Speakers

Suzy Menkes

International Vogue Editor

Condé Nast International

Suzy Menkes is fashion’s leading authority. As International Vogue Editor, her articles and reports appear on 20 international Vogue websites in 13 languages, reaching a total audience of 38.2 million. She has over 270,000 Instagram followers and is also active on Twitter and Facebook.

Frank, fearless and free from editorial constraints, she has built a reputation for having a strong and independent point of view. Amidst the online world of blogs and tweets, she brings to her worldwide audience a deep knowledge, experience and love of fashion.

With an unswerving enthusiasm for her subject, she covers the universe of style, from haute couture to talent spotting and store openings, including both womenswear and menswear. She regularly interviews leading designers and fashion executives in the luxury market.

Unique among fashion editors, Suzy – who trained as a historian at Cambridge University in her native England – looks beyond immediate trends to analyse changing style in a social context. She does not just look at the style of Michelle Obama or the image of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, but brings to her writing a wider cultural understanding.

Her incisive reporting includes financial news and reviews of museum exhibitions and the arts. She is also the author of several books, including The Windsor Style, and The Royal Jewels, as well as being a contributor of forewords to numerous fashion volumes.

Suzy invented the luxury conference concept in 2001, while she was Fashion Editor of the International Herald Tribune. She continues to show a breadth of vision and geographical reach as she now hosts conferences for Condé Nast International.

Suzy is a member of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, where she holds the rank of Chevalier, and of the Order of the British Empire, for “services to fashion journalism.”

In 2013, she was awarded the Fiorino d’Oro – the highest honour of the city of Florence – in recognition of her contribution to culture and arts in that city. Later that year, she received a Special Recognition Award at the British Fashion Awards.

In 2014 she was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by CEW – Cosmetic Executive Women.

In 2015, she was awarded the keys to the city of Florence by Mayor Dario Nardella. In 2016, she was awarded honorary citizenship of the City of Seoul by Mayor Won Soon Park.

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Alber Elbaz

From October 2001 to October 2015, Alber Elbaz was the artistic director of the LANVIN with a mission to « wake-up the sleeping beauty ». During his 14 year tenure, he transformed the 125 years old historic French House into one of the most sought-after luxury labels in the world.

Alber Elbaz was born in June 12th in Casablanca, Morocco and raised in Israel, where he graduated from Shenkar College, the Tel-Aviv School of Fashion and Textiles. He then trained in New York, where for seven years (from 1989 to 1996) he was the right-hand of the legendary American couturier, GEOFFREY BEENE. In September 1996, he moved to Paris to take over as the head designer for Prêt-à-Porter for GUY LAROCHE until 1998. He successfully produced collections there from Autumn-Winter 1997 to Spring 1999.

On 2nd November 1998, he took over from monsieur Yves Saint-Laurent as the artistic director for YVES SAINT-LAURENT Rive Gauche collections until 2000. His Autumn-Winter 1999, Spring-Summer 2000 and Autumn-Winter 2000 collections perpetuated a style and successfully married the past and the future.

Open, sincere, intuitive and sparkling, he has a taste for the unforeseen and rises to challenges. For Lanvin, he recommended an urban elegance where emotion and optimism kindle desire. He reconciles modernity and femininity, technique and originality, sensuality and creativity.

His work and talent have been recognized throughout the world. He has received many awards, and was most recently awarded with the “l’Officier de la Légion d’Honneur” (Officer of the Legion of Honor), France’s highest civilian distinction by the Cultural Minister of France in 2016

Alessandro Sartori

Artistic Director

Ermenegildo Zegna

Alessandro Sartori is an Italian fashion designer born in Biella, Italy in 1966. In February 2016, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Italian luxury menswear house the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, with responsibility across all Zegna brands and all creative initiatives.

Alessandro Sartori  received a degree in textile engineering in Biella, Northern Italy, followed by a degree in Fashion Design in Milan in 1989.

In 2003, he became Creative Director of the newly created "Z Zegna" line  within the Ermenegildo Zegna Group. Alessandro Sartori was pivotal in turning the line into an international brand recognized for rewriting the rules of contemporary tailoring. Z Zegna was launched at Pitti Uomo and Alessandro Sartori staged the first Z Zegna global runway show in New York in February 2007. Z Zegna successfully participated at five New York Fashion Weeks before moving to Milan in June 2009.

On July 1, 2011 he was appointed as Artistic Director at Berluti, with the aim of creating a luxury total wardrobe. Five years later, following acclaimed fashion shows and having multiplied the revenues of Berluti, Alessandro Sartori left the LVMH group.

February 5, 2016 Ermenegildo Zegna Group revealed Alessandro Sartori’s appointment to the newly created position of Artistic Director with responsibility across all Zegna lines and for all creative functions. Commenting on the appointment, Gildo Zegna, CEO of the Company, said: “I've known Alessandro and his style for many years and I am extremely excited to welcome him back to our Group. His talent, creativity, passion and modernity make him the perfect fit to help us take Zegna to the next phase of its development.”

Alessandro Sartori officially joined the Ermenegildo Zegna Group in June 2016 and his first season for the company will be Autumn/Winter 2017.

Amal Al Raisi

Founder and Creative Director

Amal Al Raisi

It has been 9 magnificent years since Amal Al Raisi started working in the fashion industry. Under the name of Dar Al Aseel, she first started designing traditional Omani dresses and went on to create abayas and jalabiyas. Amal has a lot of success stories to tell and can count a number of failures, which are all part of her history and brand today.

In 2015, Amal decided she was ready for a new fashion venture. She added a RTW line and changed her brand name to ‘Amal Al Raisi’. The RTW collection has a modern aesthetic and follows the international fashion calendar. Both collections mirror each other so the inspiration, fabric and colours are the same and can, therefore, be styled together, combining modern silhouettes with traditional styles.

Both lines are a tribute to women that are feminine but not delicate. Amal admires today’s power woman who prioritises family but also pursues her dreams. Both collections are produced in Oman and overseen by Amal herself to ensure the highest quality and an impeccable finish. Amal’s ultimate goal is for her pieces to be worn far beyond the borders of Oman.

Angelica Cheung

Editor in Chief

Vogue China

Biography to follow.

Bandana Tewari

Editor at Large

Vogue India

Responsible for planning, visualising and ideating fashion features for the ultimate style bible, Bandana Tewari has one of the most enviable jobs in Indian fashion. Her ringside view of the rapidly evolving industry coupled with her signature ability to take the long view in every commentary has made her one of the nation’s foremost authorities on fashion.

Bandana writes comprehensively on fashion. Her pieces have appeared in well-regarded publications such as US Vogue, British Vogue, Wallpaper*, and Tank, in addition to several leading Indian journals. She has scripted and hosted 50 episodes of ‘Simply Style’, India’s first primetime TV show on fashion, and hosted two seasons of the first fashion webisodes in India on www.lfwtv.com. She has been featured in Industrie magazine’s guide to the most powerful figures in fashion for 2012.

Bandana is currently an Advisory Committee member for MoMA's exhibition in 2017 titled " Is Fashion Modern."

A regular attendee at fashion weeks, Bandana commissions fashion stories, presents fashion forecasts and decodes international trends providing the latest in fashion news, reviews and stories for the Indian reader. She believes that fashion is not a linear phenomenon. And to understand the significance and impact of fashion, we need to approach it as social anthropologists.

In 2006, she was named fashion journalist of the year at the Fashion Awards in Mumbai. She has written a book called ‘A Little Guide to Italy’ which has been translated in Marathi, Gujarati and Italian.

