A platform for the fashion industry

LAFS: A platform to find solutions, tools, and business opportunities

On March 14 to 16, 2022 at Jungle Plaza in Miami took place the fourth edition of Latin American Fashion Summit (LAFS) a multiplatform created by businesswomen Estefanía Lacayo and Samantha Tams with the mission of elevating and enriching the Latin American fashion and design industry, aiming to make it more relevant.

LAFS emerged after noting the lack of opportunities in Latin America and the growing interest of the industry in the region. It has had 3 editions, the first in 2018 in Rivera Maya, Mexico, the second in 2019 in Cartagena, Colombia, the third in 2020 was 100% digital.

LAFS differs from other events in the region by offering real business opportunities to the people who attend, who exhibit, present. It gives results, it has several testimonies of entrepreneurs who have come forward, who already have international representation, who have managed to connect with the leaders of the industry: Media, investors, buyers. LAFS brings strategic people that can rarely be accessed. In this edition 2022 some of the speakers who participated were:  Lauren Santo Domingo, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Moda Operandi, Aerin Lauder, Founder & Creative Director of AERIN & Style and Image Director of Estée Lauder, Alexandre Birman, CEO & CCO of Arezzo&Co, Divya Mathur, Chief Merchant at Intermix, Fabricio Cárdenas, RTW Senior Buyer at Net-A-Porter, Fabian Hirose, International Fashion & Luxury Business Strategist, among others.

LAFS  three day- program was highly relevant for the fashion sector. The opening panel of the event was the evolution of LAFS, a conversation with the co-founders of LAFS and TRIBU, Estefanía Lacayo and Samantha Tams moderated by Rodner Figueroa, TV host and founder & Director of Rodner Figueroa.

Other topics were Rethinking reality: fashion's new frontier, Massimo Casagrande, Dean of Fashion at Istituto Marangoni Miami, where he gave an overview of new developments and realities that we are facing in fashion and what new trends will be emerging.

Panel: solutions for a closed-loop fashion system, A conversation between four leaders making a positive impact on the environment, moderated by journalist Pilar Castaño, to inspire you to design a more conscious process and return home with the solutions you need in hand.

One of the most expected keynote speakers was Aerin Lauder, Founder & Creative Director of AERIN and Style & Image Director of Estée Lauder, in an intimate and inspiring conversation with Estefania Lacayo. Where she talked about the legacy of her grandma Estée Lauder and the challenges she faced when she founded her own brand AERIN.

LAFS is always at the forefront so it could not miss a panel of ENTERING THE METAVERSE, the speakers discussed the Metaverse one step at a time, starting with the 101 concepts around crypto and NFTs.

On day two the keynote speaker who conquered the hearts of the audience was Alexandre Birman: my life in 100 seconds, he is the CEO & CCO of Arezzo&Co,  a company that dominates the Brazilian domestic market, in this talk, Alexandre shared his story and how he has built a leading company in footwear, handbags, and accessories in Brazil and internationally.

Another great panel was: HUMANIZING TECHNOLOGY, which was all about uniquely approaching customers through technology, about the new business models outside the Fashion Rules Book that technology invites us to create, and about building successful connections to drive sales.

The closing panel of day two had the presence of Pharrell Williams, Rapper, Record Producer, Singer, Songwriter, and Entrepreneur and Felecia Hatcher, CEO at Black Ambition a conversation moderated by Craig Robins, CEO of Dacra, Chairman & Co-founder at Design Miami, they spoke about BLACK AMBITION, a set of Prizes to fund bold ideas and companies led by Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. This panel was extremely inspiring,  it was spoken about the importance of the black community having more business to have a stronger voice in the United States, Black Ambition contributes to that aim,  reducing barriers to capital and bridging the wealth gap through entrepreneurship. Pharrell remarked on the importance of replacing the term minority for an emerging majority.

The third day of the event was focused on workshops of a wide variety of topics to choose from and with very high-profile speakers, the venue was at Istituto Marangoni. Some of the themes were: How to distinguish opportunities from distractions, Meta-Make-over: Instagram & Facebook best practices for the fashion industry,  Visual Merchandising, from a modern lens, A New approach to customer acquisition for emerging brands, Digital Collection Development among others.

With the aim to the general public and the attendees of the event discovered and shopped the best of Latin American design, LAFS had a Pop store during the three days of the summit, located in Paradise Plaza, Miami Design District, some of the brands that exhibited their designs were Carolina Crowley, Annais Yucra, Beamina, By Efraín Mogollón, Carolina K, Escvdo, Lia Cohen, Port de Bras, Patricia Govea Collection.

The social part is a fundamental element in LAFS, during the event there were cocktails, dinners, and activations of different brands, in addition to networking lunches.

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