The U.S. and Bangladesh are set to sign a Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement on Monday that is said to provide an important mechanism for the two countries to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues, as well as be a forum to pursue cooperative activities.
Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler and Bangladesh Secretary of Commerce Mahbub Ahmed are expected to sign the TICFA in Washington.
In July, the U.S. and Bangladesh agreed to a Bangladesh Action Plan, along with a statement by the U.S. on “Labor Rights and Factory Safety in Bangladesh.” The USTR said at the time that the implementation of the actions outlined in the plan could provide a basis for the President to consider reinstatement of the Generalized System of Preferences trade benefits for Bangladesh that were suspended in June, which went into effect in September. Apparel and textiles were not covered by GSP, which included imports such as tobacco, sports equipment, porcelain china and plastic products.
The Action Plan provides a list of measures related to fire and building safety, as well as worker rights in the garment industry, export processing zones and the shrimp sector. The TICFA is seen as a structure for both countries to work toward these goals, as well as improve investment and other trade opportunities.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and committee Democrats released a report Friday calling on global brands and retailers, factory owners and the Bangladeshi government to work to ensure the safety of garment workers by giving organized labor a stronger foothold in Bangladesh. The committee said the U.S. should pressure the Bangladeshi government enact labor law reform and the freedom of association to bargain collectively in implementing the action plan to reinstate GSP benefits, while also calling on the U.S. to increase funding for programs in Bangladesh to improve union organizing and bargaining.
On Friday, U.K.-based Edinburgh Woolen Mill, which also owns high-street chains Peacocks and Jane Norman, became the latest company to join the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. The accord is a legally binding agreement that now includes 115 companies and trade unions from 19 countries across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia created to help prevent future factory catastrophes in Bangladesh.
“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