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Tribute to Francine Pairon.

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Tribute to Francine Pairon

Tribute to Francine Pairon (02/02/1949-12/02/2023).

Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) has learnt with great sadness the passing of Francine Pairon (Franc' Pairon) on Sunday, February 12th.

Franc' Pairon conceived, set up and led the Fashion Design Department at IFM from 1999 to 2012. She trained several generations of fashion designers in ready-to-wear and accessories.

Franc'Pairon used to define herself as a Fashion Energizer or as a "ford crosser", knowing that "in any artistic activity there is a fundamental risk-taking which consists in going from one bank to the other", and that "to go from one stone to the other always requires jumping into the void at some point and facing the torrential river". She said that "creation is a great lady and an ogress, which has devoured my days and nights".

Her professional life has been guided by a triple desire: to support and sustain the creative potential of the younger generations, to create synergies between designers and manufacturers, and to promote new ideas ("to conceive, to transgress, to realize, to sublimate" around shapes, materials and colors). She taught fashion at the École Supérieure des Arts de Mons, at a time when no fashion section existed in art schools in French-speaking Belgium. Hence the proposal made to her, in 1986, to found and head, in Brussels, the fashion section of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels (ENSAV) of La Cambre, a section she later named La Cambre-Mode[s]. In June 2012, she chose to move back to Brussels to develop other projects, including the design of new programs in Vietnam and Thailand (2004-2005). She was also External Assessor for Central St Martin's School in London.

At IFM, she developed concrete projects putting her students in contact with brands but also manufacturers (shoe makers, fashion designers, eyewear manufacturers, finishers...) to create prototypes in factories and workshops (France/Italy/Belgium in particular).

The high standards and boundless energy that Franc'Pairon deployed with her IFM students continue to be felt today: "rupture is creation, we'll sleep later", she used to say. The entire IFM community pays tribute to her.

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