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The Fashion Institutes in the Region Training the Talents of Tomorrow

From Tunisia to Beirut

Some of the greatest fashion minds of all time didn’t have any formal fashion training. From Coco Chanel to Karl Lagerfeld, these self-taught designers would go on to have a huge impact on the world of fashion today, inspiring countless of generations that came after them. It’s true, not having a fashion degree doesn’t mean that you can’t go on to make a name for yourself in the industry, however, it certainly comes with plenty of benefits. A good fashion school allows you to learn the tricks of the trade necessary for any budding designer, while equipping you with all the skills you need to land your dream position in the industry or eventually launch your own brand.

For the longest time in our region, fashion was not taken seriously as a respectable career, which made it difficult for aspiring designers to nurture their skills and talents. But, times are changing, and some of the most exciting rising labels today are emerging from the Middle East. Now, there’s an influx of fashion institutes and design schools cropping up across the region, providing students with a world-class fashion education and the opportunity to explore the many diverse roles that make up the fashion industry.

From Tunisia to Beirut, below, we rounded up seven fashion institutes in the region training the young talents of the future.

Creative Space

Founded by Sarah Hermez in Beirut, the non-profit fashion school offers a tuition-free, intensive three-year program to students from underprivileged backgrounds who lack the resources to follow their dreams under the mentorship of local and international designers. Hermez is able to provide students with instructions, fabric, a boutique space, transportation fees to and from the school as well as trips abroad  by way of donations, exhibitions, crowdfunding campaigns, and sales from a student and faculty-designed ready-to-wear line. In the past, she has also partnered with designers like Donna Karan, who donated fabric and expertise.

 Istituto Marangoni

The newly-opened branch of the 88-year-old Italian design school opened its doors in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) last year. Offering courses in fashion, interior, and product design, the educational institute is under total control of Istituto Marangoni to guarantee the academic excellence that has always characterized the schools of the prestigious group.


Established in Paris in 1841,  the French fashion institute boasts an international network of schools across the Middle East and North Africa, including in countries like Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, and Syria. The school provides degree programs where students learn everything from sketching and moodboard creation to pattern-cutting and developing a collection.

Casa Moda Academy 

The brainchild of the Association for Moroccan Textile and Clothing, the Casablanca-based fashion academy’s creative curriculum was assembled by an esteemed French fashion school, l’Atelier Chardon Savard.

Higher Institute of Fashion Crafts of Monastir

The educational establishment is the first public institution in Africa and the Arab world internationally recognized as a pioneer in higher  education for design, fashion, art, communications, and fashion business management. Students who enroll at this school have the option to explore a variety of design courses, including lingerie, swimwear, corsetry, and more.

Istituto di Moda Burgo

First established in 1961 with its main branch in Rome, the institute now boasts schools in Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, and provides a diverse spectrum of courses such as draping, jewelry design, pattern-making, beachwear, millinery, theater costume making, and shoe design, among others.

Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI)

The institute, which is found in the Dubai Design district in a 100,000-sq-ft facility, was launched in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Parsons School of Design. The school’s curriculum was conceived by MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, offering design-focused courses in fashion, in addition to other disciplines.

Homepage image courtesy of @csb.schoolofdesign

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