This year, the 36th IAF World Fashion Convention is set to take place in Europe, in the Flemish city of Antwerp (Belgium). The IAF has chosen to connect the 36th Convention to the EU as a whole, because of its vibrant fashion and textile industry and because of the ambitious plans on sustainability from the new European Commission. Antwerp therefore is a perfect location. It has enough credentials on its own to qualify as a global fashion town, but it is also located next to Brussels, the administrative heart of Europe.
The theme of the 36th IAF World Fashion Convention is: ‘Transition in the Global Fashion System’.
Transition is the operative word. The theme recognizes the fact that the demand from societies and from consumers, the restraints posed by the earth’s ecosystem and the possibilities offered by technology converge to create a necessity for transition. Merely adapting does not seem to be enough in 2020. Adapting is too slow. New successful companies based on entirely different business models shape the industry’s transition, as do existing companies embarking on bold programs of change. Transition will not involve the industry alone but requires all in the entire fashion ecosystem to work together. It requires a good and close collaboration with governments, creating regulatory environments that are supporting transition without stifling entrepreneurial drive. Educational institutes are engines of transition not only by training new employees, but also by actively nurturing new business.
New format to beter cater to the theme of transition
The IAF World Fashion Convention is a unique fashion industry event, bringing together the entire global industry ecosystem to share high level industry insights and to jointly discuss concrete actions to create faster industry transition. It is a unique opportunity to gain the insights necessary to understand where our industry is heading and to join the conversation on concrete ways to make the necessary transitions. For this 36th edition we have changed the format to better cater to the theme of transition. One day will be devoted to plenary sessions with top speakers from across the globe. On the second day, in parallel workshops with participants from across the fashion ecosystem, we will discuss major topics driving transition such as circular textiles and implementing new technologies. On top of that, as always, the convention provides an excellent opportunity to meet the global industry in one location in a few days’ time.