• Carmela MMR

Breaking Fashion Education Barriers - Jean-Baptiste Andreani leads

Global educational leader, Jean-Baptiste Andreani, guides the International Fashion Academy with humbled grace by working behind the scenes to maintain the educational institution students from all around the world seek to study in. Founded in the fashion capital of Paris, France, IFA Paris, is the space students come to study the plethora forms of which the fashion industry is rooted; from Fashion Design, Fashion Business, to Global Fashion Media and Luxury Fashion. Andreani is a true representative of this diversity in education and is a source of support for us students. But how did he get into fashion? Or was fashion truly the industry that he seeked?

Andreani, born in Corsica, France, had attended a preparatory school and then graduated to SKEMA, a business school which he completed in four years with a year in between to gain working experience. During Andreani’s last year of his Management degree, he spent it in Thailand which inspired the subsequent chapter of his career. Upon completion of his masters, Andreani began his career in education and later added consulting to the bit. Provoked by the linear educational structure at the young girls convent where he taught English in Bangkok, Thailand, he saw that this “traditional” yet limiting educational format was not constructive to the children's learning. Andreani, as we will learn, is a pioneer of instigating change and diversity in educational systems--a true promoter of equity and adaptation of learning styles and subjects.

In a Marketing Lecture position he took on later with Raffles Design Institute, still in Thailand, Andreani was able to “explore the teaching and learning strategy” and “to experiment in project based learning.” Throughout establishing dedication to the institution and climbing the career based ladder, Andreani after 7 years was relocated to Shanghai to be the Academic Director of Raffles Design Institute and Academic Link Advisor for the Group. Raffles, being IFA’s top competitor to our sister branch in Shanghai, made Andreani an even more tasteful addition to the IFA team. For 2 years, Andreani secured the position as Director of Quality Assurance to Academic Director; “close to four years ago, I was sent here [IFA Paris] to be the Managing Director.”

Throughout his career, since his position as the Academic Director at Raffles, different groups had reached out to him for consulting including but not limited to: the Kering Group, Conde Nast, and LSL Consulting. Consulting in a sense was another entry point to instigate education in formats that challenged the traditional method of teaching that he saw many years back at the Thai girls convent. Examples of innovative educational structures that Andreani implemented are a plenty.

Jean-Baptiste Andreani inaugurated many noteworthy programs and lectures. With Andreani’s support was the birth of the “World’s first African Gastronomy MBA Program,” the Fashion Technology and Innovation postgrad diploma, an undergraduate degree in Fashion Sustainability, and Cultural sensitivity and Awareness Workshops.

Andreani works in fashion education, so by default some would say he works in the fashion industry, however he thinks otherwise-- “I am an outsider; I bring a fresh perspective to the fashion industry, but what motivates me is education.” And so, to conclude the interview, it was pertinent to note, that Andreani is motivated to implement courses of inclusivity in fashion education. With the breadth of different educational spaces he has occupied and the value he sees in constructive education for people globally, it is his understanding that education needs to be opened up and explored deeper and appreciated more in every aspect. So advice to IFA Paris students, challenge what you think you know and to not only take advantage but to also respect the resources you have because right now is an invaluable experience.

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