PALM BEACH, Fla.--The 46th annual meeting of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute took a noticeably different turn from recent meetings. In a very upbeat opening general session on Friday, international trade--primarily exporting--was the key topic, preempting for at least the time being discussions on seeking ways to halt textile and apparel imports, a main topic at ATMI gatherings of the recent past. The conference at the Breakers here started with a board meeting Thursday and ended Saturday. The U.S. textile industry isn't complaining; in fact, it's looking ahead with optimism, according to textiles executives here. The lack of "doom and gloom" presentations on the program was so noteworthy, that outgoing president, William J. Armfield 4th, vice chairman of Unifi, found it necessary to address it in the opening business session Friday. "In the Eighties, we fought the good fight with three trade bills [to curb textile and apparel import growth] that were vetoed by presidents most of us helped elect," Armfield said. "We did what we believed was best at the time, but won battles and lost the war. Unfortunately, in waging this campaign, we projected a gloom-and-doom scenario. It hurt our textile college admissions, our access to investment capital and our price-earnings ratios. Many people saw us as a sunset industry." Armfield said that the annual meeting 10 years ago featured panels on such subjects as "Can U.S. Manufacturing Survive?" Actually, Armfield conceded, textile manufacturing has survived very well. To back this, he pointed out that while textile and apparel imports have increased by 130 percent in the past 10 years to $42 billion, exports, while still small, have grown during the same period by 300 percent to about $12 billion. He added that textile shipments have grown in the last 10 years by 32 percent to $74 billion, mill consumption of fiber by 50 percent to 16 billion pounds, and loom productivity is up by 200 percent. "Not bad for a sunset industry," Armfield said. In a press conference following his talk, Armfield said he feels that the "gloom-and-doom image is no longer a problem to the textile industry, because it is a more modern, innovative industry." ATMI president-elect Walter Elisha, chairman of Springs Industries, agreed, saying, "The textile industry advanced the gloom-and-doom attitude more than most industries in dealing with their problems. But this does not need to be overcome, anymore." However, the ATMI was not without controversy, proving that it hasn't completely changed. The ATMI has come out in support of the House and Senate proposals to extend North American Free Trade Agreement provisions to 24 Caribbean Basin Initiative countries, giving them parity with Mexico and Canada. This move is opposed by some textile leaders, led by Roger Milliken, chairman of Milliken & Co. At an ATMI board meeting Thursday, the opposition group headed by Milliken attempted to get the ATMI to reverse its stand and oppose the support of the legislation.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
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