Archive | Students Profiles RSS feed for this section

Fashion Runway: Kwan-Yui YAU

27 Jun

IFA Paris’ design students have spent months creatively interpreting this year’s theme, ‘East Meets West’ in preparation for our annual fashion show.  For tomorrow’s performance, 22-year-old Kwan-Yui captured a metaphysical union of Eastern and Western culture through evocative circular silhouettes, which emulateher two main inspirations, horoscopes and I-Ching.

Full name: KWAN-YUI, YAU

Age: 22

Place of Birth: Hong Kong

What does this year’s theme, ‘East Meets West’ mean to you?

The theme this year “East meets west” is very interesting to me: this is not only the chance to learn more about the connection between eastern and western cultures, but also learn how to harmoniously combine and innovate between them to present these ideas on the garments.

What inspired your collection? Can you tell us a little bit about it?

In this collection, I use fortune telling to present the theme of “East meets West,” as a variety of differentmethods of fortune telling have evolved from the ancient times to the present.  I am very curious and interested in mystic ideas, so I did a lot of research around I-Ching and horoscopes to get inspired.  These ended up being the two main ideas behind my collection, so I used round shapes and ancient Chinese coins as the main elements of my designs.

What surprised you the most in the design process and how did your instructors help you overcome these obstacles?

As there are lots of circles and curves in my designs, there werea lot of bottleneck and technical problemsthroughout the process of realizing my designs. I appreciated that my instructorshelped to patiently resolve these technical obstacles during the process, and helped me find a way to perfectly realize my designs.  I was most surprised by how effectively the garments turned out, after resolving these issues.

Can you describe your collection in five words?

Past, Future, Mystery, Prediction, Curiosity

Kwan-Yui’s sketches

Fashion Runway: Frida Misthou

25 Jun

Frida Misthou used her Greek origins to inspire a collection for IFA Paris 2012 Fashion Show theme East Meets West.  Through an exquisite array of elegant pleats, her cross-cultural examination of Greece and Turkeygives Classical Greek mythology a rippled effect of modern couture.  We caught up with Frida to catch a glimpse of her sketches before next week’s show!

Efstratia (Frida)  Misthou

Age: 26

Place of Birth: Athens, Greece

What does this year’s theme East Meets West mean to you?

This year’s theme for me was an opportunity to combine different and maybe controversial aspects of eastern and western civilizations or cultures into garments, through a very creative process.

What inspired your collection?

The Western part of my collection was inspired by the Greek pleats,which are depicted in the ancient statues, such as Nike of Samothrace. For the Easterninfluence,I took my inspiration from the Dervichestourneurs’ garments of Turkey.

Can you tell us a little bit about it?

When the theme of the collection was given to us, I instantly knew what I wanted to do. Because of my Greek origin, pleats in Classical Greek statues have always fascinated me and I wanted to use them in more modern way. As for my eastern inspiration, my country is next to Turkey, so it is logical tohave a lot of things in common, regarding for example our music, cuisine and some of our traditions. It is true that we have more things in common that these two countries dare to admit. My Turkish inspiration was theDervichesTourneurs, or in English Whirling Dervishes. They are a religious group of men, who are dressed in white jackets andwhite long skirts. They believe that they can come closer to God, through a ritual in which the accompaniment of music helps them reach ecstasy. They start to turn around themselves and gradually they speed up the turning. The visual effect created by this spinning is something uniquely sentimental and captivating.That was the feeling that I wanted to convey throughout my collection. I chose to design something that communicates a feeling of lightness and flow. I wanted to depict the image of an ethereal woman, like a goddess.Furthermore, I thought it was a good idea to unite these to countries, who are known to be enemies, into beautiful garments, in peace!

What has been the most difficult part of the design process?

The design process was interesting and creative! My main problem was not the creation of the designs,but the technical aspects of it. Specifically, in my former school in Athens we didn’t use Illustrator and Photoshop, so the most difficult part for me was to learn how to use them. Finally, through a lot of practice all became clear to me.

What has surprised you the most?

What has surprised me was that I managed to depict my thoughts and inspirations in a precise, clear and beautiful way into something not only artistic, but also functional and wearable such as a garment! Also I am happy that I managed to overcome all the difficulties of this year and rise to the occasion. This entire year was a big challenge!

How have your instructors helped you throughout?

My professors were the greatest help for me! My design teacher, Lise, guide me through the whole procedurewithout being judgmental, but with patience and respect. My computer design teacher, Tove, was also very kind and patient with me. Last, my sowing, draping and pattern making teacher, Tanjia, was there for me all the way, since my clothes had very complicated patterns and the sewing had to be extremely delicate. Furthermore I learned a lot from my Marketing teachers!

Can you describe your collection in five words?

Ethereal, fragile, intricate, sophisticated, delicate.






Frida’s sketches

2012 Fashion Show laureate in Shanghai: Alexandra Avramova

21 Jun

Alexandra, one of six winners at IFA Paris’ 2012 Fashion Show in Shanghai and a recent graduate, took some time to share her journey through her experiences while preparing, her thought process and the original vision of her collection“Army of ME”.

Image Alexandra and a model wearing one of her garment 

IFA Paris: What did this year’s theme ‘East Meets West’ mean to you?

Alexandra Avramova: It is the perfect theme for a graduation collection for someone like me who comes from the West but likes to live and study in the East. Here in Shanghai, you have a lot of examples that can illustrate the meeting of both cultures. To create my collection, I took most of my inspiration from the local Chinese youthand focused on those who had strong individuality and hip lifestyles.   Using my European background, I drew from this inspiration to create and design a vast majority of my collection.  I wanted to blend these two cultures to illustrate my understanding of East meets West.

IFA Paris: How did you incorporate this year’s theme into your design?

Alexandra Avramova: When I began my research on the younger generation of China, I realized that this current generation grew in a much more stable economy than those in past generations. They are often called the ME generation, or the “Little Emperors” of China, because they have more open opportunities in front of them than their parents had, and are more independent and opinionated. These days, China is booming with opportunity and you can really feel the positive optimism in the young people of China.  From this, I decided to take this amazing new spirit and mix it with traditional elements from older Chinese culture.  To blend in the west, I focused on the minds of the current youth and their obsession with western labels and tech gadgets like i-phones, western music, etc. Especially the way these young Chinese people interpret and change these western influences through the prism of their own experiences and their own culture.


Mood Board

IFA Paris: I noticed that your designs featured very unique accessories.  How did you come up with the idea to include accessories?

 Alexandra Avramova: I wanted to imitate the Chinese traditional headwear, former style of queens, as well as helmets for soldiers and mix them together in a more crazy form so it can be modern and cohesively blend together with a youthful face.

The lights on the garments and on the plastic bags represented the nerdy and technological side of the “Little Emperors” who spend endless hours on the internet and who love socializing with other youngsters globally.


IFA Paris: What was the most difficult part about the design process?

Alexandra Avramova:If you want to do good work, you need to find great materials. Finding printing facilities to realize my prints, as well as a supplier with laser cut machines for my plastic accessories was not an easy task.  After that, I had to figure out how to screen print on plastic and how to incorporate illumination wires into clothes and it wasn’t easy either. Doing everything on my own in Shanghai also presented itself as quite a challenge in itself.

IFA Paris: How do you feel to be one of the winners of the Fashion Show 2012?

Alexandra Avramova:To summarize in one word, I’m very “happy”.  To see my collection as a final product and worn on models was simply wonderful and really brought that sense of accomplishment in me.

IFA Paris: What has surprised you the most?

Alexandra Avramova:I was a little worried about combining so many elements together. Surprisingly,  thefinal creation turned out great!  My garments successfully fused the different materials, print techniques, colors and accessories.  To have my ideas translated so fluently onto the runway was a great surprise.

IFA Paris: How have your professors helped you throughout?

Alexandra Avramova:They helped a lot mainly with practical support for the realization of my collection. Their encouragement really made a difference to bring my vision into a reality.

