The Special Advisers to the Summit consist of fashion insiders who provide insights on industry profiles, current focus topics as well as different segments and geographies to support the development of the Summit programme.
Veronica Chou is a major investor in the Karl Lagerfeld brand and has a portfolio of investments in consumer tech companies such as Refinery29, RewardStyle, The Tot and in China, the largest women’s shoe company, 2nd largest supermarket, etc.
As President of Iconix China, a business which she founded in 2008 and successfully sold in 2014, Veronica introduced 12 American brands to the Chinese market and opened over 1000 stores. Currently, Veronica is working to launch a yet to be named smart sustainable lifestyle brand.
Founder and CEO, Future Tech Lab
Miroslava Duma is a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum, the founder of several innovative ventures, digital entrepreneur, philanthropist and active investor. She has been cited as “a force of the fashion industry” by the Financial Times and is a member of the host committee of Stanford Philanthropy Innovation Summit.
In 2017, Duma founded Future Tech Lab, an investment company and accelerator that focuses materials science and bioengineering. Future Tech Lab helps new technologies and sustainable innovations connect, collaborate and create products and brands to evolve the fashion industry and help reduce its social and environmental footprint. She also co-founded PANGAIA, a direct-to-consumer materials science company bringing breakthrough textile innovations, proprietary technologies and patents to the world through lifestyle products.
Fashion industry veteran, Julie Gilhart, is a creative business consultant for a set of clients, including online e-commerce platform Amazon and luxury goods group Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey. Previously, Gilhart was Senior Vice President, Fashion Director at Barneys New York for 18 years, where she oversaw creative, design and business direction.
As an adviser to the CFDA, she worked with them to establish the CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative for Sustainability. Gilhart sits on the boards within fashion, is an Ambassador for 1% For The Planet, is a founder of non-profit Fashion Girls for Humanity and supports several philanthropic efforts.
Founder, The Bear Scouts
Dio Kurazawa, founder of The Bear Scouts, assists influential brands with the implementation of innovative sustainable practices through the creation and implementation of socially responsible supply chains. Also serving as head of denim of globally leading trend-forecaster WGSN, Kurazawa has more than 20 years in the fashion industry.
Kurazawa and his team start every project with sustainability as a core focus and through a wide array of efforts, The Bear Scouts promote sustainable innovations that are not only trend driven but environmentally sound and based on critical assessments of past experience, in the philosophy that sustainability is an ever-expanding forward process.
Founder and Executive Chair, African Fashion International
Humanitarian and social entrepreneur, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe founded African Fashion International in 2007 with a mission to share African fashion with the world, stimulate growth of the fashion and textile industry in Africa, advance economic and social development, preserve African cultures and empower women.
During African Fashion International’s inception, Dr Moloi-Motsepe partnered with the Design for Life initiative to support education and the diagnosis of breast cancer for women from rural communities. In 2017 she became the first recipient of the Fashion 4 Development Franca Sozzani Award for her work in propelling African designers to international platforms and in creating jobs for local artisans.
Managing Director, MARIOTESTINO+
Since 2007, Jan Olesen has been business partner of world-renowned photographer Mario Testino and managing director of Testino’s creative agency MARIOTESTINO+. The agency supports Testino to realise the breadth of his creative output and enterprise including activities such as creative direction, brand strategy, graphic design, film, books, exhibitions and partnerships. Clients count Burberry, Carolina Herrera, Chanel beauty, Dolce & Gabanna fragrances, Versace and Lancome among many more.
In 2012 Olesen and Testino launched MATE – Museo Mario Testino, in Testino’s hometown of Lima. The not-for-profit cultural foundation works to empower artists, students and the people of Peru through immersion and training in visual culture.
Lifestyle Journalist and Sustainable Activist
As Vogue India’s Editor-at-Large for 13 years, Bandana Tewari reported extensively about and experienced a rapidly evolving global fashion industry. Coupled with her unrestrained and independent voice, understanding of socio-political dynamics of fashion and trademark forward-thinking, she is considered one of India’s foremost fashion authorities.
Member of BoF500, Tewari has written extensively on a variety of topics from indigenous ‘made-by-hand’ economies of India and Indonesia, to LGBTQ representation in global fashion, informing and educating consumers and global luxury brands about heritage and culture. Her pieces have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Wallpaper* and Tank. She sits on the advisory boards of NEST and Eco Chic Design Awards.
Actress, Model and Entrepreneur
Amber Valletta, actress, model, entrepreneur and activist, is the founder of Master & Muse, a premiere lifestyle brand for responsibly made fashion. Valletta is committed to advancing smarter consumption and environmental awareness through entrepreneurial endeavours and brand partnerships.
An industry icon, she has been the face of many prestigious names in fashion and graced countless magazine covers. After moving to LA, Valletta found success as an actress, transitioning seamlessly between modelling and acting over the last 25 years. She serves as a mentor for the CFDA’s Sustainability Committee and is on the advisory board for Fashion +, Cradle-to-Cradle’s initiative in fashion and the Environmental Media Association.
Group Style Editorial Director, Modern Media & Founder, yehyehyeh
Shaway Yeh is one of China’s key opinion leaders on fashion and culture. Under her editorial direction, the influential lifestyle publication Modern Weekly has reached China’s elite readers with the latest international news, trends, phenomena and discussions in the fields of style and culture. Yeh extended the publication’s creative panache and unique editorial point of view to digital platforms.
In 2017 Yeh became co-creative director of the global video channel NOWNESS. Using her media outreach to discuss and represent issues related to sustainability and innovation, she founded the agency yehyehyeh the same year to push forward the fashion agenda among Chinese brands and designers by bringing together sustainability, creativity and innovation.