As Drapers celebrates 130 years of supporting the fashion industry, the Drapers Fashion Forum will put new business development ideas firmly on the agenda. This industry leaders’ debate will help you to navigate the opportunities that exist within and between brands and retailers, and look at how these will develop in the future: wholesale, franchise, licensing, concessions and online partnerships. Join the industry elite in a discussion of business development trends, and ensure you make your next move with confidence.
What’s new for 2017?

  • Main theme: new business development 
  • New content track on the power of product
  • ‘Davos-style’ one-to-one meetings connecting brands and retailers to future partners
  • Fringe events
  • Luxurious new venue: County Hall
  • Exclusive Drapers' 130th anniversary party


08:00 – 09:00

VIP breakfast*

Good morning with Adyen

Hosted by Kirsty McGregor, deputy editor, Drapers

*by invitation only


Refreshments and registration


Welcome and introduction

Keely Stocker, editor, Drapers

Power talk


Ben Fletcher, president, UK and Europe, Clarks

A brand and retailer with a presence in 100 countries, half of whose business is wholesale and includes international franchises, Clarks offers unparalleled insight into the growth drivers of a modern fashion enterprise. Ben will share his vision of the new business development opportunities, as well as the trends in franchising, wholesale and partnerships that are key to the transformation and success of Clarks. Join him as he reveals how he updates the store environment to enable the wholesale and franchise operations to work in tandem with the retail business.


Power talk

Georges Berzgal, vice president and managing director, global ecommerce EMEA, Pitney Bowes

The notion of offering the right product at the right time in the right place has become much more complex. The importance of delivering great customer experiences across channels, and in context of the location, is a new discipline where customers are expecting retailers to succeed. Georges will discuss the current marketing challenges in cross-border commerce, and present winning strategies in using location insights to drive more traffic across all physical and digital channels. 


Power talk


Jean Patrice Gros, director of Northern Europe, UK and North Africa, Lectra

Vidas Butkus, chief executive, Kauno Baltija

From a state-run garment manufacturer established in 1940, Kauno Baltija has become one of the oldest and biggest producers of womenswear in Lithuania. Manufacturing garments for seven well-established high-end brands with European distribution, the company produces around 700,000 garments per year. It has an average production cycle of around three to five weeks following the receipt of raw materials that have been sourced from around the world. With Lectra’s 3D virtual prototyping solution, Kauno Baltija has been able to reduce development time, achieve perfect fit and facilitate seamless communication at the product development stage. Introduced by Jean Patrice, Vidas will detail how the solution has allowed visibility for early decision making and a great collaborative process that is “fit for the future”.


Power talk


Antonis Kyprianou, group franchise general manager, Grupo Cortefiel

Partnerships between retailers and brands, now more than ever, provide route to new markets. Antonis will share insights into the current challenges and principles of successful franchising partnerships. Speaking on behalf of the Group, which is present in more than 80 countries – over 1,900 operated stores, a quarter of them franchises – Antonis will unveil how its multibrand growth strategy is reinforced through international expansion, including the latest breakthrough partnership in India. Join Antonis as he discusses how to balance store portfolios with online sales, and how franchise partnerships will be reshaping markets in the future.


Power talk


Neil Sansom, chief executive, WoolOvers
Myles Dawson, UK country manager, Adyen


Power talk


Neelendra Singh, senior vice president, global direct to consumer & franchise, adidas Group

Adidas goes to market through an ecosystem of channels – with each channel playing a specific role.  With a broad portfolio of owned and franchised stores, Neel will talk about the company’s franchising strategy and its role in scaling up and gaining market shares rapidly. Find out how the Group prioritises the markets for future expansion and what challenges Neel and his team face in sourcing new and managing existing retail partnerships.


Coffee and networking


Business stream

Fashion retail leaders will share their number one tips and strategies for business development and growth. Connect to business opportunities through debates and talks on new ways to strike global partnerships and develop a fashion business; and new destinations, channels and platforms for your brand.

Product stream

It’s more important than ever for business development to have the most compelling product to really excite the customer and keep them coming back for more. Drapers will ask C-suite professionals about new opportunities around product and its powerful impact on the business’s bottom line.

Fringe events



New development ideas

What can fashion businesses do today to be among tomorrow's winners? Unravelling the Forum’s theme, this debate will navigate the unconventional strategies and new business development opportunities that exist within and between brands and retailers, and look at how these will develop in the future. Panellists will identify the key global trends that point the way toward new patterns of success in franchising, wholesale, concessions and online partnerships.