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Caterina Occhio

Founder

SeeMe

Caterina Occhio is a former development aid manager with more than 15 years of experience in employment support and institutional reform. She worked extensively for the European Commission and various UN agencies as an expert in socio-economic integration of disadvantaged women. In 2007, Ms Occhio became the secretary-general of the SEED Foundation. In 2008, she led the team charged with improving the effectiveness of the European Commission’s external aid programmes, and in 2010 she became EU policy adviser for the new employment strategy in Tunisia.

In 2013, while working to improve women’s conditions in the MENA region, Ms Occhio took a leap of faith and launched SeeMe, the only brand in the MENA region verified by the World Fair Trade Organisation. SeeMe produces heart-shaped jewellery with disadvantaged women in Tunis, providing them a safe work environment.

In 2015, the brand extended to Lebanon where it started its fine jewellery line. In 2016 and with Nicole Kidman as its ambassador, SeeMe's Orange Heart was chosen as the signature piece of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

SeeMe has also provided ethical sourcing for other fashion brands, such as: Karl Lagerfeld, Missoni and Tommy.

When wearing a heart, SeeMe’s supporters join the #heartmovement – a worldwide movement aiming at bridging fair trade and luxury.

Ms. Occhio was a guest speaker at Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence in 2015. Also in 2015, she was selected by Glamour Italia as one of the most inspirational women of the year.

In 2016 Ms. Occhio presented the project during the First Ladies Luncheon in New York.

Cem Boyner

Chief Executive Officer

Boyner Group

Cem Boyner studied Business Administration at Robert College / Bogazici University in Istanbul. Mr. Boyner has been with the group since he joined the textiles manufacturing company Altınyıldız in 1978. Under his leadership, and through his passion for customer happiness, the group evolved into a retail and services giant. Mr. Boyner transformed Boyner Group into the leading luxury retailer of Turkey with innovations including new retail formats. The group’s luxury flagship Beymen has grown fourfold - even during the turbulence of the last five years.

In 2015, Boyner Group launched Hopi - 'the app of shopping’ which offers a personalised shopping experience for customers using big data infrastructure. In less than a year, Hopi has reached 3.5 million users.

Cem Boyner has always been involved in nonprofit and civil society organisations throughout his business career. He received a “World Leadership Award” from the United Nations for his achievements regarding workplace democracy and gender equality. Mr. Boyner has also served as a Board Member of The National Retail Federation (NRF), the world's largest retail trade association.

Cem Boyner’s interests include photography, diving and travelling.

Dalia Daou

Designer

Daou Jewellery

Daou Jewellery has an impressive and glorious heritage, having delivered jewellery to the stars, sovereigns and society since 1930. Yet third generation designer and now director, Dalia Daou continues the brand name and legacy, reviving it with her innovative and contemporary, yet still elegant designs.

Starting the heritage in 1930, Grandfather Georges Daou opened BIJOUX DAOU; followed by A.G. Daou, Georges Daou’s son, who opened his first boutique in a prime location on Avenue des Français, a beautiful wide boulevard by the coast often referred to as "the Bond Street of Beirut." Ever since then, Daou designs have been sought after for their beauty, colour, life and innovation; inspired by nature, colour and form.

The brand began to further establish itself from 1966, becoming a jewellery supplier to the royals, having gifted Queen Elizabeth II, followed shortly by the Royal appointment of Daou Jewellery to King Hussein of Jordan. In 1967, none other than Brigitte Bardot herself visited the Daou boutique, with the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, seen wearing Daou jewellery several years later, cementing its reputation as a prestigious jeweller.

Not long after, the second year of the Lebanese Civil War claimed the Daou boutique in Beirut, with A.G. Daou consequently moving to London after being appointed the managing and creative director of Chaumet on Bond Street, London in 1977.

A.G. Daou’s daughter, Dalia, born in Wimbledon, spent her childhood in London surrounded by art and creativity leading to art and sculpture studies at Wimbledon College of Art and l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris prior to graduating in Physics from University of Bristol; and a Masters in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology from Imperial College London. These studies still form a fundamental role in the technical and detail orientated aspects of gemology and jewellery creation, as well as being a wealth of inspiration.

Dalia Daou trained in jewellery techniques and processes in London’s Hatton Garden, Holts Academy of Jewellery and at Central Saint Martins, as well as undertaking gemstone studies at the Gemological Institute of America.

In 2013, Dalia Daou reopened Daou Jewellery in London, debuting the Star design at the Goldsmiths Craft & Design Council Awards in London.

2016 has seen Dalia Daou reach new heights with the brand, having won New Designer of the Year at the 2016 UK Jewellery Awards as well as having been selected as a recipient of the British Fashion Council’s Rock Vault with plans to show at International Jewellery London, London Fashion Week and Couture Las Vegas.

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David Crickmore

CEO

Amouage

David Crickmore has been the Chief Executive Officer of Amouage SAOC for almost 11 years. This appointment is the latest in a 35 year career in the luxury goods field.

Founded in Oman 33 years ago, Amouage is an international luxury fragrance and lifestyle brand with a reputation for developing really creative, niche, luxury perfumes that are artistic masterpieces. Amouage is the only luxury brand originally stemming from the Gulf that sells to a local consumer in whichever market it is located.

David is credited with the complete re-invention of the brand over the last ten years and for making it relevant to global, contemporary consumers, as well as for broadening its product offer.

David’s appointment of Creative Director, Christopher Chong, enabled the vision to succeed, since the strength of the brand lies in its creative integrity, often setting its own trend, as opposed to merely following the flock.

Products include a fine fragrance collection segmented into four Collections: a Bath & Body Collection; a Home Collection of candles and parfums d’ambience; a range of small, high quality, leather goods; and a recently-launched collection of bespoke printed silk scarves.

The brand’s retail footprint has grown to 66 countries, including 20 standalone shops and 35 shop-in-shops in key opinion-forming cities around the world.

After completing a Master’s degree in Law, David began his working life training to be a solicitor, but soon realized that commerce, fashion, accessories and high end retailing were something he wanted to pursue.

Prior to his appointment to Amouage, David led a number of leading brands, including the Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng and the eccentric men’s clothing and accessory brand, Duchamp. He has also held senior positions with Pringle and Nautica, and was schooled in the luxury goods world for several years working internationally for Alfred Dunhill, Daks, Simpsons Piccadilly, Harvey Nichols and Liberty.

Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz

Editor in Chief

Vogue Arabia

Previously, Abdulaziz was the co-founder and director of D’NA, a unique shopping and cultural experience bridging East and West. Established in the heart of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2006 (and subsequently launched in Doha, Qatar in 2013), D'NA emerged as an independent fashion voice both in the Middle East and on the international scene.

Abdulaziz’s love of fashion began as a young girl growing up in Riyadh, where she intently scanned the pages of the American, French, Italian, and British editions of Vogue, observing the evolution of these fashion publications from the late 80s to the present. Searching back issues of Vogue from the 1950-1980s, she would look for rare instances when Arab women appeared within its pages — among them, portraits of Moroccan socialites Tamy Tazi (April 1965) and Madame Benhima (September 1969).  Her encyclopaedic knowledge of fashion and devout interest in the subject led her to focus on fashion retailing, one of the few avenues open to Saudi Arabian women at the time to enter the fashion industry.

Over the years, Abdulaziz established D’NA as a platform for emerging international talent. As one of the first retailers in the world to carry the likes of Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, and Juan Carlos Obando, she played a role in introducing their designs to the Arabian Gulf region. She also became known for commissioning designers to customize their collections or create unique pieces for the Middle Eastern market.

Abdulaziz is a mentor to emerging fashion talents and a jury member of the DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize (previously the Style.com/Arabia – DDFC Fashion Prize), an annual endowment for the most promising fashion and accessory design talents in the Arab world.

