Discover our Event and Meet the Speakers - the State of Retail for Independents

 LDC kicks off 2021 with its first digital gathering for big thinkers, bringing you a live discussion on the state of retail.
What will the post Covid look like for independent brands across online and offline retail?

Retail has certainly been through its highs and lows, this year more than most with the effects of a global pandemic shutting down high streets worldwide. Uniting independent brands with the movers, shakers and trailblazers of the global fashion industry to provide an insight into the future of retail.

Led by the founder and CEO of Lone Design Club, Rebecca Morter, we will be interviewing thought leaders, industry experts and established independent brands for a series of roundtable discussions. These conversations will offer support to independent brands of all sizes, share a vision on the retail renaissance and put into action strategies for the coming year. These conversations are more relevant, necessary and valuable now more than ever before as we celebrate and recognise the potential for growing small independent businesses.

This will be an opportunity for you to voice your thoughts and opinions and have your questions answered. To network with consultants and experts whose main aims are building businesses to thrive. If you have anything you would like to raise, please let us know in advance in order to add it to the agenda.

If you have any comments or questions, please send these to This event is online, upon registering we will send you streaming information.


4pm: Introductions to our speakers
4.20pm: First panel discussion
5pm: Second panel discussion
5.40pm: Networking and Q&A


Rebecca Morter, Founder + CEO Lone Design Club

Rebecca Morter officially launched Lone Design Club in 2018. The aim was to offer an alternative to the traditional wholesale model, giving sustainable independent brands a direct route to customer, focusing on community, experience and story telling. Over the last three years, Rebecca and the LDC platform have gone from strength to strength. Named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30, Rebecca regularly speaks on topics around the changing face of the retail, ethics and sustainability within the industry and the platform has garnered attention far and wide, featured in numerous high-profile media outlets such as The Times, WWD, Stylist and BBC. Most recently being named as the winners of the Fashion Districts: Retail Futures 2020. Highlighted for their innovation in retail, connecting their physical and digital platforms. 

Digital & Innovation 

Lauretta Roberts, CEO of The Industry (previously Drapers, WGSN)

A business journalist by background, Lauretta has more than 20 years’ experience writing about and commenting on business, many of which have been spent in fashion retail. traces its roots back to fashion industry networking club The Industry London, which was acquired by Lauretta and Antony in 2015. At the time the pair both had full-time jobs but eventually took the plunge to focus on the business full-time and realise their vision of a new-generation insights platform for future-focused fashion industry professionals.
Today offers daily news, features and insights with a particular focus on fashion retail. The platform also contains a master database of fashion retail, regular consumer behaviour studies, and online events and podcasts.
Prior to establishing, Lauretta was brand director at global trend forecasting agency WGSN and before that Editor of Drapers.

Adebayo Oke-Lawal, Founder of Orange Culture

Adebayo founded Orange Culture in 2011, after having worked with several Nigerian designers, to turn his unique vision of fashion into reality. Since starting the label and an official runway debut at Lagos Fashion & Design Week 2011, he’s been hard at work trying to showcase Orange Culture to the world.
The label is a “movement” that covers universal silhouettes with an African touch to a creative class, translating into a heady mixture of Nigerian inspired print fabrics, colour, and contemporary urban streetwear.

Aside from fashion design, Adebayo also worked for three years as the fashion editor for WOW! magazine, and has done editorial work for Vogue Italia, Nataal, WOW and many more. Adebayo is also very concerned with the youth as he launched a CSR project called "Painting your Dreams", inspiring young people through art to believe in themselves and this led to him being listed under Forbes 30 under 30 people in the creative industry in Africa.

Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency

Matthew works at the crossroads of Fashion, Retail and Technology to head up London College of Fashion's Innovation Agency. Using emerging technology to alter the way that the fashion industry is making, showcasing and retailing, Matthew and his team are building a pathway for truly digital designer businesses.
Matthew has delivered a stunning range of projects that have captured the imagination of both the fashion and technology industries. In 2018 he worked alongside Lucasfilm's immersive entertainment division ILMxLAB to bring their new performance-driven augmentation technology, LIVECGX, to London Fashion Week - a project that demonstrated the potential for digital models, digital clothing and a world filled with real-time visual effects.
Matthew was named as a 'fashion-tech trailblazer changing the course of retail' by Drapers, a "Digital World's Influencer' by Stylus for 2020 and a 'pioneer and visionary' by Wired.

Muchaneta Kapfunde Founder & Editor and Vogue Business contributor

Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology. She has also given talks at events like Premiere Vision, #FashionTech Berlin, Munich Fabric Start and Pure London, to name a few. Besides working as a fashion innovation consultant for various fashion brands, Muchaneta, a former contributor to, is now a contributor to Vogue Business.

Brand Perspectives

Laura Harnett, Former Director of Digital Projects at Selfridge

Laura is a sustainable business founder (Seep), a board advisor and an angel investor focussed on retail and consumer tech. She is a former strategy consultant (Deloitte, Booz) and senior executive in retail (Kingfisher, Selfridges) and a trustee for Edtech charity Hello World.

Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka, Founders of House of Aama

Rebecca Henry is an attorney by day & a craftswomen by night. She is from a family of Southerners from Louisiana on her mother’s side & South Carolina on her father’s side. Rebecca is a true multitasker with attention to detail. She handles the production and legal affairs.

Akua Shabaka is a graduate from Parsons The New School for Design with a BBA degree in Strategic Design & Business Management. Akua is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in South Los Angeles with cultural roots in the Caribbean and Southern States. She is the creative director and project manager.

House of Aama explores the folkways of the Black experience by designing timeless garments with nostalgic references informed by historical research, archival analysis, and storytelling. We aim to evoke dialogue, social commentary and conversations around heritage, remembrance and to shed light on nuanced histories. House of Aama has received praise from the likes of Vogue, Vogue Runway, i-D/Vice, Paper Mag , Fader + more.

Jonathan Chippindale, CEO Holition

Jonathan​ formed the venture start-up over a decade ago to explore the role technology and innovation play to the modern, digital-focused consumer. Over the last ten years, the creative innovation studio has evolved into a synthesis of retail scientists, film-makers, artists, mathematicians, UX designers and other curious minds, united by digital empathy towards consumer experience.
The part think tank, part digital studio crafts bespoke experiences for industry leaders across the luxury, fashion, beauty, and art sectors who look to Holition to introduce a new dialogue with their consumers. The growing network of pioneering brands include Hermes, LVMH, Cartier, L’Oreal Group, Estee Lauder Group, and COTY.

Sophie Benson, Freelance Journalist

Sophie’s work primarily focuses on sustainable fashion, the environment, and consumerism. Writing for publication such as The Guardian, The Independent, Dazed, and Refinery29, Sophie has a well-established knowledge of the changing wave of consumer opinion around transparency, ethics and brand messaging.


The LDC Accelerator is a platform that connects designers and experts providing tools and information to help independent brands scale and grow successful businesses.


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