Chaired by:
Keely Stocker, editor, Drapers


  • Peter Williams, founder and chief executive, Jack Wills
  • Joe Rohrlich, senior vice president and managing director, Europe, Bazaarvoice
  • Peter Ruis, chief executive, Jigsaw
  • Melissa Cupis, director, AGR UK


New power of product

Putting product at the heart of this debate, Drapers will ask panellists to share their vision on how brands can change the cycle; balance volume, essential and frivolous products; and merge creative and business ideas for effective change. Because of the lack of discernible trends or seasons brands increasingly face a need to convince consumers to look for personal style – how will this affect unit economics, product assortment and management on a global and local scale?

Chaired by:
Graeme Moran, head of content, fashion and features, Drapers


  • Charlotte Clutterbuck, customer director, Karen Millen
  • Miriam Lahage, chief executive, Figleaves (N Brown Group)
  • Alan Holcroft, presales and sales manager, Cegid UK
  • Ryan Llewellyn-Pace, commercial director, UK and Ireland, Barbour

11:30 – 12:00

One-to-one meetings

Connecting fashion businesses to future partners
Online partnerships

Simon Taylor, head of new business development, N Brown Group Interested to discuss: online partnerships | concessions | wholesale

Lee Whitehead, director of ecommerce, Blue Inc Interested to discuss: online and in-store concessions | marketplaces partnerships | drop-shipping partners in the fashion and accessories sectors

Pernille Hveding, digital concessions manager and Jess Edwards, head of digital concessions, AllSaints
Interested to discuss: digital offering partnerships, digital concessions

Sophie Watt, international business development manager, Jigsaw
Interested to discuss: licensing | wholesale

Emma Paterson, head of wholesale, concessions & corporate sales, and Sokhail Shaikh, managing director, Asia, Mothercare
Interested to discuss: wholesale | concessions

Gail Anscomb, head of international business development, Hobbs
Interested to discuss: franchising | concessions

Tony Pessok, managing director, licensing and international business development, Perry Ellis
Interested to discuss: wholesale | licensing | franchising

Sadia Alam, international business development manager, Matalan
Interested to discuss: franchising | licensing

Kirsten Pottinger, head of partners and wholesale, Fat Face
Interested to discuss: wholesale | concessions

Olga Szombathelyi, head of wholesale and international, Ann Summers
Interested to discuss: wholesale | franchising

Cheryl Clifford, senior new business manager, Amazon EU  
Interested to discuss: online trading

Ehsan Ashraf, head of business development, The Hut Group
Interested to discuss: wholesale

Ordessa Shore, international sales manager, and Alessandro Petrelli, head of sales UK & ROW, Orlebar Brown
Interested to discuss: online trading

Miriam Ko, international online trading, at Inditex
Interested to discuss: online trading | concessions

Ombeline Descheemaeker, sales associate (EU), LOEWE
Interested to discuss: wholesale | online trading

12:10 – 13:00 Fringe event


Unthink what you know. Redraw boundaries. Redefine norms.
An interactive session designed by seventy7 invites you to explore the power of disruptive attitudes in changing the face of fashion.

Addressing disruption in fashion, a panel of influencers will discuss how thinking and behaving creatively can have a positive impact on your business:

Tom Savigar, chief growth officer and senior partner, The Future Laboratory
Gracie Francesca, fashion blogger  
Dior Bediako, founder and director, Pepper Your Talk and The Junior Network

Following the 25-minute panel, participants will work in groups to share their favourite creative campaigns and apply that to their businesses. This will be wrapped up with a panel Q&A and each guest will be given a bespoke creative and marketing audit in the week following the event.


Power talk

Simon Cotton, chief executive, Johnstons of Elgin

Some argue that wholesale is a dying business that is eradicating brands’ margins, but Johnstons of Elgin’s wholesale revenues continue to grow. A 200-year-old family-owned business, a fully fledged online and bricks-and-mortar retailer, a supplier of private label to most of the world's top luxury and couture brands – yet the company’s focus on its wholesale accounts remains sharp. Find out about Simon’s vision of the future of wholesale: in particular how the channels can co-exist and benefit from each other, and how some of the barriers in the wholesale route – such as margins and lack a direct relationship with the end customer – can be overcome.


Power talk


Steve Murray, chief executive, Dr Martens

Having turned the business around in the past three years, he put his heart into the product so chances are Steve will be delivering his talk in a shiny pair of Dr Martens. Drapers asked Steve to explore how Dr Martens is building on its solid history of product innovation and how it unlocks the full potential of the brand’s strong identity in the countries where customers may not be fully aware of its rich and diverse heritage. Steve will unveil how the brand innovates around product development and meets the increasing need to position itself as a lifestyle brand to secure margins.


Power talk

Single view

Uwe Hening, chief executive, Detego

In the ‘see now, buy now’ era, a lot depends on how well a fashion business is prepared to say ‘yes’ to its customer. With many siloes to connect - including brands’ own offline and online stores, franchisees’ and partners’ platforms - fashion businesses are struggling to provide joint customer experience across channels. That’s when investment into heavy technology kicks in but that is not Uwe’s story. In his talk, he’ll discuss how retailers can achieve a single view over their customer, as well as all a single view over all parties’ supply chains, stores and backrooms, easier and at a lower cost thanks to global standards, cloud computing and open-source technologies. Having tracked six billion events across fashion supply chains that came from different parties, Uwe will share his big idea on why connecting fashion businesses is the next trend in business development.

Power talk


Zoe Matthews, fashion director, Shop Direct

Exclusively to the Drapers Fashion Forum, Zoe will unveil the strategy behind the hero own label that Shop Direct launched last year. She will share the promises and possibilities of the company’s new undertaking and the rationale behind its own-label strategy.



Power talk

NICE TO MEET YOU: Alibaba Group
Mei Chen, international business development lead, Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group’s Mei Chen will uncover how Alibaba works with fashion brands and retailers to help them expand into China. Her talk will cover VR shopping experience Buy+ and ‘See Now, Buy Now’ for Tmall Fashion, Alibaba’s experimentation with pop-up stores and the huge appetite for international fashion from the vast and growing Chinese middle-class.



Lunch and networking

VIP LUNCH WITH LECTRA* by invitation only Hosted by Kirsty McGregor, deputy editor, Drapers



New global partnerships

The rules of global partnerships are changing: from standard franchising and licensing agreements, fashion businesses are progressing towards agile, tailor-made partnerships that leverage global opportunities most beneficially for all parties. This debate will unlock hidden global partnership trends and will give you the tips on entering new markets and protecting your brand and other intellectual property in especially volatile times.

Chaired by:
Jill Geoghegan, head of content, news and features, Drapers


Andrew Skinner, managing director, Coast

Ray Clacher, executive vice president, Gieves & Hawkes | Kent & Curwen | Hardy Amies

Olga Kotsur, chief executive and founder, Mercaux

Ethan Solomon, vice president sales, Adyen


New own label strategies

More and more retailers are looking to own brands to drive customer loyalty and provide a point of difference. Drapers debates with the leading in-house brand owners on retailers need to revive their in-house fashion offer, the opportunities in private brands and collaborations, and new sales channels for successful house brands.


Sergio Odriozola, vice president product and merchandising – zLabels, Zalando

Jo Hooper, product director, Pure Collection

14:20 - 15:20 Fringe event


Where a world of opportunity exists, what are you waiting for?
This interactive session, hosted by ebay, will change your perception of the ecommerce giant. It will give you insight into recent technological developments and how fashion brands and retailers are using these to their advantage.

Presented by
Lorna Dunne, head of fashion, business development, ebay
Lizzi Thomas, head of fashion, ebay
Paul Simpson, seller growth, ebay




Jonathan Sheard, head of enterprise sales UK, Klarna
Luca Marini, founder and chief operating officer, Finery London
Join Jonathan as he interviews Luca about how Finery London boosted business with a new payment method in the UK, optimised for mobile and improved its online checkout.

Power talk


Ines Lareo, customer experience director,
Kris Moyse, head of customer success, Proximity Insight

Retail stores are in the middle of a perfect storm as physical and digital collide. During this session, you’ll see things from a customer's perspective, immersing yourself in a journey of discovery. We’ll explore the challenges faced by sales associates when striving to provide exceptional customer experiences, while also looking at the changing role of stores and new standards for customer engagement.
Register at Proximity Insight’s lounge to become an active participant for the full experience (and receive a reward for signing up).


Power talk


Richard Hurren, vice president North Europe, Levi Strauss & Co

Richard will argue that to drive sustainable profitable growth, brands need to not only build their core business but also diversify – across channels, territories and product. As part of this, Richard will share insights into how the Levi’s® brand is creating authentic consumer connections, taking a rigorous approach to product segmentation, and becoming not only the go-to denim leader, but a lifestyle brand. Hear his story of how brands need to embrace diversification to navigate the ever-changing, and increasingly complex, consumer landscape.


