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Day 2 Jinan in Style International Fashion Week - Forum with Masters Moderated by BOF

In addition to showcasing exceptional couture, the ACF has always sought to focus on the creative, business and industry issues that affect the couture industry and its designers. As such, the 'Forum with Masters' event moderated by Ms. Casey Hall, the Business of Fashion's (BoF) Asia Correspondent was a key element of Day 2 of the Jinan in Style International Fashion Week. Kicking off the segment, Ms. Hall invited Guo Pei to the stage as part of an 'In conversation' session which focused on exploring the success and growth of China's most iconic couturier, as well as an understanding of her design philosophy and the steps she has taken to bring her renowned artistry and craftsmanship to a global audience and international acclaim. Shifting focus to Asian Couture and its place on the world stage, Paul Vasileff of the Australian couture house, Paolo Sebastian took some time to answer a number of probing questions about his business. With a focus on understanding how Asian couture designers have developed their businesses, the importance of their own cultural and artistic heritage in their work, the changes and developments in their couture business, and how they are accessing the global couture market, Paul provided key insight into his own experiences. From one of the ACF's most junior members, to its most senior, Lie Sang Bong, Yumi Katsura and Sebastian Gunawan then took the stage. With long and highly acclaimed careers, the couturiers brought their own perspective to the challenges and opportunities they have faced throughout their careers. In particular, they all noted the importance of embracing cultural heritage and artistic traditions of their respective home countries as part of their design ethos. The 'Forum with Masters' event closed with an in depth conversation with Dr. Frank Cintamani, Founding President of the Asian Couture Federation. Over the course of 25 minutes, Dr. Cintamani explained the rationale for establishing the Asian Couture Federation, and in doing so creating a platform for promoting Asian couture talent on the world stage. He also addressed the key challenges and issues facing Asian couturiers in particular the need to move beyond home markets and develop a wider presence overseas. Of great interest to the audience were the many projects and initiatives undertaken by the ACF in raising wider awareness of Asian couturiers from the collaborations with other fashion organisations to key events in Paris and at Kensington Palace.

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