BIOS

2018 Speakers

Afshin Mehin

Founder, Woke
Afshin Mehin is the founder of WOKE, a creative studio specializing in technology product experiences that blur the boundaries between our digital and physical lives. One area that has been a major focus of the studio has been designing close-to -body product experiences, working on everything from smart yoga pants to smart sunglasses. He’s worked for client’s ranging from small startups such as Recon Instruments and Noon Light switches to large Companies such as Amazon and Ford. Prior to setting up WOKE, he worked in San Francisco and London for design studios such as IDEO and BarberOsgerby.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Between Softwear and Software: The Process of Designing Smart Apparel

www.woke.co

Andrew Zo

Packaging Designer, MEC
Andrew Zo is an award winning packaging designer based in Vancouver, Canada. His designs can be found on various sites such as Fast Company, The Dieline, Packaging of the World and Notcot.org. Andrew is often approached by brands to problem solve packaging related issues or to update existing packaging. He has worked with large and small companies to design creative solutions. He is currently working for Mountain Equipment Coop, to update and revamp MEC’s private label packaging.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - The importance of interaction design in soft product packaging

www.andrewzo.com

Arthur Kononuk

Creative Director, Tentree
As Creative Director at tentree, Arthur Kononuk is responsible for helping guide the brand's strategic and creative vision. Arthur earned his stripes building award-winning international campaigns, brands and strategy in the advertising industry. He later pivoted to get back to his roots and help start tentree, an environmentally progressive lifestyle brand, with his best friends. Nearly 5 years later, the brand has grown to plant over 21 million trees, creating a positive impact around the globe.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Panel: When Pivots Work

www.tentree.com

Bill Amos

Founder, NW Alpine
Bill founded alpine climbing apparel brand NW Alpine in 2010. With a professional background in teaching and no experience in apparel, manufacturing, sales, marketing or business generally, he flailed his way to creating a brand with products that have been used on all seven continents and on rad first ascents in the world's most inhospitable places. Along the way he discovered that there was a lot of demand for high quality, domestic technical sewing and in 2014 founded Kichatna Apparel Mfg., a contract sewing firm based in Newberg, Oregon. In four years KAM has gone from three to thirty employees and continues to see robust growth. Accused since childhood of having a one-track mind, Bill obsesses about the industry and how domestic manufacturing can be competitive in an ever changing global marketplace. When not chained to a desk he enjoys testing new products by running slowly and skiing in the backcountry.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - A discussion on the benefits and challenges of manufacturing domestically

Bob Karpowitz

Color Solutions Project Manager, X-Rite
Bob Karpowicz has over 15 years of colour management experience working with customers across printing, ink, textile, plastics and coatings industries. Karpowicz is an active AATCC member and has taught a number of courses on colour science applications across North America.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Colour Development Best Practices

www.xrite.com

Glynis Tao

Business Coach, Chase Your Dreams
My name is Glynis, I’m a business coach for creative entrepreneurs with 20 years experience in the fashion, consumer goods and retail industries. I’m also the founder of Chase Your Dreams, a consulting agency focused on entrepreneurship and personal growth. I work with purpose-driven people who are ready to follow their passion, wanting to transition from a 9-5 job to build their own creative business. Before launching my consulting business, I ran a clothing design company called Punch Brand. I started my business in 2005 just as a hobby while I was working full time as a Product Manager in the apparel industry. That hobby eventually turned into a full-time business for me that led to creating and selling my products globally. At one point, I caught the attention of the Google campus merchandise buyer and we collaborated on several official Android apparel and accessories for the Google merchandise store. I ran Punch Brand for an amazing 10 years!

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - The power of niching: How I got Google as a client
  • - 5 Creative Ways to Overcome small business challenges

Hap Klopp

Founder, The North Face
Among his many exploits, Mr. Klopp was the founder of The North Face, where he served as President and CEO for 20 years. During that time The North Face was honored with many awards for being one of the best and most recognized Brands in the world. Under his leadership Mr. Klopp led The North Face to its position as one of the largest and most technically advanced companies in its industry operating in over 30 different countries ranging from the EU to Asia and to Australasia. After selling his highly successful company, he founded an international management consulting firm, HK Consulting, with offices in Berkeley, CA and Tokyo, Japan which he continues to run. Hap is involved in academia and is Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at HULT International Business School with its campuses in Dubai, London, Boston, San Francisco and Shanghai. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book on leadership called: “Conquering The North Face, an Adventure in Leadership” and he just released a new business book about entrepreneurship called “ALMOST—12 electric months chasing the Silicon Valley dream.” He combines all of this with his ongoing sporting and adventuring activities.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - The importance of embracing disruption in the outdoor industry—from product design through to all aspects of your company with some examples from Hap’s years running The North Face.

