The conference which was held on October 14th brought together an audience coming from over 25 countries, from North America, South America, Europe and Asia. They were treated to keynote speeches from, among others, Hugo Boss’s CBO Christophe Auhagen and Topman’s Creative Director Gordon Richardson.
The theme of the Convention, ‘Making it Better’, was reflected in all sessions. Hugo Boss showed it had indeed implemented 3D digital product development drastically reducing the average number of physical samples they need. Ahler’s Jan Hilger presented innovative forms of horizontal collaboration to make things better, including shared ‘platforms’ for complex products and shared technological knowledge through informal networks. GT Nexus’s Kurt Cavano showed how the use of innovative financial instruments can free working capital caught in inventory, creating money for investments improving further the supply chain. In this session, led by Roland Shuler of Peek & Cloppenburg, Achim Berg of McKinsey showed the ability of Turkey to play a major role in fulfilling the industry’s needs for fast response, also by coordinating production outside of Turkey, in countries close by.
Han Bekke of Modint, Leyla Ertur of H&M and Murat of Attun of Inditex showed in their session the power of collaboration to improve company’s individual efforts to improve CSR and Sustainability. Large retailers are working together in many ways, also on the ground in projects in Turkey. IAF is making connections between Associations, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, international organizations and groups of large retailers and brands. Joint efforts and alignment will make the industry better.
Turkish companies such as Lia Lea, Les Benjamins, 2Wins and Kiğılı provided strong cases of brand building in an emerging economy. Clearly, Turkey shows that continuous industry development can lead a country’s industry from low value added manufacturing to high margin brands and retailers, given of course the right knowledge infrastructure and climate.
And finally, having started with the very big brands and retailers, the last session focused on the role of small designers, entrepreneurs and manufacturers in making the industry better. The Worth Project, presented by IFM director Dominique Jacomet and by director at London College of Fashion, Wendy Malem showed how innovative ideas and manufacturing capabilities inside Europe (and including Turkey) must be brought together to form strong combinations. IAF Designer Award winning designer Andrea Landa from Colombia and established Turkish designer Asli Filinta presented how a mix of inspiration from native roots and international connections make their designs better.