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About Us

A Top Fashion Design School in Miami

With a highly qualified academic team, combining European instructors and prominent local professionals, our design School in Miami offers a variety of fashion marketing courses and fashion graduate programs, including two-year Associate of Applied Science and four-year Bachelor of Fine Art degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Styling, and Fashion Business. We also offer Master of Art Degrees in Fashion & Luxury Brand Management, Digital Communication & Social Media Strategy, and Fashion Innovation & Luxury E-Commerce. We also offer a number of professional short courses throughout the academic year, open to students virtually and in-person. 

Design school miami

Miami’s Design District

The Design District, one of Miami’s most uplifting areas, has risen to worldwide fame as a prime destination for arts, design, and fashion. Once part of Buena Vista and neighboring Wynwood and the Upper East Side areas, the District is now home to over 130 art galleries, high-profile creative and architectural showrooms, luxury fashion houses, antique dealers, restaurants and cafés.

As part of this young and exciting community, Istituto Marangoni, one of Miami’s top fashion schools, brings its fashion finesse to emerging trend-minded talents who want to express their creativity while learning key industry skills in its 21,900 square-foot building, a Fashion Design School in the heart of the Miami Design District (MDD).

The Miami School of Fashion offers students an unprecedented opportunity for innovation, inspiration, and creativity to build a promising future within the fashion and design industry. Optional cross-school study abroad opportunities with Istituto Marangoni’s European campuses are also available and provide an opportunity to learn via flexible credit-based study paths.

The fashion school in Florida was carefully designed to meet the specific needs of students, faculty, and staff. Classrooms are equipped with cutting-edge technological and audio-visual devices to provide students with an outstanding educational experience.

Academic Team

Istituto Marangoni Miami features different classrooms, including:

  • Design classrooms: Formatted to meet our students’ needs for drawing and design.
  • Pattern-cutting studios: Home of the Fashion Design courses, studios are equipped with sewing machines, irons, and mannequins, among other features to enhance hands-on, experiential learning.
  • Theory classrooms: Face-to-face instructional lectures are offered in an academic environment.
  • Computer labs: Equipped with the finest computer machines and software to provide our students with access to the latest fashion technology.


Higher Education Administration

Hakan Baykam

School President

A resourceful entrepreneur with a multi-pronged background, Hakan Baykam boasts an extensive and in-depth career that spans from fashion to design, from education to renewable energies. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1972, he has a solid success story that leverages on his drive to innovate, on his quest to support sustainability, and on his long standing passion for fashion, finely honed over the years.
His latest far-sighted fashion projects are based in Miami, where he opened one of the top ranked fashion Schools in the world, Istituto Marangoni Miami.

By combining the Italian way of teaching, which is very connected to hand-crafting, with the American way of doing business, the School encourages students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset where they feel confident to transform their creative ideas into real, tangible products.

Baykam’s diverse background certainly contributed to his dynamic and sharp business acumen. Rooted in a strong Turkish tradition, at the age of six he moved to Italy. As part of this radical change, his childhood was defined by the challenges of acceptance, diversity and adjusting to a new country, all elements which forged his character and the desire to bond different worlds and cultures, a defining trait of many of his projects and achievements.

Hakan graduated from the prestigious Venice University, where he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Masters in Communications and Marketing. After his studies, in the late Nineties, Baykam worked for a large spectrum of fashion companies in various key roles, from Marketing to Communications to Sales. They include Benetton Sports System; Levi’s Italy; Marzotto Group’s Marlboro Classics clothing licenses; Miss Sixty Group. 

In the early 2000s, with far-sighted wit he and his brother successfully rode the wave of renewable energies in Italy and other major countries, a budding sector that thrived on new laws and business opportunities. 

In Miami, Hakan brought his passion for sustainability into fashion by incorporation a strong concept of Sustainable Fashion into the School’s curricular program.

“I see Miami as one of the most dynamic and culturally enriched cities in the world; I have all the elements to make it the next fashion mecca. Industry leaders and investors are moving to Miami from NYC and LA because they see the potential the city has to offer. Miami has led the way in both architecture and art, and is quickly becoming a major player in the fashion market. Over the next decade, I think the Miami style scene will definitely be affected by powerful influential people, some of which could be graduates from our School.
” – Hakan Baykam.