Abdulaziz uses her position to debunk perceptions of Arab women and present alternative narratives coming out of the Middle East, while exposing diverse audiences to the region’s rich past and contemporary design scene. Heralded as an expert in the Middle East luxury/fashion sector, Abdulaziz is included amongst the Business of Fashion’s top 500 individuals shaping the global fashion industry. Abdulaziz has been regularly interviewed about the region’s fashion scene and trends, and has been featured in noted publications such as the the American, British, Spanish, and French editions of Vogue; The New York Times’ T Magazine; WWD; Style.com and Style.com/Arabia; and The Wall Street Journal.

 

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Edgardo Osorio

Founder and Creative Director

AQUAZZURA

Born in Colombia and raised between Miami and London, Edgardo Osorio combines his eye for drop-dead glamour, his passion for modern design and his hand for luxury craftsmanship into desirable footwear.

After attending the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, he made his first strides in the footwear world within some of the most prestigious luxury brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Sigerson Morrison, René Caovilla, and Roberto Cavalli. In 2011, after working in the industry for 10 years, and at just 25 years old, Edgardo launched his luxury footwear brand AQUAZZURA.

Striking the perfect balance between modern design and impeccable craftsmanship, Edgardo creates stylish yet wearable footwear for the modern woman. He draws his inspiration from European luxury and tradition whilst creating modern shoes that are both sexy and incredibly comfortable, winning him awards such as the Footwear News “Best Designer of 2015” award, the “Vivian Infantino Emerging Talent Award” in 2013 and Elle Spain’s Style Awards as the 2014 “Best Accessories Designer of the Year”.

The “Sexy Thing” booties, the Belgravia and Christy flats, and the Wild Thing sandals are his signature styles and have been claimed as “Must Have” shoes by top influencers and fashion press. Edgardo Osorio has been featured in numerous, top international magazines.

His headquarters are situated in the historical Palazzo Corsini along with the Florentine flagship store, beside the Arno River, in the heart of Florence and near the best shoemakers and craftspeople in the world. In just four years, Aquazzura has become available in 48 countries within the top retailers of the world. The brand has gained global recognition as an innovator in the footwear industry with boutiques in Florence, London, Miami and soon in New York, Moscow, Dubai and Hong Kong. On top of his iconic seasonal collections, Edgardo has also collaborated with renowned influencers like Olivia Palermo and Poppy Delevingne and brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, with whom he created a capsule collection, Edgardo Osorio X Salvatore Ferragamo, that launched in December 2015 - the first time that the house associated themselves with another designer's name.

Elie Saab

Founder

Elie Saab

Born in 1964 in Damour, Lebanon, Elie Saab is a self-taught fashion talent. His interest in dressmaking started at the young age of nine, when he started designing dresses for his sisters. Soon, he was selling his designs to the women in his neighborhood, still just a teenager.

He opened his first Couture atelier in Beirut in 1982, managing over a dozen employees, having already mastered the art of dressmaking and its know-how. The same year, he presented his first show at the Casino du Liban. The young women in the audience were immediately won over, and his reputation for designing extremely feminine and elegant dresses was established. Word spread internationally of this talented young designer, and his client base grew to include members of high society. HRH Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan chose to be dressed in Elie Saab Haute Couture for her Coronation ceremony in 1999.

Elie Saab presented his first Haute Couture collection in 2000 in Paris before being invited as a Membre Invité by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2002. Every year thereafter he has continued to present two Couture collections a year in Paris.

In September 2003, the President of the Lebanese Republic awarded Elie Saab the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Cèdre, as a tribute to his work and creative contributions.

In October 2005 of the same year, Elie Saab presented his ready-to-wear collection in Paris for the first time, simultaneously launching his first accessories collection the following year Elie Saab was integrated into the Chambre Syndicale’s official Haute Couture calendar, as Membre Correspondant.

Elie Saab partnered with the Lebanese American University of Beirut and London College of Fashion in 2012 to launch a four year Bachelor’s degree program in fashion design and related studies. The first class will graduate in 2017. Each major of class is granted a six month internship in Mr. Saab's studio.

Elie Saab Bridal was launched in 2016. The contemporary and modern interpretation of bridalwear follows the style evolution of the brand's ready-to-wear collections over the last few seasons.

 

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Frédéric Malle

Perfume Publisher

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

Frédéric Malle was born, as it were, into the world of perfume: his grandfather, Serge Heftler, founded Christian Dior Parfums, and his mother worked as the Art Director of Christian Dior Parfums. Malle often accompanied his mother to her of ce at the Dior factory where he saw perfumes being
made and bore witnesses to the creative process from its inception, igniting a love of fragrance which would later become his life’s work. He was raised in an environment where culture and creativity were the dominant values; no doubt this environment contributed to his choice to study Art History at New York University, where he was able to further develop his aesthetic sensibilities.

Malle professionally joined the world of perfumery in 1986 at the prestigious perfume lab Roure Bertrand Dupont where he developed his knowledge of raw materials, perfume making techniques, and ultimately learned the rigor of perfume creation from its nest creators. After years of working with some of the best French and International perfume companies and perfumers, Malle decided to embark on his own venture to return perfumery to its luxury status: Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, a French publishing house for the top perfumers of the world.

In 2000 Malle invited nine top perfumers to create their very own perfume with complete creative and nancial freedom. These nine original perfumes were then introduced at his rst boutique: 37 Rue de Grenelle, in Paris. Led by Malle himself, Editions de Parfums gives perfumers the opportunity
to become fragrance authors. Much like an editor works with a writer, Malle gives perfumers complete freedom to create a fragrance of their dreams, which he then publishes. The creative freedom results in the use of the most rare materials and technologically advanced molecules, thereby creating entirely new fragrance types and modern classics.

It can take between 6 and 18 months to develop a perfume from start to nish. Once the initial concept is established, each perfumer works with his idea until the perfume is perfectly harmonious. This ne-tuning of the fragrance is particularly dif cult as the perfumer tries to maintain the initial personality of the perfume even while balancing all its various elements.

Because Editions de Parfums was conceived to give the unique styles of each perfumer as much imaginative freedom as possible, the company’s products are not the result of single aesthetic, but re ect, on the contrary, the diversity of the artists who make them. There are, however, two common threads that run through Frédéric Malle’s eclectic and assertive taste in perfumes: the rst is a kind of stripped-down olfactive “signature’– almost minimalistic – which only allows for the presence of the most essential elements in each fragrance; the second is the fact that each perfumer works on a fragrance not just to make it smell beautiful, but to make it “become one” with the person wearing it.

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle today includes home fragrances, candles, body soaps, hair mist and Malle’s debut book, Frédéric Malle On Perfume Making, which recounts stories of past collaborations with the most talented perfumers and trade secrets, offering an honest, personal and sensitive look into the close-knit community of renowned perfumers. In 2010, ten years after founding Editions de Parfums, Malle decided to start a new perfume collection, the purpose of which would be to translate the world of people and brands that he admires into scents: Perfume Portrait by Frédéric Malle. The rst Perfume Portrait (Dries Van Noten par Frédéric Malle) was released in April 2013. Superstitious for Alber Elbaz is the latest portrait in this collection. It will be released in April 2017.

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Giambattista Valli

Founder and Creative Director

Giambattista Valli

Born and raised in Rome, Giambattista Valli holds a BA from Liceo as well a degree in Art. Influenced by his city, his Roman roots, the movies of Antonioni and inspired by the discovery of French fashion through the watercolours of Yves Saint Laurent and the drawings of Gruau, Giambattista decided to pursue his dream by enrolling in fashion school, the Istituto Europeo del Design of Rome, in 1986.

In 1987, he began a foundation course in illustration at Central St. Martins School of Arts in London. Returning to Italy, he worked in the studio of Roberto Capucci. In his role as Capucci's assistant, he was introduced to the dramatic haute couture clothes and the bursting colours of the Roman master.

