Our history, since 1913

Toni Alba Koefia born in Ravenna on 6th April. During her school years, her interest for fashion increased, and she started practising in millinery and fashion ateliers.  At the age of 16, she projected  a new technique that was quite revolutionary in those years:  it consisted in not cutting patterns on a plane surface but modelling them directly on the mannequin, in this way presenting a three-dimensional vision of the paper pattern.

In the thirties/forties of last century, she became the owner of a maison that produced paper patterns. It was located first in Forlì (Primary Maison of Fashion Patterns) and then in Ravenna.  Her patterns were requested by the best fashion ateliers all over Europe. At the beginning of the Second World War, she moved to Florence together with her husband Count Ugo Brasini. 

A few years after the end of the Second World War, she was again in a position to resume her work.  She thought it would be useful to found an academy, and she did so in 1951 in Rome.  The chosen seat was Palazzo Menotti, Via Vittoria Colonna 30, and she named it International Academy  of Haute Couture and  Art of Costume Koefia.  The academy courses covered fashion design and pattern making, with the addition of a course for models:  it was a real academy for fashion designers and models.  In 1955  Italian and foreign girl students totaled 400 units who followed the Koefia mehod.  In those years the Academy established important contacts with Haue Couture representatives like Emilio Federico Schuberth who was enrolled as a teacher.  The Koefia International Academy of Haute Couture and Art of the Costume was the first in Italy to enjoy the Ministry of Education’s patronage.  In 1954 the Academy published the first and sole issue of a magazine entitled “Haute Couture Review of Koefia, the Maison That Creates Haute Couture Patterns”.  This issue was sent  to all the ateliers that had requested it.  in 1961 the Academy took part in the National Costume Competition for the creation of costumes copied from historical documents produced by master tailors and fashion schools for the 1st Centennary of Italy’s unification.  During the ceremony “Torino 61”, Teatro Carignano, Turin, Countess Koefia was given the Gold Medal for the creation of Teresa Confalonieri’s dress sewn by her students.   

The Academy participates in numerous international events like the CONCOURS INTERNATIONAL DES JEUNES CRÉATEURS DE MODE juried by important designers like Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne, Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix.  The competition takes place in Paris every year sposored by Air France under the Chambre Syndacale’s patronage.  In the same years the Academy establishes a cooperation relationahip with the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles.  As a result, the two institutions’ students can enjoy the possibility of exchanges and specialistic courses  abroad. The Academy further consolidates its presence in China where its teachers hold Haut Couture courses.  It also takes part in the HEMPEL AWARD, an international competition for young fashion designers held during the Beijing Fashion Week.

The Academy starts a series of cooperation ventures with important domestic and foreign institutions. 
– 2000_ Fashion design courses, University of Florence 
– 2007_ Fashion design courses, Rome University, LA SAPIENZA 
– 2009_ Cooperation with Istituto Secoli, Milan 
– 2012_ Cooperation and students exchange with BIFT – Beijing Institute of Fashion & Technology
– 2014_Accreditation with EABHES for European Bachelor and Master Degree

The INTERNATIONAL ACCADEMY OF HIGH FASHION AND ART OF THE KOEFIA COSTUME has been accredited by E.A.B.H.E.S. since 1/03/2014. European Accreditation Board of Higher Education Schools

E.A.B.H.E.S. recognizes and approves the qualifications issued by its members and accredits them as European Bachelor and Master, introducing the system of capitalization of educational credits. High quality European schools and universities belong to E.A.B.H.E.S. , certified for the excellence of their education.

The Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees were originally North American university degrees, adopted all over the world, and in Europe too since a considerable time. The obtaining of these degrees is subject to the capitalization of credits, where credit is intended as a tool for evaluating the work carried out and the skills acquired.

The Bachelor is, in the European system, the academic title awarded following a course of study of conventional duration of three years and the achievement of 180 ECTS credits. Credits have different values according to the specific educational system of each country and for each specificity, the kind of initial training followed and the intensity of the courses. Thanks to the equivalence system, students enrolled in individual accredited educational institutions can have their subjects accredited to an annual credit bulletin. Each program assigns a different number of credits to the subjects according to the course and specialization, therefore the courses do not all receive the same number of credits. To obtain a European Bachelor’s degree, you must hold an English-language certificate at level B2; this certificate can also be obtained after two years following the end of the three academic years.

Masters courses are open to students with a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. The duration is one year (1st level Master – 60 ECTS credits) or two years (2nd level Master – 120 ECTS credits). A Bachelor student can then apply to enrol in a Master’s degree.
The level of acceptance is specific to each institution, so the applicant cannot claim automatic equivalence.

say ...

