How Do you Deal with the Beginning of the Academic Year, and What Would You Say about your Style?

Questions (and uncensored answers) about passions, fashion and expectations by new students interviewed by ‘veterans’ at the welcome day at Istituto Marangoni Firenze


By Rebecca Ceccatelli and Antara Ghosh. Illustrations by Mary Mitchem and Asia Niero. Photographs by Gabriele Busi.

Istituto Marangoni is a whole world of possibilities. For new students entering the school’s community, it can be a spaceship into the world of fashion, art, or fragrances. It also provides a springboard for those who want to dive into these worlds with a strong background to build upon.
During our back to school conversations between a course presentation and another, we have uncovered new students concrete projects and more abstract interests, which they aspire to turn into realities. 
At the same time, we have captured the dreamy spirit of those who aspire to achieve a goal through photo shoots, leaving new students with a visual memory of what they felt on their first day of school. This memory can serve as a reminder of their dreams and objectives throughout their journey. 
Like any respectable new beginning, amid shyness and excitement, Marangoni’s second-year/veteran students have discovered what was hiding under the anxiety of the first day of school for new students. They have revealed something that will leave you amazed! Here is an (almost) uncensored unboxing of everything we said to each other on the first day of the Academic Year 2023/2024. Read on and dream along with our new members! Enjoy the Welcome Day at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

students on their first day of school at Istituto Marangoni Firenze

Anja Stroka – Multimedia Arts

What are your three main interests?

Painting is my biggest focus, but also writing. I was divided between arts and literature, but arts won, and finally fashion, but not enough to make it my life. I decided to join the Marangoni community because I felt it could be the perfect environment to combine everything into a single programme.

What would you say about your style? 

I can’t give you a straight answer, and I am here to try and find one. Anyway, I usually paint thick blocks of colour, not really abstract, but choppy and contrasting shades that make up the work.

Veronica Nelli – Fashion Management

What do you enjoy doing the most, and what do you expect from this school?

I love to create and direct each aspect of fashion; I chose my course to try and find the best solution to combine design and styling. I would love to explore the field while keeping an elegant, classical line, sometimes experimental.
I want to stay current, trying to readapt my pillars of elegance in a futuristic scenario.

Yoji Benaim – Fashion Business & Digital Marketing Intensive

Why did you choose this specific field of study?

I already have a diploma in styling, and I would like to proceed in that way, but I would also like to manage many aspects of fashion, and I found this school to be the best solution.

Which brands inspire you most?

I can easily tell you which ones don’t! For example, Dior is far from my style. My idea is a combination of Versace, Prada and Valentino, with a lot of black interrupted by contrasting colours.

Avigail Cimering – Fashion Design & Accessories

What brought you right here to Istituto Marangoni Firenze?

Marangoni has been my dream school since I was 16. My mother is also a fashion designer. She told me if I ever wanted to study Fashion Design, she would take me to Marangoni. 

What do you dream of achieving now that you’re here?

My secret desire is to open a brand collaborating with my mother, who stopped her activity years ago. It could be a lovely way to restart together.

Tell me about your style.

It keeps changing, but I love the old classics with a touch of edginess. My mother taught me the love of matching and styling each garment, the power of transforming it from an anonymous piece of clothing to a properly styled one as part of an outfit that makes it stand out. I don’t just wear my clothes; I love to style them by combining different outfits with make-up and accessories to create a complete look.

Tala Dajani – Fashion Design & Accessories

What would you like to do?

My main interest is couture bridal fashion. I love being part of one of the most memorable experiences in someone’s life. While you may forget who designed the shirt you wear on a typical Monday, you’ll always remember the designer who created THE dress for your wedding day.

Carlotta Paolin – Fashion Design & Accessories

When did your passion for fashion start?

Growing up, I used to watch my grandma sew since she had always been a tailor. Watching her work ignited my desire to learn how to create a dress entirely by hand.

David Capogna – Fashion Design & Accessories

Tell us about your inspiration.

I am a supporter of a subculture called Ballroom, which originated in New York in the 1970s. Considering the social context of that time and place, it primarily emerged from marginalised communities, particularly trans, black, and Latinx individuals, who felt the need to create a safe space to perform, imitating everything that was not accessible to them. 

Taking inspiration from the beauty pageants they couldn’t participate in, they began to mimic it, creating a competition known as the ‘Ball’, divided into themed categories. I participated by tailoring my creations to the various themes and references. I am passionate about creating and enjoy combining different materials into unique designs.

Joyce Ann Kristine Urban – Multimedia Arts

How do you see yourself?

As an artist, I have experienced many forms of making art, from poetry to pottery. I’m very open to everything. 

What is the heart of your work?

I usually paint emotions, but I also like portraits in paintings and photography and am obsessed with representing details. This was probably influenced by my dad, a historian who filled my childhood with Egyptian motifs and visits to museums, where I started importing the definition of the details into my work. I find it very relaxing to create pieces with fine details that always show up. I really like things to be very visceral, to make people spend some time looking at my work, and the more you look, the more you get from it.

Bárbara Amaral – Master Luxury Accessories Design & Management

What kind of accessories would you like to create?

I love the production of bags and footwear. I use fish leather as a signature element in many of my creations, and I hope to pursue a career as a designer in this field.

Gaia Magnelli – Master Fashion, Art & Textile Innovation

How did your interest in Textiles started?

The fabric in the fashion industry has always captured my interest. I had the opportunity to further explore this interest through my thesis in collaboration with Trafi, a textile business in Prato. This collaboration allowed me to explore materials, from raw fibres to more intricate fabrics that became pieces of clothing.
Regarding my potential career, I would like to focus on a return to slow fashion. In an era where it’s challenging to keep up with one trend before another emerges, I believe in a more sustainable and mindful approach to fashion. I would like to focus on making materials a priority again.

Rebecca Papi – Master Art Curating and Fashion

What are your expectations from this programme?

For this academic year, I am looking forward to a programme that can challenge me and allow me to use my hands practically for the first time, setting aside the lengthy theoretical studies from which I come.

Why did you choose Florence?

Being in Florence, I aspire to help make the city more open to contemporary thoughts and ideas with a fresh approach that promotes dialogue between heritage and innovation. Anyway, my primary inspiration comes from the last century, coupled with a unique passion for Medieval Art, in which I believe much of the present is rooted.

Fields of Study

You might be interested in…