Retailer Award


Suzanne Dawson

VP, DMM, Women’s Intimate and Active Apparel

Suzanne Dawson, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of Kohl’s women’s intimate and active
apparel, is responsible for helping to deliver amazing product and exciting customers with sought-after
merchandise in Kohl’s women’s intimate and active apparel assortment.

Prior to joining Kohl’s in 2009, Dawson was vice president of assortment planning and system
implementation at Macy’s, as well as held numerous positions at Robinson’s May and Marshall Fields. She
has 30 years of retail experience.

Manufacturer Award

GELMART International



Since joining Gelmart International in 2009, Yossi Nasser has focused on continued growth for the
66-year-old family business. Under his leadership, Gelmart has grown market share significantly, and has
become one of the largest private-label intimates’ suppliers in the country. Through this journey,
Gelmart has been fortunate enough to be awarded Walmart’s Vendor of the Year in 2011 and 2013 amongst all
suppliers, for pioneering and bringing into market the top-selling $3.98 bra program.

Yossi is now focused on bringing Gelmart closer to its next goal: product and market innovation, which he
plans to achieve through brand concept building and incubation. As part of this initiative, Gelmart has
become very active in launching and incubating direct to consumer brands, such as LIVELY and the Feather
Bra, while continuously focusing on providing unique product and experiences to consumers, through
different touch points. Gelmart is also active in the licensing space, as it has recently acquired the
innerwear license for French Connection.

Suzanne Dawson, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of Kohl’s women’s intimate and active
apparel, is responsible for helping to deliver amazing product and exciting customers with sought-after
merchandise in Kohl’s women’s intimate and active apparel assortment.



Supplier Award

Pioneer Elastic (Hong Kong) Ltd

Matthew Lam

Group Chief Operating Officer

Established in 1963, Pioneer Elastic (Hong Kong) Ltd is a market leader of narrow elastic fabric. From the beginning the company has evolved through product design and development, raw material research, latest technology, and establishment of manufacturing facilities to become a renowned manufacturer in its field, around the world.

Factories located in China, Thailand, India, and soon to be Vietnam give a total of over 60,000 square meters of combined production facilities. Pioneer Elastic has the capacity of over 60 million meters per month for the world market. Our high quality products are assured by the accreditation of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 18001 and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification. A dedicated R&D team comprising of personnel who are experienced, imaginative and assertive ensure we constantly innovate. Our team has been successful in maintaining Pioneer’s leadership in design and innovation over many years.

For four years in a row Pioneer Elastic has achieved the requirement set by ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) Foundation. The company complies with all Laws and Conventions in countries where it operates and commits to elevate our preservation to the environment continuously. The product of the company is marketed under Pioneer’s pledge of excellence, and caters to leading brand names around the world..

Lifetime Achievement Award


Mike Freville

Corporate Divisional Merchandise Manager for Intimate Apparel and Sleepwear

Mike began his career in 1977 with Bacon’s Department Stores, a Division of Mercantile Stores in Louisville, Kentucky. Mike worked as a stock boy while finishing high school and attending college. After graduating from Bellarmine College, Mike became an Assistant Buyer in the men’s area and then a department manager in several of the branch stores in Louisville. Bacon’s is also where Mike met his beautiful wife Laura, in 1986.

In 1990 Mike became the buyer for men’s shirts, ties and accessories for the Bacon’s Division. As computers began to play a greater role in our business and with Mike’s experience in basics, he was later promoted to Divisional Manager for Planning and Replenishment for the Bacon’s/McAlpin’s Divisions.

In 1996 with the retirement of one of the great Intimate Apparel Divisional’s, Pat Metcalf, Mike was promoted to the Divisional Merchandise Manager for Intimate Apparel and Accessories for Bacon’s/McAlpin’s.

In 1998, Mercantile Stores was purchased by Dillard’s where Mike held the same position until the Louisville buying office was closed and consolidated into the St Louis Buying Division. At that time, Dillard’s consolidated all of the Intimate Apparel Buying to Corporate and Mike accepted a position as Product Coordinator for Dillard’s Intimate Apparel in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In 2009, Mike was promoted to Corporate Divisional Merchandise Manager for Intimate Apparel and Sleepwear at Dillard’s and currently holds that position today.