In 1990, after a two-year stint with Capucci, the Fendi family called him to oversee, as Senior Designer, the newly born Fendissime line. There he experimented with prêt-à-porter in the world of the young hip Roman clientele.

Travelling restlessly between collections, he filled his imagination and mind continuously with many influences: India with Mina's songs, the New York of Halston, Antonio Lopez and Bianca Jagger, Paris with Jeanne Moreau, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and Jane Birkin, Fellini's costumes, Gena Rowlands, Louise Bourgeois... He also spent time with the women of the café society who would become an important source of inspiration for the times to come.

Giambattista launched his own collection, and in March 2005 held his first solo show in Paris. Giambattista Valli was thus born. After the opening of its headquarters in the historic building where Jean-Baptiste Lulli once lived in Paris, Giambattista Valli opened its first store rue Boissy d'Anglas in the same building in December 2010. The 150 square meter space, is the first ever boutique dedicated entirely to Giambattista Valli ready-to-wear collections, furs and accessories including shoes, bags and jewellery.

Nearly six years after the founding of his signature ready-to-wear house, Giambattista Valli showed its first Haute Couture collection in July 2011.

Almost ten years since the launch of the signature brand, in September 2014, Giamba – a new ready-to-wear line – was launched with a runway show during Milan Fashion Week.
The collection responds to the designer’s desire of expressing different sides of his personality and runs in parallel with the Giambattista Valli, one completing the other.

Giambattista Valli is the sole owner of Giambattista Valli Paris. He designs an eponymous line of accessories, has a deal with Italian top fur-maker Ciwifurs for his own fur coats and jackets and is creative director of GAMME ROUGE, a line for the oldest sporting jackets manufacturer, Moncler.

The brand has more than 245 selling points in 41 countries worldwide. A very international, glamorous, sophisticated crowd of young, beautiful women have endorsed his talent by wearing his clothes - among them the likes of Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman, Diane Kruger and Halle Berry.

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Goga Ashkenazi

Chairwoman and Creative Director

Vionnet

Born in Kazakhstan, raised in Moscow, and educated in the United Kingdom since childhood, Goga Ashkenazi is a highly motivated and successful entrepreneur whose business experience spans across a myriad of diversified industries from finance, oil and gas, to real estate, engineering and most recently high fashion.

Currently the Chairwoman and Creative Director of the 100-year-old fashion label Vionnet, Ms. Ashkenazi possesses a degree in Modern History and Economics from Oxford University, has taken fashion design courses at Moscow State University of Design and Technology, and has sat on the board of a number of multinational companies with global business interests. Drawing upon her varied business background, experience with differing corporate cultures and wide personal interests, she has creatively crafted an innovative professional path and become a highly regarded businesswoman along the way.

Ms. Ashkenazi began her career in the investment banking sector at top financial institutions such as Merrill Lynch (London), ABN AMRO (Hong Kong) and Morgan Stanley (London). In 2003, she started her own oil & gas engineering and construction company, MunaiGas-Engineering Group, where she served as Chairman and CEO. In directing all of the company’s activities, in addition to brokering mining deals in East Kazakhstan, Goga demonstrated a flair for entrepreneurialism, savvy business thinking and a proven track record of strong company management.

She now brings her business expertise and innovative thinking to the fashion industry, a personal passion that she has stoked since childhood. In May 2012, Ms. Ashkenazi took a majority stake in Vionnet, a recently relaunched label originally founded by the revolutionary fashion designer Madame Madeleine Vionnet in 1912. By November 2012, her holding company, GoTo Enterprises Sarl, gained full control of the brand. Ms. Ashkenazi, who uniquely heads both the creative and business sides of the Milan-based company, is personally committed to renewing this historic gem to its former glory, developing a global retail network and profitably growing its business.

Ms. Ashkenazi is a passionate supporter of a number of charitable organisations, including her own Erkin charitable foundation, established in 2007, which provides support to minors in Central Asia. She has actively supported Portland Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In Milan, where Vionnet’s headquarters are based, she is a supporter of the Buzzi Children's Hospital, where she contributed to projects for equipment needed to detect and diagnose rare illnesses. She is an active supporter of Save the Children, where she funded the building and running of a village for children and mothers in the Manica Province of Mozambique. She was recently presented with an award for her ‘continued and precious support’ for her involvement with Save the Children.

Goga is also deeply committed to the arts. She has been involved with a number of institutions including the Hermitage Council and the Serpentine Gallery Council in London and the Bagatti Valsecchi museum in Milan.

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Guram Gvasalia

CEO

Vetements

Guram Gvasalia is Chief Executive Officer of Vetements.

H.E. Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Albusaidi

Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sultanate of Oman

H.E. Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Albusaidi was born in Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman. He was educated there and later in the United Kingdom at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, where he graduated with an M.Litt. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.

In 1988 H.E. returned to Muscat to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Ambassador in 1995, Under-Secretary in 2000, anSecretary-Generalal with the rank of Minister in 2007.

H.E. Sayyid Badr led the initial negotiation with the United States of America beginning in 1993 which culminated in Omani membership of the World Trade Organisation in 2000, and a US-Omani Free Trade Agreement in 2006. H.E. Sayyid Badr has always been a strong supporter of an outward-looking and market-oriented economic policy, in particular supporting youth and innovation, diversity and public-private-partnerships.

Since the 1990s, H.E. Sayyid Badr has played an active role in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, implementing its wide ranging diplomatic engagement – from the Middle East Peace Process, and numerous other regional issues both past and current, to the Iran-US negotiations of recent times.

H.E. Sayyid Badr chairs the Omani side of several joint bilateral committees, political consultations and strategic groups with, among others, China, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Singapore, Brunei, Switzerland, Japan, UK, and the USA.

Beyond the realm of international relations, H.E. Sayyid Badr has lectured in Oman and internationally on topics such as cultural dialogue, modernisation and development. He is active on social media and travels widely, enjoying music, art and sports, with tennis a key leisure priority.

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Ingie Chalhoub

President and Managing Director, Etoile Group

Etoile Group/ Ingie Paris

Long established as one of the Middle East’s foremost style icons, Ingie Chalhoub is a fashion innovator who is constantly pushing the boundaries of high end luxury in the Middle Eastern region and has done so since the foundation of the Etoile Group in 1983 when she opened the first ever Chanel boutique in the Region.

The Etoile Group has grown to become one of the highest profile names on the Middle East retail market. Over the last 25 years, Ingie has built a strong presence inside the GCC in countries such as the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Lebanon. Specialising in bringing luxury brands to the Middle East, she has firmly established the group within this highly competitive market. Etoile Group operates many different pillars and has franchise agreements with Chanel, Ralph Lauren, TOD’s, Hogan and most recently Anya Hindmarch. Etoile Group also runs a joint venture with Valentino.

In 2005, Ingie expanded and launched Etoile “la boutique” – a concept store which has brought many international brands to the Middle East for the first time. This new addition to the group truly revolutionised the regional fashion industry. Each store is unique and targeted to the region, with careful editing of the selection of styles and brands relevant to the city – a truly unique regional concept store which continues to be a success with a strong presence in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Riyadh.

Seeking and embracing new challenges, Ingie started her own label, INGIE Paris, in 2009. Combining the French craftsmanship and the glamour of the Middle East, INGIE Paris is now producing four collections per year of exquisite luxury ready-to-wear and accessories. Since its launch seven years ago, INGIE Paris has evolved from a small collection of delicate evening gowns to a complete proposition of red carpet dresses, daywear ensembles, knitwear pieces, accessories, and now completed by a capsule shoe collection.

