WASHINGTON — Fighting the forces of free trade and reflecting the shrinking industry they represent, the Northern Textile Association and Knitted Textile Association are merging.
The organizations said Friday they have formed the National Textile Association, with 175 companies, created to share resources in building business, but also to heighten members’ presence and influence in Washington, according to Karl Spilhaus, head of the Northern Textile Association, who will now take the helm of the new group.
Meanwhile, as the new National Textile Association is being launched, the industry’s long-time lobbying group in Washington, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, has lost another member: Guilford Mills of Greensboro, N.C.
John Emrich, Guilford president and chief executive officer, and president of the KTA, said the company last month decided not to renew its ATMI membership largely because of differences over trade legislation.
Emrich cited ATMI’s move to team up with yarn spinners and cotton growers in lobbying Capitol Hill lawmakers on recent trade legislation as one reason for Guilford’s departure. The ATMI and the two factions supported a compromise that expanded T-shirt and knit shirt imports from the Caribbean Basin made from regional fabric, but with U.S. yarn. However, their proposal called for fewer imports than being debated among lawmakers.
Emrich saw the ATMI’s position on the trade bill as contrary to the interests of U.S. fabric makers like Guilford.
"We saw the ATMI as emerging more as a cotton-yarn spinning association than an association recognizing the industry as a whole," Emrich said.
He said former Guilford chairman, the late Chuck Hayes — who earlier this year ended his term as chairman of ATMI — broke the news of Guilford’s departure to ATMI’s former executive director, Carlos Moore. Hayes died about a week later on July 21.
Hayes "was supportive of my decision to withdraw from ATMI," Emrich said. "That was a very, very difficult decision for us as a company to make."
ATMI officials did not return telephone calls made Friday.
The merger is slated to be ratified next month at the Northern Textile Association’s annual meeting in Scarborough, Maine. KTA members approved the merger on Wednesday."We have a very similar agenda in protecting the U.S. fabric makers," Spilhaus said. "With pressures on companies and the economy, it made sense to reap the economies of scale" by merging.
The Northern Textile Association, founded in 1854, has 140 members representing several segments of the textile industry, including makers of woolen fabric and yarn, elastic fabric and flock. The KTA, founded in 1966, has 35 knit fabric maker members.
Spilhaus cited lobbying Congress and the administration to curb textile and apparel import-liberalizing bills, like the one recently signed by President Bush, as key to the new association’s agenda.
"Both associations share horror at what happened in the bill," Spilhaus said.
Of the merger, Roger Milliken, ceo of Milliken & Co., which split from ATMI two years ago over trade policy differences, said in a statement: "Two hard-working groups have joined to form one strong effective voice for the American textile industry."
Last year, Milliken formed a textile-union lobbying group called the American Textile Trade Action Coalition, which includes UNITE, as well as some members of the NTA.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)