Irina Molohovsky McKenzie

FABCYCLE, Founder
Frameworq, Director
Irina is a social entrepreneur and an avid advocate of the Circular Economy and Sustainability in the Fashion Industry. Taking special interest in Textile Waste, Irina founded FABCYCLE, a B2B collection service of textile waste to enable designers to disrupt the cycle of garment production and transform waste into resources by finding innovative outlets to Reuse, Recycle and Recover Fabric Waste. Prior to FABCYCLE, Irina has founded Frameworq, an event based initiative that brings together designers and consumers to explore the relationship we have with our clothes using a hands on experiential approach. Frameworq has partnered with various organizations to fuse collaboration and curiosity into sustainability in apparel, hosting events such as design challenges, recurring fix it events, clothing swaps, exhibitions and fashion shows.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Textile Waste Diversion - Overview and Innovations

www.FabCycle.ca
www.frameworq.ca

Joël Mertens

Product Engineering and Compliance, MEC
A member of MEC’s Product Integrity team, Joël applies his background in Chemical and Materials Engineering to manage how MEC considers technologies and manufacturing choices as part of “Better Product. Better Made.” Working with the Quality Engineering team, Joël provides information and guidance to the design and development teams – enabling deliberate decisions to ensure that adopted technologies are fit-for-purpose (function and quality) and chosen with lowest environmental impact in mind. This holistic perspective ensures progress towards long-term impact reductions is integrated within the day-to-day processes of developing the best possible product for our membership.

PROPOSED TOPICS:

  • - Collective Impact: Aligning on Values and Creating Shared Accountability

https://www.mec.ca/

Josh Buesseler

Principal, Delicious LLC
As principal of Delicious, Josh specializes in strategy-driven industrial design and product development consulting. He works with clients in a broad range of industries, from outdoor to consumer electronics, medical, and commercial/industrial markets.
Drawing from nearly two decades of experience as both a consultant and in-house designer, he understands the challenges of bringing product to market with repeatable success. He has a relentless focus on clarity and brings an intuitive, collaborative approach to his client engagements. His passion for building innovative, brand-defining experiences helps clients turn complex problems into profitable solutions.
He works closely with engineering, design and management teams to develop product experiences that meet customer, budget, technology and schedule requirements while maintaining the integrity of the design vision all the way through commercialization.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Thinking About Consulting?

www.wearedelicious.com

Laela Blanchet

Owner
Dampkring Designs
A graduate of the George Brown Fashion Program in Toronto, Ontario, Laela Blanchet has been working in the Ontario & British Columbia fashion industries since 1994. She is a skilled pattern maker, and has had extensive experience with all pre-production & production fashion manufacturing tasks from design & fit, to grading and marker making. She currently runs her own business called Dampkring Designs; offering pattern making & design development services to Vancouver’s rapidly expanding fashion industry since 2004. Laela has many years of both manual & CAD pattern drafting experience that she brings to the Computer Pattern Drafting classes she both wrote and teaches at LaSalle College, formerly the Art Institute of Vancouver.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - The Pre-Production Part of Our Fashion Industry

www.dampkringdesigns.com

Leah Kleisinger

Product Development Manager, Mustang Survival
Leah Kleisinger is the Product Development Manager at Mustang Survival. In this role she oversees and streamlines the design and development of apparel and hard goods for military, public safety and both professional and recreational product categories. Leah played a key role in the success of the EP line of offshore sailing gear. Working closely with Team Comanche, she helped to bring to life dry gear that would play a role in their success. As she continues to learn about the sustainability challenges in the industry, she hopes to become a positive force for change within Mustang and the local apparel manufacturing community. She is inspired by the people she meets who use and rely on the products she and her team work on. When she is not out paddling the coastal waters of BC, she can be found advocating for the preservation of the areas she is exploring.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Higg Index Brand & Retail Module Panel