Stephen Iacullo

School Director 

For over 22 years, Mr. Iacullo has been a proponent for education for many acclaimed colleges and universities. Mr. Iacullo has been a COO, President, Regional Campus President, Vice President of Admissions and Marketing and other titles. He strives for placing students first and to promote fashion education at the highest level in the United States.

Mr. Iacullo’s passion is to help change students’ lives as he understands the power of education. In his 22 years, he has helped thousands of students obtain their dreams and goals. Mr. Iacullo graduated with a Bachelors of Science from Illinois State University and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Meet Our Faculty

Massimo Casagrande

Dean of Fashion 

Massimo Casagrande, the Director of Education at Marangoni Miami, pursued his fashion design studies at Istituto Marangoni in Milano and then went on to receive his Masters of Fashion Design from the University of East London. After several years of experience as a Senior tutor of Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni London, Massimo was appointed as the program leader for the Fashion Design Undergraduate Courses on that same school. Prior to this, Massimo was part of Versace, first as a designer for Versus menswear, then as a designer for Versace Sport and Versace Jeans. Casagrande then went on to launch his own label in 2012, MCG Massimo Casagrande. His collections have been shown in Paris and London as part of the Fashion East Menswear: Installations. Currently, Massimo collaborates with a number of international clients as a stylist, designer, and as a contributor to fashion magazines such as Surface, Rodeo and Independent Style.

For the past two years, he has been an official partner of London Design Festival, where he has exhibited and curated site specific collections in sync with contemporary cultural and social issues. Massimo also travels often as a guest lecturer holding seminars and workshops around the world.

Joe De Piro

Director of Academics & Program Leader of Fashion Business

Joe DePiro has been a Professor of Fashion Business since 2010 and a member of the faculty at Istituto Marangoni Miami since the school opened in January 2018.

Joe also serves as a board member of Fashion Group International of South Florida, Kids in Distress and Care Resource, South Florida’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS nonprofit service organization, where he has helped raise over $2 million for HIV/AIDS research in South Florida.

Before that, DePiro was Creative Director for Macy’s Florida, responsible for the in-store merchandising and marketing in 63 Macy’s stores in Florida and Puerto Rico.

Joe moved to South Florida in 1997 to help establish a children’s apparel start-up called Kid Cool and held various management positions including President. Under him the company grew in volume from $300,000 to over $30 million. DePiro also worked on the set of Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon and launched a girl’s apparel collection based on the film with MGM studios.

During his career, Joe DePiro also worked as a buyer for Macy’s East, a retail analyst for Nautica and a senior planner for Liz Claiborne. A native of Hudson Valley, New York, Joe is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BA in International Relations and a graduate of Columbia University with a master’s degree in International Business.

Mario Braghieri

Fashion Design Program Leader

Mario Braghieri has been involved in fashion production for over thirty years. At a young age, his parents owned a manufacturing company which created high quality samples and prototypes for countless well-known brands in Italy.

He attended Istituto Marangoni with the desire to leave his mark in the fashion market as a pattern maker. Upon graduating, he developed samples and worked in fashion production for the Nadini Group, an Italian designer label manufacturer based in Modena-Italy which included designer houses such as Gianfranco Ferrè and Fendi. Subsequently, he worked as a fashion production consultant and started his career at Marangoni as an assistant teacher.

Mario has always pursued his career with determination and focused on deepening his knowledge and skills in garment construction and pattern making. He has had the honor of working for renowned fashion names such as Emporio Armani, Maska, Cerruti, Mariella Burani and Karl Lagerfeld.

For the past 27 years, Mario has been a major player in guiding Istituto Marangoni through its international growth by bringing his technical knowledge, industry expertise and finesse in garment making to the School.

Before moving to the Miami School, Mario led pattern making courses in all levels of education throughout eight of the ten Marangoni Schools, including the Milan Atelier Program, which is one of the most prestigious programs among the Schools. From Spain to China, Belgium to the United Kingdom, United States to Colombia, Mario has been selected by strong fashion houses to provide consultancy in fashion production.

Lucrezia Mancini

Fashion Styling Program Leader

Lucrezia graduated in fashion styling at Istituto Marangoni in 2012. While taking her studies she assisted Katie Shillingford at Dazed and Confused. Once she finished her studies, she assisted different editors: Jodie Barnes of fantastic man magazine, Andrew Davis at Arena +, and Panos Yiapanis at Love magazine and Id. She was assisting Sara Maino in London for Vogue Italia, Veronique Didry for H&M, Yasmine Eslami for Hudson Jeans & Purple magazine.

