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.