NEW YORK — It’s not just U.S. textile executives who are worried about the future of their industry.
A Chinese government official said Tuesday that unless the U.S. government takes steps to help the domestic fabric industry, he doesn’t see a future for it in this country.
"It’s simply not possible for any country to be competitive in all areas of business and the U.S. is no exception," Long Yongtu, China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, said during a lecture at Baruch College in Manhattan. "The industry has to go through some restructuring."
He also said it’s not just China that’s taking away business, but a combination of Far Eastern countries that have been more price competitive over an extended period of time.
The talk focused on how China plans to enforce its commitments to the World Trade Organization. As China’s chief trade negotiator from February 1997 to March 2002, Long led China in all WTO negotiations.
"There has been a lot of doubt about China’s commitment to the WTO rules because they are so long and complicated," Long said. "Our commitment is of fundamental interest for China."
Long said the effort on behalf of the Chinese government is partly responsible for China becoming what he said is the number-one destination for foreign investment.
Based on its population of 1.28 billion people, Long said the country can sustain its position as a top spot for cheap labor for the next 20 years. Once labor rates in the eastern part of the country get too high, he said manufacturers will shift production to central China, then further west.
"We will always have a large army waiting to work," Long said. "We have to create 15 million jobs per year or we wouldn’t be able to sustain the socio-political stability."
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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