Jewelry + Design Conference Draws Industry Leaders to Explore Innovation

Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Multicolor gem necklace on leather with an amethyst center that belonged to Queen Elena of Italy. Photo: courtesy, Prince Dimitri.

Initiatives in Art and Culture celebrates twenty years with a blockbuster New York fashion conference this November.

The highly anticipated two-day Fashion, Jewelry + Design Conference is returning to Manhattan for its anniversary. The think tank gathering of leaders, associations, and trendsetters will explore the fluidity and changes affecting the fashion industry, and how disruptors bring innovation and revolution to the design story. Balance of authenticity and craftsmanship alongside customization and novel techniques will be explored. The conference will be hosted at the Museum of the City of New York on November 8th and 9th, 2018, located at 1220 Fifth Avenue (at 103rd Street) between 9:00AM and 5:00PM.

This year, IAC explores the communications revolution and its impact on the evolution, design, and sale of contemporary fashion and accessories. Speakers will discuss topics ranging from the future of fashion to using the power of culture to inspire, investigating the complex layers of the design story.

Rebecca Minkoff, fashion designer

Lisa Koenigsberg, President of IAC, states, “This year, as we have for the past 20, Initiatives in Art and Culture is honored to welcome a distinguished roster of speakers to explore different, temporally relevant themes in our annual Fashion + Design Conference. As Vortex: Paradox, Promise, and Possibility attests, we continue to celebrate important designers and other major industry figures. We also increasingly address issues such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion, the digital landscape and social media, how the industry can best connect with consumers, and the ever-shifting equilibrium between online and brick-and-mortar retail. Our consideration also extends to jewelry and accessories. We are also honored to engage with major professional associations that are devoted to the consideration of all things fashion.”

Rebecca Minkoff, Fashion Designer, says, “I am thrilled to participate in Initiatives in Art and Culture’s 20th Anniversary New York Fashion + Design Conference and am honored to be on a roster that features so many distinguished voices who will address the inter-relationship of art, fashion, and culture today.”

Ivan Bart, President, IMG Models and Fashion Properties

Conference speakers include: Ivan Bart, President, IMG Models and Fashion Properties; Jason Wu, Canadian Artist and Fashion Designer based in New York City; Rebecca Minkoff, Fashion Designer; Robert Verdi, Entrepreneur, Celebrity Stylist, and Television Personality; Jyothi Rao, President, Intermix; Constance C.R. White, award-winning Journalist and Author, How To Slay: Inspiration from Black Kings and Queens of Style (Rizzoli, 2018); Karen Giberson, President, Accessories Council; Alexandra Mor, haute joaillerie Designer; Mickey Alam Khan, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Luxury Daily; Gary A. Wassner, CEO, Hilldun Corporation; Deirdre Featherstone, private Jeweler based in NYC; Wendy Brandes, Jewelry Designer; Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Designer and Gemologist; Nina Farran, CEO and Founder, Fashionkind; Kelly Gray, Model and Creative, Grayse; Mellissa Huber, Assistant Curator, The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Deepa Lakhani, co-founder Deepa Gurmani; Jenny Luker, President, Platinum Guild International USA; Meredith Melling, Valerie Macaulay, and Molly Howard, co-founders, La Ligne; Carrie Ellen Phillips and Vanessa von Bismarck, founding partners of BPCM; Freida Rothman, Brooklyn-based Designer specializing in luxury jewelry and accessories; Cullen Schwarz, co-founder, DoneGood; Elizabeth Suda, Founder, ARTICLE22; Caroline Weber, Professor of French & Comparative Literature, Barnard College, Columbia University and Author, Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-Siècle Paris (Knopf, 2018); David Breslauer, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Bolt Threads; Joan Juliet Buck, American novelist, Critic, Essayist, Actress, and Editor; Patricia Ermecheo, founder, Osom Socks and Osomtex; Melissa Gonzalez, founder, The Lionesque Group (TLG); Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief, W Magazine; and Jennifer Zeuner, Jewelry Designer.

Register for Vortex directly on Eventbrite by clicking here. To learn more about Initiatives in Art and Culture, inquire about sponsorship opportunities for Vortex, visit, call 646-485-1952, or email

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