Paradox, Promise, Possibility

IAC’s 20th Annual New York Fashion Conference
November 8 – 9, 2018

The Museum of The City of New York

In the 20th New York Fashion, Jewelry + Design Conference, we considered the times in which we were living, a swirling vortex suggesting constant change and possibility, characterized by uncertainty. The vortex of contemporary fashion, a product and a mirror of that broader context, was the specific whirlpool into which we jumped head-first: dizzying and disorienting, yes, but also dazzling and transporting. Whether through disruptive experimentation, the radical use of cutting-edge technologies, or astonishing cross-functional collaborations, we were swept off our feet. But we were not simply caught in a maelstrom of novel design, novel techniques, novel materials, and novel garments. We were caught as well in a revolution in how contemporary fashion was sold. We were caught in a communications revolution, as sellers sought new ways to capture the consumer’s attention. Social media might have reigned, but other approaches, such as narrative film and photography that told a story, putting objects in compelling contexts, overtly sought to leave behind the distractions of social media, as well as the limitations of conventional print and television advertising. So why the revolution, the upheaval? Because we wanted it. And we would have our revolution customized, thank you very much. And we wanted it fast, delivered—or so it seemed—even before we completed our on-line order. The shifting of the ground beneath our feet was not to be feared. Not least when it entailed a growing recognition of the environmental impact of human activity across the fashion industry and the importance of the chain of custody. Not least when it entailed an increased understanding of the value and contribution of diversity in everything we did. Disruption, after all, gave us Dior. But despite the sturm, despite the drang, some things didn’t change. Authenticity would remain prized: thus a return to natural dyes and fibers, to hand production, and the recognition that when it came to diamonds and much else, “real is rare.” Welcome to the Vortex. The Louis and Lena Minkoff Foundation was gratefully acknowledged for its generosity. Initiatives in Art and Culture expressed sincere thanks to the Hilldun Corporation, to Platinum Guild International, and to UNLEASHED for their generous sponsorship (as of September 29, 2018).

Program agenda

Thursday, November 8, 2018

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and coffee
9:00 – 9:10 a.m. Introduction. Lisa Koenigsberg (conference director and President and Founder, Initiatives in Art and Culture)
9:15 – 9:55 a.m. Rebecca Minkoff (fashion designer) in conversation with Gary A. Wassner (CEO, Hilldun Corporation)
10:35 – 11:15 a.m An Inclusive Vision: Fashion’s Future. Ivan Bart (President, IMG Models and Fashion Properties)
11:15 – 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. HOW TO SLAY: Inspiration from the Kings and Queens of Black Style. Constance C. R. White (award-winning journalist)
12:15 – 12:55 p.m. What is Precious Now? Collecting Jewelry in the 21st Century. Alexandra Mor (haute joaillerie designer and artistic director of design for jewelry connoisseurs who are building collections of one-of-a-kind jewelry)
12:55 – 2:10 p.m. Luncheon
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. What is Luxury? Wendy Brandes (jewelry designer); Melissa Gonzales (founder, The Lionesque Group [TLG]); Mickey Alam Khan (founder and Editor-in-Chief, Luxury Daily, the world’s leading luxury business publication); Jyothi Rao (President, INTERMIX); moderator, Gary A. Wassner

Friday, November 9, 2018

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Continental breakfast, networking, and book signings
9:00 – 9:40 a.m. Trail-blazing in a Challenging Environment: Designer Jewelry 2018. Deepa Lakhani (co-founder, Deepa Gurnani); Freida Rothman (Brooklyn-based designer specializing in luxury jewelry and accessories); Elizabeth Suda (founder, ARTICLE22); Jennifer Zeuner (jewelry designer); moderator, Karen Giberson (President, Accessories Council) 
9:45 – 10:25 a.m Ablaze. Deirdre Featherstone (private jeweler based in NYC) in conversation with Jenny Luker (President, Platinum Guild International USA)
10:30 – 11:00 a.m. A Royal Legacy. Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia (designer and gemologist) in conversation with Caroline Weber (professor of French & Comparative Literature, Barnard College, Columbia University)
11:00 – 11:20 a.m Break, networking, and book signings
11:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Melding of Old and New: The Power of Culture to Inspire. Mellissa Huber (assistant curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
12:05 – 12:35 p.m. The Three Faces of Proust’s
Caroline Weber
12:35 – 1:50 p.m. Lunch (on your own) and book signings
1:50 – 2:30 p.m. New Approaches to Championing Fashion. Vanessa von Bismarck and Carrie Ellen Phillips (founding partners
of BPCM)
3:25 – 4:15 p.m. Sustainable Luxury: Rethinking Materials. AMUR (a clothing collection created in New York City); David Breslauer (co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Bolt Threads); Patricia Ermecheo (founder, Osom Socks and Osomtex); Cullen Schwarz (cofounder, DoneGood); moderator, Nina Farran (founder and CEO, Fashionkind)
4:20 – 5:15 p.m. The Power of Image. Robert Verdi (entrepreneur, celebrity stylist, and television personality)