About the convention

ARTWORK 1The apparel industry worldwide is quite unique in terms of its attractiveness as well as the challenges that come along with it. In a nutshell, it can be defined as:

  • A highly dynamic industry with evolving fashion trends, where speed to market has evolved as an important method to better connect supply to demand
  • A low capex, low working capital, reasonable margins business encouraging many new entrants; which are often more nimble and agile
  • An industry having discovered the boundaries of continuously moving production that has started now to invest more in productivity and sustainability.
  • A rapidly evolving channel converging offline and online mediums; with widening focus from commerce to communication to a better shopping experience
  • An increasingly discerning global consumer who considers apparel as a lifestyle product as is becoming more brand conscious, seeking additional value from each purchase

These challenges do present significant opportunities for the industry players. The size of global apparel market is expected to grow from USD 1.6 trillion to USD 2 trillion by 2020. Much of this growth is expected to come from developing countries, which are emerging as new consumption centers for apparel.

The ‘IAF India Summit 2016’ will bring together some of the leading industry stakeholders across the value chain to deliberate and present insights into various opportunity areas – covering the entire spectrum from manufacturing to technology to branding and retailing.

Each IAF Convention has as one of its main goals to connect in a profound way the local fashion industry of the host country to the global fashion industry network. In the world, India stands out for the size of its domestic market, for its enviable growth rate, for its deep rooted own design tradition, but also for its enormous complexity. In a sense it is also a strong metaphor for emerging economies in the world in general.

Therefore, during this Convention, insights into the fast growing Indian domestic market given by major Indian players will give international delegates a very good understanding of how to capitalize on growth opportunities in complex emerging markets. It will give them deep insights into the opportunities for manufacturing and designing fashion in India too. And vice versa, for the Indian fashion industry owners, the insights provided by global industry leaders, will present invaluable lessons for building a world class industry in India.

The 32nd IAF World Fashion Convention not only gives insights into new opportunities, it actually creates new opportunities for all participants as well.

Focus Areas of the Summit:


New Opportunities in Sourcing
Format: Presentations and panel discussion; Presenters: Head of Associations

Over the past decades, there has been a structural shift in the apparel sector in terms of both production and consumption.  Recently, with sharply rising wages in the major garment exporter of the world China,  countries including Vietnam, Myanmar and a few African nations have emerged/are emerging as sourcing destinations for global apparel manufacturers. But, likewise new conditions for business in countries like India have worked in their favour making it a more preferred sourcing destination.

The session will highlight upon the emerging opportunities in sourcing in ‘new’ sourcing destinations (Africa, Myanmar, and Vietnam) and opportunities for forging partnerships with local players. The sessions will also investigate how ‘traditional’ manufacturing bases are retaining their position in the global apparel production chain. The session will include brief presentations and a panel discussion by global representatives to share facts and insights with respect to these areas of opportunities in the global context.

New Opportunities in Retailing
Format: Panel Discussion + 1 Presentation

The retail market in emerging nations like India is evolving rapidly while moving on a growth trajectory. This coupled with a category like fashion which has extremely limited shelf life of existing trends; adds to the whole dynamism of the segment.

As the retail market in India is gradually moving towards an organized sector, new channels, new concepts, new shopping behavior is shaping-up; and so are the expectation  levels of the consumers from the retailers. Globally operating retailers have to solve the puzzle of combining the specific demands of the Indian consumer and retail structure with that of their standardized, global approaches to seducing their customers. Indian retailers have to figure out how to compete with their globally operating competitors.

On a global level, what are these emerging trends and opportunities in retailing sector? What kind of strategies are being adopted to enhance the overall customer shopping experience? How are retailers trying to create a seamless shopping experience while addressing the channel conflict? And how do these trends translate to the Indian market? This session seeks to answer some of these questions and offer insights into the future of fashion retailing.

New Opportunities in Technology
Format: Presentations

Technology driven lean and efficient garment processing, use of IT tools in the business and Business Process Re-engineering are the new driving forces for the growth of the textile and apparel industry.

Advancement in garment processing technology with IT enablement can lead to increased cost efficiencies and higher profitability. Additionally, it can also be directed towards reduced wastage, improved fabric quality (softness, sizing, finishing) and higher production rates, factors that can make or break a manufacturing firm.

The idea of this session is to learn from experts about the various processes and technologies and the process improvements that will help achieve some of the above mentioned goals.


New Opportunities in Denim  
Format: Panel Discussion + 1 Presentation

Denim is amongst the most popular fabric globally and has been in existence since eternity. It has also stood the test of time over all these years and remains relevant across both the fashion world as well as the mass consuming public. However, while the consumption of Denim in India is quite significant, the number of core denim brands is extremely limited in the country, particularly in the value category.

The market is skewed towards denim jeans, with a need to develop a larger portfolio of denim garments and accessories, including shorts, shirts, bags, dresses, accessories among others. There is also significant scope of improvement in right processing and value addition in denim, and the usage of high quality processing and washing units could help to improve the quality of denim finishes and colors.

The session will look to help denim players build on the potential opportunities existing across the denim value chain. Denim is a great metaphor for the enormous opportunities available in the fashion industry, globally and in India. India, with its ready availability of cotton, and a knack for smart casual dressing has enormous room for further development of the denim industry. At the same time, as currently the denim industry is taking the lead in investments in product innovation and sustainability. The session will be marked by a keynote presentation from “Godfather of Denim” Adriano Goldschmied who created Premium Denim brands i.e. Diesel, Replay and Goldsign . He will surely comment on the power and opportunities unlocked by the combination of India and the global denim world, as well as the power of continous product innovation so characteristic for the denim industry.

New Opportunities in Branding
Format: Panel Discussion + 1 Presentation

In emerging markets like India, still a majority of the apparel industry is unbranded offering tremendous opportunities to the existing brands to take a bigger share of the market as well as to the new entrants to launch their own fashion brands and create their own niche.

While the segment is large and growing, the consumers are also becoming more aware and more discerning than ever before; adding to the complexity and challenges.  Thus, it is important to create a distinct brand identity and brand positioning and offer right products and services to the consumers at the right prices. For international brands the challenge is to combine a global branding strategy with sufficient local content to satisfy the particular Indian market. In this sense, branding in an Indian context servers as an excellent metaphor for the challenges of global branding.