Lenzing's Deconstructing Denim

NEW YORK — Initiatives in Art & Culture’s 18th Annual Fashion + Design Conference, entitled “Pioneers,” features an array of talks and panel discussions looking at the sector from various angles.

Sessions take place at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, this coming Friday and Saturday.

IAC was deeply engaged with the exploration of pioneering endeavors in the fashion and jewelry worlds when developing topics covered in the presentations in this event,” said Lisa Koenigsberg, founder of IAC. “We wanted to showcase innovation while laying bare the creative core of dynamic areas of design so that those who attend can learn from legends and visionaries as they reveal their powerful and informative stories.”,

The conference will feature presentations on creative design innovation, advancements in materials technology and cutting-edge business methods and strategies.

On Friday, the event kicks off with “Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of the Museum at FIT,” featuring a presentation by Valerie Steele, the museum’s director and chief curator.

“Pioneers in Fashion” has Gary Wassner, chief executive officer of Hilldun Corp., in conversation with Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, founders of Cushnie et Ochs.

This is followed by “Your Choice Has Power,” as Eileen Fisher talks with Jo Confino, executive editor of Impact & Innovation and editorial director of What’s Working at The Huffington Post.

In the afternoon, a panel on “Modern Alchemy: Diamonds and Disruptive Technology” has Peter Englehart, director of business development at Diama, Swarovski; Nikolay Tamazovich Khikhinashvili, general director at New Diamond Technology; Joseph Kuzi, founder of Diamond Services Ltd.; jewelry historian Jack Ogden; Lloyd Pasach, designer and chief operating officer of ALTR Created Diamonds and R. A Riam Group; Jason Payne, cofounder and ceo of Ada Diamonds, and Amish Shah, ceo and President of ALTR Created Diamonds and R. A. Riam Group Inc.

Proceeding is “Pioneers in Denim,” a panel discussion with Tricia Carey, director of global business development apparel — denim at Lenzing Fibers; Jean Hegedus, global director for Invista’s Denim and Wovens business; Alvyda Kupinas, design director of Kaltex America, and Kara Nicholas, vice president of product development and marketing at Cone Denim.

Saturday, the day begins with “Luxury On-line” with Chris Del Gatto, ceo and chairman of The Del Gatto Luxury Group and Delgatto; Christy Kaylor, founder of Cerci, and Rie Yano, co-founder of Material Wrld.

Following is “Retail Now” with author Teri Agins; Robert Burke, founder, chairman and ceo of Robert Burke Associates; designer Nili Lotan, and Susan Scafidi, professor and Academic Director at the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School.

In the afternoon is “Walking with the Muses” with model and author Pat Cleveland and designer Stephen Burrows in conversation with André Leon Talley, contributing editor of Vogue. The event concludes with If Any…,” a presentation by designer Ralph Rucci.

The event also will feature a reception and private screening, beginning at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, of “Sharing the Rough,” a film directed by Orin Mazzoni, with introductory remarks by jewelry designer Mark Schneider.

IAC is an organization committed to educating diverse audiences in the fine, decorative and visual arts, as well as architecture. Particular areas of emphasis include American painting, the history and art of frames, the Arts and Crafts movement, the art of metalworking in America, the influence of Asian cultures on American fine and decorative art, and the history and future of fashion and materials.