Loved and recognised, Ingie’s creations have been worn on the red carpet by celebrities such as Olivia Wilde, America Ferrera, Pamela Anderson, Sophie Marceau and Natalia Vodianova as well as regional talents too like Lolo Al Aslawi, Nancy Ajram, Nelly Karim and Haifa Wehbe.

Praised by her peers and the media for her style, acumen and creative sense of business, Ingie has received numerous awards in her career. Most recently, in September 2016 she was ranked 66th by Forbes in their list of “100 Most Powerful Arab Women.” In October 2016, Ingie was guest of honor at Beirut Fashion Week, where she presented her latest collection at the pre-opening show.

Ingie is also involved in many humanitarian activities actively supporting research in breast cancer as an ambassador for the Pink Caravan organisation and the 10KSA project. She also supports Dubai Cares and actively contributes to their charity programmes across the Group.

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James Lima

Director

James Lima

The work of Director James Lima is instantly recognizable for its use of stunning visuals that bring emotions to the forefront, capturing the essence of a brand. Lima spent much of his career in Hollywood working with influential directors such as Steven Spielberg and James Cameron on commercials, Emmy nominated television series and blockbuster feature films including Avatar.

Lima’s work with fashion began in 2008 with a commission by Prada; the resulting film, Trembled Blossoms, was praised for its innovative animation and fantastical narrative. Lima has since gone on to direct multiple films for Prada and other leading designers including Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna, Loewe, Alexander Wang and most recently, Louis Vuitton.

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José Neves

Founder and CEO

Farfetch

In 2008 José Neves launched Farfetch, bringing together his interests in fashion and technology, as well as his experience in design, wholesale and retail, to create a business that would celebrate and support the diversity of the global fashion industry. His vision was to create a single portal, offering independent boutiques the opportunity to compete with the leaders of fashion e-commerce.

Farfetch now comprises more than 400 partner boutiques and over 100 partner brands, offering over 100,000 pieces from more than 1,500 brands. With customers in almost 190 countries, the site receives an average of 10 million monthly hits.

José has been involved in the fashion start-up world since the mid-1990s when he launched footwear business SWEAR. José later founded SIX London, a fashion licensing and wholesale company selling to 600 retailers worldwide. In 2001 José opened the renowned bstore, which won the British Fashion Award for Retailer of the Year in 2006.

José and Farfetch have received numerous accolades, including Financial Times and ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Smaller Company Award (2016), Fast Company 2016 list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies, Business of Fashion’s 500 People Shaping the Fashion Industry (2016 & 2015), Ernst & Young’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year and Vogue’s DirectorsOf.COM Top Entrepreneur in 2011. In July, 2016 José joined the British Fashion Council’s board as a Non-Executive Director.

MILANO, 28 giugno 2016 -  Lapo Elkann presenta il Learjet 31 reso unico da Garage Italia Customs (Photo by Guido De Bortoli/Getty Images)

Lapo Elkann

Chairman and Founder

Italia Independent Group and Garage Italia Customs

Lapo Edovard Elkann is Chairman and Founder of Italia Independent Group and of Garage Italia Customs. Mr. Elkann was born in New York in 1977. After studying in France and England, and gaining experience as Assistant to Henry Kissinger, Mr. Elkann emerged as Worldwide Brand Promotion Director for Fiat Group, where he successfully carried out several projects in below-the-line marketing and participated in the relaunch of the Fiat 500.

In 2007, he undertook the entrepreneurial path, founding the lifestyle brand “Italia Independent,” the creative factory “Independent Ideas,” and the holding company “Italia Independent Group,” which was listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in June 2013. In 2011, he started a collaboration with Ferrari to create the Tailor Made Unit. In March 2015, he founded Garage Italia Customs, a customisation service for the automobile industry. In July 2013, he was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, the American institution dedicated to preserving and celebrating outstanding automotive achievement.

Mr. Elkann is on the Boards of Directors of Ferrari, Pinacoteca Gianni e Marella Agnelli, and Good Films. In addition to generously supporting amfAR over the past 11 years through the donation of one-of-a-kind auction items, Mr. Elkann’s charitable work includes serving on the Board of the Tel Hashomer/Sheba Foundation. Tel Hashomer is a hospital based in Tel Aviv that has saved the lives of many in need, regardless of conflicting cultural beliefs. Mr. Elkann also supports the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation by donating custom cars to be auctioned at its galas, in addition to making generous personal contributions. Most recently, Mr. Elkann launched L.A.P.S. (Libera Accademia Progetti Sperimentali), an organisation dedicated to bringing smiles and joy back into the lives of underprivileged children ages five through ten. Mr. Elkann uses the creative tools at his disposal, be it fashion, art, design, technology, or sport, to help children unlock their own creativity and discover the joy of making something.

 

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Manish Arora

Designer

Manish Arora

Manish Arora is one of the most celebrated and inspiring contemporary designers in the fashion world today.

He is known for his astute craftsmanship and unique play on colours, such as his trademark palette of Pink and Gold. His designs are inspired by Indian heritage but with a contemporary vibe. It was in 1997, that the world first viewed Manish's design aesthetic with the launch of his label 'Manish Arora.' With this, he grew from strength to strength, gaining a devoted following in the fashion world, which finally led to Manish showing at London Fashion Week in 2005. In 2007, Manish showcased for the rst time in Paris Fashion Week. He became a member of the distinguished French Federation of Pret-a-Porter the same year. Today, Manish sells his creations worldwide across prestigious stores such as Galleries Lafayette, Joyce and Beams. In 2011, Manish was appointed the Creative Director for Iconic French Fashion House 'Paco Robanne' where he designed two successful collections for them.

In 2007, Manish showcased for the first time at Paris Fashion Week. He became a member of the distinguished French Federation of Pret-a-Porter the same year. Today, Manish sells his creations worldwide in prestigious stores such as Galleries Lafayette, Joyce and Beams. In 2011, Manish was appointed the Creative Director for Iconic French fashion house, Paco Rabanne, where he designed two successful collections for them.

Manish Arora has been celebrated across the fashion world with fashion spreads in international magazines such as V, Interview, Vogue, L'Officiel and many others.

He has also collaborated with eminent brands such as Walt Disney, Swarovski, Swatch, Reebok, Barbie, Monoprix, Nespresso, Nivea, MAC Cosmetics, Pommery and Amrapali, among others.

His rich and colourful designs have been worn by bevy of international stars from Rihanna and Lady Gaga to M.I.A and Katy Perry.

In 2012, Manish Arora joined hands with India's biggest women's ethnicwear retail brand, BIBA, to create a joint venture label "Indian by Manish Arora," to bring his sense of design and craftsmanship to Indian wear. In 2014, the brand opened its first flagship store in Paris.

On 16 February 2016, Manish Arora was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, by François Richier, French Ambassador to India. Manish is the first Indian in the fashion industry to receive this honour.

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Matthew Rubinger

Senior Vice President

Christie’s

Matthew Rubinger is a Senior Vice President at Christie’s in London. With 15 years’ experience in the field, he is a pioneer in the handbags industry, having started at a young age as an entrepreneur and then launching the department for an ecommerce start-up and another auction house before joining Christie’s in 2014.

He joined the firm to re-invigorate the Fashion, Handbags & Accessories business. He opened sale sites in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Paris, breaking the world record for a handbag at auction in 2015 and 2016.

He has lectured and been interviewed extensively for his expertise in the field and has been featured in Forbes 30 Under 30, Art + Auction Game Changers, and Hong Kong Tatler Innovators.

Mr. Rubinger was born in New York City and currently lives in London with his wife.

Morin Oluwole

Head of Luxury, Facebook & Instagram

Facebook & Instagram

Morin Oluwole is a luxury industry thought leader in digital advertising at Facebook France, where she manages Facebook and Instagram's luxury client partnerships.

