I just got back from my weekend in Spain and it was a real eye-opener. The men’s tailored clothing industry had better wake up fast and see that the rest of the industry is adapting to a different consumer, one that was being called “generation smartphone” and if we keep on just doing things “the way we have always done them” we will get our butts kicked.
Some of the highlights of the trip, other than Zara’s mind-blowing facilities (and Paco, I haven’t had a chance to read that article yet) were presentations by Lodovico Zandegu, the technical designer at Boglioli, and Kyle Vucko, CEO of Indochino. Lodovico discussed the special treatments that their clothing gets, which includes garment dyeing, washing, and other processes. A huge amount of testing goes into their product development so that was really interesting. Kyle’s very fresh approach to custom clothing was also exciting- they are approaching clothing from a completely new perspective and once they get some of their kinks worked out I think they will be a company to watch.
The thing I wanted to bring to readers, however, was a new initiative of the IACDE. The International Association of Clothing Designers and Executives has been around for just over 100 years and brings together the top professionals of the industry in a yearly world convention. This convention includes technical presentations and factory visits, and can be a valuable source of information as well as a great networking opportunity.
This year we voted to authorize funds to start an outreach/internship program. The Executive Committee (of which I am a member) has to work out the details, but essentially our aim will be to find young (or not so young) talent and support their participation in these conventions (pay for travel etc.) and to arrange possible workshops, masterclasses, and factory visits during the year. We also discussed internships with member companies. This will be a global initiative so we hope to support young talent from all parts of the world. Candidates will be required to submit a CV, a brief essay, and probably photos and/or sketches of their work, and a selection will be made from these submissions. Once we get all the details of the program and the requirements worked out, they will be posted to the IACDE website (and, of course, here) but I wanted to give readers a heads-up so interested candidates could start thinking about submissions.
You can also send me your email address to be included on a mailing list once we get it all sorted out.