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The ‘World’s Best Fashion School’ Just Opened in France

Now accepting applications…

Every year since 2010, the website Fashionista publishes an ambitious ranking of the best fashion schools in the world, and every year, well-known institutions like Parsons, Central Saint Martins, and the London College of Fashion tend to dominate the list. But a new university promising to give those stalwart schools a run for their money has just opened in France.

The revamped Institut Français de la Mode, which opened today, is the result of a merger between two Parisian fashion schools: the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) and the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (ECSCP), which counts Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino Garavani, André Courrèges, and Issey Miyake amongst its esteemed alumni.

In a speech at the school’s opening, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire boldly proclaimed, “I am inaugurating today the best fashion school in the world, because that is what you are destined to become: the best, meaning the one flying the flag for French excellence; the best, meaning the one that draws talents from across the world, from Beijing to Los Angeles or San Francisco.”

Though Paris has long been perceived as a global fashion capital, it lacks the draw of an illustrious educational institution. Though fledgling designers might flock to Paris to launch their careers, they don’t necessarily flock there to receive an education.

“It seemed to go without saying that the world’s best design school should, must, will have to be in Paris,” said Ralph Toledano, the president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the French fashion industry’s governing body.

So far, the Institut Français de la Mode has announced partnerships with the Palais de Tokyo museum, Cinémathèque Française, the National Dance Centre and venue La Station Gare des Mines to emphasize the school’s close proximity to leading European cultural institutions.

“French fashion best represents the country worldwide, and entices foreigners to come to Paris,” Toledano continued. “And it is through education and training, and the transmission of knowledge and knowhow, that our sector will continue to shine across the world.”