She was formerly Chief of Staff to the VP, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook where she developed business strategies for global brand partners. She has been at Facebook for 10 years during which she led Product Marketing (Facebook Pages) and Public Content Partnerships (fashion/luxury). Prior, she led management consulting at Sachs Consulting in New York.

Morin is on the advisory boards of Live the Look, a personal shopping platform and Digital Undivided, a social enterprise that increases the participation of urban communities in the digital space. She is an avid presence in the fashion and digital industry, having spoken at events like Fashion 140 and Condé Nast's Mobile Day.

Morin holds a BA and MA from Stanford University in Human Biology and Sociology and an MA in Management from Columbia University. She was a Bill Gates Millennium Scholar and received the Dean's Award for Academic Excellence - both for 5 consecutive years.

Morin has been featured in the New York Times, Black Enterprise, Movelifestyle.com, and Alder Social Media Report. She speaks four languages (English, Yoruba, Spanish, and French) and has lived on three continents. Morin currently resides in Paris.

Noor Fares

Founder

Noor Fares

The story starts with a young Lebanese girl born and raised in Paris. A little girl mesmerised by the beautiful and unexpected. A fascination with fairy tales, stories of pirates’ hoards and talismanic jewels.

Noor holds a degree in the History of Art from Tufts University in Massachusetts,  at this time Noor returned to the jewels that had so influenced her youth, and started to create her own jewellery. Courses at the GIA followed, enriching Noor with knowledge of precious stones and their properties. To add to this vigorous schooling in the fundaments of jewellery, Noor undertook a Master’s in Jewellery Design at the reowned Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and design. It was during this time, in 2009, that Noor Fares the brand was established.

Based in London, Noor Fares creates jewellery which fuses together her Lebanese heritage and contemporary sensibility. Her strong belief in the talismanic quality of jewellery, as a carrier of special meaning and stones imbued with a certain mysticism, informs her work.

Growing up surrounded by strong women, from her mother Hala Fares, an avid collector of objects, art, jewels to witnessing unbound creativity in her aunt’s Parisian atelier, Noor creates for a woman who structures the world according to her own vision.

Beautiful and unexpected materials - from moonstone to rock crystal and ebony wood - form the core of her creations. These raw materials are then housed within Noor’s signature love of geometry. Many pieces also bear a protective eye, there to ward off negative influences - an enduring belief from her Lebanese roots.

Since launching in 2009 Noor Fares has been coveted the world over by renowned stockists including Net-a-Porter and Dover Street Market. Noor’s effervescent designs have been seen on some of most stylish and respected women internationally, ranging from Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Winslet and Mary Kate Olsen.

Today the brand continues to grow with Noor launching her first ever couture collection Atelier Mystique in July 2015. Previously Fares collaborated with Zaha Hadid on a conceptual pop-up store, bridging her love of jewellery and design. In addition Noor’s belief in sup- porting emerging talent is evidenced in her sponsorship of the Central Saint Martin’s Master’s programme in Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery degree show.

New projects beckon and with each new collection Noor Fares continues to champion modern fine jewellery, through her own unique aesthetic and philosophy.

Pascal Mouawad

Co-Guardian

Mouawad Group

With panache, innovation, and an inspired vision, Pascal Mouawad has made his mark as the fourth generation of the prestigious Mouawad Group, carrying the company’s reputation for excellence in jewelry to new heights.

Born into a family that has owned a number of the world’s most important diamonds, Pascal was immersed in the dazzling world of jewelry from a young age. Raised in Geneva, Switzerland, Pascal followed his graduation from high school with a move to Los Angeles to pursue his education. His choice of location was astute; for he already harbored the determination to one day grow the Mouawad family business much further beyond its European base to the United States. After undergraduate studies at California’s Pepperdine University, he went on to obtain his Gemology degree from the Gemological Institute of America, which he followed with an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Pascal is also a Harvard Business School alumni.

Leaving academia behind, in 1999 Pascal made the move to New York from where he set to work putting his vision for the family business into action. The United States, and specifically Hollywood, remained at the heart of Pascal’s vision for the company. His grandfather before him had earned a prestigious status as jeweler to royalty across the world. Decades later, Pascal brought an innovative twist to this family tradition by courting the glamorous ‘royalty’ of the modern day – iconic celebrities - with Mouawad’s renowned European traditions and craftsmanship.

In 2006, Pascal made the pivotal decision to move the company’s offices from New York on the East Coast of the U.S. to Los Angeles on the West Coast. The relocation helped nurture Mouawad’s growing relations with Hollywood’s A-list. Once again, demonstrating pioneering innovation, Pascal took Mouawad’s celebrity relationships even further. In addition to dressing some of the hottest stars with his extravagant jewels, Pascal also began collaborating with them.

On January 1, 2010, Pascal joined his brothers Fred and Alain in taking over the leadership of Mouawad, after their father, Robert Mouawad, decided to retire. As fourth generation co-guardians, each brother assumes a role that plays to his strengths and passions, with Pascal  heading the retail division.

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Paul Andrew

Footwear and Accessory Designer

Paul Andrew

British-born, New York based footwear and accessory designer, Paul Andrew, announced his eponymous line of women’s shoes for Spring 2013, followed by a line of men's shoes for Fall 2016. The critical and commercial response to the brand has positioned Mr. Andrew as an innovative and rising force within the footwear industry.

Long familiar with the rigorous creativity involved in designing for the world’s most discerning and fashionable consumers, Paul Andrew cultivated his craft within iconic fashion houses such as Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Narciso Rodriguez, and Alexander McQueen. With his wealth of experience and peerless manufacturing resources, Paul Andrew envisions a style and sensibility for his namesake collection that is uniquely his own: an aesthetic that is always refined and without severity, using the finest materials and craftsmanship, ingenuity to maximise comfort and performance, and a singular, passionate approach to the modern shoe silhouette.

Paul Andrew has been honored with several awards since launching his brand, including “Accessories Designer of the Year” at the 2013 edition of “Who’s on Next?”, the 2013 “Launch of the Year” by Fairchild Publications and Footwear News, and the top honors of the 2014 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. In 2016, Andrew was awarded the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, and the ACE Award for Launch of the Year for his men’s collection.

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Philippa Malmgren

Author

Dr Pippa (Philippa) Malmgren is the author of the Amazon bestselling book "Signals: the Breakdown of the Social Contract and the Rise of Geopolitics" (January 2015) and "Signals: How Everyday Signs Can Help Us Navigate the World's Turbulent Economy" (Weidenfeld & Nicholson June 2016) as well as "Geopolitics for Investors" (2015). She founded an economic consulting firm, DRPM Group, and co-founded H Robotics, a robotics manufacturing firm that makes commercial drones in the UK. She won the 2015 BBC and Intelligence Squared debate on Robotics and AI.

She served as Special Assistant to the President and on the National Economic Council and the President's Working Group on Financial Markets and the Working Group on Corporate Governance during Enron and 9/11. She was the Chief Currency Strategist at Bankers Trust and Deputy Head of Global Strategy at UBS. She is on the management committee of the Ditchley Foundation, and advisory boards at Indiana University, Real Vision TV and she participates in the Ministry of Defence working group on Global Strategic Trends. She is a guest anchor on CNBC and a regular on Newsnight. She is an honorary graduate of the 101st Airborne Division’s Air Assault School. She was named one of the top five Women Influencers on Twitter in 2016 by Nexchanger.

 

 

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Pierre Denis

CEO

Jimmy Choo

Pierre Denis is the Chief Executive Officer of Jimmy Choo PLC, an iconic luxury lifestyle brand, with shoes at its heart, defined by an empowered sense of glamour and a confident sense of style. Mr. Denis brings extensive experience in the global luxury fashion industry, and a deep knowledge of Asian markets to bear in his role. Since joining the company in July 2012, Mr. Denis has focused on nurturing the brand and a comprehensive programme of investment in systems and processes to enable the next phase of profitable growth. He also oversaw the successful IPO of Jimmy Choo PLC on the London Stock Exchange in October 2014, where the shares now trade under the symbol “CHOO.”

