Istanbul Fashion Academy (İMA) aims to nurture new generations of fashion designers and professionals. The academy is currently hosting many teachers, notably from the London College of Fashion, and famous designers to instruct and inspire students. Founded in 2007 with the cooperation of the European Union, the Ministry of Economy and the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters’ Associations (İTKİB) General Secretariat, İMA is pursuing the goal of training the fashion professionals of the future. The Academy also aims to introduce a creative, innovative and future-oriented workforce to the fields of textiles and apparel, two pivotal industries in Turkey.
The academy, which is supported by famous designers such as Atıl Kutoğlu, Bora Aksu, Dice Kayek and Hüseyin Çağlayan is developing future fashion designers by instilling in students an in-depth insight into fashion, design and arts as well as an awareness of the global markets. The aim is to produce Turkish fashion designers to rival international names such as Christian Louboutin, Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, Christian Dior and Tom Ford.
Speaking to Anatolia News Agency İMA director Seda Lafçı, said they were working with a system that is globally recognized and doing their best to nurture the best fashion designers for Turkey. The academy is also a member of the International Fashion Schools (IFF) umbrella organization.
“İMA has the most extensive fashion library of Turkey. This is one of the most important things that qualifies İMA to enter into the tradition of fashion schools around the world,” Lafçı said, adding that they had so far trained a total of 4,500 students.
“The building is fully equipped with the latest technology,” she said, “and said there is an up-to-date education system in the academy.”
The strategic partner of İMA is the London College of Fashion and both institutions are working together in partnership.
“İMA has been accredited by the University of Arts London/London College of Fashion (LCF) with Fashion Design and Technology License Program students are able to receive LCF education system,” Lafçı said, adding that students who successfully completed the two-year program would receive an İMA and LCF diploma.
Some students prefer to work in fashion houses while other may continue their educations in LCF for an additional year. At the end those three years, students receive a University of the Arts London diploma.
According to Lafçı, combining its academic content with the real life, İMA is an exclusive fashion training institution and maintains the theoretical infrastructure of the training programs and applied industry projects with the support it receives from the sector.
Support from Turkish designers
Turkish designers who have received fame at the international level such as Atıl Kutoğlu, Bora Aksu, Dice Kayek and Hüseyin Çağlayan are supporting the İMA education and students.
“İMA has teachers and professors who are part of the international fashion arena and we are also receiving support from famous designers in some projects,” Lafçı said.
The aim of İMA is to meet with global designers and bring new and energy and fresh innovation to the scene.
Adopting the systems and structures with internationally proven success, İMA is a member of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI). Besides the University of Arts London/ London College of Fashion, its strategic partner in academics, İMA collaborates with world-famous fashion schools such as Polimoda, Institut Français de la Mode and Nottingham Trent University. İMA follows a simultaneous training program with these fashion schools and provides students with access to international fashion institutes, brands and designers.
“We are also giving courses on photography, Photoshop and illustration, styling, fashion management, leather goods, accessories to fittings. In short it is possible, to find every kind of training in İMA,” Lafçı added.
The potential of Istanbul to become a global fashion hub was very high, she said, adding that Istanbul was like a fashion hub feeding from many different events. The high potential of the city is also partly due to the population, which is young and dynamic. This helps Istanbul a lot in terms of fashion, she added.
Istanbul is a very valuable resource for fashion designers, concluded Lafçı.