When a graduate student named Andy Reilly first heard about the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) in 1997, he admits he “really didn't know about or understand the purpose of professional organizations.” Still, his professor recommended he join, so he did.
“However, after my first meeting – in Lyon, France, no less – I was hooked and found a supportive community for my academic interests,” says Andy, now a professor in the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program of the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences.
A quarter-century later, he will represent CTAHR as the new president of the ITAA – the first male to lead the international organization since its founding in 1979! Andy will serve as president-elect in 2022, move into the president position in 2023, and serve as counselor in 2024.
“I am very happy to have this opportunity to serve,” Andy says. “The position will bring visibility to UH and our fashion program. CTAHR has a history of strong leaders in ITAA and I am one person glad to continue that tradition.”
And what exactly are his plans as president?
“ITAA is currently undergoing a strategic review and developing a plan,” Andy says. “This plan will help guide the organization – and one of my roles will be to help oversee the implementation of the plan. I hope that by the end of my term, the organization will be duly prepared to face the issues that affect clothing and textiles scholars, educators, and practitioners.”
ITAA was founded in 1979 as the Association of College Professors of Textiles and Clothing, changing its name in 1991 to the International Textile and Apparel Association to better reflect its global perspective. ITAA strives to advance excellence in education, scholarship, innovation, and their global applications. It is the premier organization for textile and apparel scholarship.