IFA Paris: Can you describe your collection in five words?

Alexandra Avramova: “I love living in China”

IFA Paris: How were the final moments preparing for the show? Did everything go as planned?

Alexandra Avramova:Each of my models had to wear layers of garments and numerous accessories: gloves, leggings, head pieces, large wrist bands, belts, necklaces, attachable backpack and skirt, and bags. It took the dressers longer than usual to help my models get into all of this. So naturally I was quite nervous if we could manage to send the models to the stage in their full regalia! We were a good team and the models appeared on stage just as I planned, like real queens and soldiers.

IFA Paris :What do you plan to do in the future?

Alexandra Avramova: I am not sure what exactly I will be doing yet but definitely I would work in design. In particular, I would love to work for a big Chinese label from China, like Uma Wang for example.



Alexandra’s sketches


Alexandra’s sketches


Alexandra’s sketches


Thank you very much for your answers, and as with the other winners, we would like to wish you good luck for your future in the world of fashion.

IFA Paris’ 2012 fashion show winner in Shanghai: Sabine Ducasse

12 Jun

For IFA Paris’ 2012 annual fashion show in Shanghai , Sabine Ducasse, a French born designer presented a spiritual interpretation of the theme ‘East meets West’ with her collection The Melting Pot. She supported her design board with an impressive video, enhancing her multimedia vision of a Sino-French union.

Have a look on her video: The link will appear in couple of days.

She won the Golden Prize and received a full scholarship for the Postgraduate in Fashion Design and Management Program and a round-trip flight between Shanghai and Paris.

To know more about Sabine Ducasse’s collection and feelings after the fashion show, please read our article:


Sabine Ducasse











Two students of IFA participate to the 16ème Nord Fashion show!

25 May

Two IFA Paris Bachelor students in their second year of their Fashion Design program, Julie Pang from Mauritius and David Maillet from France, spoke about their internship at a new fashion brand: 16ème Nord Paris.


David Maillet & Julie Pang


Why did you choose to come in Shanghai to study at IFA Paris?

Julie: Well, to be honest, I was not expecting to stay in China at the beginning. I wanted to go to Australia or France. But after one year in Beijing, I loved this country. Moreover, the prospects of new job opportunities have been abundant to say the least, especially in the world of Fashion. It’s a city that never sleeps! I began my journey with a simple search on the internet for schools specialized in Fashion and I discovered IFA Paris. Two years later I’m still here!

David: “I would like to say destiny brought me to Shanghai. When I left France, I didn’t have any particular reason for leaving, I just wanted to see something else. At that time, people started to speak about the impressive economic growth of China so I packed my bags and bought a ticket for Shanghai. I originally only wanted to stay for one or two months but after this short time I definitely fell in love with the city. As Julie said: “I’m still here”


Currently, you are doing an internship at 16ème Nord, why did you choose this brand for your internship?

David: We found this internship thanks to IFA. 16ème Nord is a French brand specialized in fashion for men, which was an area that I was interested in. As a start-up company formed roughly one-year ago, I thought working for them would be a great experience for myself to learn about entering a diverse market like China and understanding the forces behind building a brand in the fashion business industry. My decision was absolutely awarded from day 1 and I couldn’t dream of a better scenario for my first experience. As the team was quite small, I was working closely with all departments of the brand and really putting some significant input into 16eme Nord’s go-to-market strategy. My decision to work with a smaller company really paid off in this regard. After only four months, we were able to participate to the organization of their Fashion show!


Talking about that can you tell us more about 16ème Nord Fashion show?

David: As I told you before, 16ème Nord is a young company and this fashion show was their first one in Shanghai. It was the perfect occasion to present the autumn-winter 2012 collection. As its first showing, I really wanted to showcase the diversity and universe of the brand. 16ème Nord presents itself as a really chic and classy Parisian styled brand. All the aspects of the show must be thought thoroughly to fit this style and to create the proper atmosphere, to shape the brand. It was definitely a lot of hard work but very rewarding in the end.