Drawing upon his seven years working and living in Asia, Mr. Denis is focused on building the Jimmy Choo brand in China, a market which represents enormous business opportunities for the company. During the past year alone, the company opened five stores in the region, with plans to open 25 more during the next five years.

Before relocating to London for Jimmy Choo, Mr. Denis served as Managing Director of John Galliano SA in his native Paris (from 2008-2012), and Managing Director for Christian Dior Couture in Europe, the Middle East and India (from 2006-2008). Prior to that, Mr. Denis spent seven years working as Managing Director for Asia Pacific for Parfums Dior and Dior Couture.

A graduate of ESSEC business school, Pierre Denis currently resides in London with his wife and children.

 

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Raffaello Napoleone

CEO

Pitti Immagine

Raffaello Napoleone was born in Rome in 1954. He has a degree in law, and has been living in Florence since 1981.

Long a sailing enthusiast, he began his career as a broker and then progressed as an entrepreneur building and selling sailing yachts. From 1984 to 1986 he worked with the French pharmaceutical company, Les Laboratoires Servier; from 1986 to 1989 he was Director of Human Resources at Salvatore Ferragamo.

He has been General Manager of Pitti Immagine s.r.l. since 1989, and in 1995 became the CEO. Pitti Immagine s.r.l. organises international fashion trade fairs dealing with over 2,000 exhibitors and 120,000 visitors annually – 40% of whom are from abroad. The company’s turnover in 2015 was €34.8 million.

The fairs, which are for members of the trade, feature: clothing and accessories for women, men and children; yarns for the knitting industry; home accessories; design; crafts; fragrances; and wines and foods. Some of the fairs are open to the general public at selected times.

Through the Fondazione Pitti Discovery, the company conceives, curates and stages important exhibitions on fashion culture and communication, and produces publications and events about costume and contemporary arts.

Raffaello Napoleone sits on the board of the directors of the Ente Moda Italia s.r.l., is chairman of the board of directors of Fiera Digitale, is on the advisory board and a permanent invited member of the board of directors of Confindustria Florence, a member of the board of directors of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, a member of the board of directors of Polimoda, a member of the advisory board of Sistema Moda Italia, on the steering committee of the Fondazione Montedomini, a member of the Board of the Fondazione Teatro della Pergola, and Chairman of YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP.

 

Rania Masri

General Manager

Level Shoes, Chalhoub Group

Born in Lebanon and raised between Saudi Arabia & Canada, Rania Masri began her career in Montréal after completing her luxury fashion Marketing studies.

In 2002, Rania moved to Dubai to work with Azadea group, managing regional development for one of the Inditex Brands across the Middle East.

Rania went on to join Chalhoub Group in 2006 to head the Ralph Lauren Middle East operation. During her time at Ralph Lauren she was instrumental in elevating the strategy of the brand within the region as well as leading its ambitious expansion across 10 countries.

In 2012 Rania’s new mission with the group was to lead the company’s rst ever owned fashion concept, Level Shoes, a now globally recognized retail concept dedicated to the world of footwear. The 96,000 square-foot store o ers a curated space divided into 40 designer boutiques and ve multibrand areas, with over 250 international and regional designer brands. Setting precedence in 2016, Rania launched levelshoes.com, one of the rst luxury e-commerce sites in the Middle East.

Rania is an extensive traveller, speaks four languages and is passionate about the fashion retail scene that she has devoted the past 17 years to.

Rhea Saran, editor, Conde Nast Traveller, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 23, 2013 (Photo by Isidora Bojovic/ITP Images);23.9.13 Rhea Saran

Rhea Saran

Editor in Chief

Condé Nast Traveller Middle East

As Editor in Chief of Condé Nast Traveller Middle East, Rhea Saran spearheaded the launch of the magazine – Condé Nast’s first print title in the GCC region – in 2013. In the few short years since, the title has established itself as the leader in the region’s luxury travel lifestyle space – with a strong focus on the intersection of fashion and travel. The annual Readers’ Choice Awards gala, held in Dubai, is attended by industry stalwarts as is the Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Luxury Travel Forum, a platform for industry insiders to network and exchange ideas, which Rhea was responsible for establishing in 2014. As a guest speaker on luxury travel trends and developments, she is often invited to present to and advise tourism boards and key decision makers. In the next step forward for the brand, Rhea has most recently been working on the launch of the magazine’s website and other digital extensions.

As a guest speaker on luxury travel trends and developments, she is often invited to present to and advise tourism boards and key decision makers. In the next step forward for the brand, Rhea has most recently been working on the launch of the magazine’s website and other digital extensions.

Prior to relocating to Dubai, Rhea was Features Editor at GQ India, where she’d also been part of the launch team, while moonlighting as the magazine’s official test driver as well as its resident expert on the good life, including travel. While at GQ in 2010, Rhea authored her first novel Girl Plus One, set in Mumbai, which was commissioned and published by Random House India.

Having earned her BA in Psychology at Brown University in Rhode Island, Rhea attended the graduate programme at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, specialising in magazine journalism. She spent a few years living in Manhattan while freelancing for the American edition of Condé Nast Traveler as well as holding staff positions at Working Mother magazine and a fortnightly New York City publication, where she covered fashion and travel.

Rhea currently lives in Dubai – although her accumulation of airline miles would suggest she should perhaps be renting her apartment only part-time...

Roberto Vedovotto

Chief Executive Officer, Member of Kering Executive Committee

Kering Eyewear

Roberto Vedovotto joined Kering in November 2013. He is CEO of Kering Eyewear, reporting directly to the Group’s CEO, François-Henri Pinault. He leads Kering’s strategic initiative aimed at building an in-house eyewear platform for all Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle brands in the Group.

Prior to joining Kering, he was twice CEO of Safilo Group. From 2002 to 2006, he was responsible for the restructuring of the organisation and its subsequent listing on the stock exchange. From 2009 to 2013, he grew the firm to a multi-national enterprise.

Mr Vedovotto has also held senior management positions in the banking sector where he worked for 15 years, first at Morgan Stanley in London and Milan, then Lehman brothers, subsequently Nomura.

He holds a degree in business administration from Bocconi University in Milan and a master’s in finance from London Business School.

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Solange Azagury-Partridge

Designer

Solange

Solange Azagury-Partridge is a British jewellery designer based in London. Self-taught, the first piece of jewellery she designed was her own engagement ring in 1987. Encouraged by friends, Solange began producing one-off pieces and, very quickly, a collection and business was born. By 1995, Solange had opened her unique red velvet-lined boutique on London’s Westbourne Grove. The boutique was an overnight sensation and her idiosyncratic designs were received to critical and commercial success. Her early collections (Written, Hotlips, Stoned, Platonic, Kinetic and Black Rainbows) attracted celebrities and tastemakers alike, and remain bestsellers.

Handpicked by Tom Ford, Solange became the creative director of Boucheron in 2001 where she spent three years revitalising the celebrated Parisian jewellery house. In 2004, the pieces she designed for the house were exhibited at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and are now part of the permanent collection.

Solange’s previous London boutique in Mayfair was described by Suzy Menkes in the International New York Times as ‘an Alice in Wonderland experience’. To coincide with the launch of the boutique, Solange presented her Metamorphosis collection - five objects that contain wearable jewels and continue Solange’s unique vision and love of storytelling.

Whenever Solange launches a collection she likes to commission a film to tell a story and show the jewels to their best advantage. A film for the Stoned collection starred Thandie Newton. A film for Alpha, Solange’s first men’s collection, starred Mark Ruffalo. Sam Taylor-Johnson directed Liberty Ross in a film for the 24:7 collection.

