Inaugural ITA Design Symposium Held at Jefferson University

HIGH POINT, N.C. – On October 5-6, ITA held its inaugural Design Symposium at the newly opened ITA Textile Design Collaborative Studio at Jefferson University in Philadelphia. In addition to a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the studio, the event included two days of educational presentations led by textile industry leaders. Developed by ITA’s Educational Foundation to support the growth and future success of the textile industry, the Design Symposium is the first of many to be held at textile design schools.

“Our debut Design Symposium was a resounding success and we plan to use it as a model for future programs at other educational institutions across the country,” said Katherine Shoaf, ITA Educational Foundation Committee Chair. “Our two-day event gave students the opportunity to hear more about today’s textiles from an all-star lineup of industry insiders comprised of the ITA board and association members. It combined valuable educational presentations with networking opportunities for students, and is ITA’s initial foray in the creation of ITA student chapters.”

Educational topics at the symposium ranged from the design and application of performance fabrics to the history and manufacturing of modern embellishment. ITA members that presented at the event included Todd Nifong, Al Fresco Functional Fabrics; Kelly Difoggio, JLA Home Fabrics; Kathryn Richardson, Libeco Lagae, Inc.; Trim Queen Jana Platina Phipps, Classical Elements; Wesley Mancini, Wesley Mancini Ltd.; Scott Kravet, Kravet, Inc.; Joy Alaoui, MTL. Other participating industry professionals included Angela Domsitz, The Woolmark Company; Scott Warwick and Lindsey Josepayt of United Fabrics; and Tobe Fitterman, Spradling International. ITA has extended an open invitation to textile industry professionals to present at and participate in future symposiums.

“ITA’s educational programming is dedicated to securing the future of the industry by attracting fresh talent and future leaders from the next generation of students,” said Todd Nifong, chair of the ITA Education Foundation. “We are working very hard to ensure the growth and advancement of textiles, and we need the continued support of our industry. I encourage every business that conducts business in the textile marketplace to consider donating to the ITA Educational Foundation. Every donation, regardless of size, helps extend the reach of our programs and scholarships.”

For information about presenting at or participating in future ITA Design Symposiums, or for information about ITA’s Educational Foundation or making a donation, contact Carrie Dillon at 336-885-6842 or

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Formed in 1990 to advance the textile industries through the promotion of education, networking and collaboration year-round, ITA hosts the bi-annual ITA Showtime Market and directs the ITA Educational Foundation. The non-profit, member-driven organization is based in High Point, North Carolina and is supported by leading companies across the industry. For more information, visit