WASHINGTON — A group of 20 apparel and footwear chief executives sent a letter to President Obama Friday, urging him to take immediate steps to restore full operation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where a strike has shut down most activity ahead of the crucial holiday season.
Calling the work stoppages at the nation’s busiest port complex “dire,” the executives — all members of the American Apparel & Footwear Association — expressed “grave concern” about the potential impact on their businesses and the broader economy, in their request for help from the federal government.
“As business leaders we must make decisions in a rapidly narrowing window of time whether to enact injurious contingency plans to accommodate our product shipments,” the industry executives said. “Recovering from Hurricane Sandy has put a toll on the U.S. economy and industry enough. To add to the burden with port shutdowns in major West Coast trade hubs is dangerous and irresponsible four our country’s health.”
Among the 20 executives who signed the letter were: Chip Bergh, president and chief executive office of Levi Strauss & Co.; Rick Darling, president of Li & Fung USA,; Rick Helfenbein, president Luen Thai USA;Ira M. Dansky, executive vice president and general counsel and secretary of The Jones Group, Inc.; Tom Glasser, vice president of VF Corp and president of its global supply chain; Kevin Burke, president and ceo of the AAFA; George Feldenkreis, chairman and ceo of Perry Ellis International and Michael Saunders, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Kellwood Company. RELATED STORY: Obama Urged to Act on Dock Strike >>
The Los Angeles-Long Beach ports are the nation’s busiest and handle the largest volume of apparel, textiles and footwear — $40.3 billion in 2011, accounting for 31 percent of the sector’s imports, according to U.S. Customs & Border Protection.
The strike began on Tuesday (and continued through today without a resolution) after 67 workers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63’s Office Clerical Unit walked out of negotiations and brought all activity to a standstill at the APM Terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. The rest of the 800-member clerical unit walked out on Wednesday and work stoppage spread to seven of the eight operating cargo terminals at Port of Los Angeles and three of the six cargo terminals at Port of Long Beach.
The ILWU’s 63-OCU division has been in negotiations with the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association since June of 2010, when its last contract expired. The OCU claims shipping agencies and terminal operators, represented by the Harbor Employers Association, are trying to outsource their jobs to nonunion workers, a charge the Harbor Employers Association denies.
“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