Ladies and Gentlemen: please hold on to your hats and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times. In this, the 20th New York Fashion, Jewelry + Design Conference, we consider the times in which we are living, a swirling vortex suggesting constant change and possibility, characterized by uncertainty. The vortex of contemporary fashion, a product and a mirror of this broader context, is the specific whirlpool into which we jump head-first: dizzying and disorienting, yes, but also dazzling and transporting. Whether by disruptive experimentation, the radical use of cutting-edge technologies, or astonishing cross-functional collaborations, we are swept off our feet. But we are not simply caught in a maelstrom of novel design, novel techniques, novel materials, and novel garments. We are caught as well in a revolution in how contemporary fashion is sold. We are caught in a communications revolution, as sellers seek new ways to capture the consumer’s attention. Social media might reign but other approaches, such as narrative film and photography that tell a story, putting objects in compelling contexts, overtly seek 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 want it. And we’ll have our revolution customized, thank you very much. And we want it fast, delivered—or so it would seem—even before we complete our on-line order. The shifting of the ground beneath our feet is not to be feared. Not least when it entails a growing recognition of the environmental impact of human activity across the fashion industry and the importance of chain of custody. Not least when it entails an increased understanding of the value and contribution of diversity in everything we do. Disruption, after all, gave us Dior. But despite the sturm, despite the drang, some things don’t change. Authenticity will remain prized: thus a return to natural dyes and fibers, to hand production, and the recognition, that when it comes to diamonds and much else, that “real is rare.” Welcome to the Vortex. The Louis and Lena Minkoff Foundation is gratefully acknowledged for its generosity. Initiatives in Art and Culture expresses 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
(President / Founder, Initiatives in Art and Culture)
9:15 – 9:55 a.m. Rebecca Minkoff in
conversation with
Gary A. Wassner.
10:35 – 11:15 a.m An Inclusive Vision: Fashion’s Future. Ivan Bart in conversation
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 in conversation.
12:15 – 12:55 p.m. What is Precious Now? Collecting
Jewelry in the 21st Century.
Alexandra Mor.
12:55 – 2:10 p.m. Luncheon
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. What is Luxury? Wendy Brandes, Melissa
Gonzales, Mickey Alam Khan, Jyothi Rao;
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
Deepa Lakhani, Freida
Rothman, Elizabeth Suda, Jennifer
Zeuner; moderator, Karen Giberson. 
9:45 – 10:25 a.m Ablaze. Deirdre Featherstone in
conversation with Jenny Luker.
10:30 – 11:00 a.m. A Royal Legacy. Prince Dimitri
of Yugoslavia in conversation with
Caroline Weber.
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
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.
von Bismarck and Carrie Ellen Phillips.
3:25 – 4:15 p.m. Sustainable Luxury: Rethinking Materials. AMUR, David Breslauer, Patricia
Ermecheo, Cullen Schwarz; moderator, Nina Farran.
4:20 – 5:15 p.m. The Power of Image. Robert Verdi in conversation