Classes in cutting at the ESMOD International school


Story of an outstanding french fashion school

ESMOD was founded in 1841 by the genius Alexis Lavigne

Nowaday ESMOD is a network of 21 schools within 14 countries

Learning know-how and techniques
From the first cutting lessons to today’s classes

Alexis Lavigne’s first classes and cutting methodologies

After Alexis Lavigne, it was his daughter, Alice Guerre Lavigne, who took over the management of the school and opened it up to a new public made up of young women, whose education was encouraged by Jules Ferry, the scheme's sponsor.

Going International
Since the 1900s, one of the school’s ambitions has been to export its know-how on an international scale to enrich its methods through contact with other cultures and crafts.

Alice Guerre therefore created an international network of schools teaching the Guerre Lavigne methods.

This development was accompanied by numerous fashion publications (magazines and methodologies), which she produced after 1885.

Berthe Lecomte-Guerre, Alice’s daughter, took up the torch, developing the international network of Guerre-Lavigne schools as well as publishing methodologies adapted for the ready-to-wear industry.

Cutting methodology that incorporates a cardboard set-square with curves—a new version of the one invented by her grandfather.

The Early Years of Teaching Fashion Design
At the beginning of the 1960s, young people demanded fashion that was designed for them. The aesthetic criteria were changing. Everything was speeding up. Faster means of communication, and the internationalization of goods, people, and ways of thinking, contributed to profound changes in fashion. Style was the watchword of this highly creative decade: everything had to have style.

Taking over from her mother, Jean Lecompte responded to the evolution of fashion by creating the first classes in fashion design in 1970 at the Guerre-Lavigne school, which would become ESMOD in 1976.

Annette Goldstein (right) would be the first teacher of fashion at ESMOD.

In 1976, she took over this school, which had existed for 135 years, with Paule Douarinou (left), then assistant to Jean Lecomte.

Benefiting from an excellent balance between its administrative management and the development of its teaching practises, ESMOD saw its student numbers multiply in just a few years.

1976 was notable for marking ESMOD’s return to its editorial activities, publishing cutting and grading methods for women’s and children’s clothing.

Translated into English, these course materials were also sold in international specialist bookshops.

ESMOD Editions also became an office for forecasting trends in response to the new demands of the profession when faced with the emerging field of fashion design.

At the start of the 1980s, the school welcomed students of more than 50 different nationalities at its Paris premises. However, as had been the case in the time of Alice Guerre-Lavigne, many foreign students dreamed of opening schools in their own countries.

Fashion Turns to Marketing
Just as the 1960s were marked by the arrival of fashion design, it was in the 1990s that people began to think about fashion in terms of marketing. The ESMOD group therefore created the ISEM (European Higher Institution of Fashion) in 1989 to respond to the new demands of the market.

The First Business School Dedicated to Fashion

Ever since it was created, the main ambition of the ISEM has been to train leaders in marketing, commerce, and communication. This training is provided over three years.

It has been a success and is still striving to develop its position at the heart of the international network, with ESMOD Jakarta and ESMOD Tokyo for now.

ESMOD: An International Network with Strong Local Identities
With the creation of ESMOD Tokyo in 1984 by Satoru Nino, the current president of the ESMOD group, the school established its internationalization strategy with a genuine desire to provide coherent teaching practice as well as cultural diversity. Nowadays, 21 schools in 14 countries make up a unique creative network that shares ESMOD's know-how around the world. While the courses are identical in every school in the network, each one demonstrates a strong identity, marked by the culture and know-how of the country in which it is located.

Satoru Nino, the current president of the ESMOD group, is a former student of the school who worked towards the creation of a coherent international network after he opened the Tokyo school in 1984.

