The quake-collapsed textile factory building after the rubble was cleared away in the Obrera neighborhood of Mexico City.
MEXICO CITY — The 7.1 earthquake that shook Mexico City last month did not substantially damage the country’s export maquila and local clothing manufacturing industry, save for a major textiles factory that collapsed near the capital’s downtown district, observers said.“There were some small damages in our plants but we fixed them quickly,” said Eric Levy, who heads family-owned apparel and fashion retail group Industrias Cavalier, adding that the rest of the industry did not suffer major damage. “Some of our suppliers stopped for one or two days after the earthquake but that’s it.”Local clothing sales are stalled, however, with major department store operators Liverpool, Sears and El Palacio de Hierro turning back orders as sales dropped 30 percent last month and could decline by a similar percentage in October, according to Levy.That’s bad news for apparel makers already being hammered by a 6 percent drop in U.S. exports as of July. Lingering uncertainty over how talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will benefit or hurt Mexican makers is spurring the decline, executives said.Complicating matters, the dollar’s recent spurt to trade at over 18 pesos is making fabric imports more expensive, further squeezing clothing suppliers as they face inventory losses from retailers’ rejections.“Right now we are all fighting with the department stores so that they receive what they ordered a long time ago,” Levy said, adding that falling sales to the U.S. and domestically could trigger a 10 percent to 15 percent production decline this year.Levy said department stores are rushing to deepen markdowns. “We also have El Buen Fin [Black Friday] coming up and Christmas, when we hope sales will recover,” he noted.Other analysts rejected Andreu, Levy and some leading fashion designers’ remarks to WWD late last month that clothing sales and fashion consumption were stalled.Nevertheless, the disaster, which killed 337 people and downed 38 buildings, is expected to cost Latin America’s second economy over $2 billion, including an earlier, Sept. 9 quake that shook Oaxaca and Chiapas State, killing 100.Meanwhile Arturo Vivanco, president of textiles lobby Canaive’s Guadalajara State chapter, said U.S. buyers are waiting to see how NAFTA’s talks play out before raising orders to Mexico which are down 6 percent this year.While a low peso was boosting shipments early in the year, NAFTA jitters began rising in June, hurting orders which have remained sluggish since then.“Everyone is undecided about what the rules are going to be,” Vivanco said. “We still don’t know if there are going to be sending [apparel] possibilities and under what terms, if Trump wants to renegotiate part of the treaty to his advantage or if he has something more extreme in mind.”Meanwhile, Mexican labor activists are seeking answers as to why the downtown apparel factory collapsed, killing hundreds and reviving painful memories surrounding the deaths of 1,200 women when a much more powerful 1985 quake destroyed 800 sewing shops in a nearby area.New Fashion and Seo Young International operated two sewing shops making women’s apparel and lingerie respectively at the site, an old, five-story building that was reportedly damaged in the quake 32 years ago.In recent protests, activists have demanded authorities explain the reasons behind the collapse, an awkwardly rushed rescue effort and why authorities have yet to release a full list of the victims.While officials have said 21 people died in the tragedy, activists put the count at 100 to 200 including Asian and Central American sewers. They have alleged the factory’s owners operated an illegal sweatshop in the basement as the reason behind a rushed, five-day cleanup, authorities’ lingering silence and an abnormally high police presence.“This was very fast and dysfunctional and could only be explained by corruption from a very big power,” said Carlos de Buen, a Mexico-City based labor rights lawyer, when asked about the event. “I don’t know who is more to blame, the labor inspectorate or civil protection authorities but the government of Mexico has to give information about this.”New Fashion and Seo Young could not be reached for comment.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)