With the unexpectedly sudden death of Dutch entrepreneur Harry van Dalfsen (72) on October 18, the International Apparel Federation (IAF) is losing one of its most remarkable past presidents. Enjoying life with his wife Karin in his holiday home in Portugal, he was seized by an infection that had a devastating effect on his body within just a few days. His death marks the departure of an outstanding industry personality.
Starting a business in interior textiles some 50 years ago he created with his great entrepreneurship a group of companies active in textiles, waste management, etc., and legal services. Next to that, he was very active on boards of different associations.
Harry was elected president in 2010, serving the full four-year term. Under his inspiring leadership, IAF grew into a federation that includes national clothing and textile organizations from almost 50 countries. Important production countries like China, Brazil, India, and Italy were missing from IAF’s membership at that time. Harry visited them all to get them on board, and with success. His charm, knowledge, and vision convinced them to join.
For the apparel sector, his special merits applied to his involvement on the board of national and international associations: He was acting as chairman of the Dutch fashion and textile association Modint when the call to the board of the IAF (International Apparel Federation) reached him. In its obituary, the World Apparel Federation honors him as an architect of the new federation structure developed during this period, which under his aegis moved the secretariat from London back to Amsterdam in 2006, the cornerstone for synergistic networking also in spatial union with the IAF at its current location in Zeist. His election as IAF President followed in 2010. Under his inspiring leadership until 2014, the IAF grew into an association that today includes national apparel and textile organizations from nearly 50 countries.