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Retail Expert Robin Lewis

Retail Tsunami: What’s Next is the keynote presentation by Robin Lewis at The Underfashion Club’s upcoming event at the Harvard Club in NYC on March 28th.

Almost everyone in fashion retail religiously reads the Robin Report, distributed directly to Top Management in Retail and also by The Huffington Post.

The Robin Report is the go-to resource for retail trend analysis in America. It’s analysis are thorough, complete and deep into the why, where, how, as well as influences behind successful retail marketing.

Robin Lewis, the founder and publisher of the Robin Report, is one of the foremost authorities on fashion trends and retail management, making retail fashion a business success. His years with Goldman Sachs, Women’s Wear Daily, DuPont, VF Corporation and Grey Advertising have given him a razor perspective on retail.

He is frequently requested by C-level management for advice, consultation and strategic presentations: among them are Kohl’s, Bloomingdale’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Liz Claiborne, VF Corp., Charming Shoppes, Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, and Sara Lee, as well as financial firms such as Bear Stearns, The Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs and others.

He is the co-author of The New Rules of Retail, published by Palgrave-McMillan, and is often quoted in various trade and consumer publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Time Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Brand Week, and Advertising Age, as well as on CNBC, ABC and Fox News.

He’s also predicted a Revolution in Retail Marketing, especially in the area of Intimate Apparel.

Hear what Robin Lewis has to say about your business and your future, and how it will be affected by the coming Retail Revolution. He will provide a personal roadmap to your success by giving you the inside story of what’s coming, when it’s coming, how it’s coming, who is going to be affected, and what it will take to make it happen.

Click here to reserve your place at this game-changing event.


On April 20, 2016 the abundance of talent that was represented by the FIT students was truly extraordinary.  Several of the SAIG committee members from the UNDERFASHION CLUB observed with delight the garments designed by the BFA Intimate Apparel students.  These garments, as well as eveningwear, sportswear, knits and children’s wear were on display in the John E. Reeves Great Hall at FIT as a preview to the FUTURE OF FASHION….the fashion show the graduating seniors will present on May 5th.  

These BFA students will be graduating in May and kudos to Professor Alexandra Armillas and her students!  We were thrilled to be invited to the preview and wondered how many of the 23 Intimate Apparel garments represented here would be in the fashion show…….we vote for all of them!

Here is a peek of the garments we saw……..


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I spoke with one of the students that had two garments in the exhibit…Samantha Simione is from New Jersey and will graduate with a BFA in Fashion Design in May.  She loves the fact that lingerie is so detail oriented….in fact her bustier incorporated 15 yards of trim.  Samantha has benefited from UFC’s internship program and looks forward to continuing on her intimates path!  Congratulations Samantha!

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Clelia Parisi, Walter Costello (UFC Board Members) with Eileen Karp – Chair, Fashion Design Dept. at FIT



In keeping with the UNDERFASHION CLUB’S credo “Education today for a better industry tomorrow”, the Club’s SAIG committee met on the evening of April 21, 2016 at the FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY to interview 19 very talented Intimate Apparel designers.  It was a long evening but totally worth all the effort put into the night’s special scholarship interviews.  And just to be clear, both design and production students were vying for a scholarship.  The committee members were taken with the talent these students exhibited….the portfolios, sketches and garments presented were amazing.  The scholarships that the club awards to these deserving students will help them immensely with their school expenses and tuition.

It was a pleasure to be a part of this significant evening!  Be sure to check back with us to learn more about our scholarship program.




Sketch Night Recap

Thanks to everyone who joined the Underfashion Club for “Sketch Night” on April 13th, 2016 with Bil Donovan, the artist-in-residence for Christian Dior Beauty! We hope you enjoyed experiencing figure drawing with a practiced professional in the industry.



Bil gave a comprehensive breakdown of how to create stylistic figure drawings with simple, deliberate brush strokes. He urged artists to simplify each figure and pose into straight and curved lines with a series of exercises. Beginning with contour drawings and slowly introduced additional details, participants transformed these complex images into defined pieces of art. Lingerie models Pearl and Dhana were fantastic references, holding a variety of poses for practicing artistic techniques.



