NEW DELHI — In a fillip to India’s fashion industry, the government has set a zero excise duty on exports of cotton, spun yarn and apparel. The move went into effect March 1.
Industry analysts said the decision could mean the price of ready-made garments could come down by as much as 7 to 8 percent, benefitting manufacturers, retailers and customers. The announcement was made as a part of the Union Budget for 2013-14 by finance minister P. Chidambaram, with other incentives to keep the textile industry growing.
The apparel industry, which has been suffering from a slowdown, had been lobbying for the removal of the excise tax. Designers and various industry people have been protesting the tax since 2010.
“The withdrawal of the excise tax on branded apparel is a recognition by the government of India that the multiplier effects of jobs created in the textile and apparel industry far outweigh the benefits gained from taxing this industry,” William Bissell, managing director of FabIndia, told WWD. FabIndia is one of the leading retail chains in India that employs textile workers and artisans across the country.
Designer Tarun Tahiliani said the abolition of the tax would give designers much-needed relief from additional bureaucracy. “The system is hugely chaotic, so there is a huge hidden cost to keeping these things off your back,” he said, adding that it was “a very good thing that this excise tax has been abolished. It was abolished a few years ago, then it came back and sometimes the procedure itself was more damaging than the amount of the tax.”
Designer Nikasha Tawadey said that the removal of excise duty “was very welcome, but it was a sign that the community needed to keep together on important issues. If you don’t have a strong enough voice they will keep squeezing you. Designers often wear many hats at the same time, unlike the European counterparts, we often have a lack of major funding and work as accountant, production manager and designer at the same time. We do have our share of woes, and could do with some government help,” she said.
Asked if the benefit of the tax removal would be passed along to the consumer, Tahiliani and several retailers said that with the spring pricing already done and at the stores, the matter would have to be taken under consideration before a decision could be taken, but was more likely to be reflected in prices later in summer.
“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