Hakan Baykam is on a mission to help make Miami the world’s next fashion capital.
When president and founder of the Istituto Marangoni Miami Hakan Baykam first saw Miami’s potential to be the world’s next fashion capital, he knew all the city needed was the most prestigious fashion institution to drive its renaissance.
Hakan Baykam in Miami Design District’s Palm Court PHOTO BY RIOCAM
Praised for educating eight decades of students across multiple continents, Istituto Marangoni Miami is helping Miami embrace the fashion change and shed some old skin, according to Baykam. Bringing Istituto Marangoni, a Milan-based training program for fashion and design, to the city was the way to help legitimize Miami as the next global fashion hub. Miami magazine recently sat down with Baykam to discuss our emerging fashion community. 3704 NE Second Ave., Miami, istitutomarangonimiami.com
What drew you to the world of fashion?
From an early age, I was exposed to different cultures and aesthetics. I was always attracted to how people dressed, and I would try to understand their character based on their style and way of dressing. After moving to Italy at age 6, I was surrounded by a sense of beauty everywhere: the buildings, the attention to how to dress, the curation of the shops and restaurants. Everything seemed so beautiful, shaping my passion for aesthetics and my appreciation of beautiful things.
How has Istituto Marangoni’s history impacted and shaped the fashion industry?
Istituto Marangoni was founded in 1935 in Milan and has more than 80 years of history and success in training the top professionals of fashion and design. In 2016, I saw great potential in Miami as an emerging fashion capital, ready to shed its skin and embrace change. All Miami needed was the most prestigious fashion institution to drive its renaissance. Istituto Marangoni Miami is a state-of-the-art building in the Design District, delivering a proven model of fashion education unparalleled in the world.
What has been the most rewarding part about Istituto Marangoni Miami?
The ability to create an influential and powerful institution in the U.S. from scratch and the possibility of transforming Miami through IMM are all rewarding. But the most rewarding part is the ability to form and mold talent and launch their brands and designs in the worldwide fashion arena.
Interior and exterior views of Istituto Marangoni in the Miami Design District PHOTO COURTESY OF ISTITUTO MARANGONI MIAMI
Tell us a little bit about the Miami Fashion Foundation you started. What do you hope it brings to the city?
Its main purpose is to foster, nurture, develop and promote Miami as a natural choice for the creative industries focused on fashion, and to establish a creative operation and network in Miami for fashion enterprises and companies. The hope is that developing this fashion network will draw even more creative design students and professionals to the city.
How have you seen Miami’s fashion scene change?
I believe we are in the beginning stages of Miami’s fashion scene changing. Depending on how the city and the industry manage this transformation, it can be very successful. For Miami to become an actual fashion city, it needs to produce successful local talent that can represent Miami on major worldwide platforms. Everything starts with local talent creation and creativity. I believe bringing IMM to Miami is the perfect step in this direction. Miami is a hot spot, becoming a city where everyone wants to live and work. This, in turn, gives Miami the ability to attract young talent.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ISTITUTO MARANGONI MIAMI
What do you hope for Miami’s fashion future?
I hope Miami will have its own testimonials in the fashion world, designers and brands that incorporate the electric vibrancy of the Magic City and are presenting their collections around the world. I hope Miami will have even more globally recognized fashion events to attract the big players and serve as a platform that represents the ‘Miami soul’—not a copy and paste of the other fashion weeks in the world.
Photography by: Photo Courtesy: RioCam