Sonia Ben Maaouia

PARIS — Sonia Ben Maaouia, formerly a client director at Karla Otto, has joined the Istituto Marangoni Paris as a leader of the school’s masters program, marking a shift to the realm of education after nearly a decade serving brands.

“I thought I needed a refresh on how to think fashion today,” said the public relations executive, who was prompted to change her perspective by the coronavirus pandemic. Ben Maaouia plans to share her fashion experience with students and draw on her network with brands to forge joint projects, masterclasses and conferences. She would like to get students tackling challenges for brands of various sizes, she added, noting the school is equipped for digital projects with a studio for photos and videos.

Labels that are tapped into younger audiences and are open to fresh ideas are the most successful these days, she observed.

The Istituto Marangoni’s Paris branch is mostly made up of foreign students — out of a population of between 300 and 350 at the undergraduate level, and a handful of masters students. The institute quickly shifted course to online channels when the coronavirus lockdowns first hit, sending a large number of students back to their home countries.

Ben Maaouia worked for Karla Otto for eight years.