WASHINGTON — The chief trade negotiators from the U.S. and European Union said Friday they had made progress in initial discussions covering a wide range of areas, including textiles, and outlined areas of “divergence and convergence,” as the two sides wrapped up the first round of negotiations here on a trans-Atlantic trade accord.
The U.S. and EU hope to significantly boost trade with the free-trade agreement that has major implications for U.S. imports and exports of apparel, textiles, footwear and accessories.
“All engagement this week has been very positive and… substantive,” chief U.S. negotiator Dan Mullaney said at a press conference Friday.
Mullaney said several areas were covered by negotiators this week. In addition to textiles and the rule of origin, topics that were discussed included investment, intellectual property rights, market access for industrial goods, regulatory coherence and cooperation and technical barriers.
Some of the thorny trade issues facing negotiators include France’s concerns over audiovisual controls, agricultural subsidies on both sides of the Atlantic, “Buy America” rules in the U.S. pertaining to government procurement and Europe’s opposition to the use of genetically modified foods. Another outstanding issue directly impacts the fashion industry: In April, the EU tripled the tariff on U.S.-made women’s and girls’ cotton denim jeans to 38 percent, as part of a World Trade Organization case the trading bloc won against the U.S. in 2005, and industry groups are pressing for a resolution.
“Because this has been our first direct, substantive engagement in these negotiations, the goal of the first round was to walk through, cover all of the areas that may be addressed in this negotiation, share initial thoughts about how to approach each issue, discuss our priorities, discuss our objectives and set up solid work streams [that lead] to increased substantive engagement in the second round,” Mullaney 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