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  • Writer's picturePARLIAMENT NEWS

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence

Updated: May 16, 2023

Photos INS and Kam Murali

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence - PANEL

Yesterday, amidst the grandeur of the Pall Mall – Royal Automobile Club in London, members of the esteemed Royal family, including Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, and Princess Katya Galitzine, gathered for the Royal Reflection Conference by the Creative Women Platform, one of the segments of this conference covered the creative side of business in this case the Business of Fashion, an insightful panel discussion. The Director of the Parliamentary Society, Rebeca Riofrio, skilfully moderated the session, which delved into the captivating topic of The Business of Fashion, Creative Industry & Social Media Influence in Today's Generation.

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence - PANEL

The panel consisted of distinguished experts in the industry who brought their wealth of experience to the forefront. Malan Breton, Lupe Puerta, Emily Abraham, and Julia Muller engaged in thought-provoking conversations and shed light on various aspects of the fashion world.

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence - PANEL

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence panelists; Julia Muller, Malan Breton & Lupe Puerta

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence - PANEL

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence - PANEL

To set the stage, the moderator presented some compelling facts and figures. According to Fashion United, the fashion industry boasts a staggering labour force of 3.3841 million individuals and holds a value equivalent to a remarkable £3 trillion. In terms of the global economy, this translates to an impressive 2% contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Joint Economic Committee of USA, in a survey conducted in 2019, revealed that consumers had spent nearly £380 billion on apparel and footwear. These numbers have only continued to grow, and despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the post-pandemic scenario presents an optimistic outlook.

Royal Reflections Conference organised by the Creative Women Platform - Director & Founder Olga Balakleets

Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence - PANEL

Royal Reflections: A High-Profile Discussion on the Business of Fashion and Social Media Influence - PANEL

The fashion industry's growth is particularly notable in emerging markets within Western, Asian, and European regions. In fact, last year, the Asian market alone was forecasted to account for 38% of global apparel demand. Forbes identifies Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) as the top-ranking apparel company, with a market value of an astounding £194 billion and assets exceeding £108 billion. This places LVMH as the 73rd largest publicly traded organization globally, representing its immense influence and success.

The engaging discussion kicked off with questions directed towards Malan Breton, whose extensive experience in the fashion industry uniquely positions him to provide valuable insights on its evolution over the years, particularly considering the rise of digital technology. Breton, who embarked on his journey 28 years ago as a model and dancer, emphasised the importance of a diverse portfolio in fostering a broader vision that can be applied to all aspects of the fashion industry. Having a deep understanding of each element involved in building a brand and perceiving it from the consumer's standpoint has been instrumental in his success. Breton's brand, Malan Breton, has been at the forefront of AI technology and has produced award-winning fashion films, and his company only keeps thriving, innovating, and expanding.

Lupe Puerta, an expert in the realm of supporting Personal Shoppers and cultivating a satisfied VIP clientele, provided unique insights into her platform's workings (THE FLOORR). Puerta shared her strategies for curating brands that resonate with discerning customers, emphasising the importance of delivering exceptional experiences.

Emily Abraham, with her extensive social media following of over 1.6 million (her TikTok), offered invaluable expertise on building a successful online presence. She shared her insights on creating engaging content for her audience and her expertise in the realm of preloved luxury items, showcasing her retail company's success.

Julia Muller, a seasoned model with a 20-year career, provided a fresh perspective on the industry. She discussed the changing dynamics of the modelling world, where social media influencers now vie for attention on the runway. Muller also offered valuable legal insights as a lawyer, shedding light on copyright laws and the protection of your photographs on social media.

Overall, the discussion shed light on the current state and future of the fashion industry and the impact of social media on the industry. The presence of the Royal family added an extra layer of significance to the event.

About the panelists:

Malan Breton at the Royal Reflection Conference - UK

Malan Breton is a renowned fashion designer with a diverse portfolio spanning acting, film directing, costume design, music, and modelling. Trained under the Royal warrant at Savile Row tailors and a French/American Couturier, Malan has dressed numerous iconic figures including Priyanka Chopra, Fan Bing Bing, Janelle Monae, Kylie Minogue, Billy Porter, and Little Mix.

Malan is a pioneer in the fashion industry, being the first designer to open a blockchain-based online retail shop and to digitise fashion into AI and VR. The designer's creations have been featured in numerous shows and events including the Tony Awards, American Music Awards, and MTV.

Malan Breton has received various awards, including the 2022 UK "British Fashion Designer of the Year" Award and the 2014 European Fashion Council Award for Most promising global brand. Malan is also a Goodwill Ambassador to Taiwan R.O.C (Office of Tourism) and the UK Ambassador of the Arts (fashion). The designer has presented awards to fashion programs and lectured at universities worldwide.

Lupe Puerta at the Royal Reflection Conference - UK

Lupe Puerta is a renowned fashion industry expert with a background at establishments like Harrods and Selfridges, she has revolutionised client relations and driven innovation for over two decades. Her pioneering work at NET-A-PORTER in e-commerce client services bridged the gap between offline and online shopping, converging on personalised experiences for loyal customers, especially the EIP segment.

