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Antoine Arnault, Halima Aden, Casey Gerald and Sinéad Burke to speak at VOICES 2017

These are the latest inspirational speakers confirmed to join fashion industry leaders from around the world at the second annual edition of VOICES, from November 29 to December 1 in Oxfordshire, UK.
From left: Antoine Arnault, Halima Aden, Casey Gerald and Sinead Burke | Source: Courtesy
  • BoF Team

LONDON, United Kingdom — The Business of Fashion is delighted to announce the latest confirmed speakers at VOICES 2017, which will take place in Oxfordshire between November 29 and December 1, in partnership with QIC Global Real Estate.

Taking to the VOICES stage this year is Casey Gerald, one of the leading orators of his generation who has witnessed every facet of the American Dream, from his harrowing Texas childhood, to the heights of America's institutions—as a student at Yale and Harvard; on Wall Street and in Washington—to his journeys through the American heartland. Gerald has an incisive and authentic view on America today and is currently penning his first highly-anticipated book, "There Will Be No Miracles Here".

Further highlighting the issue of diversity on the runway, Carine Roitfeld will participate in a discussion with Somali-born Halima Aden on the intersection of fashion and modesty. Aden is pushing boundaries for Muslim women globally and recently appeared on the cover of Roitfeld's CR Fashion Book wearing a hijab.

Advocate and academic Sinéad Burke has spoken globally about the practicalities of design and how she sometimes feels excluded from the built environment. Her passionate call to action asks us to consider autonomy, agency and power when designing for disability.

Amed Khan was so moved by a visit to Greece during the ongoing refugee crisis that he established Elpída Home, a public private initiative based there that provides refugees with the humane protection to which they are entitled.

As the director of Google Arts & Culture, Amit Sood leads Google's efforts to make culture accessible online to everyone. Sood and his team serve as an innovation partner for cultural institutions, offering technologies that help preserve and share culture.

Casting director James Scully will discuss the new models charter established by Kering and LVMH — which was driven forward by his emotive talk at VOICES 2016 — with LVMH's Antoine Arnault. Together they will discuss the bill which aims to improve working conditions for models within the industry.

These new speakers will join fashion designer Dries Van Noten, Airbnb entrepreneur Joe Gebbia and the magician Dynamo, as well as many more exciting names.

VOICES is an invitation-only event. We would love to hear from you if you would like to participate. Click here to request an invitation to attend.

Speaker biographies:

Halima Aden was born in Kakuma, a refugee camp in Kenya after her family fled the civil war in Somalia. Settling in the US, she first made headlines after competing in the Miss USA pageant wearing a hijab and since then has been flying the flag for modest fashion. Her accolades are seen as a timely acknowledgement for America's Muslim community. Most recently, she has walked the runway for brands like Yeezy and Alberta Ferretti, while Rihanna tapped the model to appear in the campaign for her inclusive beauty brand, Fenty Beauty.

Antoine Arnault is the chief executive of Berluti, where he is shaping the luxury shoemaker into a global menswear label. In addition to this role, Arnault has acted as chairman of the Italian brand Loro Piana since 2013. In 2007, he was appointed director of communications at Louis Vuitton, a role that would see him launch the brand's annual Core Values campaigns. In 2011, he instituted Les Journées Particulières as an opportunity to let the public experience first-hand the craftsmanship behind each of LVMH's world-famous brands.

Sinéad Burke is an academic, writer and advocate. A little person standing 3'5" in height, Burke recently gave a TED Talk entitled "Why Design Should Include Everyone". The talk, which has received over one million views, challenges society's definition of accessibility and the economic value of designing for all. She has also spoken about fashion and diversity at the World Economic Forum, the White House and OZY Fest.

Casey Gerald is one of the leading voices of his generation. He has witnessed every facet of the American Dream from his harrowing Texas childhood, to the heights of America's elite institutions. He was co-founder of MBAs Across America (MBAx), a movement of MBAs and entrepreneurs working together to reinvent business schools and revitalise America. As part of this initiative, Gerald travelled the nation to discover how mission-driven entrepreneurs, far from Wall Street or Silicon Valley, are tackling the biggest challenges facing communities. His first book, "There Will Be No Miracles Here" will be published by Riverhead Books.

Amed Khan is a financier and philanthropist whose work includes political campaigns, government service and international relief work across public and private sectors. He currently directs Paradigm Global Group, a private international investment firm with a focus on commercial real estate, energy and technology. He also serves as senior advisor to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership and has held several positions working for the United States government, including director of operations for the G-7 Summit of Industrialised Nations in 1997.

Amit Sood's passion for art led him to initiate a project with Google's Android team to bring museums onto the web, which launched in 2011. The Google Arts & Culture app puts over a thousand museums at people's fingertips for free on the web, on iOS and Android, enabling people to explore art, history, fashion and design in impressive detail. These technologies help preserve and share culture as well as allow curators to host exhibitions both online and inside museums.

Previously announced VOICES 2017 speakers include:

Natalia Vodianova, Model & Philanthropist
Dapper Dan, Designer & Cultural Commentator
Sarah Andelman, Creative Director – Colette
Karlie Kloss, Model & Entrepreneur
Doug Stephens, Founder – Retail Prophet
Derek Blasberg, Broadcaster – CNN
Jonathan Taplin, Scholar & Author
Melanie Whelan, Chief Executive – SoulCycle
Strauss Zelnick, Chief Executive – Take Two Interactive
Dr. Khosro Ezaz-Nikpay, Chief Executive – Frill
Emily Weiss, Founder & Chief Executive – Glossier
Alexandra Shulman, Editor & Author
Moj Mahdara, Chief Executive – Beautycon
Rachel Shechtman, Founder & Chief Executive – Story
Rachel Blumenthal, Founder & Chief Executive – Rockets of Awesome
Rohan Silva, Entrepreneur – Second Home
Andras Forgacs, Co-Founder & Chief Executive – Modern Meadow
Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder & Co-Chief Executive – Warby Parker
Li Edelkoort, Trend Forecaster – Trend Union
Dries Van Noten, Designer
Carine Roitfeld, Editor – CR Fashion Book
Dynamo, Magician
James Scully, Casting Director

To learn more about VOICES, BoF's annual gathering for big thinkers, in partnership with QIC Global Real Estate, visit our VOICES website and click here to request an invitation to attend.

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