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Istituto Marangoni to Open Campus in Riyadh

by Belinda Breeze

Istituto Marangoni is dedicated to emphasising its physical spaces as much as its digital ones, having made significant advancements in the field of digital innovation with the launch of its metaverse, which allows students to work with cutting-edge tech tools and create fashion shows driven by AI.

This commitment to physical spaces was underlined when it signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture through its Saudi Fashion Commission arm for the development of a higher training institute in Riyadh, which is set to open in September 2025.

Already with 10 existing units across Milan, Florence, Paris, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Miami, Dubai, and Shenzhen, the school’s global managing director Stefania Valenti said the move is in sync with the institution’s mission of creating a bridge between the demands of talents eager to work in the industry and companies — which are increasingly looking to Saudi Arabia as a market of interest — as well as its overall international reach.

“It’s a destination of great interest for fashion and luxury brands”

According to Valenti, a lot of students from Milan or London have asked to relocate to Dubai to continue their education since the campus opened there two years ago. “I was surprised by the trend, I was expecting quite the opposite. But this is a signal, too, and it encourages us to further strengthen our international mindset and open in emerging markets. “And how not to consider Saudi Arabia? It’s a destination of great interest for fashion and luxury brands.”

“Together, we embark on a journey to shape a vibrant and flourishing fashion community in the heart of the Kingdom”

“As we inaugurate Istituto Marangoni in Riyadh, we herald a transformative era for local talent within the burgeoning creative landscape of our region,” said Burak Çakmak, the Saudi Fashion Commission’s chief executive officer. “With demand for quality fashion education on the rise, our partnership underscores the Saudi Fashion Commission’s unwavering commitment to nurturing and empowering creatives. Together, we embark on a journey to shape a vibrant and flourishing fashion community in the heart of the Kingdom, laying the foundation for a future where innovation thrives and creativity knows no bounds.”

Istituto Marangoni and the Saudi Fashion Commission hope to close the gap in professional profiles that may be employed by both foreign corporations expanding in the region and by leading the emergence of local fashion movements.

“There are plenty of American and English groups investing in the area, especially in retail by opening malls for one, as well as many Italian brands,” Valenti said. “So we’re looking to train students in retail and buying, in addition to our core, like fashion design. But also in everything related to promotion: There are Saudi brands that need to enhance their collections and image via lookbooks, campaigns, and fashion shows, also because the Saudi Fashion Commission is working to bring these labels to Milan, Paris, and New York for networking and visibility.”