What, in specific, was your contribution?

David: They wanted us to give our ideas, especially concerning visual merchandising, but also about the organization, the animation, the choice of the models, the aesthetics, and all those little details that are essential for the success of this event. We were also assisting management, for example looking for a venue for the show or finding a calligraphic artist.


What do you like the most about your work there?

Julie: Well, I have to say that we were particularly interested in the start-up aspect of the company. It helped us to understand the different steps of the fashion product lifecycle, from production to sales, all the way through marketing. Every month we had a meeting with the marketing team and the designers and you can really get a “behind the scenes” look and understand how it works in a design studio. Every day you learn how to deal with the obstacles of working in the fashion business field and it’s all very rewarding. That’s the kind of things you cannot really learn in any school, but something that I definitely learned working for 16ème Nord.


You are currently studying a Bachelor in Fashion Design at IFA Paris, has the classes you have taken so far helped you during your work experience at 16ème Nord? Did IFA Paris help you with your work placement?

David: Yes of course, for example, in the school we have a lesson called Fashion Design that helped improve our artistic skills. We learned concepts that are not just useful, but essential if you want to work in Fashion Business. Obviously the marketing lessons were also important for both of us.


What are your plans for the future?

Julie: I would really like to set up my own business, and that’s why this internship was perfect for me. I would like to do it in Shanghai because the city is amazing.

David: The same for me. In Shanghai, you have opportunities that you could not be reached anywhere else in the world. Just take a look, the city of Shanghai represents one third of France! Everything is possible here. I know this internship will help me to better understand the Chinese market and after my studies, I will start my own project.


Ok, and to conclude, could you please tell our readers what your favorite fashion places in Shanghai are?

David: “To be honest I don’t have a favorite place, I like new things. As Julie told you, Shanghai is an amazing city and you can go to many different events all the time. For example one month ago I was at DAF, a huge outdoors fashion show on Shanghai’s Bund. The environment at DAF was professional but also very enjoyable. It was awesome to be at the beach and also between the buildings of Shanghai as the fashion show was taking place. I frequently visit a lot of websites to tell me what’s new in Shanghai, and because the city is really cosmopolitan, you can do something different every single day!

Julie: For me I have a crush for the art galleries. Even if it’s not always fashion, it’s connected to art and it helps me find my inspiration. Of course you can also find inspiration by going to some art websites like or, but nothing is comparable to the Shanghai atmosphere.

Thank you both for answering our questions and we wish you the best for your future!

Study at IFA Paris

23 May

IFA Paris’s MBA Fashion Business program starts this October in Paris.  Geraldine Stoiber, an Austrian student, who will be joining our intake in 2012 has taken some time to share her thoughts on coming to our school.


1/ Can you please present yourself? (name, age, nationality, your background…)

Hi, my name is Geraldine Stoiber. Being born and growing up in Vienna, I live and look like a normal European girl, tall and blonde. However, I have a secret weapon, which all my friends admire: I speak fluent Chinese, even before I could speak in German. My mother is a native Chinese from Taiwan. She came to Vienna to study music and got married to my father, an Austrian lawyer. My grandmother, a soprano and professor of music in Taiwan, spent her summers always with us in Vienna. I learned a lot from them and identify myself as a hundred percent Austrian, and an almost a hundred percent Chinese. Right now I am finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Chinese Culture in Taipei, Taiwan.

2/ Why did you choose to come to Shanghai?

I always wanted to study fashion but didn’t get the chance to do it yet. Last year I found out about IFA Paris and saw that there was a program in Shanghai. I was really happy about that because it was exactly what I was looking for:an “Asia and Europe” program. I also needed a reason to convince my parents to study in fashion and what could be a better reason than this program, which will broaden my fashion sense in two of the biggest fashion hubs of the world. As you know, Shanghai is such a cosmopolitan city and studying in this city gives me the perfect opportunity to bring together my knowledge about European and Asian cultures.

3/ Why did you choose to study fashion?