Our guests created beautiful pieces of work and were an absolute pleasure to work with! Thank you for showing an interest in the arts and joining us for dinner and cocktails in the Society of Illustrators. We hope to see you all again at our next event, the “Modern Allure” Parsons School of Design Scholarship Contest on May 17th, 2016.

Check out our photo album of “Sketch Night” on Facebook:
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We also caught the illustration lesson on video for anyone who missed it!

CurveNY February 2016


The CurveNY trade show on February  21st – 23rd, 2016 gave 350 lingerie and swimwear brands a platform to showcase their Fall/Winter 2016 collections at the Javits Center in Manhattan. The environment was improved with a royal purple carpet to match the theme of the show, plenty of rest areas with new furniture, and goody bags with water and healthy snacks to refuel visitors and exhibitors between appointments.


There were a great variety of brands on the show floor this season. New brands that have only been around for a few months were exhibiting alongside brands that have been in the industry for over a century. The cost of a single garment ranged from under $30 to nearly $1,000, appealing to buyers at all price points. Manufacturing styles among the exhibitors included authentic vintage methods from the 1940s to techniques inspired by the latest 3D printing technology.


The intimate apparel industry continues to become more inclusive with each passing season. The body types targeted by the exhibitors present included svelte bodies, plus size bodies, and curvy bodies with a marked increase in interest for larger cups. Men’s underwear is a growing segment of the industry, giving men more options for comfortable, expressive underwear. More attention is being given to variety in skin tones, inspiring brands to provide more “nude” hues in intimate apparel and hosiery.


Stylistically, intimate apparel is leaning towards a minimalistic aesthetic like most of the modern fashion world. Popular trends include extra straps, scalloped lace edges, and mesh panels as cutout details. Sustainable materials are gaining traction as more consumers actively seek eco-friendly products. Demand is rising for functional garments such as sports bras, as athleisure dominates the new year of fashion. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the future of the intimate apparel industry!


FEMMY Gala 2016


The Underfashion Club’s 2016 FEMMY Awards Gala is scheduled to take place on February 2nd, 2016 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

We’re very excited to share that our special host this year will be burlesque icon and lingerie designer, Dita Von Teese!

dita-von-teese_portrait-by-ali-mahdaviDita Von Teese, burlesque icon

The annual FEMMY Awards Gala honors individuals and companies that have significantly contributed to the Intimate Apparel Industry and its growth. We will be honoring the following:

Amazon Fashion, retailer
Richard Leeds International, manufacturer
Best Pacific/New Horizon, supplier

Innovation Award
Lane Bryant/Cacique

Lifetime Achievement Award
Martin Trust
Founder, Mast Industries

President’s Award
Francesca Spinetta
Co-owner and Editorial Director, INTIMA magazines

“We are delighted to announce our 2016 honorees, who will join with us in our ongoing efforts to raise funds to promote education, innovation and growth within the Intimate Apparel Industry. The FEMMY Gala is the largest, and one of the many ways we support the next generation of talent.

The Underfashion Club provided $200,000 in scholarships, awards and internships in 2015 to design and merchandising students, and we look forward to expanding our support to other institutions in 2016.”

Victor H. Vega, President of The Underfashion Club

The Underfashion Club is also hosting its 13th Annual Student Design Contest featuring the work of Fashion Design students at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The SAIG (scholarships, awards, internships and grants,) committee has selected six talented finalists whose finished garments will be exhibited at the FEMMY Gala where attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite garment. Cash prizes totaling $15,000 will be awarded, thanks to the generous support of contest sponsors: Clover Group International Ltd., Regina Miracle International Ltd. and Stretchline Holdings Ltd.

10989207_10153075812826552_1080522794864409306_n12th Annual Student Design Contest, FEMMY Gala 2015

Thank you for helping us support education today for a better industry tomorrow!

Register for The Underfashion Club’s 2016 FEMMY Gala:

Underfashion Club Holiday Party 2015 Recap

Thanks to all who came to The Underfashion Club‘s Holiday Party at the National Arts Club on December 8th to celebrate with friends and spread the holiday cheer!


Our elves collected a veritable mountain of gifts for distribution to children in need through WIN (Women In Need, Inc.). The holidays are being made brighter for so many families, thanks to the generosity of our members and guests.



