An Vandevorst appointed Head of Fashion Design at Polimoda – WWD


The Italian fashion school Polimoda takes on a little more the Belgian accent.

After recruiting Kris Van Assche as a mentor for the master’s program in Creative Direction, the Florence-based school appointed An Vandevorst as head of the fashion design department, WWD has learned.

The post was previously held by Massimiliano Giornetti, who took office in 2019 and was subsequently promoted to principal of the school in February while continuing to lead the fashion design department until the end of the final academic year.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where she met her future business and life partner Filip Arickx on their first day of school, Vandevorst has been a prolific designer and half of the fashion brand. AF Vandevorst was established. in 1997 and dropped out last year after 22 years.

“In a time when most of us have access to all the answers, it has become important to ask the right questions, to spark curiosity,” said Vandevorst, developing his teaching approach for the school. “What is your passion? What do you want to achieve or give up in life? We can help students discover what is inside them and learn to explore and develop their thoughts and personalities.

She underlined the increased relevance of technology and virtual reality in defining today’s creativity and said she is committed to providing new generations of talent with the necessary means, skills and experiences. to translate their vision and ideas into “a success story”.

Referring to today’s fast-paced fashion environment, Vandevorst said his aim was to bring “emotions and humanity into fashion, by getting rid of the dogma that people have need to work until they fall, genuinely caring about waste and embracing all body types, to escape the speed of it all. The biggest difference between the past and the present and hopefully – the near future of fashion is the shift from analog to digital, from 2D to 3D, from reality to fantasy, and from exclusivity to inclusiveness.

“Students need to learn to persevere and believe in their own ideas. They must know how to express themselves and defend themselves. It will be interesting for me to witness the interaction with them, pass on my skills and get to know their new vision with one main goal: beauty, ”she continued.

Vandevorst joined the Florentine school a few weeks after the appointment of Van Assche. The former artistic director of Berluti, who cut ties with the LVMH-owned menswear brand Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton earlier this year, also studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp when Linda Loppa was the head of the fashion department.

Loppa, a seasoned fashion trainer with over 40 years of experience, moved to Florence in 2007 to become Director of Polimoda for nine years, before assuming her current role as Strategy and Vision Advisor. His link with the Belgian team is considered decisive for the two most recent appointments of Van Assche and Vandevorst.


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Joseph E. Golightly