WORLD Some of the bridal and prom
industry’s brightest minds and
biggest names have teamed
up to take on the problem of
he American Bridal and Prom Industry Association
was created with multiple objectives in mind. The
bridal and prom industry needed an organization that
represents all retailers, manufacturers, apparel marts,
and any other entity that operates in our formalwear
business. Critical situations often bring parties together. Such is
the case with ABPIA. The onslaught of over 400 web sites ema-
nating from China that are counterfeiting virtually all the prod-
ucts sold through today’s traditional bridal, prom and social
occasion outlets was the call to action leading to the formation of
T What are the goals of the ABPIA?
The goal of the organization is to do everything within its
power to better the industry. The ﬁrst major goal is to stem the tide
of counterfeiting. In 2011, it is estimated that 500,000 illegal
copies of merchandise arrived on shore. It is projected that as much
as 600,000 units could arrive in 2012. Once the organization is
successful, it will move on to other goals such as securing health in-
surance for the industry. So many retailers, independent reps and
small companies cannot afford insurance. The industry is large
enough to be able to secure this if it pools resources. Other major
issues facing the industry will be confronted.
There is a Board of Directors with nine members, including
Stephen Lang (President—CEO of Mon Cheri Bridals), Bob Ca-
hoon (Vice President—President of Maggie Sottero), Stuart
Steinmann (Treasurer—CFO Mon Cheri Bridals), and Roanna
Rose (Secretary—Owner of TJ Formals). Joining these board
members are Peter Grimes (Owner VOWS: Magazine), Claudine
Hamm (Principal, Alyce Designs), Michael Kasher (Owner,
LaFemme Fashions), Susan McCullough (Senior VP, Chicago
Apparel Mart), and Manny Ben Or (Owner, BrideClick.net).
Legal counsel to the board is Mr. Craig Hilliard, senior partner
at the law ﬁrm of Stark and Stark of Princeton, New Jersey. Craig
is a seasoned intellectual property attorney. Withum, Smith and
Brown is the accounting ﬁrm representing the association, also
based in Princeton, New Jersey.
How does the board operate?
The board meets once a month via conference call and also meets
at markets. Minutes are published after each meeting, and counsel
joins them for each board meeting as well. Decisions are made by the
group with a quorum required to approve matters. There are also
subcommittees working on speciﬁc projects, such as advertising and
public relations, membership, legal and other matters.
How does one join the organization?
How is ABPIA organized?
The organization is an ofﬁcial 501C6 nonproﬁt organization.
There are annual dues to be a part of ABPIA. Retailer and in-
dependent sales representatives dues are $100, apparel marts and