WASHINGTON — Apparel shipments from China and Vietnam spiked in April, despite an overall decrease of textile and clothing imports to the U.S.
The Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel on Wednesday said imports of apparel to the U.S. from China increased 15.5 percent to 524 million square meter equivalents in April compared with a year earlier. Shipments from Vietnam were up 9.6 percent for the month to 121 million SME.
Combined shipments of textiles and apparel to the U.S. from all trading partners in April dropped 9.7 percent to 3.62 billion SME. Apparel imports declined 8 percent to 1.52 billion SME, while textile shipments slipped 10.8 percent to 2.09 billion SME. April marked the 12th consecutive monthly decline in year-to-year import comparisons.
“It is evident from today’s trade data that our global community is facing a difficult economic environment,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. “Now more than ever, we should strengthen, not weaken, our economic ties with the world community, because international trade can and will help drive the world’s economic recovery.”
China’s overall shipments of textiles and apparel to the U.S. were dragged down by falling textile figures, the Commerce Department office noted. Combined shipments dropped 1.2 percent to 1.53 billion SME.
Countries reporting significant declines in April included Mexico, Honduras and Pakistan. Apparel and textile shipments from Mexico fell 28.3 percent to 176 million SME, Pakistan’s combined shipments dropped 12.8 percent to 210 million SME and imports from Honduras plummeted 37.3 percent to 68 million SME.
Vietnam continued to show overall growth, increasing its April apparel and textile shipments to the U.S. by 23.2 percent in 12-month comparisons to 160 million SME. South Korea increased textile and apparel shipments 2.6 percent to 131 million SME. Combined textile and apparel imports to the U.S. from the other top 10 suppliers all declined in April.
The top five apparel shippers to the U.S. in April were China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Honduras and Indonesia. China was also the top textile supplier, followed by Pakistan, India, South Korea and Mexico.
The nation’s trade gap widened slightly in April to $29.2 billion from $28.5 billion in March. Most of the increase was driven by oil imports, economists said.
“The April trade deficit was little changed from March, but the trade figures were disappointing in the sense that both export and import volumes tumbled again,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty