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The Business of Fashion is pleased to announce the latest group of confirmed speakers for BoF VOICES 2021, returning to Soho Farmhouse from December 1 to 3, 2021, bringing the movers, shakers and trailblazers of the global fashion industry together with the big thinkers, entrepreneurs and inspiring people who are shaping the wider world.
With the backdrop of the climate crisis and in the wake of the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this month, Dame Vivienne Westwood will share her thoughts on the climate crisis in our opening session The Wider World, on Wednesday, December 1.
Tommy Hilfiger, founder of his namesake brand, is set to speak on Thursday, December 2 as we go Inside the Fashion System, holding up a mirror up to our industry as it adapts to a rapidly shifting social, cultural and environmental context.
The non-binary activist, storyteller and former international ambassador for Black Lives Matter, Janaya Future Khan, a leading voice in the global crusade demanding social transformation, justice and equality for all, will share their vision in our session on The Future, on Friday, December 3.
Designer Christian Louboutin, who earlier this year sold a 24 percent stake in his eponymous luxury footwear label to an investment firm led by Italy’s Agnelli family, valuing the business at $2.7 billion, will speak in our session Live Your Best Life, sharing his entrepreneurial journey, and examining the relationship between personal identity and public brand on Friday, December 3.
In addition to speakers announced last month, this year’s line up will also include the co-founders of digital fashion house Auroboros, Alissa Aulbekova and Paula Sello; choreographer and director Wayne McGregor; MycoWorks chief executive Dr. Matthew Scullin, the founder of Heni Group and international art business, Joe Hage, Shopify’s president Harley Finkelstein, creative director and writer Rozan Ahmed and chief experience officer at Ledger, Ian Rogers.
We are also proud to announce that following our successful partnership over the past five years, McKinsey & Company will continue as the Exclusive Knowledge Partner for VOICES, which will coincide with the publication of The State of Fashion 2022 report co-authored by BoF and McKinsey & Company. (You can download last year’s report here.)
The conversations we have and the relationships we build at VOICES, are more critical now than ever before. We look forward to seeing you online — or in-person.
To apply for a place to attend VOICES 2021 in person, please click here. Space is extremely limited.
NEW SPEAKERS CONFIRMED:
Alissa Aulbekova and Paula Sello are co-founders of Auroboros, a fashion house native to the metaverse, merging science and technology to create physical couture and digital-only ready-to-wear. Housed at the Sarabande Foundation established by Alexander Lee McQueen, Auroboros stands for innovation, sustainability and immersive design. Sello grew up between Cologne and London, graduating from Goldsmiths University as well as London College of Fashion. Aulbekova, originally from Kazakhstan, studied at Central Saint Martins living between London and Amsterdam.
Christian Louboutin is the eponymous founder and designer of iconic shoe and accessories brand Christian Louboutin. He established his business in the heart of Paris in 1991, first with a collection for women and a men’s line developed a few years later, both instantly recognisable thanks to the signature red lacquered sole. 2014 welcomed the launch of Christian Louboutin Beauté, which now includes lipstick, lip gloss, nail polish, fragrances and more. With a prolific collection of women’s and men’s shoes, handbags and small leather goods, Christian Louboutin now counts more than 150 boutiques around the world.
Harley Finkelstein is an entrepreneur, lawyer and the president of Shopify, which he first joined in 2010. Finkelstein oversees Shopify’s commercial teams, growth and external affairs. He holds a Bachelor degree in Economics from Concordia University and a JD/MBA joint degree in Law and Business from the University of Ottawa. Previously, Finkelstein was Shopify’s chief operating officer and founded numerous start-ups and e-commerce companies. Recently named one of Fortune’s 40 under 40, he founded his first company at age 17, when he was still a student at McGill University. Finkelstein is an advisor to Felicis Ventures, and was one of the “Dragons” on CBC television show “Next Gen Den.”
Ian Rogers is the chief experience officer at Ledger, leading the consumer-facing business delivering ways to buy and secure cryptocurrency. Previously, Rogers served as chief digital officer at LVMH, working with a portfolio of nearly 100 brands across luxury including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Sephora, and Hennessy. Rogers also sits on the boards of Dr Marten’s and Lyst. Rogers spent 20 years bringing digital music to the mainstream, first with Winamp then Yahoo!, Beats, and Apple. Rogers also contributed to the 2015 launch of Apple Music including Beats 1, its digital streaming channel. Rogers built some of the earliest music-related websites in the early 90s and has been working with Beastie Boys since 1993. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in computer science (with honours, Phi Beta Kappa) from Indiana University in 1994.
Janaya Future Khan is a Black non-binary activist, storyteller and the former international ambassador for Black Lives Matter. Khan is a leading voice in the global crusade demanding social transformation, justice and equality for all. Khan’s work focuses on thought leadership, narrative intervention and bridge building. Through this work, they hope to encourage people to use their words as tools and a lens through which they can orient themselves. Khan’s approach to storytelling has created opportunities to contribute to academic and frontline community dialogue, engaging audiences on the global impacts of the Black Lives Matter movement. Khan’s work has been featured across a variety of outlets including Vogue, CNN, Time, i-D and Al Jazeera. They were also awarded Adweek’s social justice creator of the year.
Joe Hage is the founder of HENI Group, an international art services business working with leading artists and estates across publishing, printmaking, NFTs, film and art research and analysis. He is also the founder and managing partner of litigation law firm Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP. Prior to becoming a barrister, Hage qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC. Hage is one of the founders and board members of Palm, the layer 2 blockchain.
Dr. Matthew Scullin has been bringing new material technologies to market for over a decade, successfully leading multiple products from paper concepts to revenue and scaled production. Since 2017, Dr. Scullin is the chief executive and board director of biotechnology company MycoWorks Inc. Previously, Dr. Scullin founded Alphabet Energy Inc and held positions at X/Seed Capital, IBM and General Motors. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Materials Science — where his work was highly cited in leading scientific journals, including Nature Materials — and his B.S.E. in Materials Science from the University of Pennsylvania, Magna Cum Laude. He has won numerous awards for innovation and entrepreneurship including the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award and was named to Forbes 30 Under 30.
Rozan Ahmed sits at the nexus of entertainment, fashion, music, media, politics, the arts and activism: an intersection of related fields she argues must be intertwined to achieve maximum impact. At 21, she was the youngest appointed editor in British Publishing and a Young Global Leader by the age of 28. Her creative vision — which encompasses writing, directing, genre-building and more — has shifted perceptions and moved markets through a strong belief in the stylistic embrace of ‘self’. Ahmed continues to play a pivotal role in shaping what she calls a worldwide African renaissance and her upcoming publication, titled Exposed, endeavours to present and propel the truths of a ‘third-culture generation’.
Tommy Hilfiger is the multi-award-winning founder and principal designer of Tommy Hilfiger. Since launching his namesake brand in 1985, Hilfiger has become globally renowned as a pioneer of classic American style, fusing iconic pop culture and Americana heritage with a global spirit to become one of the world’s most recognised lifestyle brands. Hilfiger was one of the first designers to blend fashion and celebrity culture: He has sponsored the tours of Britney Spears, The Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Lenny Kravitz, tapped the star power of Beyoncé, David Bowie and supermodel Iman for fragrance and fashion campaigns, and partnered with collaborators ranging from The Ramones to Gigi Hadid to Lewis Hamilton. Hilfiger’s contributions to the fashion industry earned him the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s “Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2012, among numerous other accolades.
Dame Vivienne Westwood, best known as a fashion designer and activist, began designing in 1971 along with her then partner, Malcolm McLaren, and in 1984 launched her own fashion line. She has spent many years speaking out about the effects of climate change and over-consumption, including inaugurating the Climate Revolution at the London Paralympics closing ceremony in 2012. She also supports CoolEarth.org, a charity that works with local communities to halt rainforest destruction. In September 2017, Westwood, along with the British Fashion Council and support from the London Mayor’s office, launched the SWITCH to Green campaign to encourage the fashion industry to switch all UK offices and stores to a green energy supplier. She also published her ideas in a manifesto called No Man’s Land. Westwood’s contribution to British fashion was officially recognised when she was appointed Dame of the British Empire by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Wayne McGregor is a choreographer and director, having founded Company Wayne McGregor in 1992 as a creative engine for his pioneering projects. With over 30 works created by McGregor, the company has toured more than 50 countries, visiting some of the world’s most prestigious theatres, as well as creating site-specific performances at venues such as the Roundhouse, Barbican Curve, Secret Cinema, and performing at the Brits, New York and London Fashion Week and the BBC Proms. Wayne McGregor also serves as resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet and professor of choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.