Charitable donations were also made to:

City Meals on Wheels
St. Francis Friends of the Poor
Women In Need, Inc.

Each gift-giver received tickets to be entered into a raffle for a variety of prizes. Congratulations to our winners Gloria Schofner, Jean CrissAmy Bittner, and Roslyn Harte!

Y-t15ElS-tc-LRJiNEoSVtZaRv-bedvyogS_vJt4MBw Gloria won a bottle of wine courtesy of Quality House Wines & Spirits.

S1S_lbwYDMyaP-ISP5ZwFoi_rEfDCVQ4kZOsn-wtBFM-1Jean won a flowering orchid plant courtesy of Gramercy Park Flower Shop.

4N5CUBidcIXtVlfS_nYTCWagN7GKl1YbnRhk4NC4wTMAmy won two tickets to the 2016 Femmy Gala!

tJM0ZKrnCb4QP4QrPiutg3TEA_iOHi68GzDpyyVXXwMRoz won a $25 American Express gift card.

Congratulations to Russell Giarratana, who was named the winner of our ugliest sweater contest and received a $50 American Express gift card.


Catch a glimpse of the fun…

 Watch it on YouTube:

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Check out the party photos on Facebook:

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 Happy Holidays!

The Growth and Challenges of Full-Figure & Full Busted Lingerie

Full-figure and full busted lingerie is steadily growing in the intimate apparel industry, gaining more representation in fashion and trade shows every year. The average size is increasing in the US, so the demand for larger garments is naturally following the trend. The plus size women’s clothing market has reached $18 billion in 2014 (up by about 5%). According to various sources and depending who you talk to, the most common bra size these days is either a 34DD or a 36DD. That translates to a 38C or a 38D.

This increase in visibility urges brands to expand the sizes they manufacture and encourages retailers to stock up on a wider range of sizes. The progress that’s been made hasn’t been easy to achieve. Full-figure and full busted lingerie designers must overcome unique challenges in the industry in order to bring their products into the market.

6ad6d7_4ce4a5f134fe4734b4570ad04ef93c18via Lingerie Fashion Week

Full busted bras, defined by 34 bands and under with DD cups and over, require special research in order to be made. Larger breasts vary greatly in size and shape, making it a challenge to design well-fitted cups for. While one fit model can be used as a standard for developing cup sizes A-D, and another could work fairly well for cup sizes D-G, the assumptions normally used when fitting a bra don’t apply for bras over a G cup. Creating functional lingerie for larger sizes is an intricate process that deviates from many standards.

via Additional Elle

Full-figure and full busted lingerie designers may need to implement alternative construction methods in order to maintain a consistent shape across sizes. Larger pieces might require special materials, such as different types of underwires and stronger fabrics like power meshes and durable laces, in order to provide an adequate level of support. Investing in the materials required to expand size ranges can be difficult, especially for small brands.

Interfiliere-July-2015-Trends-2via The Lingerie Journal

Brands that do take the plunge to develop and manufacture full-figure lingerie may find it difficult to find retailers who are willing to stock them. Full-figure lingerie isn’t as likely to sell as core sizes are, so many retailers see it as a financial risk to stock these sizes. Many brands simply choose not to fund the development of expanded size ranges because they likely wouldn’t sell nearly as well as their current bestsellers would in a new color, which retailers would be happy to stock up on.

bravissimo-lingerie-store-design-by-four-by-two-1386016866-0via Glamshops

The full-figure and full busted segments of the intimate apparel industry have been taking on these challenges in order to bring more beautiful, high-quality bras to the market. This trend is likely to continue growing as more women of varying shapes indulge in luxury lingerie, encouraging further developments in the manufacturing of diverse sizes in the intimate apparel industry.


Underfashion Club Holiday Party 2015


You’re invited to the Underfashion Club’s Holiday Party on Tuesday, December 8th from 6pm to 9pm. It will be held at The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, a beautiful venue that’s dedicated to promoting and fostering public interest in the fine arts. We’ll be celebrating over cocktails, dinner, DJ entertainment, mystery prizes and much more!


Come decked out in your ugliest holiday sweater! Judged by our fabulous board members, the most hideous sweater will win a prize.

