Sourcing at MAGIC Seminar: Our Industry: Overall Update, Block Chain Explained and Mentoring the Next Generation

February 4, 2019 | Las Vegas

Written by:  Mike Todaro, Managing Director, AAPN

We hosted a seminar yesterday from 2:30 to 4 at MAGIC in Las Vegas. It was called Our Industry: Overall Update, Block Chain Explained and Mentoring the Next Generation. It was my seminar and I had absolutely no idea what that title meant.

Our Executive Committee met earlier - Sue, Me, Kurt Cavano, Tony Anzovino, Ed Gribbin, Jill Coleman, Rick Horwitch and a special guest Sarah Mizener as an observer. One thing we talked about was what we were going to do in the seminar.

Tony kicked it off with his excellent update on the state of the industry (tariffs, retail performance and import data). Tony always gets the audience engaged by asking for shows of hands and building off interaction.

Then Kurt and Ed addressed Block Chain and how it applies to our industry. I have NEVER seen anything like these two. We counted 98 people in the room, all in total focus on their session.

Kurt got up and gave an overview of how Block Chain relates to currency. THEN he selected four volunteers who were good at math. He THEN selected three other volunteers, Calling them forward one at a time, calling them Miners.

He gave the first Miner $3 and explained how a formula is applied to give a transparent open value called, I think, a Mash. He did this with $4 and $5 to two more people he pulled from the audience. He used this interaction to fully explain how value was reached in the Block Chain.

Ed Gribbin got up and, using slides, talked about different kinds of companies using Block Chain. He THEN asked Kurt to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on whether he felt Block Chain actually helped these models. When they were done, they received thunderous applause - from ME!

Now we had a problem. Hebe Schecter of Kaltex America was going to talk about our AAPN WOMEN’S GROUP and its importance to mentoring the next generation of fashion industry leaders. But at the last minute she had to cancel.

No problem, this is the AAPN. This happens all the time and we always recover. Do you know why? Well, we have the smartest people in the industry, we know and trust one another and you do not have to memorize or rehearse the truth.

So, we asked Rick Horwitch to moderate a panel of these four women:

  • Sue Strickland, AAPN Executive Director
  • Jill Coleman, Alvanon and AAPN Board Member
  • Sheilagh Wilson, industry veteran
  • Sarah Mizener, a young lady with retail apparel experience

This panel was amazing and engaging, personal and insightful, confident and passionate about the potential of this new AAPN innovation. Sue had been waiting for the movement to become more organized before announcing but we went ahead anyway.

We opened this event with 4 men, all past, present or future presidents of the AAPN. We closed the event with 4 women, each unique and powerful in their messages. We're gong to a lot more balancing like this. In fact three of our speakers in May in Miami are women!

So there you have it. 1 1/2 hours. 98 people. Three topics. 1, then 2, then 5 speakers - all AAPN members. We ALL learned something from what was truly a both amazing and totally unrehearsed event.

The AAPN doesn't have anything to sell. We are simply the only place where you get to sit with the smartest, kindest, most giving, focused and passionate people in your industry. Who among us doesn't do better in their jobs or life from meeting people like THAT?