Solange has three boutiques: London, New York and Paris at the legendary Hôtel Costes and jewellery in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

In 2015, Solange celebrated 20 years since opening her first shop and 25 years of jewellery design with a collection called Everything, subtitled ‘a little bit more of everything I’ve ever done’ and with an animated short film ‘Jewellery with Rhythm and Soul.’

In 2016, in her continued spirit of independence, Solange moved into a discreet under-the-radar location in Central London which clients are informed of on a need-to-know basis.

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Sophie Hackford

Future Thinker

Sophie is currently on an underground research program, to discover new tech breakthroughs and investigate the social contexts in which they are built and used. The curriculum requires time amongst weirdos and troublemakers in creative communities, new markets and universities - whether satellites in Buenos Aires, eGaming in Scandinavia, drones in China, astropreneurs in LA.

The aim is to map these technologies over shifting demographics, economics, geopolitics, and hopefully provide a richer understanding of the extraordinary challenges and opportunities ahead.

Sophie previously launched and ran WIRED magazine’s consulting business, bringing the entrepreneurs building the future into boardrooms. She spent two years in Silicon Valley working at Singularity University, a group based at a NASA research park tasked with understanding and harnessing exponential technologies. Prior to California, she worked at Oxford University, bringing more than $120m of investment to a futures research group called the Oxford Martin School. She speaks regularly for corporate audiences on our explosive tech future.

 

Stefan Siegel

FOUNDER & CEO OF

NOT JUST A LABEL

Stefan Siegel, a native South Tyrolean — the German speaking part of the Triveneto region in Northern Italy, grew up in in an area responsible for over 40% of all high-end and luxury manufacturing, a surrounding where the ‘Made In Italy’ label is really being defined. Following his high school career at Venice’s prestigious military college, the Francesco Morosini Naval School, he kick-started his colourful career during his Economics studies in Vienna when he gained experience in the fashion and media industry working for prestigious design houses and advertising agencies. Following a successful modelling career that took him to five continents, he achieved his MA in International Business Administration in 2004 at the Vienna University of Economics. After graduation Stefan joined the world of finance, working for renowned companies such as Ernst & Young and Sal. Oppenheim in Switzerland, and finally the Merrill Lynch M&A Investment Banking group in New York and London specialising in the Consumer & Retail sector and advising publicly listed fashion powerhouses. Stefan used his gained experience to launch NOT JUST A LABEL (NJAL). Although launching the company with his brother Daniel on a shoestring in 2008, NJAL today is the leading global platform for emerging fashion designers and ranks among the most respected websites in the fashion industry. As the world’s leading designer platform for showcasing and nurturing today’s pioneers in contemporary fashion, it represents over 22,000 designers from 150 countries. It is an infinitely expanding destination devoted to facilitating growth in the fashion industry and has established itself as a distinctive creative hub fostering innovation.

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Sybilla

Founder

Sybilla

Sybilla was born in New York in 1963. In 1983 she opened a workshop in Madrid for tailor-made fashion and presented her first collection in public. Two years later she started to sell her collections in stores, following her first appearance at Barcelona's Gaudí Fashion Show. In 1987 she signed with the Italian company Gibó. This launched her international reputation. She opened shops in Paris and Tokyo in 1991 and over the years became one of the most admired designers worldwide. Her work spans all fields of design such as shoes, bags, homewear and household items, etc. After a ten year hiatus, in which she was actively involved in environmental projects, Sybilla came back to fashion in 2013.  In 2014, Sybilla was awarded the Gold Medal in Fine Arts and in 2015 she won the National Design Award, both in Spain.

Sybilla considers her work a service to women, focused on their daily needs, trying to provide them with joy and confidence in themselves.

Sybilla’s work is guided by an exaltation of feminine sensuality and elegance. Her style - exquisite, cosmopolitan and refined - is based on an intelligent handling of traditional resources of pattern-making and stitching to create new and modern volumes and silhouettes. Her extremely personal use of colour is inspired by her unflagging observation of the natural world, while her subtle sense of humour is marked by frequent flourishes of extravagance; together, they result in work that is as original as it is dedicated and honest.

 

Tarang Arora

Creative Director & CEO

Amrapali

Born and raised in Jaipur, Tarang Arora comes from a prestigious family credited as the creators of one of India’s most magnificent heritage jewellery brands, Amrapali.

The love for creating & designing jewellery came naturally to Tarang and he decided to academically pursue study in the field at GIA London, where he successfully graduated as a Gemologist. Along with this, he also studied Jewellery Designing, Manufacturing and CAD CAM.

Tarang’s areas of expertise involve Strategy, Vision and Mission Planning, Public Relations and Media Relations, Profitability and Cost Analysis, Team Building and Performance Improvement and Programs, Services and Products.

Tarang joined the Amrapali group of companies in 2004 and today, heads the International Operations and Designing team there.

He serves as a Board Member of YEO (Young Entrepreneurs Organization) and has acted his surrogate at various public events. He has provided his excogitate prowess and strategic & operational leadership to reduce indebtedness and improve operating results. He is also credited with revamping internal procedures and controls, recognized/reallocated staff and implemented best practices and performance monitoring systems in support of continuous improvement.

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Yasmin Sewell

Fashion Director

style.com

Over the course of her career, Yasmin Sewell has become one of the most influential and well-respected fashion and retail consultants internationally. She has become synonymous with a playful, original and frequently risk-taking approach to style, through her work with some of the world’s leading retailers and brands.

Opening her first boutique, Yasmin Cho, in 1998, Yasmin’s visionary buying strategy established her as an influential force in British fashion and led to her taking roles at two of London’s most iconic stores, as Buying Director at Browns and Chief Creative Consultant for Liberty.

During this time, her instinct for new talent saw her launch the careers of designers including Rick Owens, Christopher Kane, Acne, Meadham Kirchhoff, Nicholas Kirkwood, Roksanda, Pierre Hardy and J.W.Anderson – helping them to grow into global brands. A committed supporter of emerging talent, Yasmin sits on the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN committee, where she acts as a mentor and advisor to young designers.

Yasmin founded her own contemporary ready-to-wear brand, Être Cécile, in 2012 and the brand has developed a significant wholesale presence with retailers worldwide.

Yasmin joined Style.com as Fashion Director in 2015, bringing a daring and bold fashion vision to the site and curating an edit of the world’s best brands, from established labels to rising stars.

yasemin-sewell500x500

Yasmin Sewell

Fashion Director

style.com

Over the course of her career, Yasmin Sewell has become one of the most influential and well-respected fashion and retail consultants internationally. She has become synonymous with a playful, original and frequently risk-taking approach to style, through her work with some of the world’s leading retailers and brands.

Opening her first boutique, Yasmin Cho, in 1998, Yasmin’s visionary buying strategy established her as an influential force in British fashion and led to her taking roles at two of London’s most iconic stores, as Buying Director at Browns and Chief Creative Consultant for Liberty.

During this time, her instinct for new talent saw her launch the careers of designers including Rick Owens, Christopher Kane, Acne, Meadham Kirchhoff, Nicholas Kirkwood, Roksanda, Pierre Hardy and J.W.Anderson – helping them to grow into global brands. A committed supporter of emerging talent, Yasmin sits on the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN committee, where she acts as a mentor and advisor to young designers.

Yasmin founded her own contemporary ready-to-wear brand, Être Cécile, in 2012 and the brand has developed a significant wholesale presence with retailers worldwide.

Yasmin joined Style.com as Fashion Director in 2015, bringing a daring and bold fashion vision to the site and curating an edit of the world’s best brands, from established labels to rising stars.