FASH455 Interview Series

The exclusive interview series intends to provide audiences of the website (particularly students enrolled in FASH455) with a big-picture vision, first-hand insightful observation, and timely updates on the global textile & apparel industry from government policymakers, industry leaders, and leading scholars in the field. The series also helps students better understand career opportunities related to sourcing, trade, compliance, and supply chain management in the fashion apparel industry. 

Elizabeth Davelaar is a Co-Owner of Maker’s Way Fiber Mill in Brandon, SD, which opened in October 2021. Elizabeth began her career in the fashion industry at the University of Minnesota, where she graduated with a BS in Apparel Design from the College of Design. She then went to the University of Delaware, where she graduated with an MS in Fashion and Apparel Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Apparel Business. In the interview, Elizabeth shared the interesting stories behind running a fiber mill and her vision for the future of textiles “Made in the USA.” Click HERE for the interview.

Julianne Bartolotta is the founder and CEO of the apparel brand Julianne Bartolotta (JB). Julianne graduated from the University of Delaware with B.S. in Apparel Design and B.S. in Fashion Merchandising (class of 2018). In the interview, Julianne shared her stories about building her own apparel company and her insights about sourcing apparel “Made in Italy.” Click HERE for the interview.

Ally Botwinick is a 4+1 graduate student in fashion and apparel studies (FASH) at the University of Delaware (UD), class of 2023. She graduated from UD with a BS in Fashion Merchandising and Management in 2022. Ally is passionate about sustainability, sourcing, and supply chain issues in the fashion industry. In the interview, Ally shared her unique experience working as a policy intern for the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2022. Click HERE for the interview.

Dr. Sheng Lu sat down with Modaes’ Editor-in-Chief, Iria P. Gestal and discussed the latest apparel sourcing trends involving China. Click HERE for the interview.

Kekeli Ahiable is a private sector development Advisor with the Tony Blair Institute’s Industrialisation Practice. In the interview, Kekeli discussed the opportunities and potential of Western Africa as an apparel sourcing base for Western fashion brands and retailers. Click HERE for the interview.

Dr. Sheng Lu joined the Modern Cotton Story Podcast and discussed the opportunities and challenges facing apparel sourcing from members of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Click HERE for the interview.

Victoria Langro was an Honors Marketing & Operations Management Majors and Fashion Management Minor (class of 2022). She was also a 2020 UD Summer Scholar. In the interview, Victoria shared her first-hand stories working with Tapestry, which owns Coach, as a global trade compliance intern. Click HERE for the interview.

Lora Merryman graduated from the University of Delaware (UD) with a Master of Science in Fashion and Apparel Studies (class of 2021). She also graduated from UD with a Bachelor’s Science in Fashion Merchandising in 2020. In the interview, Lora shared her global sourcing internship experiences with QVC. Click HERE for the interview.

Jason Prescott is the CEO of JP Communications LLC, Apparel Textile Sourcing Trade Shows, Manufacturer.com + TopTenWholesale.com, and the author of Wholesale 101. In the interview, Jason discussed the latest textile and apparel industry trends from his observations running the Apparel Textile Sourcing Show. Click HERE for the interview.

Gail Strickler served as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles (2009-2015). In the interview, Gail discussed the making of textile and apparel trade policy and the unique stories behind the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Click HERE for the interview.

Julia K. Hughes is the President of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA). In the interview, Julia shared her insights on the latest sourcing trends for textiles and apparel, the impact of TPP and AGOA, and other critical trade policy initiatives for the fashion apparel sector. Click HERE for the interview.

Erin Ennis served as the Senior Vice President US-China Business Council. In the interview, Erin shared her perspectives on the U.S.-China economic and trade relations and issues facing U.S. companies operating in China. Click HERE for the interview.

William L “Bill” Jasper was the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Unifi Inc. In the interview, Bill discussed the state of the U.S. textile industry and the global business strategy of Unifi Inc. Click HERE for the interview.

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