Dear USFIA Members, Affiliates, & Friends:

Happy New Year!

This past year has provided valuable insight into how the world is adapting to the “new normal.”  As we continue to grapple with supply chain challenges and vulnerabilities that were illuminated during COVID, the fashion industry has emerged as a stronger and more innovative industry.

By way of introduction, I am Chris Lucas, Senior Director, Associate General Counsel at American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (“AEO”).  In addition to my leadership role at AEO, I was recently elected to serve as the Chairman of the US Fashion Industry Association (“USFIA”) Board of Directors. As we start 2023, it is both a privilege and an honor to serve you as the Chairman of the USFIA Board of Directors.

Our goal for 2023 is to do what we can to make the world a better place for our customers, our colleagues and our suppliers.

USFIA remains committed to providing members with the intelligence, resources, and solutions needed to help navigate the business and challenges of the fashion industry.

From a practical perspective, USFIA will continue to monitor the policy landscape and developments in Washington (and within the broader global trade sphere) and provide its members with reliable, business-forward guidance on how to achieve strategic solutions. Additionally, USFIA will continue to provide industry-leading advocacy on behalf of the fashion industry. Finally, USFIA will continue to support the industry through pragmatic guidance and education on a variety of global supply chain, transportation, trade, sourcing and manufacturing challenges.

With a new Congress, it is essential that we remain engaged in Washington. The need to articulate our views, and educate policymakers on the fashion industry’s contribution to the economy and employment in the United States, is imperative. USFIA will continue to facilitate our engagement with Washington, make the case for the importance of free and fair trade and global supply chains, and facilitate industry collaboration.

At AEO, we value the insight and information USFIA provides, as well as the speed at which USFIA provides it. Additionally, we find the access USIFA provides members to Washington insiders and policymakers to be very valuable.

In 2022, USFIA held its first in-person events since COVID. Attending these events, I was reminded of how valuable it is to meet face-to-face and discuss solutions to our common concerns. As we approach the challenges ahead, I look forward to seeing how members think creatively about our supply chains, our products, our sustainability initiatives, and our stores as we strive to become even better brands and retailers.

With best regards,
Chris Lucas

Chair of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA)
Senior Director - Associate General Counsel, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.