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Australian Fashion Council announces CEO Leila Naja Hibri will depart in 2024

“I am immensely proud of the AFC for guiding the beginning of our industry’s just transformation."

by The AFC

18 October 2023

The Australian Fashion Council announced today that after almost four years as CEO Leila Naja Hibri has decided to hand over the role in early 2024, once a new chief is found.

Leila will continue to play an advisory role as the AFC’s nominated Director on the board of Seamless, Australia’s new national clothing product stewardship scheme.

Making the announcement, AFC Chair Marianne Perkovic said: “Leila is no ordinary CEO. She places people at the heart of all she does and is passionate about driving positive industry change, responsible growth and social and environmental justice.

“Over the past four years Leila has brought the Australian fashion industry together, increasing recognition of our $27.2bn contribution to the Australian economy, including $7.2bn in export revenue.

“With technology and innovation, diversity and inclusion always at the forefront, She has also led the development of an ambitious vision based on foundational strategic pillars:

  • promoting the Australian Fashion Trademark to grow demand for design-led brands committed to responsible practice;
  • building future manufacturing capability of 'fibre and its derivatives’ to boost jobs, the economy and our sovereign capability and close the supply chain loop;
  • developing skills and career pathways to address current and future skills needs, create jobs and boost the economic security; and
  • launching Seamless, to transition the sector to a circular economy by 2030 and create a just transformation towards Net Zero by 2050.

“This has created an incredible opportunity, and a secure and positive environment for our next CEO to champion the Australian fashion and textile industry. On behalf of the board and our team I sincerely thank Leila for her inspiring leadership,” Marianne continued.

Leila said: “With a well-defined vision and strategic direction in place, it feels like the right time to hand responsibility for the AFC’s next phase on to a new CEO.

“I am immensely proud of the AFC for guiding the beginning of our industry’s just transformation.

“Together we have navigated the challenges of the COVID era and commanded government attention by delivering groundbreaking reports that unveiled our industry’s true economic value and potential.

“We also established the progressive Australian Fashion Trademark, the pivotal Seamless clothing product stewardship scheme, and initiated the AFC Fashtech Lab as well as an Indigenous Fashion Fund.

“My most sincere thanks go to the incomparable AFC team, our Chair and Board and of course our loyal members, invaluable Patrons and industry partners. I also thank all the organisations and agencies, industry leaders and individuals who continue to support the AFC and our work. 

“I am confident that the AFC, through collaboration, creativity and courage, will continue guiding this great industry as it transitions to a world-class thriving circular economy by 2030”, Leila added.

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