Professional Advisory Committee
The Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) collaborates with the Amsterdam Fashion Academy’s Board of Directors and Management Team in implementing improvements to ensure that the Amsterdam Fashion Academy is constantly at the forefront of fashion education and aligned with the trends and needs of the fashion industry. The aim is to offer the students a unique learning opportunity that mixes academic and industry-based research with entrepreneurship and creativity.
The PAC is an essential part of our vision, which is based on 5 pillars: entrepreneurship, sustainability, research, digital transformation and individuality. It also has a direct relationship with the students of both Bachelor’s degree programmes in Fashion Design and Fashion Business, and involvement in live industry-led projects, organising visits to brands’ headquarters, offering internship opportunities and providing guest lecturers.
All this contributes to making our graduates proactive young professionals, aware of the past, present and future of fashion, who are ready to apply their research and digital skills in the creation of innovative wearable design and business solutions, in line with their vision of a sustainable world.
Commercial Director Watch and Jewelry at Dolce & Gabbana, former Managing Director of Bulgari Italia and President of Bulgari USA.
Senior Executive (CEO / Managing Director) with 25+ years of experience across Europe, North & South America in Luxury & FMCG industries, with a keen eye on numbers and profitability. Alberto Festa was Managing Director of Bulgari Italia from 2000 to 2011 and President of Bulgari USA from 2011 to 2015. Background in sales & marketing, strategy and operations, with proven success in corporate turnaround, growing brand visibility and transforming business structures. Multinational and domestic experience with LVMH, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mattel, Pepsi and Colgate. Cross-cultural leader able to establish best practice standards, implement change and optimise resources while motivating large teams. Senior consultant for luxury brands and private equity funds, specialised in fashion, jewellery, watches and F&B, provides strategic advice and support for international expansion. Since 2008, Alberto also teaches Luxury Management at Luiss University of Rome and other international schools around the world.
Owner & Principal Consultant and Non-Executive Director at AEB Creative ltd.
“Move at pace. Deliver with style”
A highly accomplished FTSE-100 board level and international commercial leader with experience spanning Europe, America and Asia. Anita is a creative brand marketer with the courage and resilience to lead teams across the worlds of luxury, mid-market and entrepreneurial fashion. After working for British fashion designer Betty Jackson CBE, she was with Arcadia Group for a decade, rising to Group Design and Marketing Director and reporting directly to the Group CMO, CEO and the Board. She has created collections shown at London and Shanghai Fashion Weeks in 2017 and 2018. Today, Anita is an independent trusted Advisor, Consultant and Non-Executive Director working with Senior Leaders and Business Owners to drive international growth across e-commerce and retail platforms. She is an associate lecturer on the MA Strategic Fashion Marketing at London College of Fashion. Her clients include Amazon Fashion, L.K. Bennett and Wehkamp.
CRO Lead EMEA at Dr. Martens, and alumna of the Amsterdam Fashion Academy.
“Fashion education will evolve more around hands on experiences within the industry”
Britt is currently working for Dr. Martens as CRO Lead EMEA. After pursuing her BA (Hons) in Fashion Business at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy and moving to the UK to complete her MA in Fashion Marketing & Communications at the University of the Creative Arts, Britt started working as Marketing and Communications Coordinator at QASIMI, a menswear fashion brand which shows during London Fashion Week. This was a great experience to work closely with PR agency Karla Otto, and many other talented industry specialists to put together an incredible show.
Senior Vice President BOSS Womenswear at HUGO BOSS AG, former Chief Product and Marketing Officer at s.Oliver, and Vice President of Abercrombie & Fitch USA.
“Replace the fear of the unknown with persistent passion”
Kristina Szasz is Senior Vice President BOSS Womenswear at HUGO BOSS AG, effective September 1, 2021. Prior to joining HUGO BOSS, Kristina worked as Vice President at Hudson in Los Angeles and Vice President at Abercrombie & Fitch, USA. Kristina further worked as Creative Director for Karl Lagerfeld, Tommy Hilfiger Sportswear and Levi’s and held Key Senior Managerial Design Positions at Iceberg, Nike, Ralph Lauren and Emilio Pucci. Most recently, Szasz held the position of Chief Product and Marketing Officer at s.Oliver.
Owner/Founder/Managing Director of HTNK International
“Old business models are changing to become digitally savvy and aware of transparency and social responsibility”
Mariette Hoitink graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Arnhem, Fashion Design in 1989. To understand the business of fashion, she went on to become a Designer Product Manager and Buyer team lead responsible for both Design & Production in Asia and Europe. Mariette gained extensive experience on a managerial level in creative and commercial positions within the fashion industry, on both the brand and retail side. During these years she came into contact with numerous ‘headhunters’, which inspired and motivated her to give fashion recruitment & consultancy a new, more personal, tailormade-for-fashion approach. In 1997 Mariette founded HTNK: Amsterdam’s premier multi-disciplinary, full-service recruitment and consultancy agency, connecting both creative and commercial professionals, and clients on a global scale. Besides Mariette’s various roles for HTNK, she is also the co-founder of the House of Denim Foundation; a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to craftsmanship, innovation and sustainability that strives, together with local and international partners, towards a brighter, more sustainable future for the denim industry. House of Denim’s projects include the first ever Jean School, which educates the next generation of denim developers, Global Denim Awards – a concept which connects designers to denim mills, Denim Days and Denim City Amsterdam – the first denim innovation campus in the world for which she’s the Global Liaison Manager. Denim City is expanding to Sao Paulo, Brazil and in the coming years, all continents are on the hit list. Next to Mariette’s extracurricular activities in the world of denim, Mariette is board member of Fashion Council NL and serves on advisory boards and selection committees of various international educational institutions.
Co-Founder of UPSET Textiles B. V., Co-founder of Sympact, and former Director of Store Operations at C&A Europe.
“A circular sustainable garment, transparent in all its aspects, from fibre to garment, achievable for mainstream markets creates the biggest sustainable impact!”
Working from 1977 to 2016 at C&A, where he has been Country Director C&A the Netherlands, Country Director C&A Benelux and Director Store Operations C&A Europe. Former additional positions include Vice chairman – Raad Nederlandse Detailhandel / Chairman VGT (vereniging Grootwinkelbedrijven Textiel). Today, Pals is member of disputes committee of Dutch Textile Convenant and member of the Advisory Board of Leontienhuis. He is also initiator of the Dutch Textile Convenant, Clothes the Circle and board member of bAwear.
Wouter van Olm
Sr. Strategic Sales Africa at Nike Emea.
“Digital is the biggest opportunity all businesses have in retail”
Wouter has 14 years of strong sales and retail background in G7, distributors, digital and category sales in 32 countries in Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. He is currently managing two of Nike’s partners in Africa and is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with customers, mall owners, governments, and sports federations. Wouter successfully led the transition of Africa distributors from Emerging Markets to Emea and is responsible for the legal framework, trade terms and signing of DA. Furthermore, he created future of Africa via resetting IMP in North Africa, unlocking Nigeria, sub-Sahara and unlocking digital, resulting in sustainable net growth, healthy inventory and profitable partners.