For Mike and his wife Laura, Arkansas has been a great place to grow and raise a family. Mike and Laura have two sons and a daughter. Brandon, age 26 works for a local Funeral Home chain in the IT department and currently working on furthering his education. Alex, age 21 is currently attending the University of Arkansas majoring in Biology. Chloe, age 11 is a very good student, piano player and avid golfer. You can find Mike many Saturday’s caddying for Chloe in local golf tournaments. With the whole family’s love of camping and Mike’s passion for fly fishing, Arkansas with all of its lakes and rivers is the perfect home for them. Whenever there’s a free weekend, you’ll find them all on a river or in the woods somewhere around the state.



Lifetime Achievement Award


Chris Melton

Merchandise Manager of Intimates

Chris Melton is the Merchandise Manager of Intimates at Dillard’s, Inc. In her position, she is responsible for buying and managing all intimates for the corporation. Dillard’s, Inc. currently operates 267 locations and 25 clearance locations spanning 29 states plus an internet location.

Born in Bridgeport Connecticut as the oldest of 3 children, she grew up on both coasts. Chris always had a competitive nature, love of fashion, and knack for numbers. “I try to take what was done yesterday, and do it better tomorrow”, she says. Her father, an Aeronautical Engineer, would take her family to every museum, national landmark, and battlefield across the country. While he and the rest of the family read every plaque, she was in the gift shop wondering who picks out what goes into these shops and why? Little did she know that years later this simple child’s inquisitive nature would lead her to her life’s passion.

In 1989, as a junior at Baylor University, Chris was required to do an internship for her degree plan. Chris reached out to the local Dillard’s Department Store in Waco, Texas and they accepted her request. At that time, no one knew that this was beginning of a fulfilling lifetime career journey that would lead her ultimately to the intimate apparel industry. Starting out as an intern Chris moved through the ranks as Department Manager, Area Sales Manager, Assistant Buyer, Divisional Buyer, Replenishment Buyer, and ultimately moving onto Corporate Buyer of Branded Foundations in early 2007. With each new experience came more valuable information to use in her next step, learning all she could from her time at the store level to the buying arena. In 2012, she was tasked to take on Dillard’s Exclusive Brand lingerie, and in the spring of 2016 she acquired Daywear and Panties under her umbrella. She has been a champion of superior assortments, strong key item programs, MAP pricing policies, and constantly challenging herself and partners to fill industry voids. Almost 30 years later, surrounded by an amazing team of coworkers and vendor partners Dillard’s Intimates has grown to be the benchmark of a better lingerie shopping experience. “I believe we work for the customer. If she always comes first, and we fight for her daily, we will not fail”

Like her parents did for her, Chris, a single mother of two grown children, Victoria and Gregory, has instilled all the work ethics, drive, and humility needed for them to succeed in being servant leaders in their community. Any free time is cherished and maximized by working in her yard, her love of traveling, with friends and family, and desire to sharpen her photography skills. Chris lives by the motto “Do not let your past paralyze you, learn from it. Do not let your future scare you, prepare for it. The present is here, live it”.

Humanitarian Award

MAS Holdings

Mahesh Amalean

Chairman & Co-Founder

Mahesh Amalean is the Chairman & Co-Founder of MAS Holdings, South Asia’s largest manufacturer of intimate and sportswear. Headquartered in Sri Lanka, the company has 53 manufacturing facilities located in 16 countries, providing employment to over 97,000 associates. The company provides design-to-delivery solutions to global fashion brands including Victoria’s Secret, Nike, lululemon athletica, H&M, GAP, PVH and Ralph Lauren.

Mahesh was conferred the title ‘Deshamanya’ (Pride of the Nation) in 2005 by the President of Sri Lanka in recognition of his service to the Nation. In 2011, The Open University of Sri Lanka conferred an honorary doctorate (honoris causa) to Mahesh in recognition of his contribution to the Country. In 2013, Mahesh was one of five global business leaders recognized with a UN Award at the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) inaugural Leadership Awards presentation where he received the award for Cultural Change for Empowerment. He was ranked amongst the Top 20 Progressive Asian Leaders by the World Business Magazine.

In 2015, MAS Holdings was honoured with the ‘PVH Global Vendor Category Award for Strategic Advancement, Human Rights and Sustainability’ and in the same year was bestowed with ‘Gap Vendor Category Awards for Outstanding Performance for Social Responsibility, Outstanding Vendor Performance for Delivery and Outstanding Vendor Performance for Responsive Supply Chain.

In 2012, MAS was recognized as the Winner for Women’s Empowerment at Asia’s Best CSR Practices Awards, whilst ‘Women Go Beyond’ – MAS’ flagship Women Empowerment programme was honoured by being featured as an INSEAD Case Study for Strategic Corporate Responsibility in the Apparel Industry in 2006.

