Accademia Costume & Moda

AZ ACADEMY Co-edited ACM and Creative Academy, supported by Richemont Group

The late Alber Elbaz’ founded AZ Factory in 2021 with the vision to support independent designers and the collaboration between Richemont Group, Creative Academy and Accademia Costume & Moda (ACM) is giving birth to AZ ACADEMY: BUSINESS FOR DESIGNERS.

In the current context, a significant number of emerging designers who have graduated from major fashion schools are imagining their future career outside the traditional path: working in a major fashion house for years; and are considering to immediately launch their own brand. Other young talented professionals have acquired some experience working for Brands and are willing to launch their own entrepreneurial project. Others have started this journey full of critical issues for which they are not prepared.

The current system lacks educational and institutional programmes that specifically provide designers with the tools and know-how needed to turn a creative idea into a branded business offering capable of attracting investment.

The AZ ACADEMY programme is meant to merge the educational content and the professional experience to support young designers to acquire the most relevant tools to establish a brand.

The programme is thought to connect content, classes, visits, and experiences to fill the gaps and to promote the birth of new creative and industrial businesses within the international fashion system.


The programme is full-time and the attendance to the activities is mandatory. Participants that will not comply with this requirement will be eligible to exit and leave the programme.
An induction, which involves the provision of 4 modules which analyze the various areas of expertise necessary to tackle the creation of a brand and which range from marketing to merchandising to the ability to outline an offer, production, sales, logistics to main legal and administrative rules. During this period (January/April) lessons, exercises, visits and masterclasses are planned with the real players in the system to provide participants with the basis on which to develop their own conscious plan.

The second part of the programme (May/July) focuses on the individual needs of the participants. Each participant will be able to build a personal plan of mentorship based on the most relevant aspects, and the Academy will manage 5 meetings of 3 hours each for each student with mentors. During this period, Production Ecosystem Experiences are activated to put participants in contact with the main suppliers and makers similar to their project. This module is key to activate the network needed to realize the collection plan according to different makers and industry producers. According to the proposed merchandising of collections, participants will interact with real stakeholders/suppliers activating collaborations to realize their collections. This is a very delicate module because it foresees the collection project to be completed by this moment in order to manage the production terms and to be ready to make it feasible through needed changes. The number of visits/internships may vary according to the different key categories of the brand. Participants are expected to travel to different districts within Italy. 

The course culminates in the third part (August/November). In this period each participant will benefit of 10 meetings of 3 hours each with tutors to deliver the materials required for their final presentation that will take place in December in the presence of the internal Richemont jury.

The final project will be composed of three parts: 


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