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The Future of Fashion

The Future of Fashion

25 November 2021, 12pm-1pm (UK time)

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For centuries, fashion has been at the forefront of culture and society around the globe. Today the fashion industry is reportedly the fourth biggest sector in the world and worth an estimated £2 trillion.

The University’s Registrar, Rachel Sandby-Thomas will be joined by a panel of academic and alumni experts who will discuss the future of this fascinating globally-influential sector, through the lens of how rich data and the growing use of artificial intelligence are driving insight into consumers’ habits, needs and expectations. And how can this new depth of understanding support a fashion future that’s even more sustainable and customer-driven?

During the webinar, Chair of River Island and its parent company, Clive Lewis (LLB Law, 1975-1978) will share experiences from his extensive career in retail and his insights into the industry’s future.

Chief Customer Officer at SupplyCompass, Srishti Dhawan (BSc Economics, Politics and International Studies, 2004-2007) will speak about her experience of working with global retailers from manufacturing to retail, operations and strategy.

They will be joined by professor of Global History and Culture, Professor Giorgio Riello, who will give an insight into the changing nature of fashion and the role of historical insight in understanding today’s industry.

A recording of this event will be made available shortly afterwards. All who have registered for the event will receive a link to the recording by email.



Rachel Sandby-ThomasRachel Sandby-Thomas

Registrar, University of Warwick

Rachel is responsible for the professional services of the University under the direction of the Vice-Chancellor. She has a wealth of experience from her roles as shadow CEO of the UK Government’s Institute for Apprenticeships and Director General in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

In 2012, she was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath and named in The Times 100 “Most Influential Lawyers”. In 2016, she was named one of the FTSE 100 “Women to Watch”.


CliveClive Lewis

Chair of LFH, Blue Coast Capital, River Island

Clive Lewis (LLB Law, 1975-1978) is Chair of UK fashion business River Island and its parent company LFH International Ltd. Having qualified as a Barrister in 1979, Clive has spent his career working for his family’s Lewis Trust Group. He began his career specialising in real estate, legal, finance and investments until the early '90s when he joined the River Island subsidiary. Clive has held multiple roles at River Island including CEO, Deputy Chair and Chair in addition to his role as Chair of Blue Coast Capital, Multi Asset Management. Away from the fashion industry, Clive is Chair of the charity Newlife and a Trustee of Magic Bus UK.

Srishti Dhawan

Chief Customer Officer at SupplyCompass

Srishti Dhawan (BSc Economics, Politics and International Studies, 2004-2007) has 13+ years of experience working in the fashion value chain including manufacturing, retail, operations, and strategy consulting. She has worked with global retailers on large-scale projects to set up responsive supply chains and implement technologies, like Product Lifecycle Management systems. She's currently working as Chief Customer Officer at SupplyCompass, a technology business enabling fashion brands to manage sustainable product development and delivery.

GiorgioProfessor Giorgio Riello

Professor of Global History and Culture, University of Warwick

Giorgio Riello is currently on secondment at the European University Institute in Florence. He has written on several aspects of fashion including on textiles and the luxury sector. He has collaborated with several international museums, most recently on the new permanent galleries of the Museum of World Cultures in Milan. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Global History of Fashion, a two-volume work investigating the history of worldwide fashion since ancient times.