JUNE 6, 2018
Minutes – June 2018 Meeting
The Fashion Service Network met June 6th at HUB International for their monthly meeting. 22 people attended, Karen Giberson chaired the meeting.
Following member and guest introductions, we heard from 3 guests.
First we met Frank’s guest Luca Spano of IFG Mens Fashion who represent 100% Italian made high quality fashion brands in the North American markets, including hand made Jacob Cohen Jeans, and Borelli shirts. Questions followed, their immediate market focus was discussed and endorsed. Luca welcomes and will pursue assistance from our members to help expand their distribution and for needed services.
Michael Stanley’s guest, bridal gown designer Monica Byrne had a successful career working for famous designers including Vera Wang. She followed this with a couture atelier business later identifying a need for more affordable custom bridal gowns. Her online concept involves using a proprietary self scanning tool using a cell phone to take measurements. Gowns will be sewn in the USA, some components will be imported. Shoppers are able to customize their designs from many options. Questions followed, challenges were identified, suggestions and offers to make introductions followed. Monica will follow up with our members as she develops her business.
We met Alicia Denutte our new representative from the Belgian consulate. Allicia works with Belgian designers interested in selling the US market, she plans to attend regularly and welcomes the assistance of our members.
Karen presented the May 9 board of directors meeting report (see 5/9 minutes). Additional discussion focused on establishing a FSN mentoring program, Karen invites members to join the mentoring committee. Jeff discussed young FSN, inviting/sponsoring younger colleagues to meet and network, a worthwhile effort for the future of our businesses and the industry. Jeff encourages members to invite their younger colleagues to attend our meetings as well.
The main presentation topic addressed harassment in the workplace. Joe Torello of HUB International, President of Employee Benefits made the presentation. Joe reported that modern communication and availability of information has changed the way we communicate with each other and how we gather information. The environment is constantly changing. Regulations are evolving, New York state laws are stricter and more aggressive. People from different generations communicate and interpret information in different ways. Employers have broad responsibility and liability, examples included visitors, off site events, while traveling state laws apply. Active engagement of education, planning, training and insurance are critical. Andrew requested written guidelines, John discussed board responsibility. Joe will prepare and send guidelines and a schedule of upcoming seminars for more in depth information and planning.
The new FSN website is now live, Nick encouraged members to review and update their profiles and to submit articles.
Howard Rosenblum is looking to recruit a young new to real estate sales associate.
Karen presented an opportunity to work with India for sourcing all leather goods. The Accessories Counsel has opportunities to meet representatives here in New York soon and again in the fall and for qualified companies an all inclusive sourcing trip to visit factories. Current benefits of working with India include no tariffs on handbags, very low minimums and the ability to make anything in leather. Karen will send more information to our members.