Kering ceo François-Henri Pinault and IFM dean Xavier Romatet

PARIS — Pushing its ecological focus into the realm of education, Kering has teamed with the Institut Français de la Mode to establish a sustainability chair position with the aim of creating a higher education and research center at the French fashion institute.

The position, officially called the “IFM-Kering Chair” is being taken up by professor Andrée-Anne Lemieux, a fashion industry veteran with experience in marketing and retail. She is a professor with a doctorate in industrial engineering and will be in charge of all of the institute’s environmental sustainability initiatives. The position also entails overseeing doctoral theses, contributing to scientific publications and taking part in conferences on subjects related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

The new position is “an integral part” of the fashion institute’s strategy, said the dean, Xavier Romatet.

The institute will offer training modules on fashion practices ranging from vocational training to the master’s degree level, with an eye to promoting a sustainable approach to the industry, including business models, manufacturing and supply processes.

François-Henri Pinault, Kering chairman and chief executive officer, and Romatet inaugurated the program in a signing ceremony at the institute Thursday, meeting with students for the occasion.

“Research and education play a crucial role in changing the practices and models of the fashion industry,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering’s chief sustainability officer.

In its statement, Kering said the chair will focus scientific research on a range of sustainability issues including traceability and tools for measuring environmental issues.

The IFM was created by the merger of two French fashion institutions with the pre-merged IFM focusing on postgraduate degrees in fashion management, while future fashion designers turned to the ECSCP for vocational and graduate training in fashion design and pattern-making. The new IFM caters to all levels of fashion education, from vocational training to Ph.D. level. By September 2022, the fashion school aims to attract a total of 1,000 students, including 300 following an apprenticeship program. It also will house seminars and training programs for 3,000 adult learners.

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