BRUSSELS — The end of textile and clothing quotas only will be successful in liberalizing trade if World Trade Organization countries also eliminate nontariff barriers and give preferential treatment to countries likely to be hardest hit by the...
BRUSSELS — The end of textile and clothing quotas only will be successful in liberalizing trade if World Trade Organization countries also eliminate nontariff barriers and give preferential treatment to countries likely to be hardest hit by the changes, trade officials said at the opening of a two-day European Commission-sponsored conference Monday.
European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy set the stage by noting the quota system that has governed the world apparel trade for four decades is to end in less than 20 months. In January 2005, after a 10-year phaseout called for by the WTO’s Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, importing countries will no longer be allowed to discriminate against exporters.
While?eradicating quotas is a noble and necessary goal, Lamy said, "Opening markets is not just a matter of abolishing quotas." He urged WTO members to fight other obstacles such as stringent labeling requirements, minimum import prices and customs duties unrelated to the real import value.
"We will have to pay nontariff barriers greater attention," he added.
The meeting brought together more than 800 participants representing governments, industry, trade unions and nongovernmental organizations from more than 70 countries. Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana, the WTO’s deputy director-general in charge of textiles, said reactions to the coming change vary from anxiety and trepidation for some to hopeful expectations for others.
To give the world’s poorest countries time to adjust to the changes, Lamy urged that developed nations continue to offer some preferential treatment for these nations. One example he cited was regional trade agreements, such as a potential EU-Mediterranean free-trade area to be created by 2010.
His concerns were echoed by WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, who argued that removing quotas will leave many developing countries that are dependent on textile exports "highly vulnerable" unless support measures are maintained and strengthened.
"The benefits of developing countries may not be spread evenly," said Pakistan Trade Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan.
The second day of the conference will examine the effects of liberalization on sustainable development and promoting basic labor rights.
“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