2016 Newsmakers: CFA Serves as the Hub of California’s Apparel Industry

For more than 20 years, the California Fashion Association has served as a central hub of the state’s apparel and textile industry. CFA President Ilse Metchek has been with the organization since it launched in 1995 in the aftermath of the El Monte sweatshop incident, drawing on her experience—and vast network—as a designer and manufacturer in Los Angeles to provide business information to its members. As a spokesperson for the apparel community, Metchek provides insight into the inner workings of the garment industry for government leaders and the media.

This year CFA continued its mission of keeping its members apprised of new business developments on everything from protecting a brand in China to changes to the requirements for Made in USA labeling. CFA members were updated on the outcome of several copyright lawsuits as well as on contractor compliance and oversight news.

Metchek kept up a packed schedule leading business-to-business seminars across the country covering crucial industry issues such as global expansion, intellectual property, technological developments, and licensing and export opportunities. Metchek moderated panels at trade shows such as the MAGIC Marketplace, the Los Angeles International Textile Show, Factory Direct and ReveLAtion Los Angeles; educational events such as the YMA Educators Roundtable and Loyola Law School’s Fashion Law Project; and industry groups such as the West Coast Apparel & Footwear Credit Association, the Moss Adams annual apparel meeting, the CalAsia Chamber of Commerce and the LA Central Business Federation.

Along the way, Metchek picked up awards from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Santa Monica College. Through the CFA’s Textile Association of Los Angeles division, Metchek and her team fielded sourcing inquiries and provided referrals for TALA members.

The California Fashion Foundation, the charitable arm of CFA, once again presented scholarship funds to students from the Academy of Art University–San Francisco, the Art Institute of California, California State Polytechnic University–Pomona, California State University–Los Angeles, California State University–Northridge, El Camino College, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles Trade–Tech College, Long Beach City College, Mt. San Antonio College, Otis College of Art and Design, Pasadena City College, Santa Monica College and Washington State University at the annual scholarship awards.

Coming up next, CFF and TALA host the 69th annual Christmas event for neighborhood children.