2016 FashionSpeak Conference to Feature Former Oscar de la Renta CEO, Meijer Merch Search


A keynote presentation by Jeffry Aronsson — former CEO of fashion companies such as Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, and more — and a product pitch competition hosted by Meijer are among the activities that will take place at Detroit Garment Group’s 2016 FashionSpeak, Michigan largest conference for the fashion industry, to be held Oct. 13 in downtown Detroit.

“(FashionSpeak is) not just a business conference, and it’s not just a fashion networking gathering,” says Karen Buscemi, founder and president of Detroit Garment Group. “You are learning about specific topics that are critical to being a successful fashion business owner. We want people to learn, (and) we want people to have the resources that they need to become entrepreneurs in the state of Michigan and create jobs and add to our economy.”

Presented by Bloomfield Hills-based Taubman Centers Inc., the one-day conference, to be held at 1 Woodward Ave., brings together nationally recognized experts in five fields related to the success of the fashion industry.

Along with Aronsson, other speakers for the conference include Annette Repasch, group vice president of Softlines of Meijer Inc.; Amy Dietrich, a product development expert; Lauren Kirsch, a buyer at Freeds of Windsor; and Karen MacDonald, a public relations expert and entrepreneur. Each speaker will conduct a 70-minute workshop centered on the business of fashion.

This year’s conference will also include The Meijer Merch Search, where preselected FashionSpeak attendees will get the chance to pitch their fashion products in front of a panel of Meijer buyers and executives for a chance at an order placement to be sold at the company’s stores. Conference attendees can apply for the opportunity on the Detroit Garment Group’s website.

“(Meijer is) looking for a product that is unique and special,” Buscemi says. “They want something that is not already available for sale in their stores.”

Tickets, which are available for $49, also include a continental breakfast, lunch, and the opportunity to meet Aronsson.

For more information, visit fashionspeak2016.eventbrite.com.

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