Paris | January 3, 2013

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Everyone in the fashion industry will have heard of ESMOD, the prestigious French school of fashion and fashion techniques. It carries with it a stamp of class and distinction. There are schools dotted around the globe but at present not in the UK. However in Paris courses are taught in English. 


Tailor Alexis Lavigne founded ESMOD in 1841. It was the first school in the world specialising in fashion clothing design. Alexis Lavigne was an important figure in the fashion world, as he invented the fashion mannequin and the soft metric ribbon. He also published his cutting methods books. After his death in 1880, his daughter took charge of the school. Then his granddaughter took over until the 1940s. Over the years the school has expanded resulting in schools springing up all around the world by the 1980’s.


ESMOD continues to grow, as it now has six schools in France and fifteen more all over the world.


The course is open to everyone aged seventeen who holds a baccalaureate or an equivalent grade diploma. The curriculum is recognized by the government. Prospective students will have to undergo an interview and assessment exam.

It’s a three year course which specialises in men’s wear, ladies wear, accessories children’s wear, lingerie, and also haute couture. They also have a course in theatrical costumes. Students work for 25 hours per week. It also has an internship service which creates 500 to 700 jobs a year. If you are lucky enough to enter the internship service it could open doors to permanent positions with fashion houses.

Famous students to emerge from ESMOD

ESMOD has some famous past students including Suzy Menkes, Princess Odette Krempin, Gunhild Nygaard, Nina Garcia from Marie Claire Magazine and Olivier Rousteing from the fashion house of Balmain in Paris.

ESMOD has become the most important fashion university in the world of clothing. Anyone who has studied with the famous ESMOD will be held in high regard, possibly leading to a great career in fashion.

Photo by Ejja Pahlevi

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