GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexico must invest at least $500 million by 2017 to bankroll emerging designers and help create a stronger and more modern fashion identity, according to Sergio Lopez de la Cerda, president of top apparel industry chamber Canaive.
Speaking on the sidelines of the four-day Intermoda IM sourcing fair here last month, he said the government must bolster investment in the industry to help up-and-coming designers and small and midsize brands access funding to expand and export their products abroad.
“We need at least $500 million in three years to achieve this project,” Lopez said, adding that the figure is conservative.
By “project,” Lopez was referring to the sector’s plan to transform itself into a supplier of more value-added and fashionable apparel and build a more robust “made in Mexico” fashion brand and identity. This effort should help the country lift domestic apparel sales and exports to survive an increasingly competitive global market.
Canaive recently set up a fashion council to oversee the initiative and a leading technical committee expected to begin meetings by yearend. To build a stronger “Made in Mexico” brand, Canaive has joined forces with the textile, footwear, leather goods and accessories sectors to come up with an edgier product portfolio for the local and international markets.
Lopez said Canaive is pressuring the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto to lift next year’s budget for aid to the apparel industry to at least $150 million, up from “a much smaller amount” currently.
Lopez said 70 percent of those funds should be directed to help small suppliers step up sales to Mexico’s growing department store network.
“They don’t have enough working capital to increase production,” Lopez said.
Observers at the biannual Guadalajara fair, the country’s largest sourcing event, said the financing squeeze is giving foreign importers, notably Chinese, an edge against Mexican brands scrambling to grow in the domestic apparel market, worth some $20 billion.
The other 30 percent of the government’s money should be handed to emerging designer labels, most of which are struggling to grow inside and outside Mexico, Lopez added.
Canaive is helping flesh out these brands by fostering ventures between them and larger apparel manufacturers that can fund their expansion by helping them develop new collections.
“This is one way the designers can obtain financing,” Lopez said, adding that they can also go to Mexico’s entrepreneur support institute Inadem, but that new eligibility requirements have made it harder to procure funding from it.
Mexico’s export promotion agency ProMéxico must also be overhauled to better meet the industry’s needs.
“ProMéxico needs a real shake-up,” Lopez said. “They don’t understand our unique needs or how to promote our sector abroad.”
According to Lopez, for every $100 spent to promote the industry, troubled ProMéxico gets just $20 in return.
Lopez said it has become crucial for the sector and ProMéxico to meet to hammer out an export promotion strategy that’s more aligned with the industry’s requirements. Such an effort should also include the creation of a bigger export fund, the size of which Lopez declined to specify.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye