The European commission agreed on an economic and financial aid package for the embattled Ukraine on Wednesday that, if approved, would fast-track the elimination and reduction of duties on Ukraine’s exports of such industrial products as apparel, textiles and footwear to the European Union.The EC’s offer comes at a tense time between the West and Russia, which increased its military presence in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula, after the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and raised the stakes internationally as the West scrambled to offer aid to Ukraine and threatened sanctions against what some are calling Russia’s aggression. The U.S. offered an aid package of $1 billion in loan guarantees on Tuesday.RELATED STORY: Global Stock Markets Rise as Russian Tensions Ease >>The EC’s package would provide 11 billion euros, or about $15 billion, in financial aid to Ukraine in the form of loans, grants and trade benefits over the next two years, according to EC President José Manuel Barroso, who unveiled the package at a news conference in Brussels.“The most immediate priority for the EU is to contribute to a peaceful solution to the current crisis, in full respect of international law,” said Barroso. “In parallel, the international community should mobilize to help Ukraine stabilize its economic and financial situation. The European Commission is proposing today a package designed to assist a committed, inclusive and reforms-oriented government in rebuilding a stable and prosperous future for Ukraine.”Barroso said the broad package would be coordinated with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank. In addition, some of it would be contingent on Ukraine signing an International Monetary Fund loan package. On the trade front, Ukraine exported 474 million euros, or $651 million, worth of apparel, textiles, footwear and accessories to the EU in 2012, based on the latest figures available.Under the proposed aid package, which will be presented to the EU heads of state and government at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, the EC said it was ready to offer “the early application” of the duty reductions and tariff rate quotas embedded in the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area deal, which has not yet been signed or implemented.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)