifications».

The theme of sustainability is decisive in the training of professionals who will work in a fashion sector with an increasingly reduced impact (also by law). Ied, for example, is working on the construction of two-year specialist courses in the area of ​​responsible fashion design with particular attention «to the issues of circularity and the real impact of fashion on the environment and on the people involved in every step of the global production chain, aiming to develop critical and proactive thinking in students towards the phenomena of overproduction and overconsumption”. Added to this is the theme of inclusiveness, with a focus on adaptive fashion which will also lead Ied to work with the Paralympic committee.

Accademia Costume&Moda turns 60

Sustainability is also one of the focuses of Accademia Costume&Moda, a historic Roman reality (turning 60 soon) which landed in Milan in 2020 with a second headquarters with a training offer focused on communication, management and also environmental impact: «Among our proposals there is a first level master’s degree in «Fashion Sustainability & Industry Evolution» which not only aims at sustainable design, but at training managers who have an increasingly important role in the company”, explains Furio Francini, CEO of the Academy. The continuous updating of study subjects (not only with the aim of creating new paths, but of updating existing ones) also involves investing in tools and topics related to new technologies: «There will be a strong input on Nft, augmented reality, artificial intelligence: many companies ask us for it, in anticipation of hiring professionals who have these skills”, continues Francini.



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