By Claire West

Bono and Ali Hewson, founders of EDUN and Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel are the latest stellar names to be added to the line-up for the International Herald Tribune (IHT) Luxury Conference, which this year focuses on “The Promise of Africa and The Power of the Mediterranean”.

The conference takes place in Rome on the 15th and 16th November, 2012.


Curated by IHT Fashion Editor, Suzy Menkes, the conference will welcome some of the biggest names in fashion and luxury to discuss the power of the Mediterranean area and the promise of Africa as both a creative source and a new consumer of luxury.

Just some of the confirmed speakers are:

Diego Della Valle, (CEO, Tod’s)
Uché Okonkwo, (Executive Director & Founder, Luxe Corp)
Duro Olowu, (Designer)
Simone Cipriani (Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of The International Trade Centre)
Precious Moloi-Motsepe, (Executive Chairperson, African Fashion International)
· Donatella Versace, (Vice President and Creative Director, Versace Group)

Manolo Blahnik,
Jochen Zeitz, (CEO, Sport and Lifestyle, PPR)
Frida Giannini, (Creative Director, Gucci)
socially responsible bag designer Lauren Bush Lauren
Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri (Creative Directors, Valentino)
Silvia Venturini Fendi, (Creative Director, Fendi)
Jean Paul Gaultier


Suzy Menkes said: “We are so proud at the IHT to have Bono and Ali Hewson at the conference. The couple's support for Africa is legendary and their urgent enthusiasm will help transmit the story of Africa's needs and achievements to our delegates - and across the world. The EDUN range is proof that ethical and responsible manufacturing is a good fit with fashion.

“Diesel founder Renzo Rosso has been working in Mali and across Africa, through his Only The Brave Foundation, and has a vision of what can be achieved, with imagination and enthusiasm, across the continent.”

Now in its 12th year the IHT luxury conference is the world’s most prestigious annual forum for the global fashion business, bringing together 500+ of the most senior business and creative leaders from the top echelons of the industry to gain insights, share ideas and expand their international networks. The 2011 conference took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil and analyzed the luxury industry in BRIC countries with contributions from major names such as Sarah Burton, Mario Testino and Diane von Furstenberg.