Mahesh completed his executive education in Strategic Leadership from Columbia University in New York (USA); and holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Madras (India).

Mahesh is a charismatic leader and is engaged in nurturing teams, uplifting communities and committed towards creating a sustainable future for the next generation.



President’s Award


Tristine Berry

Marketing and merchandising manager

As a marketing and merchandising manager for BASF, Honeywell, DuPont, and Invista, Tristine has touched the lives of most of us in the intimate apparel business and the wider world of textiles.

Tristine earned her BS in Textile Science at SUNY Buffalo, and an MS in Consumer Economics, Textiles, & Marketing Research from the University of Maryland. She’s combined her background in textiles with an eye for trends and an ability to analyze and present her findings in a pragmatic way to her colleagues and customers. Her powers of observation and ability to make connections informs her personal as well as her business relationships. If you need an introduction to someone or something, Tristine is your go-to person.

Tristine has been a member of the Underfashion Club for over 30 years, and a member of the board for over 20 years, serving as vice-president, treasurer, and most recently co-chair of the membership committee and the Femmy journal. Her efforts to engage interesting speakers from outside the industry, and to create fun club events in novel locations, have benefitted and enlarged the club’s membership.

A thinker, doer, teacher, lover of the arts, world traveller, consummate New Yorker, and all-around people person, Tristine is a generous mentor to young people in the industry and new members of the UFC.





For over two decades as a leading voice and face in the fashion industry, Emme is the iconic and world-renowned supermodel. With the conviction that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, Emme has paved the way and given women a voice to feel beautiful and empowered.

A TV personality, brand spokesperson, model, consultant, author, creative director of her EMME®, mebyEMME®, and TrueBeautybyEMME® clothing lines, cancer survivor, lecturer, former Revlon spokeswoman and globally recognized women’s advocate for positive body image and self-esteem, Emme’s message is clear – to awaken the inner magnificence inherent in each of us, to be whole. She is the first model invited to speak before a Congressional subcommittee in Washington, D.C. with a mission to increase public awareness of eating and body image disorders and is the founder of Fashion Without Limits: Changing The Face of Fashion, in it’s 5th year with partner Syracuse University – a first of it’s kind – an inclusive fashion design initiative, teaching future fashion designers how to design for all women size 0-24+.

For the first time in 28 years, Emme walked in Chromat’s spring 2018 fashion show at New York Fashion Week, then landed three spring 2018 campaigns placing her right back into her modeling career with Iconic Focus. Part of the ensemble cast of the documentary Straight/Curve, Emme participates with screenings and panels at high schools, college campuses and public gatherings supporting this break out body work. You can find her podcast EmmeStyle: Remarkable people. Empowering stories, on iTunes, and collaborating with yoga legging brand sensation KDeer with a legging bearing the #EMME®stripe to benefit the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Emme has authored five books, “True Beauty”, “Life’s Little Emergencies”, co-author of Morning Has Broken and co-author of her children’s book “What Are You Hungry For? And in 2017 co-authored with Natasha Stoynoff and Amy Newmark Chicken Soup For The Soul Curvy and Confident: 101 Stories of Loving Yourself and Your Body”.

Emme is a sought after media, healthcare and retail consultant, tapping into her invaluable insight from her 30 years dedicated to positive body image and celebrating a woman’s body™. She is frequently interviewed by the media on a variety of topics relating to eating disorders and body image, fashion & beauty trends, marketing and fitness, as well as surviving cancer and women’s health. She is consistently booked to appear on such media outlets as: Today Show, GMA, CBS The Early Show, CNN, MSNBC, HLN, OWN, FOX News, OMG! Insider, Huff Post Live, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and others to share her point of view on these topics.  Her work receives national and international coverage from the NYTimes, Women’s Wear Daily, R29, Bustle, People Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Marie Claire, TIME Magazine, HuffPost, WSJ, Yahoo!Style, PeopleStyleWatch, USAToday BusinessInsider.com, Vogue Italia, Tribune India, MTV, The DailyMail, among many others.

A TEDx presenter, Emme has twice been selected to People Magazine’s50 Most Beautiful People” and Ladies’ Home Journal chose her as one of the “Most Important Women in America” and one of the “Most Fascinating Women of the Year.” She has also been honored as one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year” and as one of Biography magazine’s “25 Most Influential Women”, Emme is an Ambassador to The National Eating Disorders Association, board member of the Model Alliance, honorary board member of Project Heal, and donates her time to the Girl Scouts of America