Head and Founder, Ethical Fashion Initiative
Simone Cipriani founded and manages the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a flagship program of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and World Trade Organization.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) advocates a more responsible and sustainable fashion industry. The EFI harnesses the power of fashion as a vehicle out of poverty by connecting artisans in the developing world to fashion’s supply chain. Since its inception, the initiative has evolved to work with emerging African designers to promote their talent at an international level and support Made in Africa production.
Simone Cipriani began his career working in the Italian shoe and leather industry before working for the U.N. Industrial Development Organization to develop viable leather industries in Kenya and Ethiopia. He has consulted for a host of U.N. and international agencies. He designed and managed development cooperation projects in Asia and the Maghreb. Simone Cipriani previously worked for PISIE, where he directed training and capacity building for the leather industry in the developing world, and at CESECA, which offered production services to Italian footwear and leather companies. As such he brings a deep understanding of quality and production to the Ethical Fashion Initiative.
Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Kering
In 2012, Daveu was appointed Kering’s chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs, and was also named to the company’s executive committee. She is responsible for the continued development of Kering’s sustainability strategy and the implementation of Kering Group’s institutional affairs on a global scale.
She joined Kering from the public sector where she served as chief of staff to French politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and at France’s Ministry of Ecology and other areas from 2007 to 2012. Prior to this position, Daveu was technical adviser to the cabinet of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and principal private secretary to Serge Lepeltier (minister of ecology and sustainability), before joining Sanofi-Aventis Group in 2005 as senior director of sustainable development.
She is a graduate of the French National Institute of Agronomy Paris-Grignon, the École Nationale du Génie Rural des Eaux et Forêts (National School of Rural Water and Forestry Engineering). She also earned a degree in public administration from Dauphine University in Paris.
Nina Braga has been the director of Instituto-E since its founding in 2007. Instituto-E is a Brazilian nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote sustainable human development. Braga is responsible for several of the institute’s projects, including e-fabrics. The author and organizer of collections and scientific papers, especially in the area of neonatal psychology and public health, Braga also directed environmental documentaries such as “Against Wind” and "Bocaina: High Trails,” both named “Best Brazilian Environmental Documentary” in the 1980s. She began her career in politics, as an advisor to the environment committee of the State of Rio’s Parliament. Soon after leaving Parliament, she was responsible for the social diagnosis that was the basis for the creation of the Environmental Protection Area of Cairuçu and Joatinga, both in the municipality of Paraty, State of Rio de Janeiro. She then coordinated the Cultural Foundation Brazil-Portugal, based in Rio de Janeiro, and later became a special reporter for Folha de São Paulo. In the ‘90s, she deepened her neonatal psychology studies and was invited to join the humanized care program for underweight newborns— Kangaroo Mother Care— as a consultant for the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Simultaneously, Braga became a professor in the Psychology Department of the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. She graduated in social and political sciences and psychology, and has a Master of Science and a postgraduate degree in social anthropology.
Founder and Creative Director, Osklen and OM.art
Oskar Metsavaht is a physician, artist, entrepreneur, environmentalist, creator, and style director of the fashion brand Osklen, and also creative director of Om.Art, his art and special projects studio. He has been recognized as one of the forerunners of the sustainability movement, promoting the idea of “New Luxury” and often speaks at conferences worldwide, such as the Milano Fashion Summit and the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris. Metsavaht is the Founder of E Institute (Instituto-E), a nonprofit organization in Rio de Janeiro, dedicated to the promotion of sustainable human development. The organization’s e-fabrics project, in partnership with companies, institutions, and research centers, identifies fabrics and materials developed from social and environmental criteria.
Last year Metsavaht was appointed a member of the board of Inhotim, the largest nonprofit open-air museum in the world, which houses important collections of contemporary art and develops educational and social projects. He also became a member of the Greenpeace board, honorary consul of Estonia in Rio de Janeiro, and advisor and ambassador of 1.618 - Paris Sustainable Fair. Through the E Institute, he conceived the Prêmio E (E Award), an official award of Rio+20 to identify and celebrate environmental initiatives developed over the previous 20 years.
Metsavaht shows his collections at New York Fashion Week and São Paulo Fashion Week.
Auret van Heerden
Labor Expert and Director, Equiception
Auret van Heerden has over 40 years’ experience in labor and human rights issues worldwide. He served as labor attaché at the South African Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, spent 12 years with the ILO in Geneva and 13 years as head of the Fair Labour Association. He works closely with business schools (Stern at New York University and the HEC Lausanne), serves on the Investment Committee of the C&A Foundation, the Advisory Board of CSR Turkey, and the Governance Board of the International Council of the Toy Industry’s CARE Program, and co-chairs the Fair Wage Network. His activities span the globe from key bases in Switzerland and China and consist primarily of the Academy for Sustainable Business and consultancy on sustainable supply chains, corporate social responsibility, labor relations, and human resource management. The academy draws on an international network of academics and practitioners to train company owners, CEOs, policy makers, and managers to achieve sustainability in their organizations and supply chains.
