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.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion