WASHINGTON — Apparel and textile imports to the U.S. rose 3.5 percent in October on a year-over-year basis, as retailers boosted inventories in advance of the holiday season and rushed to beat a port strike that was later resolved on the West Coast, a report on Tuesday from the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel showed.
Combined apparel and textile shipments reached 4.8 billion square meter equivalents in the month, with apparel imports up 5.8 percent to 2.2 billion SME and textile shipments increasing 1.7 percent to 2.6 billion SME.
“I think people were trying to rush in their shipments with all of the uncertainty on the West Coast [and the potential for a port strike], which didn’t become a big problem, and all of the uncertainties about a port strike on the East Coast,” said Nate Herman, vice president of international trade at the American Apparel & Footwear Association.
On the West Coast, an eight-day port strike at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach ended after federal mediators intervened on Dec. 5. However, concerns are still running high about a possible port strike at the East and Gulf Coast ports. Talks between the United States Maritime Alliance and International Longshoremen Association over a new contract covering workers at ports from Maine to Texas and affecting about 20 percent of all apparel, textiles and footwear trade, are ongoing, but the extension expires Dec. 29 and importers are anxious a resolution will not be reached in time.
Kevin Burke, president and chief executive officer of the AAFA, said, “If a strike occurs, we will witness damage much greater than what we saw last week, which will hurt U.S. businesses, American workers and hard-working American families, all at a time when the U.S. economy can least afford it.”
Apparel and textile shipments from China, the top supplier to the U.S., rose 5.4 percent to 2.4 billion SME compared with October 2011. Combined shipments from Vietnam, the number-two supplier, were up 7.8 percent to 310 million SME from a year earlier. Indonesia had the largest industry increase, up 13.8 percent to 137 million SME, followed by South Korea’s 3.1 percent gain to 110 million SME, Mexico’s 1.9 percent uptick to 211 million SME, India’s 1.8 percent gain to 281 million SME and Bangladesh’s 1.6 percent hike to 117 million SME.
Apparel shipments from Central America and the Dominican Republic, all signatories in the Central American Free Trade Agreement, fell 1.7 percent in October year-on-year. By comparison, combined shipments from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries rose 7.8 percent in October compared with a year earlier. Canada posted the largest decline in combined apparel and textile shipments, falling 16 percent to 94 million SME in the month.
The overall trade deficit in October widened to $42.2 billion from $40.3 billion in September.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)