Anjhe Mules, founder and creative director, Lucas Hugh

Drapers will sit down with the founder of high-end activewear brand Lucas Hugh to discuss her hopes and fears, and what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat of a company that uses its product as a main tool to differentiate itself from the competition. Anjhe founded Lucas Hugh seven years ago with the aim of mixing high fashion with science and art. It was the first lifestyle brand to integrate fully bonded seams - as original designed for Olympic performance swimwear - into multi-sport performance apparel, and make products in the same European factory that produces Olympic performancewear. Explore how the brand rose to fame with the help of stockists such as Net-a-Porter and celebrities’ endorsements, and hear advice from Anjhe on what the future might have in store for the niche fashion brands and their founders.

15:30 - 16:00 Fringe event

One-to-one meetings

Connecting fashion businesses to future partners
Online partnerships

Mei Chen, international business development lead, Alibaba
Interested to discuss: online partnerships

Emma Paterson, head of wholesale, concessions & corporate sales, and Sokhail Shaikh, managing director, Asia, Mothercare
Interested to discuss: wholesale | concessions

Melanie Smallwood, international buying director, Global Fashion Group (Zalora, Dafiti, Lamoda, Namshi and The Iconic)
Interested to discuss: wholesale partnerships with brands

Darren Whelpton–Smith, head of sales, wholesale, ecommerce, Raging Bull Ltd
Interested to discuss: wholesale | online trading

Emma Conroy, concessions director,
Wyevale Garden Centers
Interested to discuss: concessions | wholesale

Neil Rennie, sales and merchandising director
Hardy Amies
Interested to discuss: Licensing

Mark Davison, head of planning and trade,
Hallett Retail
Interested to discuss: concessions

Thomas Codd, account manager,
Jack & Jones Premium at BESTSELLER
Interested to discuss: wholesale


Power talk

Muriel Zingraff-Shariff, UK country manager, Premier Tax Free
Samir Shah, treasury/projects controller, Arcadia Group

International shoppers spend up to five times more with fashion retailers than domestic, and are considered trendsetters. This talk will help you understand their behaviour and shape a successful strategy to engage with the lucrative audience of international fashion shoppers.  
Retail and tax-free shopping partners Arcadia Group and Premier Tax Free will discuss why a seamless tax-free customer experience encourages further spend and visits, and what tools can help you to engage with international visitors at each step of their journey.

Power talk

Alistair Cameron, chief executive EMEA, ASICS

In a competitive performancewear market, ASICS takes matters in its own hands by developing products with consistently improving performance based on science and customer feedback. The company’s first global multi-brand store that recently launched in London is part of a strategy to use direct-to-consumer channels to lead global fashion and sports trends and engage with consumers. Alistair will show how the company connects products and customers through integrated content generation and greater social media use, and why ASICS views DTC as the most powerful form of marketing and loyalty-building.


Coffee and networking


Special guest talk

Fashion advertising hasn’t changed - and now is the time it did

Tom Goodwin, executive vice president and head of innovation, Zenith Media

"Times are changing fast. We need to do something that's never been done before. Just show me someone else that's done it first, so we know it's going to be OK."

LinkedIn’s number one voice in marketing and named one of two “must-follow” in advertising by Fast Company, Tom’s job is to make the newly possible happen. Exclusively to the Drapers Fashion Forum, Tom will talk about the future of advertising and marketing in one of the biggest-advertising industries – fashion. He will share why you need to stop assuming you need to target millennials and relying on data too much, and start thinking differently about promoting your fashion brand.



Power talk 

Trust and trends in connected commerce 

Karen Pepper, general manager, UK, Amazon Pay

Dan Austin, ecommerce manager, Clothing Sites Group

In the midst of drastic technological change and a shift in consumer behaviour, Amazon Pay continues to innovate on behalf of the customer. Increasing demands for personalised shopping, instant gratification and a sea of options, require a shift in providing the best experience. Yet, among all these developments, it is clear that trust remains the determining factor for a customer’s purchasing decision. Karen and Dan will show how Amazon Pay delivers on trust.


Onstage interview

The smartest decision

Debbie Hewitt, chairman, Moss Bros

She is a mentor and leader to so many in the fashion industry and sees opportunities that other miss. Debbie will share a board-level vision of the fashion retail’s future with Drapers editor Keely Stocker. Sales are up at Moss Bros despite tough market conditions, so what will be the priorities in this brand’s business development, and why does Debbie think selling the Hugo Boss retail franchise was the smartest decision she’s ever made?

17:30 - 18:00


18:30 – 22:00



Drapers 130th anniversary party*

*for retailer premium ticket holders only


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