After different free-lance jobs, she then started to assist full time Olivier Rizzo: being part of Prada, Miu Miu, Dior Homme & Christian Dior Campaigns and shows, shootings for Id, Love, Vogue Italia, traveling between London, Milan, Paris, NYC, and Tokyo.

While assisting she became fashion editor of French menswear magazine Apollo and contributor fashion editor for D-section magazine, also based in Paris.

3 years ago, she started to teach fashion styling at Marangoni, keeping her position at the magazine so that she could be a free-lance fashion styling and a tutor at the university where she brought so much of her experiences.

Nathalie Tessier

Continuing Education Program Leader

Nathalie Tessier studied fashion design in Paris, but she soon discovered that her passion and innate talent lay in the business aspects of the fashion industry. After graduating, she joined the internationally renowned brand Celio as a director with responsibility for the design and management of international market collections; purchasing; product distribution; new store concept prototype design implementation and marketing campaigns.

Her leadership and innovation contributed to the successful growth and expansion of the company from a Paris-based men’s clothing store to a multinational enterprise. Tessier’s signature Celio project was the creation of Dooble, a new contemporary menswear brand she developed and implemented using an innovative marketing and operational strategy featuring a new store concept prototype. As Director of Celio Sport, she delivered a branding, image and marketing campaign to launch a new and very successful concept in sports apparel.

At Sud Express, a ready-to-wear apparel line for active women, she was responsible for marketing, purchasing, production services and staffing of 80 boutique stores. Nathalie Tessier further expanded her business expertise in the international fashion market by becoming a partner of a trading and sourcing company in Shanghai, specializing in fashion apparel for the French and Brazilian markets.

Throughout her career in the fashion industry, Ms. Tessier has dedicated her time and talents to prepare the next generation of fashion entrepreneurs by serving as a mentor to emerging professionals and students. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses and delivered workshops for over 16 years in various institutions, including Istituto Marangoni in Paris.

Ms. Tessier now resides with her family in Miami, where she continues mentoring fashion designers who want to develop their brands.

Amy Berkowitz

Fashion Workshops Program Leader

Amy Berkowitz received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1978 and soon after began working in the Film & Television industry. Working on special effects for Marks and Marks on the 1st Star Wars film. In addition to film work, Amy worked at Duck Soup Productions graphics department for California Raisins, Foot Loops and Levi Strauss TV animated commercials.
Amy grew up in the fashion industry, she created her branded private label company, Artgear. The brand was launched in Los Angeles, and then brought the collection to the east coast. The ready -2- wear collection had distribution worldwide and worn by many celebrities, also creating a licensed private label program for major department stores across the United States. In 1994, Amy received her Master of Art in Teaching at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa. Teaching for the last 25 years at both the secondary and university level art/ design and textile fashion design.
Amy had taught drawing and painting workshops in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and South Florida. Her paintings were purchased by corporations such as Airgas, for worldwide distribution of original paintings and prints. Amy has designed textile prints for swimwear, children’s wear and home and bath products. Amy has taught in South Florida at the Boca Raton Art School and Miami International University of Art and design since 2007. Also, as Professor at Marangoni Istituto in Miami Beach, Florida.
Amy has branded various fashion and accessories collections into the boutique market and mass market audience, bringing her expertise glob- ally in direct market and mass consumer sales.

Matilda Kalaveshi, MBA

Product Development, Fashion Buying & Visual Merchandising Professor

Matilda’s introduction to the international fashion industry started at an early age in Europe. After transitioning into the buying world when she joined Macys Corporate Inc, she completely fell in love with retail and the business side of the fashion world.
For the past 17 years, she has worked for numerous retailers in the southeast region and have held different positions such as Fashion Buyer, Planner, Senior Buyer, Fashion Director, and Consultant. Matilda currently runs her own retail consulting boutique where she helps brands and retailers build and grow profitable businesses.
At a local level, Kalaveshi is the Downtown NEWS Business Correspondent, focusing on retail news, consumer trends, e-commerce, emerging brands, new retail developments, and more. Her ultimate goal is to prepare her students to navigate the multi-faceted world of retail by bridging the gap between fashion and business.