Founder, CEO and Founder, Manufacture New York
Bob Bland is a Brooklyn-based fashion designer, entrepreneur, and community organizer. She is the CEO and founder of Manufacture New York, a fashion incubator/factory hybrid dedicated to providing independent designers with the resources and skills to streamline their production process and transform local manufacturing into the most affordable, innovative option for all.
Her brand, Brooklyn Royalty, founded in 2006 and always made in New York City, is inspired by the fiercely independent spirit and highly individual aesthetic of King’s County residents. A professional apparel and graphic designer with previous experience at Marc by Marc Jacobs, Triple Five Soul, Rugby by Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Banana Republic, Ms. Bland combines timeless design principles, premium materials, and hand-printed graphics to create garments that are meant to look and wear better over time.
Founder and Executive Director, Style House
Omoyemi Akerele is the founder and executive director of Style House, a fashion, creative consulting, and development agency in Nigeria that seeks to support emerging African fashion designers and the African fashion industry. As the fashion editor of True Love West Africa, a prominent and best-selling lifestyle magazine in the region from 2005 to 2010, Akerele made a significant contribution in the industry, which she believes was influenced by her strong legal background and brief career in the legal profession.
In 2011, she founded Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW), which now features more than 40 Nigerian designers. LFDW hosts a series of master classes, installations, and exhibitions. It is dedicated to promoting fashion as a viable contributor to the Nigerian economy and to promoting African designers on an international level.
Promotion Agency (NEPC) and United Nations’ UNIDO to strengthen the Nigerian fashion industry’s local capacity to produce garments commercially for local and export markets.
Miguel Fluxà is the CEO of Camper, a shoe company founded by his father in 1975, but which draws on the Fluxà family’s 138 years of experience in shoemaking in Spain. Camper—the word means “peasant” in Catalan—is a brand where creativity and quality are core values; the company’s success has been marked by expansion into more than 60 countries and brand diversification into the home goods market with Casa Camper in 2004. Fluxà joined the business in 2003 and has been responsible for this brand extension as well as for the development of new ideas and collaborators in the fields of communication and product and interior design. He assumed the role of CEO in January 2012.
Floriane de Saint Pierre
Floriane de Saint Pierre is the founder of Floriane de Saint Pierre & Associés, the leading firm for organization design and executive search for innovative and best-in-class brands, with offices in Paris, Milan, and New York. She graduated from ESSEC International Business School and started her career in the finance department of Christian Dior Couture. She is also the founder of two digital platforms: Ethics & Boards, the first International Board Watch, online data and rankings provider on governance of listed companies. In 2015, for the third year, Ethics & Boards is partnering with the French Government to produce a list of women leaders of major French firms. EyesonTalents, based on the strong belief that design is a key performance driver, is the platform where brands can access best creative talent worldwide in the fields of visual creative disciplines. Saint Pierre has been lecturing at the Institut de la Mode (IFM) since 1990, at ESSEC Luxury Brand Management MBA program since its creation in 1995, and at Sciences-Po Paris. She is a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and board member of the French-American Foundation - France. She is a founding member of the Tokyo Art Club Entreprises of the Palais de Tokyo and president of the Benefactors Committee of AWARE, Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibition.
Zimbabwe-born Lisa Barratt is RISE senior project manager of the Ethical Fashion Initiative. She has led the operations of the EFI in Kenya for the past six years to make the inclusion of marginalized artisans in the international fashion industry a reality. Her experience working with groups and structuring the systems of trade to include these artisans in the value chain in a sustainable way, and developing compliance schemes that are practical in this sector, have been invaluable to the success of the Ethical Fashion Initiative.
Barratt is taking the lead in the development of a framework for the Ethical Fashion Initiative that enables and monitors social and environmental responsibility. She has an intricate knowledge of the practices, demands, and supply chains of international fashion production through working with international luxury fashion brands in Africa.
Toronto native and New York transplant, founded Brother Vellies with two specific goals: to introduce her favorite traditional African footwear to the rest of the world, and to create and sustain artisanal jobs in Africa. Handmade in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Morocco, Brother Vellies shoes maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts. While the company offers a variety of styles—including boots and sandals—it was built on the enthusiastic reception of its first model, the velskoen. Relatively unknown outside of Africa, traditional velskoen (pronounced “fell-skoon,” and known colloquially as “vellies”) paved the way for the modern-day desert boot. At the company’s workshop in Kenya, a small group of men and women assemble a few dozen pairs of shoes a day by hand, using techniques refined over multiple generations. All of the Brother Vellies workshops are open spaces that welcome artisans of all genders, sexual orientations, backgrounds, and tribes. James, a former model agent and curator, now finds herself traveling to and throughout Africa regularly to work with the local artisans, experience the diverse culture of the continent, and unearth new inspirations for the brand.
Regarded as a leading arbiter of style, Hirofumi Kurino, cofounder and creative advisor of the Japanese retail group United Arrows, is regularly referred to as a fashion oracle by industry insiders. One of the first Tokyo based retailers to join the Ethical Fashion Initiative, Kurino gained international acclaim for displaying products made by female artisans at the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, in 2013. Through his work at United Arrows, Kurino has introduced leading Japanese retail chains including Odette et Odile, Jewel Changes, and Another Edition, and in 2013 introduced a concession for the American shoe brand Steven Alan.