WASHINGTON — The fight against global counterfeiting and piracy was front and center Wednesday with the introduction of legislation in Congress that would provide more money to enforce intellectual property laws and create new penalties.
The bipartisan bill would require the office of the U.S. Trade Representative to take specific steps to stop violations, increase the budget for the USTR to assist developing countries in improving intellectual property protection and establish enforcement tools to crack down on countries that refuse to combat theft of U.S. intellectual property.
“We can’t stamp ‘Made in America’ on an idea, but Congress can do more to protect American intellectual property around the world,” said Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), who sponsored the measure with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah). “We can’t let other countries repeatedly rip off the moves Americans make, the products Americans design and the other fruits of American ingenuity without taking some action.”
China is the number-one culprit for fashion counterfeits that expose U.S. brands to millions of dollars in lost revenue. The most recent statistics show that U.S. Customs seized $77.8 million in bogus footwear from China in the 2007 fiscal year; $27 million in apparel; $14.2 million in handbags, wallets and backpacks; $13.4 million in watches and $4 million worth of sunglasses.
The manufacture of counterfeit products in China has shown few signs of abating, despite recent steps by the U.S. to pressure the economic giant, such as a recent government report that put China on the government’s “priority watch list.”
The bill would require the USTR to develop an “action plan” for each foreign country that has remained on the list for at least one year. If a country does not comply within a year, the legislation authorizes the President to take enforcement actions, including prohibiting federal government procurement from the offending country, barring new financing by the federally controlled Overseas Private Investment Corp. and Export-Import Bank and withdrawing any preferential trade treatment.
“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