In a little less than a month, I will be attending The International Cuff Link Association Convention in Chicago in order to report on the news from the world of cuff links.
This will be the first convention of The International Cuff Link Association, which itself has only existed for little over a year. However, before we provide you with all the details about the cuff link convention, I would like to introduce the ICLA, as well as its President and CEO, Dave Mehlhoff.
The International Cuff Link Association
Dave’s interest in cuff links really began with his enjoyment of dressing nicely for work. As a sales manager, it was always important for him to create a good first impression and his cuff links certainly helped with task, as they regularly became a conversation topic and ice breaker.
In the early 1990’s, his wife stumbled upon an article about the National Cuff Link Society that sparked his interest in collecting his favorite accessory. Subsequently, he began collecting cuff links and visited numerous flea markets and antique stores.
After a few years of hard work, he encountered online auctioning platforms and, at present, his cuff link collection consists of more than 1,700 pairs! Dave collects all kinds of cuff links, including old and new cuff links with different types of fasteners, made by different manufacturers and materials, cuff links that perform a function or advertise a product or service and even cufflinks previously owned by celebrities.
After the National Cuff Link Society ceased to exist, he frequently thought about recreating a similar society for cuff link enthusiasts. Since he was working full time, he was simply unable to do it. Luckily, after he retired, he could finally make his dream come true and founded the International Cuff Link Association with his fellow enthusiast and brother, Tim. The international scope was important to him to not only include Americans but to unite cuff link collectors from all over the world.
The Cuff Link Convention
It will be held on August 19 – 21, 2011 at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites hotel, which is located close to the Chicago O’Hare Airport.
The cost to attend the convention is $235.00 per person, which includes Continental Breakfast and Awards Banquet on Saturday, August 20th, and the Breakfast Buffet on Sunday, August 21st, 2011.
Cuff Link Convention Agenda
On Friday, there will be a welcome reception for the participants of the convention at the Club Lounge on the 16th floor of the hotel starting at 7:00 pm..
Saturday starts out with breakfast, which is followed by presentations, guest speakers and cuff link and antique jewelry experts from all around the world. There will also be cuff link workshops and a huge cuff link exhibition, which will open on the 2nd floor from 1:00-5:00 pm in the Jazz Room. This exhibition will be open to the public and attendees will have the opportunity to meet all the renowned collectors and experts of cuff links and accessories. Of course, you will be able to buy cuff links and have them appraised. If you are in Chicago that weekend and you enjoy cuff links, you should definitely visit this cuff link exhibition; you will not be able to find this many cuff links anywhere else! So even if you do not want to sign up for the entire convention, just drop by for the cuff link exhibition.
On Saturday evening at 6:30 pm, the ICLA awards banquet will be held and a key note speaker will talk about cuff links in the Writer Room.
On Sunday, there will be a hot buffet breakfast in the Writer Room, which is accompanied by guest speakers from 8:30–11:00 am. Afterwards, you will once more have the chance to visit the cuff link exhibition for more shopping from 11:00–3:00 pm. Again, the exhibition will be open to the general public.
Cuff Link Convention Registration
If you would like to register, please visit the website of the ICLA where you will find all necessary information.
I hope to see you there, and if you cannot make it, rest assured that I will take plenty of pictures and follow up with an in depth cuff links convention report. Regardless, you should definitely take a look at the remarkable cuff link book by Leonardo Volpini.