London, UK: A deep dive into fashion at Istituto Marangoni

I’m Christian and I study Fashion Management in Stuttgart. I spend my semester abroad in London at the Istituto Marangoni.

Arrival and Welcome Week 

We arrived at the beginning of October with a bit of buffer time. This is because the UK government changed its COVID-19 travel regulations relatively late in our favour, and we did not have to go into quarantine. So we had a few days before the lectures started. First there was the Welcome Week for all new/old students of Istituto Marangoni. They offered several things. For example, there was a session about living in London regarding the financial realities. (London is pretty expensive in every respect). Another thing offered was a scavenger hunting game around the school in Shoreditch, called „The Marangoni Quest“. It was hilarious to explore the location and to connect with a few people. The most important day of the Welcome Week was Wednesday, because there we received all important information regarding the academic life/aspects of the semester. (In general, we are treated exactly like the normal students there, except that we have our own course). After the Welcome-Week the lectures started directly on Monday. But I will tell you more about the general academic aspects in December. 

Facts about the School in London 

According to Business of Fashion, Istituto Marangoni is one of the best Fashion Schools for Fashion Business & Management in the World. It has campuses all around the world. There are two in Milano, and one in Firenze, Paris, London, Miami, Mumbai, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The campus in London is located in east London, more specifically in Shoreditch. It consists of a 3 story building and there is just (due to COVID-19) one entrance and one exit. On the ground floor there are various classrooms and several design labs, a photo studio, the material lab and some Mac classrooms. On the first floor you will find the Pattern Cutting Rooms, Drawing Classrooms and the Administration Offices. On the top floor there are smaller meeting rooms. There are also several theory classrooms on each floor (we have our lectures in these). In addition, there is a cafeteria right next to the entrance, where you can get delicious coffee and sweet snacks. An interesting fact we were told is that the London campus is the most international compared to the other campuses, with students from a total of 67 different nations. The best thing about the school however is that various webinars or talks with professionals from the industry take place every week. For example, I had the opportunity to speak with Francisco Milán, Strategy Manager at PANGAIA, and Eva Baquedano, Chief Omnichannel and Client Officer at LOEWE. These were great opportunities to gain insights into the industry. 

Living in London 

First, I must mention that the government has lifted almost all COVID-19 restrictions. Only on TfL (public transport in London) is it compulsory to wear mouth-nose covering. However, many people now no longer adhere to this rule. Thus, there is a relatively high incidence of infection. Nevertheless, a completely normal life is possible here, as it was before COVID-19. You can go shopping (Selfridges is highly recommended), you can go out partying and also eat in many restaurants. Everything is just a bit more expensive. A more or less big problem is the supply shortage of especially food in the supermarkets. This is due to a lack of truck drivers. Sometimes there is only one type of pasta or generally fewer products on the shelves, but with a bit of planning this is not really a big problem. A word about the accommodation. Finding suitable accommodation in London can be a big challenge. In summary, the closer you want to live to the city centre, the more expensive it is. But with enough time in advance, it is possible to find good accommodation, for example on Airbnb, Spotahome or student accommodation providers such as Londonist. I hope I could give you a first impression about my stay in London. In the following months I will tell you more about the life here in London and about the Istituto Marangoni, campus London.