In a presentation titled “Exporting for Profit: If Not Now, When?” Lawrence J. Brill, senior international trade specialist at the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel, explained the many government programs aimed at aiding businesses looking to sell abroad.
Some of these programs have existed for years, while others are newer initiatives, and all now fall under President Obama’s National Export Initiative.
“NEI is an ambitious effort to marshal the full resources of the United States government behind American businesses that sell their goods and services abroad,” Brill said. “Over the next several years, we’ll continue significantly ramping up Export-Import Bank trade financing for businesses, especially small and medium businesses that want to export their goods.”
Brill said OTEXA is involved in a range of activities geared toward this goal. OTEXA sponsors USA Pavilions at major international trade shows, sponsors trade missions to foreign countries, provides individual and company-specific export counseling, conducts market research, publishes export information that can be found at otexa.ita.doc.gov, and is a member of the International Trade Administration’s Global Textile and Apparel team, information for which is available at buyusa.gov/textilesandapparel.
“The U.S. Commercial Service is the lead trade promotion agency at the Department of Commerce,” Brill explained, adding it has 125 offices abroad and offers free consultation and a variety of other services for U.S. companies.
OTEXA offers what it calls “Customized Matchmaking Services” for companies that qualify for its “Gold Key Service” and international partner searches, to help identify customers and markets for brands and companies, and conducts background checks on local companies. In order to qualify, a U.S.-based company’s product must be 51 percent made in the U.S., which includes all aspects of the operation, from ingredients and production to advertising and distribution. He said theoretically a product could be manufactured outside the U.S. and still qualify.
Brill advised those looking to export for the first time or grow their sales that they need to visit and gain knowledge of potential markets and have a commitment from the top of the company. He said a three-to-five year development period should be expected and recommended that companies conduct extensive market research before entering a particular country or region.
Also important is choosing the right agent or distributor and to obtain proper legal advice on the intellectual property rights laws in that nation.
The U.S. exported $19.2 billion worth of textiles and apparel in 2010 — $3.5 billion in apparel and $15.2 billion in textiles, Brill noted. The top apparel export markets were Canada, Mexico, Japan, the U.K., South Korea, the Benelux countries, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Australia. Not included in this group but considered the faster-growing U.S. export markets were Chile and Singapore.
“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