WASHINGTON — As more U.S. brands endorse the Made in America movement and shift some production back to the U.S., the American Apparel & Footwear Association has launched a search engine on its Web site to highlight members that have U.S. manufacturing facilities and capabilities.
The AAFA unveiled the feature on Tuesday in advance of its semiannual meeting of domestic manufacturers.
“One of AAFA’s goals is to facilitate a discussion that makes it just as easy to source across the street as it is across the ocean,” said AAFA chairman Rick Helfenbein, who is also president of Luen Thai USA. “The ability to identify Made in USA partners is essential to building a viable business case that incorporates domestic manufacturing into the commercial supply chain. Our new database functionality makes that process easier.”
Made in USA was a key topic at AAFA’s executive summit in March, where executive vice president Stephen Lamar declared it a “hot topic” and stressed that the association had received several inquiries from members about “building a business case for Made in USA.”
In 2012, domestic apparel and footwear manufacturing increased 8.6 and 9 percent, respectively, according to the AAFA. Overall domestic apparel manufacturing has grown more than 15 percent since 2010, while domestic footwear manufacturing has grown 17.6 percent.
“With a declining military market, the U.S. apparel and footwear domestic manufacturing base must continually seek out new opportunities to grow their business,” said Michael Mansh, chairman of AAFA’s Government Contracts Committee and president of Pennsylvania Apparel Co. “The introduction of domestic search capabilities into the AAFA database is one in a string of many steps AAFA is taking to support and promote the capabilities of our domestic manufacturing member companies.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast