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ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative steps on to the global fashion catwalk in Rome

6 December 2012
ITC News
Simone Cipriani holds keynote speech at the International Herald Tribune’s fashion event 'The Promise of Africa'

Simone Cipriani, Head of the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Ethical Fashion Initiative took centre-stage at the recent conference ‘The Promise of Africa’, which is the flagship luxury conference of the International Herald Tribune (IHT).

The annual conference, which this year was held in Rome on 15-16 November, brings together leading stakeholders from the fashion industry, including designers Jean-Paul Gaultier, Manolo Blahnik and Donatella Versace, and CEO's from Hermes, LVMH and PPR, as well as other media figures such as Vogue Italia's Franca Sozzani.

Mr Cipriani was invited to be one of the conference’s keynote speakers, and during his speech set the tone for discussions on the potential of Africa within the global fashion industry and the impact this industry could have in empowering African artisans and entrepreneurs.

Handmade in Africa

During his speech Mr Cipriani introduced the work already being carried out by ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative in Eastern and Western Africa and Haiti. He also presented the audience with the challenges at different levels of producing ‘true’ ethical fashion, the value of measuring impact, the importance of retaining value chains in Africa and the potential of the continent in producing high-quality fashion.

Mr Cipriani was invited to ‘The Promise of Africa’ after Suzy Menkes, the Fashion Editor of the IHT, visited the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s Nairobi-hub earlier this year. She also visited many of the marginalized artisan communities producing fashion accessories for international fashion labels through the ITC project.

Simone Cipriani’s speech can be watched here.

 

A conversation between Simone Cipriani and Suzy Menkes can be watched here.

Suzy Menkes’s article on her visit to the Ethical Fashion Initiative can be read here.