Seven apparel industry workers were killed and more than 15 injured when a fire swept through the Smart Export Garment Ltd. factory in Mohammadpur in the western part of Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Saturday. All of those killed were women and four were teenagers, according to police officials.
The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights said the workers were crushed to death as they raced to escape the flames at the factory, which is housed on the second floor of a two-story building.
Mahbubur Rahman, director of Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters, said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.
Officials of Smart Export Garment could not be reached for comment. However, press reports here said the factory was not licensed.
International organizations quickly spoke out against the latest tragedy and called for a change of working conditions in the apparel industry in Bangladesh. “After more than two decades of the apparel industry knowing about the risks to these workers, nothing substantial has changed,” Judy Gearhart, executive director of the International Labor Rights Forum, said in a statement issued along with The Worker Rights Consortium and the Clean Clothes Campaign.
Staff from the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights organization were able to enter the Smart factory right after the fire and found the following labels: Bershka and Lefties, owned by Inditex Group, the Sol’s label owned by Paris-based Solo Invest, and the Fox & Scott label registered to Sylvain Scemama in Paris.
“It is long overdue that Europe’s major garment labels stand up to guarantee that Bangladesh’s nearly four million garment workers finally have the right to organize an independent union and to bargain collectively,” the Institute said.
“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