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.
“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