I have always been fascinated by the world of fashion; to me it has something magical. Clothes say so much about every single person and we deal with it everyday; it is probably one of the biggest parts of our daily life. Since I was a little kid I always knew that I wanted to do something that involves fashion and I’m really happy because finally, this adventure is going to start.

4/What made you choose IFA’s program in Shanghai above other schools?

With the rapid economic development of China, nowadays exploring the east becomes a trend for the younger generations from all over the world. Shanghai is becoming a capital for fashion and architecture and the city offers a lot of job opportunities. I heard about IFA Paris when I read some articles and it looked like the school had a well-known reputation in a lot of different countries throughout the world. Plus, I loved the fact that it was a French school because everybody knows that Paris is one of the fashion capitals. I really think this MBA Fashion Business can help me to enter in the world of fashion and to do what I like..

5/ We have selected students from all over the globe, what was your feeling before enrolling and knowing that you would be in class with people from different countries and cultures?

I have been studying in Taipei for four years now and my department was especially made for people from foreign countries. There are just three words that can describe it: “I love it”. Meeting people from all over the world makes you learn so many things about culture and life! I think everyone should have the opportunity to experience it. Knowing that I’m so excited to spend my next year with people from different countries.

6/ What will you be doing in 5 years?

I hope that I’ll be starting my own business in the next five years. I’m still not sure what exactly it’s going to be but I hope my studies at IFA Paris will help me guide me to my future.

Thank you very much for this interview and we wish you good luck for your studies in Shanghai!


Geraldine Stoiber

Students who would like to apply to this program, please contact us directly at or apply now online.  There is still time so don’t wait!

Fashion Runway: Eiffel Lu

4 May

22-year-old Eiffel Lu took a mechanical design approach to IFA Paris’ upcoming annual Fashion Show, literally.  Her collection, ‘The Machinist’s Story,’ exemplifies the chaos that abounds between natural and industrial evolution.  Hard-core glamazon meets Parisian chic in fitted, head-to-toe noir ensembles, accentuated by her use of personally handcrafted fabrics.  Ms. Lu took a moment to share her storyboardand inspiration behind this heroic endeavor, and the result is one of epic proportions.


Eiffel Lu

 1/ Can you please present yourself?

 Name: Eiffel Lu,

Age: 22 years old

Nationality: Chinese from Nanjing

2/What does this year’s theme ‘’East meets West’’ mean to you?

I think that designers have explored this theme for a longtime, but we can continue to find new perspectives.  For me, this union inspires both positive and negative outcomes.  On one hand, China’s industrial expertise drives innovation, but at the same time, it supports low-budget methods of production.  For example, if Chanel creates a new bag in France, China can easily create a fake replica.  Within this theme, China is seen as both good and bad.

3/ What inspired your collection?

My collection is inspired by the industrial revolution and how machines have effected the development of civilization.  From this idea, evolved ‘The Machinist’s Story,’ which shows the aftermath of China post World War II.  My idea was inspired by the mythical events that I imagine to follow.  China started to experience many accidents that brought desperation to the people.  From here a man, who we call ‘The Miracle Machinist,’ came into help.  He is not an impossible hero, but a representation of the mix of man and industry. My collection represents this dynamic union of man and machinery – sort of like the union between East and West.


Eiffel’s Mood Board

4/ What has been difficult about the design process?

I wanted everything to be perfect (and I also want to win!), so for my collection, I decided to create my own fabric. It was very difficult and pretty expensive. I am a hard worker and I want my collection to be perfect.  When I first composed the samples, the fashion design instructor advised me to re-do them,in order to improve the final result.  This was frustrating at times, to hear that my work needed to be changed, but with their help, I was able to design a collection that suits the theme very well.

5/How have your professors helped you throughout?

I thank all the teachers for their support and help,including Denis, the fashion design instructor; Maryse, the pattern making &draping instructor; andYiling and Henry the English instructors. They gave me many ideas for my collection for the fashion show.

6/Can you describe your collection in five words?

Historical, industrial, destroyed, miseries, dangerous


                                                                                                    By Ali Leier