“In fashion, creativity is a really important thing that you can learn and improve in school,” he says, using the Royal Academy as an example. “Students’ own identity and signature is the most important thing to us.” He goes on to cite the success of the school’s alumni as proof of this method of teaching.
“I’m sure that in all the fashion houses, most people come from creative schools,” he continues. “That’s where most of our students end up – at the house of Balenciaga, the house of Dior. But they get there mainly because of their creativity; not for their business acumen.”
Van Beirendonck is clear: what the fashion industry needs is new blood and fresh ideas: “We must do everything we can to prioritise creativity in fashion education,” he concludes. “It is the thing that keeps the industry going.”