ESMOD in Japan
Located in a dynamic capital that is constantly in motion, ESMOD Tokyo, created in 1984, draws on the energy of the Shibuya fashion quarter to make its mark with a unique style that falls between Kawaii and structural design research. Its students have a real sense of detail and how to create a look, happily drawing their inspiration from the architecture that surrounds them and the flashy and colorful world of the new artistic scene. ESMOD Kyoto, which opened in 2015, shows the same creative diversity as the Tokyo school while benefiting from the ancestral knowledge that comes from their rich history and heritage.
ESMOD in Malaysia
Reflecting a constantly evolving city that is in perpetual development, ESMOD Kuala Lumpur, which opened in 2012, demonstrates limitless creativity with its relentless reinvention of Western fashion's leading products. Its students enjoy working with colors, oversized volumes, and the contrast between light and heavy pieces. This results in fashion that is fresh, original, and freed from its rules. In partnership with "The One Academy," an institution that has been training young talents in the art and design industry for over 20 years, the school successfully promotes its image on an international scale.
ESMOD in Indonesia
In a country that has completely embraced the era of the Internet, ESMOD Jakarta opened in 1996 and echoes international and cutting-edge fashion, in the style of the great fashion magazines. If the students break the rules when designing their clothes, this does not mean that they have not mastered the techniques that they use in their off-the-wall creativity, which knows no bounds. Benefiting from proven local expertise, the school stands out in the fields of accessories and knitwear. Thanks to the patronage of the Indonesian Design Development Foundation, ESMOD Jakarta really sets the standard in Southeast Asia and now offers training focused on the fashion business.  
ESMOD Tunisia
Throughout its history, Tunisia has forged itself a strong culture of clothing and textiles. ESMOD Tunis, which opened in 1989, and ESMOD Sousse, which opened in 1997, are a part of this tradition whilst also seeking to modernize it. There is, therefore, a true fusion of styles in Tunisia. By working with fabrics—either natural or technical—students tend towards urbanization of their designs whilst also preserving the tribal aspect of their cultural heritage. Accessorizing their looks (with jewelry, bags, etc.) is also very important to their creative processes. The two schools also demonstrate great skill in the field of lingerie
ESMOD in Germany
In a city with a strong identity as the home of the underground art scene, graphic art, and post-industrial design, ESMOD Berlin, which opened in 1994, has a boundless, effervescent creativity. Its students are experts in detailed, visual, and very casual fashion. Architectural volumes, large items of clothing (coats, jumpsuits, etc.), and prints are some of the means of expression dictated by the need for innovation. Reflecting a country that took up the environmental cause early on, the school has developed a specialized Masters in sustainable development: "Sustainability in Fashion."  
ESMOD in Norway
To counteract the severe Scandinavian cold, the Norwegian capital has developed a "lifestyle" culture based on cocooning and nature. This culture has a strong influence on fashion and ESMOD Oslo exploits it perfectly, training its students to create pieces worthy of a Fall/Winter wardrobe (coats, sweaters, etc.) that call on a high degree of technical sophistication. Far from being confined to the basics, the Oslo students like to stylize casual wear to create chic and contemporary collections. The typically Nordic skills of leatherworking, working with fur, and working with knitted fabrics are undeniably advantageous in the perfection of their training.  
ESMOD in the United Arab Emirates
Benefiting from the economic dynamism of a cosmopolitan and international city where tradition and modernity are combined, ESMOD Dubai opened in 2006 and has found its place in a society that has made fashion a way of life. Through an approach that is very focused on couture and luxury, the students are trained in the noblest of techniques: draping, "flou" dressmaking, embroidery, pleating, etc., with the aim of creating bespoke pieces that are exceptional and unique. The school has become a necessary rite of passage for any designer who wants to open their own fashion house.  
ESMOD in China
Located in the third most populated city in China, neighboring Shenzhen and Hong Kong, ESMOD Guangzhou opened in 2014 and is a beacon of French know-how, creativity, and technique in the south of China. As young Chinese people are turning more and more towards the West, with unrestrained open-mindedness, the school has achieved a creative equilibrium between the still coveted Couture style and the world of high-end, ready-to-wear fashion, so prized by lovers of fashion products. The school benefits from the energy of the "T.I.T Creative Park" campus—a platform dedicated to artistic and cross-cultural expression, linking fashion, art, culture, and design and supporting their legitimacy. At the beginning of the 2017 academic year, ESMOD will open a school in Beijing, consolidating their strategic presence in the Chinese market
ESMOD in Korea
Benefiting from the energy of an ever-expanding textile market, ESMOD Seoul, which opened in 1989, excels due to its cutting-edge vision of fashion as well as its technical expertise. They really explore different ways of treating fabrics (texture, prints, etc.) in order to accentuate the design of the clothes. Faced with a very divided fashion market, the school has developed certain fields in particular, such as men's fashion, children's fashion and lingerie. The great creative richness of the new artistic scene in Korea provides an inexhaustible mine of inspiration for the students.  
ESMOD in Turkey
In a country situated at the crossroads between Eastern and Western cultures, ESMOD Istanbul (opened in 2010) has established itself as a model of creativity, fed by varied inspirations, the fruits of a unique internationalism. One of the school's assets is the dynamism of the Turkish textile and clothing industry. It is supported by the large industrial group VAKKO, and provides its students with comprehensive technical training. This industrial and multicultural context allows ESMOD Istanbul to position itself as a point of reference for original and cutting-edge fashion.  
ESMOD in Lebanon
As a melting pot of cultures and traditions, Lebanon has always been a point of reference in the fields of art and design. Despite inheriting a tradition of haute couture, ESMOD Beirut, which opened in 1999, is nevertheless a pioneer, driving a modernity inspired by the capital's energy and keeping up with new ideas of luxury and what is "hip." Its students do not hesitate to adapt casual clothing to give it added value through the use of natural fibers or particular cuts, proving once more that they have mastered the techniques taught by ESMOD perfectly.    

170 years of ESMOD International Catwalk Show (June 2011)

Every year, the schools in the ESMOD group meet to make sure that their syllabuses are coordinated, to show their students' work in a catwalk show, and to present the group's major strategic direction.

Since 2008, ESMOD Editions, directed by Claire Wargnier, has contributed to the coherence of the teaching strategies used across ESMOD's international network and ensured that the school's cultural heritage is preserved.

What Does the Future Hold?
At the beginning of the 21st century, ESMOD maintains the legacy of its founder, Alexis Lavigne, whilst always striving to stay one step ahead of the fashion of tomorrow. As a result, today more than ever, the school directs its teaching towards innovation. From computer assisted design and 3D printing to the new distribution methods created with the development of the Internet and the evolution of consumer behavior, ESMOD explores and shares its constantly evolving expertise.    
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