Liz Keating

Technical Drywear Designer, Aqua Lung Canada
Since receiving her B.S. in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2004, Liz has worked in all areas of product design and development. She has over a decade of experience understanding the needs of, and designing for recreational, military and public safety scuba divers. Her current focus is on technical drywear users who work and play in some of the harshest environments in the world. Before working in the drywear arena, she developed PFD’s, wetsuits, gear bags, footwear and gloves amongst other accessories for the Aqua Lung, Aqua Lung Sport and Stohlquist product lines. She spent time as a Brand Manager, building relationships with key dealers, supporting sales managers and defining the product line.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Engaging your Sales and Distribution Teams in New Product Initiatives

www.aqualung.com
Presenter Lynette Seebohm

Lynette Seebohm

Principal, Concurrent Strategies LLC
Lynette’s interests include exploring the analytics of competitive space, understanding consumer needs, and creating super‐charged engagement that delivers new insights, dynamic business tools, and business analytics that lead to success. She has more than 25 years of market research, strategic, operational and financial planning in organizations ranging from 20 to more than 5000 employees. Lynette’s expertise is in engaging strategic line planners, designers and product or program development managers in understanding their consumer segments and reaching new markets with unique and innovative product improvements.
Before founding Concurrent Strategies, she worked as a Senior Consultant at Concurrent Product Development where she developed new approaches for consumer segmentation studies and functional line plans for small and mid‐sized consumer goods manufacturers. Lynette now focuses mainly on the fuzzy front end of hard and soft good products in the human powered sports industry, pet industry and coffee manufacturers.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Engaging your Sales and Distribution Teams in New Product Initiatives

www.ConcurrentStrategies.com

Liza Deyrmenjian

Owner, The Cutting Room.
Liza Deyrmenjian, owner of The Cutting Room, an established and respected leader in apparel design, production and has a talent for designing businesses that succeed. She loves efficiency as much as aesthetic, margin as much as making it right, and sustainability as much as style. Her balanced approach steers big brands in healthy new directions and provides up-starts with a solid foundation to launch from. She is the founder of FBA360, a New York-based fashion-business coaching firm. Liza knows how to get things done and make things happen.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Your Brand Should be Customer Service

Melanie McIntosh

Owner, Inspire Retail Solutions
Melanie McIntosh is the owner of Inspire Retail Solutions, helping independent retailers create stores that attract and engage customers. For over 11 years, she has been teaching fashion business at John Casablancas Institute. She is passionate about getting students excited about opportunities for sustainability, innovation and technology in fashion. Melanie is also on the board of the Society for the Museum of Original Costume.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Discover Success by Selling without Discounting

www.inspire.ca

Patrick Currah

Director of Ecommerce, Broadband TV
Patrick has worked in apparel and merchandising for over a decade having worked with many of the largest entertainment brands in the world (Justin Bieber, Rolling Stones, Bob Marley). He has developed product lines for Harry Rosen, Aritzia, Ardene and many other domestic and international clients. As the current Director for Ecommerce for BroadbandTV (the third largest video platform on the globe) he brings brands from the vast Creator communities on YouTube and Instagram to the D2C marketplace.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - When Pivots Work

ApparelCamp presenter 2017 | Pete Frickland

Pete Frickland

Principal, Concurrent Product Development LLC
Since the mid ‘70’s, Pete has been involved in developing new and improved products and driving them to market. Beginning with build-to-print composite aerospace components, he graduated to one-off build-to-spec deep space and terrestrial applications at CalTech/JPL. From there, he moved to Seattle to head consumer-driven product development at Cascade Designs. During his 20 years at Cascade, he oversaw the integrated growth and development of several well-known product-driven outdoor brands, including Therm-a-Rest, MSR, SealLine, Platypus, PackTowl and Tracks. Along the way, he was instrumental in the development and commercialization of hundreds of new products.
For the past 13 years, Pete has been an independent consultant specializing in the application of pragmatic product development management processes, methods and tools that have proven themselves to be effective at getting more of the right products to market, faster, and with fewer resources.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Thinking About Consulting?
  • - Prototyping – Examples of Lessons Learned the Hard Way

www.ConcurrentStrategies.com

Pete Hill

Owner and Founder of Pete Hill Ltd
Pete Hill is the owner and founder of Pete Hill Ltd, a design and development studio specializing in bags and accessories in outdoor, urban lifestyle and photographic customers. Pete has developed a well-deserved reputation for creating innovative products that get made on time and on budget. He is also the co-founder of ApparelcCmp Vancouver and a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Prototyping: Because no one can imagine anything.