Recognising market gaps, she established the first-ever Client Relations team for a multi-brand online retailer, fostering customer loyalty and revenue growth. Lupe's latest venture, THE FLOORR, is a ground-breaking personal shopping engine that combines B2B2C SaaS Affiliates, revolutionising online shopping and emphasising customer satisfaction. Her 20-year journey showcases unmatched expertise, market insights, and transformative contributions to the world of online fashion.

During the pandemic, THE FLOORR adapted its original B2C model to meet the changing landscape. Originally focused on providing styling tools and a global inventory feed to personal shoppers, the team noticed a significant shift in the industry. With personal shoppers facing job losses and a lack of sustainable operating systems, THE FLOORR identified an opportunity in the B2B sector. They decided to transition and create the envisioned comprehensive engine, empowering personal shopping teams with tools and support. This strategic shift enabled them to meet the community's needs, fostering growth and ensuring the success of personal shopping businesses during uncertain times.

Julia Muller at the Royal Reflection Conference - UK

Julia Muller is a multi-talented model, lawyer, and DJ born in Germany and currently residing in London. She has made a name for herself in the fashion industry, having appeared in numerous international magazines such as Bazaar, Grazia, Fashion Magazine NYC, Tatler, and Vogue. Julia is also a fashion face ambassador for several luxury brands, adding to her impressive portfolio.

Despite her success as a model and fashion influencer, Julia is also a highly skilled corporate lawyer who has worked with top firms in the UK and abroad.

In addition to her work in fashion and law, Julia is also an accomplished DJ who has performed at fashion events around the world.

Emily Abraham at the Royal Reflection Conference - UK

Emily Abraham is an accomplished professional and co-founder of Love Luxury, a renowned Knightsbridge-based pre-loved designer boutique. With a wealth of experience spanning many years in the luxury retail industry, Emily is widely regarded as a trusted authority in facilitating transactions involving desired designer accessories across the globe.

Furthermore, Emily has established herself as a prolific content creator, managing multiple successful social media with over 1.6 million followers on TikTok and podcast channels, through which she shares her invaluable insights and extensive knowledge of the pre-loved designer market.

The Moderator Rebeca Riofrio

Rebeca Riofrio at the Royal Reflection Conference - UK

Rebeca Riofrio

Director and Chairman of the UK Parliamentary Society for Arts, Fashion, and Sports, Rebeca is also the founder of Art in Fusion, a TV Production Company, and also serves as the Marketing Manager at Anglia Ruskin University London. With over 23 years of experience in the higher education business in the UK.

Ms. Riofrio is an active member of the Foreign Commonwealth Council. In her early working life, Rebeca served as the "eyes" of American novelist, travel writer, and renowned war correspondent, Ms. Martha Gellhorn, whose eyesight had sadly deteriorated. Gellhorn, who first achieved international recognition for bravely covering the Spanish Civil War with her then-husband, Ernest Hemingway, inspired Rebeca to not only observe but to express her emotions through her work.

Moreover, Gellhorn encouraged Rebeca to balance her artistic creativity with her business mindset. Rebeca has had the opportunity to work with luxury brands such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Dolce & Gabbana, and with designers from around the world in fashion, video, and photography. She has become a fashion and marketing consultant, commercial director, and has led several marketing campaigns for luxury brands on a global basis. Her vast practical knowledge in education, fashion, and the arts has also enabled Rebeca to evolve as a business mentor to young entrepreneurs and upcoming celebrities. With over 16 years of experience as a trained counsellor, Rebeca is well-versed in guiding and advising others.

Rebeca has also produced and directed films that have opened opportunities for her to work at the Cannes Film Festival for the last ten years with direct accreditation from the Cannes Film Council. She has a license to interview celebrities, movie directors, producers, and actors for her TV channel and other media partners. Furthermore, Rebeca has been a key contributor to the development of a multi-million-pound company that received the Queen's Award for Business and Enterprise in 2006 and 2010, which was presented to her the late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at a reception in Buckingham Palace.

Art in Fusion TV has reached a vast audience of 6.1 million weekly viewers and is streamed in cable, providing content to 35 different countries. It has also partnered with five different mega international magazines that publish direct news. Rebeca's work with the Parliamentary Society for Arts, Fashion, and Sports has touched people around the globe as a huge campaigner against modern human slavery, modern human trafficking, global warming, and sustainability. Her works also include preparing events in Arts and Fashion for the UK Royal Family. Rebeca oversees the Parliament News Magazine that targets a vast audience, including royals, presidents, and prime ministers.

Rebeca Riofrio has received several awards throughout her career, including the prestigious Big Ben Award, received in the House of Lords at Westminster Palace, for her outstanding achievements and recognition of her career in the world of arts, fashion, education, and as a media publicist and mentor for many young people over 23 years. In February 2020, she also received the Outstanding Award given by the government of France for her philanthropic work. Last year, she obtained the European Businesswomen of the Year Award 2022/2023, presented by the Vice-President of Bulgaria in their capital.

You can find more about Rebeca Riofrio


The panelists and VIP guests were interviewed by the television crew of Complitality (TV & Magazine) lead by Mirco Ricci and Matin Esposito.

Martin Esposito of Complitality TV interviewing Director and Founder of Creative Women Platform Olga Balakleets

Princess Katya Galitzine, Mirko Ricco & Martin Esposito

Malan Breton, Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia & Farah Shammas

Some of the Participants at the Royal Reflection Conference by the Creative Women Platform



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