Senior Vice President - Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
As Senior Vice President at Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Mr. Hickson manages international operations and helps develop and refine WRAP’s strategy. He specifically focuses on managing relationships with global brands and retailers and with governmental and other stakeholder organizations. Mr. Hickson has extensive experience in international marketing, corporate communications, strategic planning, and cross-cultural communications. he has developed and led seminars and other initiatives around the world in the field of social responsibility in collaboration with audit firms, manufacturing facilities, industry associations, government bodies and others, which initiatives have facilitated understanding of socially responsible and ethical practices as well as an understanding of how to implement social compliance programs. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Dr. Annette Bennett
Technology Manager - Cotton SA
Regional Director for Africa - WGSN
Hannari Slabbert is a seasoned, senior director in the fashion industry, currently leading the strategic expansion for WGSN across Africa. She has previously managed the commercial development for WGSN across the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Central Eastern Europe and has re-located with her family to Cape Town in 2016 to drive the global trend authority’s operations across the continent.
CEO - TCI APPAREL
Herman Pillay is a passionate entrepreneur managing multiple businesses both locally and internationally. He is the Chairman and CEO of the TCI Apparel Group. He was introduced into the manufacturing sector 23 years ago by his dad and has owned and operated his own businesses for the past 20 years. His wealth of experience and forward-thinking attitude assisted in saving 2274 jobs when his company acquired Seardel in 2014. He later went on to increase a further 1386 jobs in the Group. With the ultimate focus on “people, planet, profit”, as he puts it, Herman has led TCI Apparel to discover their purpose whilst attaining a sustainable business model.”Herman places the onus of social and economic stability on industry leaders and business owners, himself included, stating: “As business owners and entrepreneurs, we need to be putting our focus on our homeland and the people in our own communities; the result of this will vastly alleviate many of the socio-economic issues we face.”
Kat van Duinen
Designer and Owner - Kat van Duinen
After relocating to Cape Town from Europe, Polish designer Kat van Duinen’s passion for effortless elegance saw the birth of her eponymous label in Cape Town in 2010, which has since grown to become an iconic fusion of her European heritage and love for the richness of South Africa – a place she now calls home. What began solely as a luxury leather brand quickly grew into a fashion house that evolved to offer ready-to-wear garment collections as well as couture to private clients. At its heart the brand is proudly South African, guided by a commitment to nurture local artisans and industry, as well as to source materials, whenever possible, from within this rich, eclectic country.
Closely intertwined lies the label’s faithfulness to premium, authentic materials so as to promise the ultimate in quality and luxury – from genuine exotic leathers to natural-fibre textiles.
Acting CEO - Cape Town Fashion Council
Acting CEO of the Cape Town Fashion Council, Kerry Bell whose main focuses include initiating, motivating and elevating the business of fashion by inducting design, innovation, technology and cultivation.
Managing Director - House of Designers
Kevin is a relative newcomer to the fashion industry with a specific focus on what technological innovation can do to “ready” the industry for the “fourth industrial revolution”.
Working for Apple Computers and Hewlett Packard in his early career, he has been at the forefront of hardware and software development in the late 1990’s.
Progressing to the webmaster and database management phase in the early 2000’s, social networking and messaging application in development from 2010 and now moving into the realm of readiness for the technological changes beyond 2020.
He has invested in a fashion project management company which is applying technology solutions to design and changing the game for designer clients. Jean Thierry is positive about the South African design space with Cape Town rated Design Capital of the world recently and like his past engagements with technology remains at the forefront of tech development.
Head of Catwalks - WGSN
The Head of Catwalks Department at WGSN Limited, since August 2014. Internationally recognized Trend, Color and Design Director with proven track record of leveraging design innovation and process to drive sales and revenue growth. Recognized for achievements in Trend, Color, Design direction, retailing, product development, merchandising, and manufacturing strategies – with a specialty in better end sportswear markets. A Creative leader with excellent communication skills and proven ability in building cohesive teams that generate quality work to meet corporate initiatives. Integral in creating the vision and providing clear direction that supports strategic brand and business goals.
Executive Director - SAFLEC
In August 2014 Nerisha Jairaj joined SAFLEC as the New Executive Manager and was promoted to Executive Director in 2015. Nerisha Jairaj now heads SAFLEC under the guidance of the SAFLEC Board of Directors.
Nerisha Jairaj comes with a BTech Honours in Business Administration and MBA Organisational Behaviour, Strategy and General (ongoing), 20 years of export, procurement and international trade experience.
Director - The Southern African Labour Research Institute (SALRI)
Simon Eppel is a trade unionist and holds the position of Director of Research of the Southern African Labour Research Institute (SALRI). In this capacity, amongst other things he is involved in a host of policy-related and practical activities which aim to remediate and reshape challenges facing the domestic CTFL manufacturing industry. The goal is to transform the industry into one which offers sustainable, meaningful, long term and growing employment based on the principle and practice of decent work. He became involved in the workers movement over 15 years ago, and has worked specifically in SACTWU for the last 11 years. He is trained as a social anthropologist and has an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town (UCT).