Conference Program IAF

by Dunja Hoejenbos


This convention is a unique fashion industry event bringing together the entire global industry ecosystem to hear high level industry insights and to jointly discuss concrete actions involving the entire industry ecosystem to create faster industry transition.

The conference program consists of a combination of keynote speakers, panel discussions, interviews and audiovisual presentations that all will elaborate on the various aspects relating to the convention theme Our industry in transition: Building stronger, smarter and more sustainable supply chains’.

Day 1 - Monday, October 23



11:00 - 13:00

B2B Networking Kick-off + Registration

13:00 - 13:30

Welcome & Inauguration Speeches

Ed Gribbin, SPESA Board Chairman

Cem Altan, IAF President

13:30 - 14:15

Fireside Chat: Bringing Sustainable Business to Fragile Economies

SPESA Board Chairman Ed Gribbin, sits down for an exclusive and intimate fireside chat with successful businessman, entrepreneur, and investor, Yusuf Amdani. Mr. Amdani’s experience in Pakistan, Central America, and around the world spans textiles, real estate, lifestyle, technology, and agriculture. 

Yusuf Amdani, GK Foundation, with Ed Gribbin, SPESA Board Chairman

14:15 - 15:00

Case Studies: AI, Data, and Images — An Overview of Real Solutions Toward a Smarter Industry

Technology today enables us to extract incredible value from the data that flows through the apparel, textile, and sewn products industries. In this session, attendees will hear three very different practical examples of how this data is being utilized and learn more about the transformational change taking place in the way we do business. 

Ganesh Subramanian, Stylumia
Kimberly Morgan, K3
Katie Crumpton, Cotton Incorporated
Moderated by Matthijs Crietee, IAF

15:00 - 15:15

U.S. Textiles and Apparel Industry Update

Jennifer Knight, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, Materials Industries, Critical Minerals and Metals Industry and Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce

15:15 - 15:45

Fireside Chat: Made in America Manufacturing

The World Fashion Convention has brought the global industry to the United States! During this fireside chat, SPESA President, Michael McDonald, will sit down with Cindy DiPietrantonio, the CEO of Philadelphia-based Boathouse Sports, to discuss the company’s drive to keep all of its business operations in the U.S. The conversation will touch on the challenges and opportunities of domestic manufacturing, while also showcasing the work and history of Boathouse Sports.

Cindy DiPietrantonio, Boathouse Sports

Moderated by Michael McDonald, SPESA

15:45 - 16:00

Coffee Break 

16:00 - 17:00

Manufacturing in Emerging Markets

Emerging sourcing destinations for brands equate to emerging markets for suppliers. Panelists will discuss the investment and manufacturing growth in burgeoning regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America.

Jessica Ramey, Mercantilia Consulting; lemlem
Marc Hansult, DTRT Apparel Group 
Karin De León, CECATEC-RD (Central American and Dominican Republic Council)

Alejandro Ceballos, Laboratorio Alfer; VESTEX
Moderated by Michael McDonald, SPESA 

17:00 - 17:15

Türkiye Market Update

Petra Ghicu, McKinsey & Company

17:15 - 17:30

Conclusions and Reflections

17:30 - 18:00

SPESA Business Meeting

In the association’s annual Business Meeting, SPESA members will vote on candidates for the SPESA Board of Directors, hear updates on the state of the association, and honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the association and sewn products industry. 

All convention attendees are welcome to attend. SPESA members will be provided additional information on Board election voting.

18:00 - 19:30

Welcome Reception 

The Bellevue Hotel, XIX Restaurant & Lounge 






Day 2 - Tuesday, October 24



08:00 - 09:00


09:00 - 09:15

Opening Remarks

09:15 - 10:00

Keynote: Tom Glaser

Well-known and respected industry veteran Tom Glaser, former VF Corporation and Tapestry executive, will kick us off with the biggest takeaways from his 40 years in the apparel industry and his predictions for the future of the industry.

10:00 - 10:45

Panel Discussion: Creating More Effective, Productive, and Resilient Supply Chains

Bringing together investor, manufacturer, brand, and technology partners, this panel will explore how to change sourcing models for a changing world. The speakers will pitch a new type of industry collaboration allowing brands and their suppliers to jointly achieve better results by sharing risks and rewards.

Brad Ballentine, MAS ACME USA
John Thorbeck, Chainge Capital

Scott Walton, Kornit Digital

Moderated by Matthijs Crietee, IAF

10:45 - 11:00

Pivot88 Case Study

Jo Anne Benson, Pivot88

11:00 - 11:30

Coffee Break 

11:30 - 12:00

Fireside Chat: Industry Transformation — Putting Words into Actions

Inditex works from the premise that the needed transformation of the industry can only be achieved through supply chain collaboration, both on the level of relations with individual companies and on a collective, industry level. In this fireside chat we will hear in more detail about Inditex’ vision on industry transformation and its current actions and plans for collaboration.

Javier Losada, Inditex, with Matthijs Crietee, IAF

12:00 - 12:45

Panel Discussion: Legislating Good Behavior
Everyone can agree that eliminating forced labor, improving workforce conditions, and decreasing environmental impact are good things for our industry, our planet, and future generations. Speakers on this panel will address matching these industry goals with imposed regulatory requirements, touching on the due diligence laws popping up on both sides of the Atlantic and the impact they may have on supply chain processes.

Sarah Dadush, Rutgers University
Avedis Seferian, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
Alexander Kohnstamm, Fair Wear Foundation 
Moderated by Steve Lamar, American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

12:45 - 14:00


14:00 - 14:15

Industry Insight: Global Market Perspectives

Sheng Lu, PhD., Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, University of Delaware

14:15 - 15:00

Panel Discussion: Digitalization in the Global Fashion Industry

Why is a more digitalized supply chain so important for creating a better industry? What practical barriers do we face? And what do we need to do as an industry to move forward? Panelists will discuss these questions and more as they relate to our collective future as an industry.

Sandra Gagnon, Target
Aysegül Kaya, TYH Tekstil A.Ş.

Dominic Sluiter, 3D Adoption Partner at EnhanceThat
Becky Flax, Thomas Jefferson University
Moderated by Mark Jarvis, WTiN 

15:00 - 15:30

Coffee Break 

15:30 - 15:45

Digital Labeling Case Study

Steve Lamar, AAFA, with Matthijs Crietee, IAF

15:45 - 16:45

Panel Discussion: Climate Action and Circularity — What Really Works? 
The challenge of actually cutting GHG emissions comes with questions: Who is paying for it? What is the role of circular textiles? How can we make progress through supply chain collaboration? With a focus on the U.S. market and the financial aspect of getting started, speakers will share what they believe is needed to find success. 

Bryant LaPres, Aii
Julie Willoughby, Circ  
Leila Naja Hibri, The Australian Fashion Council 
Meghan Kelly, Thomas Jefferson University
Moderated by Michael McDonald, SPESA

16:45 - 17:00

Conclusions and Reflections

17:00 - 17:05

Presentation: 39th IAF World Fashion Convention

17:05 - 17:15

Closing of the 38th IAF World Fashion Convention

18:30 - 22:00

Closing Reception & Dinner

The National Constitution Center