The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is supported by the staff in Washington, D.C., as well as two counsels—our Washington Counsel based in D.C., and our Customs Counsel based in New York.

Julia K. Hughes, President

Julia K. Hughes is President of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), which represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. She represents the industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders, explaining how fashion companies create high quality jobs in the United States and economic opportunities around the world.

An expert on textile and apparel trade issues, Julie has testified before Congress and the Executive Branch. She frequently speaks at international conferences including the China & Asia Textile Forum, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Harvard University’s Bangladesh Development Conference, MAGIC, Prime Source Forum, Vietnam Textile Summit, and others.

Julie served as the first President and is one of the founders of the Washington Chapter of Women in International Trade (WIIT) and is one of the founders of the WIIT Charitable Trust. She also was the first President of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT).  In 1992, she received the Outstanding Woman in International Trade award and in 2008, the WIIT Lifetime Achievement Award.  She also is a member of the International Women’s Forum.

She has an M.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Samantha Sault, Vice President of Communications

Samantha Sault is the Vice President of Communications for the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA). She is responsible for the development and execution of the association’s communications strategy, including branding and marketing, member communications and media relations, and policy messaging.

Samantha is a writer who has covered the intersection of politics, the economy, fashion, and culture for more than a decade. She began her career at policy journals including The Weekly Standard, where she wrote about national politics as well as fashion and pop culture. She has covered international Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and for nearly three years, she wrote a weekly column for The Washington Times with her arts, culture, and nightlife picks for locals. Her first book, Moon Washington DC, a full-length travel guide, will be published by Avalon Travel/Hachette Book Group in 2018.

She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned a B.A. in Government & Politics and graduated as a College Park Scholar. She began her career in the fashion industry at 17 as a retail brand representative at abercrombie kids in Bethesda, Maryland.

Contact Samantha with media and communications inquiries at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 301-685-5009.

Molly McNulty, Communications Coordinator

Molly McNulty is the Communications Coordinator for the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA). She is the critical link between members and staff with responsibilities ranging from membership benefits and marketing to communications and event coordination.

Molly is a recent graduate of Lander University, where she majored in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Management. She interned for USFIA through the Fund for American Studies in 2017. She was an active member of her university’s community through collegiate softball and clubs such as the Professional Business Society as well as the honor society Beta Gamma Sigma.

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Molly has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics.

Contact Molly with membership and event inquiries at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-419-0444.

David Spooner, Washington Counsel

Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Washington, D.C.

David M. Spooner is a partner in the Corporate Department in Barnes & Thornburg’s Washington, D.C., office. He represents governments, trade associations, and corporate clients on international trade matters, including trade remedies, trade policy and customs issues. He uses his past experience as a high-level political appointee in the Executive Branch and on Capitol Hill to assist clients with their advocacy efforts before both branches of government, as well as before foreign governments.

Prior to entering private practice, David served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration. In that capacity, he led U.S. Government enforcement of trade remedy laws, principally the antidumping and anti-subsidy laws.  He administered the Foreign Trade Zone system; oversaw apparel trade policy and the implementation of laws governing trade in apparel; managed trade remedy negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as dispute resolution proceedings at the WTO; chaired U.S.-China talks on macroeconomic reforms and the steel industry; and supervised the US Department of Commerce’s import safety initiatives.

Prior to his Senate confirmation as Assistant Secretary, Davidserved as the Chief Textile and Apparel Negotiator and Transition Coordinator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). While at USTR, he was a principal negotiator for free trade agreements with Central America, the Dominican Republic, Singapore, Australia, Chile, Panama, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Colombia and Peru, principally negotiating customs enforcement, apparel and textile, origin and safeguard provisions.  He was heavily involved in building support for congressional passage of the Bush Administration’s trade agenda. He also negotiated a comprehensive apparel trade agreement with China and concluded bilateral customs and quota arrangements with several nations.

Before his appointment to USTR, David worked on Capitol Hill, managing the Washington D.C. office and serving as the legislative director and press secretary for a member of Congress, serving as Communications Director for the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, and working for the U.S. House Committee on Rules, which manages debate and amendments in the House of Representatives.

David earned his J.D. from the College of William & Mary School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Virginia.

He is admitted to practice in Washington, D.C., and Virginia and before the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

John Pellegrini, Customs Counsel

Of Counsel, McGuireWoods LLP, New York, NY

John Pellegrini’s practice is concentrated on the regulatory and commercial aspects of international trade. He represents clients with respect to government regulation of the import-export trade, duty planning, admissibility requirements, litigation in the U.S. Court of International Trade, representation before the various federal agencies which regulate trade in the United States, and the commercial aspects of international trade.

His clients include multinationals, general merchandise retailers, importers, exporters, domestic and foreign manufacturers, commission agents, trade associations (United States Fashion Industry Association and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America), and international marketing companies.

John counsels clients in issues relating to: classification and appraisement of imported merchandise; questions involving the origin and admissibility of merchandise; drawback; warehouse and foreign trade zone issues; export licensing and export controls; defense of civil penalty and criminal investigations and prosecutions; foreign asset control restrictions; boycott compliance; and, legislative, judicial and administrative proceedings, including trade policy cases.

His practice areas include business tax, international transactions, and consumer products.

Previously, John was a Partner at Ross & Hardies in New York City. Prior to that, he served as Senior Attorney at U.S. Customs Service and Senior Attorney at J.C. Penney Company, Inc.

He studied law at the New York University School of Law and Columbia University School of Law, and he received his undergraduate degree from Boston College.

He is a member of the Bar of the State of New York.