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It's All About Fashion And Learning At Istituto Marangoni

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It's all about fashion at Istituto Marangoni in the Miami Design District.

Last January, the renowned international fashion school, with over 10 locations worldwide made this campus its first U.S. location.

Founded by its namesake 85 years ago, it is one of the oldest fashion schools in the world.

President Hakam Baykam says he took one look at what's happening in Miami and the design district and knew this was the right place.

"I saw in Miami what I saw in other cities , there's a big lack of high education in this field and also there is  a big request," Baykam explained. "Also Miami is in an expansion and transforming, its changing its skin, this what I saw in Miami. We love that our students when they finish school have interactions with the brands and see the stores what they're studying there."

On the day CBS4's Lisa Petrillo visited, it pattern cutting class where teachers and students work with fabrics and patterns for design.

They're inspired by the Icon Collection, where they see how the couture dresses like those from Valentino and Versace really started out.

On a mannequin were original patterns from various famous designers, like the Versace pattern worn by Elizabeth Hurley to her then boyfriend Hugh Grant's movie premiere in London in 1994.

Other patterns displayed are made from donated bed sheets from Soho House showing students sustainability.

"Sustainability is one of our important parts we teach our students, fashion sustainability is future,"  Baykam said.

Through its storied history, the school boasts an impressive alumni, including Dolce Gabbana, Franco Moschino and more.

Students here have 3 majors to choose from.

"You can study fashion business, fashion design and fashion styling. So those our 3 bachelors program and it's a 4 year degree."

There also a master program and a short course for those already in the business.  The emphasis is on Italian design where couture began, and the teaching reflects that.

"We decided very strong to maintain the Italian-ness of our project, so I brought the teachers in from Italy," he said.

Destiny Charles is a first year student from DASH (Design and Architecture Senior High) with a full scholarship.

"I just love the environment the people. It's just all fashion," Destiny said.

Aspiring designer Rene Mejia is at the top of his class.

"I feel like you learning from people in the industry that are 100 certified and I know some of my teachers and they are like Oh my God good, and they have a lot of experience in this industry. So, we are on good hands," he said.

Just before the students graduate they actually present a full-fledged fashion show.

At the end of that show one student is chosen to show his or her collection in Milan during Fashion week, proving Istituto Marangoni invests in its students.

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