Dear USFIA Members, Affiliates, & Friends:
Happy New Year!
This past year was certainly an eventful year, including from the international trade, transportation, policy perspectives. As we adapt to evolving supply chain challenges and vulnerabilities, the fashion industry continues to emerge as a leading industry for innovation and resilience.
For those of you that do not know me, I am Chris Lucas, Senior Director, Associate General Counsel at American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (“AEO”). In 2023, I was elected to serve as the Chair of the US Fashion Industry Association (“USFIA”) Board of Directors. As we enter 2024, it is both a privilege and an honor to continue serving you in this capacity and on behalf of USFIA.
During my first year as Chair, I was pleased to learn that USFIA members value the timeliness and relevance of sessions and the quality and range of speakers at USFIA events. Additionally, feedback from the USFIA membership indicated appreciation for the in-depth discussions of both forced labor compliance and new technologies and innovations in the industry.
At AEO, we very much appreciate the insight and information USFIA provides, and we have grown to rely on the speed at which USFIA provides it. Additionally, we find the access USIFA provides members to Washington insiders and policymakers to be very valuable. And like many other USFIA members, we have appreciated USFIA offering both in-person and virtual option for the Washington Trade Symposium and Annual Conference.
Regarding USFIA’s 2024 outlook, our goal is to do what we can to make the world a better place for our customers, our colleagues, and our suppliers.
As we enter a vitally important election year, it is imperative to remain engaged in Washington, articulating our members’ views and educating policymakers on the ways the fashion industry impacts the economy and employment in the United States. USFIA will continue to advocate for free and fair trade and global supply chains, and facilitate industry collaboration, with policymakers in DC.
Practically, USFIA will continue to monitor developments in Washington (including congressional, senate, and Presidential election developments and due diligence) to provide members with the intelligence, resources, and solutions needed to navigate the intersection of politics and the challenges facing the fashion industry. USFIA also supports our members through pragmatic guidance and education on a variety of global supply chains, transportation, trade, sourcing, innovation, and manufacturing challenges.
As we approach the year ahead, I look forward to our membership’s creative thoughts and solutions regarding our supply chains, our products, our sustainability initiatives, our innovations, and our sales channels (including both stores and ecommerce platforms).
With best regards,
Chair of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA)
Senior Director - Associate General Counsel, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.