Victor Uphaus

Strategic Retail Management Professor

Victor Uphaus is a former retail executive who worked as a Store Manager and District Training manager for well-known American retail companies, such as kids R Us, The Children’s Place, GAP, JLindeberg, and Brooks Brothers.
His passions for learning and sharing his knowledge has gotten him teaching Management, Marketing and other business courses at colleges and universities since 1997.
His educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Economics from the University of Michigan, and two Masters Degrees from St. Thomas University, one in Management and the other one in Business Administration.

Freddy Suarez

Mathematics and Statistics Professor

Suarez earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from St. Thomas University in 2007 and his Master of Science in Mathematics Education from Nova Southeastern University in 2012. In addition, he held a Master of Business Administration from Florida International University, and an Educational Specialist from American College of Education.
Before coming to Istituto Marangoni Miami, Freddy has been teaching in Higher Education for over 10 years at some of the most recognized private and public institutions in the United States including Barry University, American International University, Everest University, Ana G Mendez University System, Keiser University, Miami Dade College, ASA College, Acupuncture and Massage College, Advanced Science College, SABER College of Nursing, College of Business and Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, New York Film Academy, Universal Career School of Nursing, and St. Thomas University.

Miryam A. Fragoso-Wiley

Biological Science Professor

Miryam A. Fragoso-Wiley is an Adjunct faculty at Istituto Marangoni and Miami Dade College where she teaches in the biological sciences.
Miryam obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Miami with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. She then did her graduate work at University of Miami Miller school of Medicine and obtained her doctorate in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.
Miryam did research in the areas of pulmonology, ophthalmology, and human genetic diseases and her work resulted in the publication of several research articles. Miryam’s objective is to show how nature can inspire design and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Michel Tessier

Fashion Photography Professor

Michel Tessier was born and grew up in Paris with the aspiration of becoming a photographer. He is a self-taught professional who began practicing at the age of 14 by taking photos of his friends.
His first photography job was as a camera assistant to French film Director and Cinematographer Claude Lelouch. Michel served in the military at the Cinema of Photography for the French Army and worked for Gamma Press Agency, traveling around the world to take photos from the battlefield and also covering everyday events.
At the Fillipachi Studio in Paris, he was an assistant to famous fashion photographers completing his knowledge of fashion and beauty photography before launching his own career as a fashion photographer. He began to build his portfolio by taking photographs of testing models sent by modeling agencies and the doors of the fashion world opened quickly, leading to work with top models and photographers.
Michel Tessier made his mark with his name on the pages of prestigious fashion magazines such as Vogue, ELLE, Marie-Claire, l’Officiel and also for famous advertising campaigns; and beauty, fashion, and lingerie catalogs.

Saul Kapilivsky

Pattern Cutting and Collection Professor

Saul Kapilivsky grew up in a clothing manufacturing family. His father was a menswear manufacturer, his mother designed women’s career clothes, and both his sisters designed and produced children’s, women’s, and men’s wear. The family knitted their own jerseys and interlock knit fabrics. At age 9 he was designing fabric for his sister.
He graduated from the Academy of Art University with an MFA in Fashion Design; he also holds a BFA in Graphic design and an AA in Fashion Merchandising. In 1988 he was one of the finalists in the Air France Concours International Des Jeunes Createurs De Mode representing the United States in France.
Throughout his career of over 34 years, he has worn many hats; from designing Mother of the Bride and Special Occasion gowns, creating and launching wholesale eveningwear collections to owning his own business.
During that time he sold to major department stores in the Bridal and Eveningwear departments, specialty stores, boutiques, and mail-order catalogs. His responsibilities included fabric and trim sourcing, supervising the cutting room and special size cutting orders, traveling for personal appearances, fashion shows, trunk shows, and photoshoots. He has dressed celebrities such as Aretha Franklin, Diedre Hall, and Mary Hart for red carpet events, as well as several pageants such as Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Universe.