Samantha Kuchmak

Manager, Social Responsibility and Compliance, MEC
Samantha sits with the Product Integrity team, leading one of the foundation pillars for how MEC creates product: social responsibility. Fulfilling MEC’s commitment to - Better Product. Better Made. Samantha has been apart of the social responsibility team for the past seven years – leading MEC through Fair Labor Association Accreditation, growth of the Fair-Trade USA program with the MEC-label, multiple brand and supplier assessment and training collaborations, MEC’s supply chain adoption of the Higg Index and Social Labor Convergence Project, and MEC’s journey to greater transparency and public disclosure of the supply chain. Needless to say, no two days are the same for Samantha. Samantha is a collaborator at heart – committed to being part of the solution to achieve more responsible sourcing decision – both for MEC and throughout her own consumer behaviours.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Collective Impact: Aligning on Values and Creating Shared Accountability

www.mec.ca

Sarah Murray

Fashion Program Coordinator at Vancouver Community College (VCC) and Community Relations Manager at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW)
Sarah Murray is the Fashion Program Coordinator at Vancouver Community College (VCC) and Community Relations Manager at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW). Her background spans both the fashion and journalism industries. Her career began at small town community newspaper where she was employed as a reporter, photographer and darkroom technician. From there she headed to the bright lights of Toronto where she worked her way through job titles such as modelling agent, event coordinator, and beauty editor. Since relocating to Vancouver over 17 years ago her experiences have grown to include retail manager, west coast correspondent, editor, fashion show coordinator, publicist, sales agent, and teacher. Fashion can sometimes have a negative connotation of being frivolous and superficial but Sarah has found purpose in fashion. Her mission is to promote local designers and strengthen the Vancouver fashion industry. Her roles at VCC and VFW allows her to foster the designers of tomorrow and interact with the local industry. It’s the perfect mix for the dress local advocate.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Discover Success by Selling without Discounting

Seth Carlstrom

Head of Soft Product, Salient Technologies Inc.
Seth represents a new generation of North American technical developers in soft product. A mechanical engineer tutored by many of the craftsmen that forged the American Outdoor segment, his hands-on approach to design/dev and understanding of the highly commercial structures of modern companies yields positive partnerships and thoughtful product that bring accolades from peers and clients.
Head of Soft Product at independent consultancy Salient Technologies, Inc., Seth develops strategy and product focusing on performance solutions made of textiles. His work addresses conceptualization, program aesthetic, commercialization, technical construction, IP, and production sourcing; specializing in full prototyping, practical R&D, and development to launch; managing small teams of creatives including industrial design, graphic design, and engineering. Salient designs and develops upwards of 150 products per year in a variety of industries; from toys to aerospace.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Prototyping – Examples of Lessons Learned the Hard Way

www.salient-tech.com

Sean Miller

Sales and Business Development Manager, Parkland Design and Manufacturing
Sean Miller is a Vancouver based Sales and Business Development Manager for Parkland Design and Manufacturing. He has spent 20 years in the action sport, lifestyle and fashion industry including: retail, distribution, manufacturing, and sales and marketing; and helped brands successfully execute in Canada. Sean now works with Parkland leading the global brand strategy with a focus on sales both wholesale and direct to consumer. Earlier this year Parkland began making all of their products from 100% recycled polyester (made from recycled water bottles), a major step in becoming a more sustainable company.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Panel: When Pivots Work

www.parklandmfg.com

Katherine Le

PhD Researcher, Metro Vancouver and UBC Regional Scholar
Katherine has applied her background in Materials Science and Engineering to research, technology, and design for various manufacturing industries including apparel, automotive, metallurgy, and pharmaceuticals. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Materials Engineering at the University of British Columbia, exploring the dynamic interaction between fabric and skin for e-textile materials, applied to healthcare monitoring and sensing. Most recently, she worked through the Metro Vancouver and UBC Regional Scholars Program, to provide research knowledge in textile recycling technologies, and related impacts of dyes and finishing chemicals.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Textile Waste

Andrew Rene Gonzalez

Founder, Pillar Heights
Passionate about having Vancouver talent work together and making Vancouver the technical and sustainable hub of the world. Hailing from 8 years of owning a lifestyle boutique specializing in local craftsmanship, sustainability and the eclectic mix of work to play apparel he’s now switched gears to be more hands on. In Vancouver he has built a men’s fashion and road cycling collection offering made to measure apparel out of sustainable and technical fabrics, perfect for Vancouverites and made in Canada. Andrew’s all about community and heavily volunteers with the Vancouver Sustainable Fashion Designers group helping folks wanting to start an apparel business or become more sustainable.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Give & Take Resource Share

www.pillarheights.com

Nichole DeMichelis

Fashion Librarian
Nichole is a fashion librarian who has worked locally with the Society for the Museum of Original Costume and internationally at the Fashion Retail Academy in London and is team member of the Vancouver Sustainable Fashion Designers (VSFD) group. She specializes in fashion-related research and resource provision, and is always good for an anecdote about fashion history, couture-house gossip, and fashion as identity construction.

PROPOSED TOPIC:

  • - Give & Take Resource Share

www.vsfd.ca