Maastricht will showcase its ‘smart’ fashion and creative industries when it hosts the 34th IAF World Fashion Convention in October 2018.

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) convention brings together leading fashion industry associations, brands, retailers and major suppliers from more than 20 countries. Keynotes and panels cover strategic issues ranging across the supply chain, from raw materials to retail, sourcing and supply chain management, to market development. Previous high-level speakers came from PVH, H&M, Hugo Boss, Desigual, Disney, VF, Zegna, Esquel and Escada, as well as McKinsey, BCG, the ILO, the World Bank and the OECD.

The Netherlands city is a fitting host, with convention organisers emphasising Maastricht’s fashion consciousness, creativity, international character and close proximity to world-class logistic and materials science hubs.

This edition of the convention will revolve around the term ‘smart’: making smart materials; smart solutions for reducing waste, and encouraging smarter collaborations between buyers and manufacturers. In Maastricht, near the German and Belgian borders, a new type of fashion industry is coming to life: more interdisciplinary and with a bigger focus on technology and on sustainability.

Jurgen Moors, director of the Maastricht Convention Bureau, said: “As a city and as a region we are glad to contribute to the success of this convention, mainly because it helps to position internationally the fashion industry and the creative industry. These industries are both well established in Maastricht. It is exciting to see Maastricht feature alongside such host cities as Mumbai, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Shanghai.”

Local bid host Modint – the Dutch fashion and textiles industry association – is looking forward to acquainting the influential international guests with the local supply chain and its expertise, particularly in innovation and sustainability. The business network of manufacturers, importers, agents and wholesalers in clothing, fashion accessories, carpet and interior textiles, represents around 600 companies with a combined annual turnover of €9 billion in the Netherlands. More than 50 per cent of this is exported.

The Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (MAFAD), meanwhile – part of Maastricht University’s Faculty of Arts and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences – is developing talent for the future in fashion and design. A new development in the city, Fashion House Maastricht, is a laboratory and promotional platform for upcoming fashion talent. It connects networking, knowledge, art, creativity, and hardware, forging the link between education and the professional world.

It will be the second time for Maastricht to stage the World Fashion convention, having held the event for the first time in 2008.



(via IAF, Fashion Network, Maastricht Convention Bureau)