Bianca Maria Piccinino

The Koefia Academy of High Fashion is the first fashion school in Italy. It was founded in 1951 by Madame Koefia, a very particular character, with great personality and refined elegance. She always dressed in long, high-necked clothes, with particular cuts and the name she gave to her school had became hes name, and it has a precise meaning: KOEFIA is in fact the name of a small village in Libya, famous since the 18th century because all the inhabitants had only one activity: sewing and dressing the inhabitants of all the surrounding territory. It was certainly a very significant name for a fashion school! Before starting the school, Madame Koefia had a workroom with many workers and created models for the great Italian tailors (in the photos we see her with the great Emilio Federico Schuberth). In 1951, Madame Koefia decided to open a fashion school, the first in Italy, which quickly became a benchmark. She called it ” Academy ” because first she taught to draw and then to create the patterns, trying them on mannequins, as was done then in the great French tailors, such as Chanel, Dior and Nina Ricci. Koefia Academy, besides being a “complete” fashion school in all its facets, is also, for the wisdom of its director, a “school of life”.

Bonizza Giordani Aragno

One hundred years, a reflection on human society narrated in “making fashion”. A point on the past to start a vision towards the future, an implicit investigation into that mysterious entity that we call Time. It was 1913, when Toni Alba Koefia, a daughter of art, born in Ravenna. She had breathed fashion since birth, her mother had a Models House of High Fashion: the maternal tradition continued with her that expanded the modeling, of which she became an expert. She married to Count Ugo Brasini in Florence. The year 1951, was an important date for Koefia who lived as a spectator the first official meeting with the newborn Italian fashion and breathed the novelty of the times. She reacted with enthusiasm to the strong interest aroused around the Italian style, form and craftsmanship in a moment of ‘rebirth’ after the disastrous World War. Rome would have been her final destination. She decided to start the first Fashion Academy in the capital and heart of the city under her name: Koefia. The institutions of the time believed in this initiative that was addressed to young people and to teach high tailoring. Koefia’s intention was to create a school-laboratory where fashion and craftsmanship would be blended in a constant search for distinctive features given by quality details; she decided to experiment through sartorial techniques with shapes and visual approaches for a “final product of excellence”. Personalities of culture and art were immediately involved in this “construction site”: we remember the eclectic Mya Salvati, her stylist friend Elsa Schiaparelli, the American patron Caresse Crosby, etc… For the style, Emilio Federico Schuberth was the master of everyone, teacher, strict judge in the selections and valid representative of High Fashion. She was present, along with other colleagues, in the great halls of Palazzo Menotti, where precious clothes were on show, created and woven by the students and worn by the wearers of the “Portamento” course: a new “Work in Progress” in a Rome that woke up happy after a long torpor. Today, in 2013, dealing with the restless desire for historicity means reassembling the time and the timeless, to be ready to face the tale about the future.

Bianca Cimiotta Lami

The Academy is synonymous of wisdom and knowledge. With these premises, in 1951, the Koefia Academy was founded in Rome, capital of Italy and capital of High Fashion. It was born from the fervent determination of Countess Alba Toni Brasini, aka Koefia, who founded this institution with clear and effective ideas and today, more than ever, it holds a central and irreplaceable place in the universe of fashion at international level, thanks to its specific address. A knowledge that goes beyond the paths of intellect and crosses the knowledge of “know-how”, where hands become the main instrument of the mind, going straight through the heart, that is through passion. An garment of High Fashion follows sentiment and creativity but first of all, to become one, it follows its rules: very strict rules, architecture, harmonies, manual know-how. With this attitude the International Academy of High Fashion and Art of Costume Koefia of Palazzo Menotti in Rome proposes itself, through courses of modelling and packaging, preserving and promoting the secrets of the tradition of high artistic craftsmanship. Its history is linked to the protagonists of fashion of that time: Schuberth, the Fontana Sisters, the great designers, the Roman milieu of the ’50s, where princesses and actresses talked between one dress rehearsal and another, in the many ateliers of the city. Time passes and the direction passes of hand to the heir Prof. Giovanni Di Pasquale who, as a “model pupil”, seizes the secrets and the mastery of Koefia tradition, becoming its guardian. The school activity grows and transforms, modernises and becomes contemporary, moving to the current headquarters in Via Cola di Rienzo, continuing to promote its principles and preserving the traditional roots of Italian High Fashion.