AFC are working hard to support growth and sustainability in the Australian fashion industry, an area that Karen is also passionate about promoting within the cohort of new Australian designers and the wider fashion industry and Australian community.
Despite the challenges that our current social isolation is presenting, Leila and Karen will both share some of their thoughts on mentoring and the importance of positive, creative and progressive problem solving and business development in order to sustain a strong local fashion industry. We will also discuss the digital landscape and the B2B fashion community, including AFC's relationship with ORDRE.com, creating virtual showrooms in conjuction with the AFC Curated mentor program.
This Session will be all about the positive opportunities presenting themselves for Australian designers in the domestic and international markets despite facing significant challenges in many areas of day-to-day business operation.
Leila Hibri has an impressive background in Economics and Accounting and has over 15 years’ experience in luxury and premium brand management and development across APAC, Europe and North America. Leila has worked with organizations such as Prada, Luxottica and Bendon and lead teams in Sydney, Auckland, London, NYC, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Leila’s greatest professional passion is the advancement of women's leadership opportunities and the active mentoring of young professionals in the fashion industry.
Karen Webster is the Dean and Principal of LCI Melbourne, the Australian campus of the globally renowned tertiary design institute of the LCI group. Karen is one of Australia’s best-known creative industry figures and has been actively engaged as an advocate, academic and leader in the Australian design Industry for over the past 30 years.
She has held senior positions in academia for over 25 years at RMIT University and the Whitehouse Institute of Design. From 2005 to 2010 through an industry secondment, Karen took on the role of the Director of the L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival. This grew under her stewardship to include more than 300 events and unprecedented attendance levels and sponsorship support, making it a landmark event on the Melbourne cultural calendar.
Karen worked as a fashion designer for over ten years in London, Melbourne and Sydney prior to working in academia and for many years worked as a strategic and design consultant within the fashion industry. Karen was the 2012 inductee to the Fashion Hall of Fame awarded in Melbourne..