FROM THE PRES­I­DENT’S DESK

Dear Friends,

Apparel - - FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK -

I have just re­turned from an ex­cit­ing, in­vig­o­rat­ing, and in­for­ma­tive Con­fer­ence – the 34th IAF World Fash­ion Con­ven­tion, held in Maas­tricht, The Nether­lands. The Theme for the Con­ven­tion was ‘Build­ing a Smart Fu­ture for the Ap­parel In­dus­try’, and looked at var­i­ous routes for cre­at­ing this Smart Fu­ture: Smart Ma­te­ri­als Man­age­ment, Smart Busi­ness Mod­els and In­no­va­tions, Smart Man­u­fac­tur­ing, and fi­nally, Smart Re­tail­ing.

Many of the is­sues raised and de­bated at the Con­ven­tion were strik­ingly – and sur­pris­ingly – sim­i­lar to the is­sues at hand for the In­dian Brands and Re­tail­ers.

The so­lu­tions of­fered by the amaz­ing ar­ray of Speak­ers from all over the World were re­fresh­ingly new and out of the box.

Here is a gist of some of the Ma­jor changes that we are likely to be wit­ness­ing in our In­dus­try in the com­ing years:

1. It is no longer go­ing to be just about change – it will be Dis­rup­tive Change. 2. Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion will play an in­creas­ingly cru­cial role. 3. Newer Busi­ness Mod­els are emerg­ing – and On­line chan­nels are go­ing to be

driv­ing them. 4. Trans­for­ma­tive Re­la­tion­ships will be re­placed by Col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ships –

it will no longer be ‘My way or the High­way’; it will be ‘Our way’. 5. Re­liance on in­for­ma­tion will shift from Trust to Trans­parency. 6. Fash­ion is mov­ing from Lin­ear to Cir­cu­lar. Reusable and Sus­tain­able Fash­ion

is what will de­ter­mine the fu­ture. 7. Cheapest sourc­ing will give way to Fastest sourc­ing. Reshoring is fast

emerg­ing as an at­trac­tive strat­egy. 8. A Brand is not what it tells its cus­tomers what it is; it is what the Cus­tomers tell each other what it is. 9. In­flu­encers are go­ing to play an in­creas­ing role in per­suad­ing con­sumers to de­cide. Role Mod­els are mak­ing a come­back! 10. Off­line or Brick and Mor­tar Re­tail is not go­ing to go away. E-Com­merce has

yet to cross the 10% mark in the US!

All in all, a very use­ful 2 days in the scenic beauty of Maas­tricht – which in­ci­den­tally was the city where the Euro­pean Union was formed, and the his­toric EU Treaty was signed.

RAHUL ME­HTA

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