26th IAF World Apparel Convention – a success
The International Apparel Federation (IAF) held its 26th World Apparel Convention on October 6th and 7th in cooperation with Messe Frankfurt Hong Kong. More than 200 manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, educational experts and press representing more than twenty countries attended the Convention at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. They focused on the theme “how retailer brands, internet and green manufacturing are transforming fashion business”.
The conference was opened by Ms. Rita Lau (Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, HK SAR) and keynote speaker Mr. John Cheh (Vice-Chairman & CEO, Esquel Group). In his opening speech IAF President Vassilis Masselos stressed that difficult times are also times of opportunity. It is during such times that careful sourcing, advanced IT systems, coherent environmental and social responsibility policies and innovative design and marketing can make a huge difference.
The first session focused on “fashion in the digital age” with stimulating presentations by Bogo Vatovec (CEO, Bovacon), Mitch Free (founder, MFG.com), and Alexios Ballas (CEO, Fashinating.com) talking about trends in on-line behavior in Asia, America and Europe. But also how social networks are involved in fashion brands. Arvind Singhal (CEO, Technopak) moderated the panel “is fast fashion killing fashion?” Matters such as trends in clothing consumption per market segment and the impact of the economic crisis in high fashion and premium brands were discussed by Mr. Michael Tien (Chairman G2000), Robin Anson (Managing Director Textiles Intelligence), Anthony Keung (President and CEO Fenix Group Holdings Ltd.) and Dr. Marc Schumacher (Director Retail, Franchise & Marketing Tom Tailer).
Dr. Mike Fralix (CEO & President [TC]2) moderated the session “Fashion and the digital supply chain”. Discussing logistics and vertical integration and the development of conversion systems such as nano digital printing, seamless 3D garments. Also 3D design, XML, EDI and business integration, the role of standards were topics in this technical session which were highlighted by Ed Gribbin (President Alva Inside devision Alvanon), Ransith Fernando (Head of SAP MAS Holdings), Aaron Glatman (Director of New Business Development Checkpoint), Kurt Cavano (CEO Trade Card Inc.), Dr. Kai-Chiu Ho (Director R&D HKRITA) and Michel Guglielmi (Partner Diffus).
As the environment has become a key issue, fashion is not only about creativity but also about sustainability. In a very interesting panel discussion on “fashion and green manufacturing” a lively debate took place among the speakers including Steve Jesseph (President and CEO, WRAP), Thomas Rasch (Director General, German Fashion), Carmel Giblin (General Manager, Sedex), Antonio Braz Costa (General Director, CITEVE), Geoff Collins (Sales Director, Lenzing), Tom Nelson (Managing Director & Vice President, Global Sourcing VF Corp) and Charlie Brown (Director Global Sample Development and FOD Avery Dennison).
International Apparel Federation (IAF)