The best conference of retail

LAFS in Latin America

For four days, more than 600 professionals from all Latin America and some countries as the U.S., England, Spain among others, participated in the Latin American Fashion Summit from November 11 through 15, 2019 in Cartagena, Colombia, to meet, share ideas, and explore new ways to succeed in the fashion industry with a powerful group of industry-related individuals, such as designers, high-level executives, buyers, media representatives and investors.

Massimo Casagrande, Academic Director, Istituto Marangoni Miami, started the first conference of the summit “2019 Retail Overview”, he gave very interesting insights about the behavior of Millennials, who in general appreciate handmade and local products, they are concerned about environmental impact, nowadays consumers don’t need to just hear a company’s message, they want to interact with it.

Millennials and Generation Z consumers value: quality, customer service, design, craftsmanship, and exclusivity. One example is Gucci, 55% of its sales in 2017 came from people under 35.

The view of retail in Latin America shows that the e-commerce sales will grow 23.3%, in Latin America Brazil is the largest retail market and Mexico will be the fastest-growing market. Today we have conversational commerce: immediate service options, texting messages, chatbots, etc.

Luxury brands will continue to offer personalized experiences and convenient ways to reach Generation Z, 2 out of 3 brands offer to message via Facebook. Brands are increasing web language conversations, especially in Spanish and German. Costumers demand transparency, payment options, same-day delivery, reserve, and try. The new order is resale and repair.

Another very interesting and educational panel was “The New Retail Frontier”. Panelists:

Brian Bloke, Founder of The Conservatory

Holli Rogers, CEO of Browns and Chief Brand Officer at Farfetch

Trisha Gregory, Founder, and CEO of Armarium

Julia Gudish Krieger, Founder, and CEO of Villageluxe


Lisa Pomerantz, Founder of LFP Collective

The speakers commented that clothing rental service is now an experience in pop stores in for example LA, Dallas and department stores in other places in the world. The curation of brands is very important, inventory available and customer service.

They also mentioned that brands must create a connection with the customers adding technology to their journeys, and to also ask: What do the consumers want? How do they want? When do they want?

The key is to keep people engaged; when the clients go to a store they want connections. Nowadays

Following with crucial issues in the industry came the panel “The Road to Sustainability in Fashion”.


Carmen Busquets, Fashion entrepreneur and philanthropist

Holli Rogers, CEO of Browns and Chief Brand Officer of Farfetch

Sandra Valenzuela de Narvaez, Director of operations, partnerships, management and business at WWF- Colombia

Carmen Busquets defined SUSTAINABILITY as the ability to sustain yourself, if the brand wants to be successful in fashion they have to be sustainable. She pointed out three pillars: People, Profit, and Investment. She suggested the entrepreneurs that start small, to hire a good team and to consider timing and money.

The panelists emphasized the importance to use data, this helps to avoid overproducing. They invited the audience to reinvent themselves, be flexible, don’t be afraid of new changes, connect with the most creative part of themselves.

Luxury brands also have challenges to face; this topic was covered during the panel “Luxury Redefined”.


Daniella Valleriano, Head of Industry for Pan-Latam at Facebook

Natalie Kingham, Fashion and Buying Director Matches Fashion


Ramya Giangola, Fashion and Retail Brand Strategist

The experts discussed transforming the experience of the store in a mobile environment, consumers go to social media to discover the trends and make purchasing decisions, what is the challenge? To understand what the generations want. How can this be done? DATA, social media is changing patterns and habits.

For example, the new generations want all and now, they demand brands with social purposes; a new trend is to shop locally and there is also big appeal for buying global brands. A reminder is that the best experiences happen in a store not online.

The Facebook executive shared the 4C´s: Curation, Community, Conversation, and Commerce.

To close a conversation about “What Retailers Want”, an intimate conversation with two founders and owners of luxury boutiques on what they are looking for in a brand and how one can stand out in a saturated market. The conclusion from these leaders was ‘brands must offer quality, good fit, authentic and commercial aspect, also they asked designers to find their core pieces and reinvent them, keep in mind fabrics and where you sell to select the pieces’, the buyers finished with a powerful statement: “Fashion is emotion, make beautiful things”.