The Paris fashion school offers a training program to support future entrepreneurs in the sector.
“From the founding idea to the realization of the project”. This is the promise of the “IFM entrepreneurs” training program for students and future entrepreneurs who integrate it. The Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) is thus supporting for one year those who wish to create their start-up. “This training is now an imperative”, according to Franck Delpal, head of the program for whom the digital age has largely rebuffed the cards of entrepreneurship in fashion. “You can not launch a fashion brand as before, relying solely on resellers. From now on, it is obligatory to use the social networks, and to touch directly consumers”, he says as an example among the multitude of upheavals brought by the internet.
Each year, a dozen or so people join the program, with a minimum of a Bac +4, unless they have significant professional or entrepreneurial experience. Beyond these prerogatives, there is no typical profile of the candidate. On average, they are 30 years old and have a professional experience of 4 to 5 years, but all come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Former marketing managers, former petrochemical engineers, former stylists rub shoulders during this year of entrepreneurial gestation.
At the heart of an ecosystem
During these 10 months of courses, they will validate their business project with IFM experts, have the opportunity to understand better the fashion industry, learn to master digital tools and build a diverse professional network. “Since its creation, the training has focused more on mentoring and individualizing courses,” says Franck Delpal. “The chance we have is to be in touch with the sector,” says the head of training, we are in good interaction with the ecosystem of brands, distributors, and pure players of the sector. Thus, each year, according to the profiles of future entrepreneurs and their projects, the IFM activates its network to find the right mentor for everyone. From year to year, the IFM Entrepreneurs must be agile, as well as these aspiring startuppers. After training at the IFM, they are not released into the wild and enjoy privileged access to Station F, the Parisian incubator founded by Xavier Niel, where a workstation awaits them. Their adventure in the universe of start-ups is only about to begin.
Future fashion entrepreneur, route of a go-getter
Eugenie Fausser, stylist passed by Sonia Rykiel, is preparing to plunge into entrepreneurship. But before that, she matures her project at the IFM. Portrait.
Eugenie Fausser is of the type of go-getters. Just graduated from a vocational degree in fashion design, surface, and environment at the Duperré school, in 2012, she was hired at Sonia Rykiel where she had just completed six months of internship, to become head of Japan licensed style for 4 years. But as for her dream of becoming an entrepreneur, Eugénie Fausser preferred to move more cautiously, judging herself still “not legitimate enough on the commercial, financial and legal aspects”. She still makes her first steps as an independent, with a status of self-entrepreneur, to realize the women collections for Le Slip Français, then for House Sarah Lavoine. In the meantime, a business idea is becoming clear, that of creating a digital and commercial platform where it would propose each month a product for sale, made by an exceptional French craftsman. “I draw a model and have it done by someone with golden hands,” she says.
A promo coming from all horizons
But in 2017, before jumping into the big bath of entrepreneurship, she decided to find the training that would allow her to always have a foot. His application to follow the training program “entrepreneurs” of the French Institute of Fashion (IFM) in Paris is retained. Since last September, she rubs shoulders with other students in the curriculum. “We have very different profiles, points of view that enrich our work,” she observes. Not necessarily technophile, but curious to “take up the challenge of buying experience on the internet”, ready to make it “more sensory and decelerated”, it plunges alongside other students in 3 weeks of training in computer code to the Ecole 42, the digital school launched by Xavier Niel, founder of Free, to think about its website and existing digital solutions. The rest of the time, at the IFM, she polishes her pitch, refines her marketing strategy and her business plan. The year will pass quickly, Eugenie Fausser knows it. June will ring