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We’ll also be holding a gift drive for the children of Women In Need, Inc. Spread the holiday cheer and bring a gift for a child! For each gift you donate, you will receive a ticket to be entered into one of our fabulous raffles. Please wrap and tag gifts with description and recommended age group. Donations to Saint Francis Friends of the Poor and City Meals on Wheels will also be made.


Be ready to dance! The DJ never fails to play tunes that get guests out on the dance floor.

Please RSVP!
Phone: 845-758-6405
Pay Online
Registration for both members and non-members is: $50 prepaid, $60 at the door.

We hope to see you there! Happy Holidays!

Shaping The Century

It was a pleasure to have David Wolfe, Creative Director of the Doneger Group and his daughter, LIM Professor of Fashion History Amanda Hallay share their knowledge of fashion with the Underfashion Club in Shaping the Century at The Cutting Room on Tuesday, September 29th 2015. This father-daughter act was a dynamic tête-à-tête on fashion trends and the impact that seismic social changes have had on the cultural landscape.

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Amanda Hallay shared trends from the past 100 years and David Wolfe shared predictions for the future 100 years of fashion. Amanda began the presentation by stating that the 20th and 21st centuries have been a story of silhouettes — that the industry behind intimate apparel and lingerie is what truly created fashion.

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The Western ideal of a woman called the “Grecian ideal” was introduced as a base of comparison for the many fluctuations in ideal figures that came with each decade. The Grecian ideal, which arose from Grecian art, was 5’9″ with small, high breasts, a natural waist, full hips and curvaceous legs.

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The ideal has been shorter, taller, smaller and larger over the past century because “Fashion is not an island — It’s a response!” Fashion is a response to the world that wears it — a response to what’s happening in the world. Amanda shared the political and cultural climate for each decade and the shifts in ideals that arose as a response to it.


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In the 1900s, electricity was making its way into everyday life. It was an exciting new world that was more mobile than ever before with the invention of new tools like electric tram cars, subways, and telephones.

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The ideal figure of the 1900s was elegant, tall with a long neck, full bosom, tiny waist and full hips. This dramatic shape was achievable through corsetry. The look was inspired by art nouveau, a classic style that brought people back to nature as a reaction to the many unfamiliar technological changes that society was experiencing.


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In 1910, more and more women were working and embracing new technology, suffragettes were campaigning, and World War I began.

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The 1910s ideal was petite with sloped shoulders, small breasts, a curved waistline, and smooth hips. This shape was achieved with slips that smoothed out the shape.


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The 1920s witnessed World War I, our first modern war with weapons that killed millions of men. More women were working and the fight for equal suffrage was won, giving women in America the right to vote. Women were more independent than ever before.

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The 1920s ideal was petite and flat chested with no waistline and emphasized hips. This shape was achieved with a girdle and bandeau, the precursor to the bra. It was inspired by the geometric shapes of art deco, which were seen in commercials, typography, furniture, architecture, and, of course, fashion.


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The 1930s experienced the Great Depression. People escaped the dust storms and dullness of reality through movies that idolized high glamour. Fantasizing about high society was the ultimate escapism in response to the Great Depression.

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The 1930s ideal was sleek and slinky with stoop shoulders, a very low breast, natural waistline and streamline hips. Smooth corsetry helped women achieve a silhouette that appeared smooth and slinky. This smooth figure, combined with the trendy debutante slouch, was considered aristocratic.


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The 1940s were defined by Word War II. Women were joining the forces and working in factories. However, the allies were losing the war and fear struck the country.

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The 1940s ideal was strong with broad shoulders, high breasts, a taut waistline, molded hips and curvaceous legs. We moved from corsets to the girdle that pushed everything up in a patriotic fashion. This strong ideal was a response to our fear of losing the war.


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The 1950s served as a reaction to the past. It drew a line that separated itself from the struggle that the country faced during the first half of the century. People were fascinated by science and newness. The atomic age, the space age, and the Cold War were all happening simultaneously.

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The 1950s ideal returned to the hourglass shape. She had small, sloped shoulders with enlarged breasts, a cinched waist and voluptuous hips. This was achieved with a roll-on girdle that cinched and accentuated the most curvaceous aspects of the female figure. After the chaos of war, people wanted to feel in control of their bodies and lives and strong foundation garments provided that constriction.