Mission and Goals

To excel as a Fashion Design School  and a center of professional and creative learning in the Fashion, Art and Design industries and to sustain international industries by developing talented Istituto Marangoni Miami students from all over the world. We strive to achieve this mission by:

  • Offering an extensive and detailed educational portfolio.
  • Achieving the academic standards with modern and dynamic curricula focused on results.
  • Integrating the spirit of ‘Italianess’ into the experience of students on a daily basis through both curricula and the school experience.
  • Celebrating the global and multicultural reach of Italian culture through Fashion, Art and Design.
  • Supporting and developing the potential of our teaching and administrative staff, by means of constant and punctual training.
  • Placing Istituto Marangoni Miami at the center of the Fashion, Art and Design cultures, with the support and collaboration of Istituto Marangoni’s established network from international school locations in the leading world cultural capitals of: Milano, Firenze, Paris, London, Shanghai* and Shenzhen* (* Training centers).
  • Further strengthening historical and recent connections with the most important companies and personalities in the luxury Fashion, Art and Design market.

Since 1935, this has been the mission of Istituto Marangoni, beginning with fashion and extending to design and fashion business, always with the aim of providing those who choose Istituto Marangoni institutes, schools and centers for their training to express themselves creatively. Today, all Istituto Marangoni schools are part of an established and recognized aesthetic laboratory of European-style culture with a specifically Italian imprint.


Following in the footsteps of Istituto Marangoni’s international network of schools and training centers worldwide in enhancing talents since 1935, Istituto Marangoni Miami’s vision is to always be at the center of style, to drive students’ ambitions and dreams through creativity and innovation, to support creative industries worldwide, and to provide a solid and cross-disciplinary approach to education, research and business solutions in the world of Fashion, Design, and Art.


Statement of Purpose

The essence of fashion and design is the core expression of Istituto Marangoni’s international network of schools and training centers worldwide. Professionals who are passionate about their work and willing to share their expertise, teaching and guiding young talents in the fashion, design and creative industries.

Where theory is taught alongside practice, students learn that creativity is a gift to be continuously nurtured and stimulated, with both passion and dedication. It is the same passion for the world of fashion and design with which our instructors teach. Istituto Marangoni Miami’s programs are designed to respond to the needs of the industry today and are constantly monitored to ensure our curriculum coincides with those industry-based standards.

Ownership/Legal Control

Istituto Marangoni Miami is owned by Istituto Marangoni Miami, Inc.
Istituto Marangoni Miami Inc. is a for profit corporation in the State of Florida.

A Board of Directors controls the Istituto Marangoni Miami Inc.


The school is licensed by the Florida, but currently not accredited.

International Advisory Board

Fashion blogging course

Miguel Enamorado

Fashion Director of Harpers Bazaar. 

Online fashion marketing course

Eva Hughes

Founder of Adira Consulting – previously CEO for Condé Nast Mexico and Latin America

Social media for fashion marketing

Paula Cademartori

Marangoni Alumni and founder of Paula Cademartori.

Silvia Tcherassi

Colombian Fashion Designer, founder of one of the most innovative Latin American brands, Silvia Tcherassi. 

Fashion design beginner course

Valerie MattoS

Editor of Vogue Colombia, former editor of french fashion
magazine L’offiiciel.

Bachelor of arts in fashion design

Esteban CortÁzar

Colombian Fashion Designer, one of youngest to show in the Miami & New York Fashion Shows

Carlo D'Amario

CEO at Vivienne Westwood Ltd

Fashion summer programs

Oscar Feldenkreis

Chief Executive Officer and President of Perry Ellis International, Inc

Wen Zhou

CEO of 3.1 Phillip Lim. Recognized by her skills in fabric sourcing, production management, and business judgment

Online fashion courses

Craig Robins

CEO and President of Dacra, the real estate development company. Dacra made partnership with L Real Estate for the development of the Miami Design District by forming Miami Design District Associates (MDDA)

Milan Vukmirovic

Influential figure in the fashion world.

Former design director for Gucci under Tom Ford, and creative director at Jil Sander and Trussardi.

Johanna Ortiz

Founder & Creative Director – Johanna Ortiz

Fashion online courses

Kelly Talamas

Kelly Talamas is an Editor and Crea2ve Director with over a decade of experience in the fashion and lifestyle industries.

Denisa Palsha

Denisa Palsha is a contributing fashion director, editor, and writer. She is also an editorial stylist and styling mentor. She has been featured in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, W, L'Officiel, Grazia, and others.

Maria Buccelatti

Co-Founder of Faith Connexion

Fashion courses for teenagers

Danielle Garno

Chair of Retail Industry Team; Head of Fashion, Beauty & Luxury Goods practice at Cozen O’Connor

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