FLORENCE — Fashion and design school Istituto Marangoni held a runway show and gala dinner at Palazzo Corsini to celebrate its 80-year legacy and the completion of its latest project, a new campus astride the city’s historic downtown, slated to open in October 2016.

“I’m so proud that a school such as ours, which celebrates Made in Italy, is so successful, even in a moment of [economic] crisis,” said its group managing director, Roberto Riccio.

“Surely it’s an important decision for the school based on its long history,” said Pitti Immagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone, chatting with guests in the palazzo’s manicured courtyard. “It’s equally important for Florence because it reinforces its development as a formative hub for the world, especially amid the region’s rich textile resources.”

Founded in 1935 in Milan by Giulio Marangoni, satellite fashion schools were later established in London, Paris and Shanghai to train its current 3,000 international fashion students from 92 different countries for undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses on design, styling and business.

To promote its students’ skills, emerging talents from its four schools participated in “The 80th Anniversary Menswear Warrior Show,” which highlighted 72 men’s spring looks — ruled by athletic and gauzy fabrics in Technicolor palettes and prints — and a surprise appearance by the city’s mayor, Dario Nardella.

Alberta Ferretti, straight from her Florence office while preparing for pre-collection and the limited edition presentation in Paris, was there “to support young, international designers.”

Franca Sozzani, chatting with Ermanno Scervino, was equally optimistic about emerging, domestic talent. “There are so many that are creating beautiful work. We’ll have to wait and see, but we always find it,” she said.

For its 80th birthday and in recognition of Milano Expo 2015, the school will organize major events in Milan during Women’s Fashion Week, including a fashion show in partnership with the Italian Chamber of Fashion. In October, a coffee table book from Rizzoli Publications will spotlight its extraordinary alumni. Academically, it will award 80 scholarships to international candidates worth one million euros, or $1.1 million at current exchange.

Riccio noted that the fashion show’s “warrior” theme offered a message to young designers. “It’s not easy being a student, but a student must be a warrior – you must fight to show your talent, or else you’ll be just like all the others.”