After recovering from an exciting and very full-on week in Beijing, I’ve had some time to reflect on what a successful and inspiring conference it was, here is a little round up of my thoughts.
Every year the IFFTI conference is held in a major fashion city, this year it was Beijing. What is fascinating is that each conference reflects the nature of the fashion education institution that is hosting the conference, the fashion industry in that part of the world, the nature of the industry’s retail, design, marketing, communication; every conference is always very different, even though there are many parallels.
The Beijing conference was a classic example of this, infused with a great sense of culture and history, the speakers were drawn from China Vogue, the director of the Palace Museum from the Forbidden City, and from art historians.
The papers that were presented by people from across the world reflected the nature of the theme, which was cultural revival. Many cities and many countries are currently exploring how their histories and traditions within fashion are going to inform the future, how we can all develop younger designers, how we can grow and nurture the future industry and the fashion education system.
This theme pervaded the conference and the discussions when we met for various cultural events. There was a chance for us to see Chinese Opera and there were two wonderful fashion shows laid on by the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology.
There was an overwhelming sense of the real commitment and interest that China is currently putting into developing its own fashion designers and growing their own fashion businesses. It was a very memorable conference.