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The 1960s was defined by the generation gap, separating the youth from the boomers. Anti-war sentiments and the civil rights movement was very influential.

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As a result, the ideal look was adolescent with narrow shoulders, small breasts, and boyish hips. Underwear had no structure. The goal was to appear as young as possible in order to separate yourself from the previous generations that were associated with war.


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The 1970s world was full of conflict. The Watergate scandal, outrageous gas prices, the Iran hostage crisis, and the coining of the term “serial killers,” marked a chaotic time. Women were also burning their bras and often went braless.

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The 1970s ideal was willowy with natural breasts, a taut waistline and toned hips. Intimate apparel wasn’t structured. The goal was to exude comfort, not conflict, because the world had enough of that.


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The 1980s were all about excess, with trickle-down economics and an obsession with watching the rich on TV. It was all about the money.

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The 1980s ideal was a superwoman — big and strong with prominent curves. The wonderbra helped women achieve this strong, busty silhouette.


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In the 1990s, everything was about technology. Not much was happening in the fashion world during this time.

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The 1990s ideal was scrawny with a prominent clavicle, visible rib cage and hip bones.


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The 2000s is all about getting our ideal body ourselves by going to the gym. Apart from shapewear, underwear isn’t expected to provide structure.

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What will be the next ideal? David Wolfe took the stage from Amanda Hallay to share his predictions for the the upcoming century of fashion.

The Future

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He reminds us that fashion is a response. There is constant change in what we wear because our society is constantly changing.

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Is fashion out of fashion? In 2015, Li Edelkoort published the anti-fashion manifesto, stating that fashion is now obsolete. David highlighted a number of provocative statements from it, such as “It’s the end of fashion as we know it,” “Fashion is now insular and placing itself out of society which is a dangerous step,” and “Marketing killed the whole thing … governed by greed and not by vision.” One salient quote that’s reflected in modern fashion was “Clothes will dominate the future.” Clothes, not fashion.

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Fashion is now only worn by few. Clothes are what people actually wear. Fashion is still alive and well, it’s just that people are more interested in looking at it than wearing it. Fashion is sensationalism, theatrics, and costumes while clothes are simple, timeless, and ageless. Fashion trends are presented in museums and worn by celebrities.

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Many designers are creating clothes for people that no longer exist — designs that aren’t compatible with most people’s modern lifestyle.

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In response, people are defining their own fashion trends. This woman has worn the same kind of outfit to work for the past 3 years. It reflects a popular modern trend — people want to be stylish, but they don’t want to play the fashion game.

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In response to the “just clothes” trend, many designers are sneaking modern, cool, minimal, yet exciting clothes into their runways. Genderless fashion is also trending. It’s characterless and functional, taking the “just clothes” neutrality to the next level.

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Colors, prints and textures are being combined in daring, unexpected new ways. Combinations that wouldn’t have previously been seen together are now mixing for an exciting, busy look that doesn’t fail to catch the eye.

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David begins wrapping up the presentation by introducing the real trend he’s most excited about — the thing that’s making our lives exciting and new: developments in technology.

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Technology is now extending to clothing and accessories in order to serve as tools designed to improve our lives. These devices connect with your smartphone to relay information to you, such as when you’ve been in the sun too long or the state of your posture. There are even glasses that read your brainwaves to help you focus!

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Developments in textile manufacturing have also created practical stain-proof fabrics.

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There are even more exciting new ideas that seek to integrate fashion with technology, such as clothing with solar panels that are specifically designed to charge your phone.

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David states that since fashion’s already explored every facet of shape, the only way to make something new is to make a familiar design with unused mediums. Using 3D printed materials and LED-infused fabrics in clothing takes what’s familiar and transforms it into something that’s new.

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There’s also a whole new potential customer that designers may soon be marketing to: robots. When human-shaped robots become mainstream, we will want to dress them up.

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This sort of technology is not as far into the future as it may seem. In fact, the first family-friendly household robot will be available for purchase as soon as November 2016.

We caught the complete presentation by David Wolfe and Amanda Hallay on video. See it on our YouTube channel:

If you attended and had your photo taken at the event, you can view it on Facebook:

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UFC Speakers David - Amanda

Many thanks to David Wolfe and Amanda Hallay for giving such a fabulous presentation! We hope to see you all next time!