Major Companies: Floreal Knitwear, Compagnie Maurcienne de Textile.
The Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius is a key center for sub-Saharan Africa’s growing textiles and apparel industry. It has attracted extensive foreign investment, particularly from Hong Kong-based companies, and soft goods have become its major export, displacing the sugar crop that for decades was a key source of foreign currency.
Mauritius, a parliamentary democracy, is a beneficiary of the African Growth & Opportunity Act, which entitles its exports of textiles and apparel to enter the U.S. free of quota and duty. The nation is relatively prosperous, with its per capita GDP of $10,800 more than double that of most other leading exporters in the region, with the notable exception of South Africa. That is one reason its exports haven’t shot up as sharply since AGOA took effect, though the island’s small size — at 788 square miles, it’s about 11 times the size of Washington, D.C. — has also limited the industry’s ability to grow quickly. However, many of its manufacturers also have factories on neighboring Madagascar and continental Africa, which increases their chance of benefiting from AGOA.
Editor’s Note: Country Focus is a new WWD feature offering an economic and demographic snapshot of nations in the news.
* For the 12 months ended November 2002, compared with the corresponding year-ago period.
SOURCES: THE CIA WORLD FACTBOOK, U.S. COMMERCE DEPARTMENT, OANDA.COM
“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