We speak with Marie-Noelle Avenet, founder of IDS.
- Monday January 25th, 2021
- Posted by: Jean Jacque CELESTE
- Category: news
Image de Soi (IDS) is a training centre specialised in image consulting: self-improvement, bringing out one’s personality and self-expression. The institution provides the dynamic approach and colourful touch needed to train the coaches of the future.
-Why did you choose to call your institution Image De Soi (‘self image’ in English)?
I’d always been interested in personal development and, having had a difficult early life, I quickly learned that self-confidence, self-image and our view of ourselves are fundamental if we are to make constructive and positive progress in life and successfully overcome personal difficulties.
I’ve always been sensitive to the essence of beauty generally – nature, art, human expression and harmony. 25 years ago, quite by chance, I came across an article in Bilan on the impact that colour has on people’s natural influence. Company directors were taking part in seminars organised by Colour Consultant that aimed to bring out their personal ‘light’. I found this quite magical, and it ultimately led to my creating my institution. Given that we offered courses combining all aspects of coaching, image consulting, style and personal development, it was obvious that the institution should be called IDS: Image de Soi.
What is your view of contemporary society and fashion?
Today’s society is full of contradictions, and that’s what makes our institution’s field of activity so interesting. On the one hand, there are people who focus on fashion marketing and whose self-image is inspired only by trends they see in social and other media. On the other hand, thanks to – or because of – this overconsumption, a new movement is being born: finding one’s essence and expressing one’s authentic style regardless of the latest trends. Consumers are also becoming more aware of ethical considerations: they want to know where their products have been made and to buy fewer but higher quality products. The fashion industry as a whole is the world’s second greatest polluter; consumers in the Western world want to turn this around.
Our focus is on colour and each person’s authentic style. This shows that we are part of the ‘fewer but higher quality’ movement. We help people to put together an optimal wardrobe that is appropriate in all circumstances and that is made up of 50% basics that can be worn over many years. By training our image advisors to develop this philosophy and ethical awareness, we are helping to draw attention to quality in the clothing industry and are playing an active role in promoting more ethical fashion.
Personal image, identity-based image and social image: these three concepts are all key to your institution and you offer courses focusing on all of them. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, all professional sectors are undergoing changes. Has this had an impact on your courses or led to greater demand?
The need to position oneself from both a personal point of view and in terms of one’s identity-based image in society is indeed attracting more and more people to our courses. These are people who wish to assist others and to develop a career that matches their convictions. Our courses are also attracting more and more people who work in related sectors (fashion, hairdressing, beauty, therapy, business and so on) or are undergoing a career change. The fact that our courses are taught 70% remotely is an advantage during the pandemic.
What are the advantages of FEDE membership for your institution?
We decided to join the FEDE because of its international and European identity. Offering a European certificate or MBA in our field would really help to develop the professions we teach. Being able to meet, share and discuss with other educational institutions is also an advantage since it will help us to grow in the best possible ways. We’re really pleased to be a FEDE member.
Your institution is located in Geneva, Brussels and now Paris. Do you have the same demand in these various cities?
Our head office is in Geneva. Given that we’ve been operating in Switzerland for 20 years, we have a strong reputation there and attract and train more students than at our other schools. However, we wish to develop our activity on other markets. We opened in Belgium two years ago; over the past few months we’ve seen a rise in interest. In France, where there are different criteria in place for recognising qualifications, it’s taking a little longer. Nonetheless, we sense a gradual increase in demand and will be striving to meet it in 2021.
Last question: if we give you carte blanche to organise whatever educational project you liked, what would it be?
Exactly what we’re doing right now! We are very happy to be actively contributing to changes in contemporary society. If we could do whatever we liked, we would surround ourselves with wonderful folk who would help to develop our range of skills so as to put people in touch with their internal power and help develop a new AWARENESS.