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IADS Press Release: Italian Fashion Executive Appointed to Lead Innovation for the International Association of Department Stores

press March 2024 Press release

The International Association of Department Stores (IADS) has chosen Elisabetta Falco Beccalli to lead its Innovation and Communications efforts, succeeding Mary Jane Shea who is leaving the organization for personal reasons at the end of the month. Ms. Falco Beccalli brings over 15 years of international fashion business development experience to the role.

"We would like to thank Mary Jane for her dedicated and energetic contributions. We extend our heartfelt wishes for her success and fulfilment in her new endeavours," stated IADS President Kamshim Lau. "As Mary Jane departs, we are delighted to welcome Elisabetta, who will continue to build upon Mary Jane’s many achievements. With her deep expertise in the fashion industry and international background, Elisabetta is ideally positioned to spearhead our innovation and communication initiatives going forward." 

Ms. Falco Beccalli, 43, held senior sales positions with premier fashion houses including Yves Saint Laurent, Theyskens' Theory, Theory and Helmut Lang. She was instrumental in launching Theory in Southern Europe, running its inaugural showroom during the brand's rapid growth years.  

Hailing originally from Italy, Ms. Falco Beccalli earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Villanova University in the United States. She has lived abroad extensively including in Europe, Asia and the USA. In charge of Innovation and Communications, Ms. Falco Beccalli will be responsible for identifying new technologies to help the IADS’ member department stores address pressing industry challenges. This will include spearheading research initiatives, like the Association's annual White Paper, – with the latest edition about Retail Media released earlier in January-, the Global Department Store Monitor, - with the latest edition released earlier in February-, and creating new partnerships with relevant companies, coming on top of the existing cooperation with NellyRodi in trends identification, The Style Pulse in scouting new brands, Retail Hub in tech sourcing and RH-ISAC in cyber defence. 

Following the 2020 pandemic episode, the IADS has gone through a significant reinvention in terms of responsibilities and services brought to its department store members. This transformation has been made possible thanks to the involvement of a new, younger team, with the average age of the team members decreasing by 13 years. This transformation was made visible to the world last December when Ms Kamshim Lau, 36, was elected the first female president in 96 years of IADS’ existence. Such an appointment was a testament to the IADS members’ agility and commitment to addressing the most pressing challenges in retail by collaborating and relying on the best talents available. 

"I am thrilled to be taking on this dynamic new role with IADS," said Ms. Falco Beccalli. "I look forward to helping such an expert global organization drive innovation in the retail space during this time of immense change and possibility." 

Read the full press release below:

Read the full press release, in French, below:

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