What makes the experience special is not the content per se, even though it’s also very important given that it determines the level of people in attendance. The real learning, and the reason why books or recordings can’t make up for the experience is that you learn the most during coffee brakes, and conversations over long dinners discussing what has been said during the panels, or simply connecting over common situations.
What I take from this forum is that the fashion industry in Latin America is growing at a tremendous pace, and that it’s triggered by something much more relevant than pure revenue. There is a real appreciation for artisanal work and going back to our identity with the least footprint possible.
The contrasting societies that we live in have led businesses to take responsibility of our communities by giving back in different ways, and there is an urge to braid Latin American countries together by understanding what makes us unique, and bond over what makes us different, in an effort to be recognized internationally.
The conversations sparked by the polarizing views from Carolina Herrera, the most expected panel in the agenda which was disappointing for most attendants, became the glue that made us reflect on what we stand for, and the cultural values that the new generation of Latin Americans around the world trying to make a difference for the countries we represent, must remember.
For me, the biggest lesson was realizing during my participation as a panelist during a workshop under the name ‘Using your Voice for Good’ with Patrick Duffy, Nina Farran, Marines Duarte and Marina Testino, that we all need to stop wanting more. We’ve learned that our companies must grow. We must produce more: become bigger; better!
Yet, this sustainable movement that we are all trying to jump into, doesn’t simply mean consuming less, not eating animals and using less plastic. It means, to rewire our brains to stop wanting so much. It’s a way of life.
Happiness is much simpler than what we were taught. Let’s do ourselves, and our planet a favor, and stop trying to prove our worth through things.
This realization after an ‘aha moment’ sparked by a question during our panel, might lead me to a new journey. Not sure how it might change my life given that I’ve been so close to an industry that is all about consumption, but I think I reached a limit.