Palette, Prism, Possibility

IAC’s 19th Annual New York Fashion Conference

November 10 – 11, 2017

The Graduate Center, The City University of New York

Why White? Because it contained—and hid—multitudes. Because it tricked us into thinking that there was no color where, in fact, there was nothing but. Because it was the repository of hope and change. In the 19th Annual Fashion + Design Conference, Initiatives in Art and Culture sought to reveal these multitudes, whether in the work of contemporary designers of clothing and accessories, of leading jewelers, or in the materials with which they worked their magic. We explored and unraveled the significance and power of white, taking a fresh approach to precious substances, natural fibers, and the processes by which they were transformed into objects and garments. At the same time, we looked anew at the ways in which society consumed, communicated about, and validated those materials. The white wedding dress, an icon continually reinvented. More modest garments, like the white tee and the white dress shirt, for example, were equally iconic and, in their distinct ways, equally powerful. Even when subtle, white maintained its authority: there would be no denim without its white weft. It was no accident that white figured so prominently among precious substances, whether diamonds, pearls, or platinum, each a symbol of power, of eternality. White was essential to the allure of faceted diamonds, our most valued prisms, while pearls required no cutting or polishing to exert their hold; their beauty was entirely intrinsic, and we were awed by their luster. White was complex, at once the color of celebration and of mourning, the color of refinement and of origins. Indeed, white was the color of beginnings: the white canvas awaited the brush, the blank page the pen. As the color of beginnings, white became a potent symbol of social and environmental responsibility and ethical clarity, the bedrock of the society we strived to shape and of a better future and a better world. The Lena and Louis Minkoff Foundation were gratefully acknowledged for their generosity. Initiatives in Art and Culture expressed sincere thanks to Kaltex, to the Hilldun Corporation, to the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers of America (DMIA), to Jewelers Mutual, and to UNLEASHED for their generous sponsorship, and to Shinola for its generous support (as of September 29, 2017).

Program agenda

Friday, November 10, 2017

7:45 – 8:30 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast
8:30 – 8:40 a.m. Introduction. Lisa Koenigsberg (conference director and President and Founder, Initiatives in Art and Culture)
8:45 – 9:25 a.m. 50 Shades of White: Exploring the Color. Donald Kaufman (founder, Donald Kaufman Color)
9:30 – 10:10 a.m Positive Exposure: Genetic Difference
and Beauty.
Rick Guidotti (an award-winning photographer and founder and Director, Positive Exposure)
10:15 – 11:00 a.m. To Make New Again: Women Designers as
Advocates for Sustainability and Style.
Gary A. Wassner (CEO, Hilldun Corporation)
11:00 – 11:20 a.m. Break and Book Signings
11:25 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. Changing the Landscape: How Design Reshaped Urban History. Jacques Pan (President, Shinola) in conversation with Mickey Alam Khan (founder and editor-in-chief, Luxury Daily)
12:30 – 1:00 p.m. The White Shirt: an Icon Reinvented. Zac Posen (designer) in conversation with Dennita Sewell (Curator of Fashion Design, Phoenix Art Museum)
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own) and book signings
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Blinded by the Light: Why Diamonds Matter. John Hatleberg (the world’s best counterfeiter of famous diamonds for their owners); John King (Chief Quality Officer, GIA Laboratory, Gemological Institute of America); Benjamin Zucker (authority on precious stones); moderator, Jack Ogden (internationally renowned jewelry historian, diamond authority, and jewelry industry veteran)
3:05 – 4:00 p.m. Warp and Weft: The Impact of White on
the Fabric of Our Lives.
Mercedes R. Gonzalez (founder and Director, Global Purchasing
Companies [GPC]); Keith Hoover (senior apparel and retail executive with “guru” status in the area of color management); Wendy Waugh (Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Development, Fast Retailing [Theory and Helmut Lang]); Barbara Zeins (President/COO, Gerson & Gerson, New York); moderator, Walter T. Wilhelm (Chairman, WWA Advisors LLC [WWA])

Saturday, November 11, 2017

9:15 – 9:45 a.m. Continental breakfast, networking, and book signings
9:45 – 10:30 a.m. Diversity on the Runway. Bethann Hardison (model, producer, fashion advocate, and Founder, Bethann Management Co.) in conversation with Ebonee Davis (model and activist)
10:35 – 11:20 a.m Contra Mundum: Creativity and Collaboration.
Shaun Leane (jeweler)
11:20 – 11:40 a.m. Break and book signings 
11:40 a.m. – 12:25 p.m Sustainably Exquisite: Revolutionary Pearl Design. Paula Crevoshay (jewelry designer); Talila Gafter (PhD); Hisano Shepherd (little h designer); moderator, Hedda Schupak (Editor, The Centurion Newsletter)
12:25 – 1:40 p.m. Lunch (on your own) and book signings
1:40 – 2:35 p.m. “Here Comes the Bride …”: Imaging and Imagining the Bride. Darcy Miller (author, illustrator, professional memory-keeper, and self-professed confetti addict); Charlie Scheips (curator, art advisor, writer, and cultural historian) Mara J. Urshel (owner and President, Kleinfeld Bridal); moderator, Rachel Leonard (Editorial Director, The Bridal Council)
2:40 – 3:35 p.m. “With this Ring …”: The Changing
Landscape of Commitment.
Wendy Brandes (jewelry designer); Rachel Leonard (Editorial Director, The Bridal Council); Jean Z. Poh (founder and CEO, Swoonery); Ronnie Vanderlinden (President, Diamex Inc.); moderator, Hedda Schupak
3:35 – 3:55 p.m. Break and book signings
3525 – 4:35 p.m. White-Out. Ralph Rucci (designer)
4:40 – 5:30 p.m. Snap Shot: Creating the Iconic. Harry Benson (photographer) in conversation with Chris Whipple (writer, documentary filmmaker, journalist, speaker, and CEO, CCWHIP Productions)