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



13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 14:30

Welcome & Inauguration Speeches

Ed Gribbin, SPESA Board Chairman

Cem Altan, IAF President

14:30 - 15:00

Keynote: Tom Glaser

Well-known and respected industry veteran Tom Glaser, former VF Corporation and Tapestry executive, will kick us off with a brand perspective, sharing his vision for the global apparel industry.

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 - 16:00

Panel Discussion: Made in America Manufacturing

The World Fashion Convention has brought the global industry to the United States! We are excited to share a bit about the current capabilities of and opportunities for growth in the domestic market. On this panel, U.S. manufacturers will share their experiences working within the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere.

Cindy DiPietrantonio, Boathouse Sports

Moderated by Michael McDonald, SPESA

16:00 - 16:15

Coffee Break 

16:15 - 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 Türkiye, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America.

Jessica Ramey, Mercantilia Consulting; lemlem
Karin De León, VESTEX

17:00 - 17:10

Conclusions and Reflections

17:10 - 17:30

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.

17:30 - 19:00

Welcome Reception 

The Bellevue Hotel, XIX Restaurant & Lounge 






Day 2 - Tuesday, October 24



08:00 - 09:15


09:15 - 09:30

Opening Remarks

09:30 - 10:00

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

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
Miran Ali, Bitopi Group, BGMEA, STTI
John Thorbeck, Chainge Capital

10:45 - 11:00

Coffee Break 

11:00 - 11:45

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
Mehmet Kaya, TYH TEKSTİL A.S
Dominic Sluiter, 3D Adoption Partner at EnhanceThat

11:45 - 12:30

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)

12:30 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:00

 Industry Insight: Global Market Perspectives

14:00 - 14:45

Panel Discussion: Accountability and Transparency — Putting Words into Actions
Creating a more transparent supply chain takes joint efforts from brands, retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers. Serving as brief case studies, our panelists will share how they are each “making it work” — how brands and retailers are implementing strategies to increase transparency in supply chains to meet regulations and improve overall accountability.

14:45 - 15:15

Coffee Break 

15:15 - 16:00

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, Apparel Impact Institute
Han Hamers, Circularity B.V. 
Julie Willoughby, Circ 

16:00 - 16:15

Conclusions and Reflections

16:15 - 16:45

Presentation: 39th IAF World Fashion Convention

16:45 - 17:00

Closing of the 38th IAF World Fashion Convention

18:30 - 22:00

Closing Reception & Dinner

The National Constitution Center