SHANGHAI - Since March, Shanghai's Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has seized and destroyed 400 imported shipments of "unqualified clothing" valued at more than $30 million.When contact by WWD, the bureau confirmed the seizures, but declined to disclose the brands involved. In a statement, the bureau said: "Unqualified items mainly related to color fastness, pH, excessive formaldehyde, etc., many of [the brands] are familiar [and] well-known brands."State media outlets have been more forthcoming with naming the brands allegedly involved, with a China Central Television program on Sunday reporting five batches of Ralph Lauren products were found to have excessive pH levels and did not meet Chinese safety standards for children's clothing, while Victoria's Secret products were said to have been destroyed due to inappropriately high amounts of formaldehyde.In a written statement to WWD, Ralph Lauren said, "Ralph Lauren Corporation takes these matters very seriously and is committed to ensuring that our products meet the highest in quality standards. We are taking action including removing products from distribution and further investigating this isolated incident."Victoria's Secret did not comment on the veracity of the allegations when contacted by WWD.RELATED: Victoria's Secret Details Next Fashion Show in Shanghai >> The release of this information coincides with China's national "product safety" month, which was instituted by the central government after public outrage over tainted food products, toys and more. Though these tainted products were largely produced domestically, rather than imported from overseas, safety standards for products across the board have been dramatically tightened over the past two years.[caption id="attachment_10982700" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A screenshot shows Victoria's Secret fashion show tickets for sale on Taobao.[/caption]This adverse publicity in China comes at a time of high scrutiny for Victoria's Secret, following the opening of the brand's four-story flagship here earlier in the year and the announcement that its annual fashion show would be held in Shanghai on November 28.The invitation-only show has already seen black market tickets advertised on Taobao, China's largest B2C e-commerce platform, for a starting price of 90,000 yuan, or about $13,700.RELATED: All About Estelle Chen: Victoria's Secret Newcomer >> China’s female lingerie market is lucrative, with a retail value of $25 billion in 2017 - double that of the United States - expected to grow to $33 billion by 2020, according to data from Euromonitor. It is also, however, highly fragmented with no major brands commanding more than 5 percent of market share.Despite long avoiding the turmoil that has impacted the retail market at large, Victoria's Secret owner L Brands increasingly needs the power of China's rising middle class consumers, with company profits last year slipping 7.5 percent to $1.16 billion.Local authorities in China have long seized foreign products claiming they were "unsafe" for various reasons, but often to signal to consumers that they should be buying local brands. In the past designer labels such as Giorgio Armani have been seized by China local authorities over allegations they contained "unsafe" levels of formaldehyde or other chemicals, only to later have those products return to store shelves.
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