PARIS — Quotas on textiles and clothing are to be phased out by World Trade Organization members in January 2005. The move will affect some $375 billion worth of international trade between 146 countries and the global ramifications are mind-boggling.
In an effort to help executives understand the change, a two-day summit called "The Future of Textiles and Clothing After 2005" kicks off today at the Charlemagne conference center in Brussels. About 800 people are expected to attend back-to-back sessions featuring experts from manufacturing, retail and trade sectors, government, academia, banking and trade unions.
The summit is an initiative of the European Union’s commissioner for trade, Pascal Lamy, who will preside over today’s opening session exploring the challenges and benefits of quota elimination. Also on the panel are Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, director general of the WTO; Carrefour chairman and chief executive Daniel Bernard; Lu Fuyuan, China’s minister of foreign trade, and Filiep Libeert, president of Euratex, the European textiles and clothing industry association.
On Tuesday, sessions will explore the effect of liberalized trade on sustainable development and tackle the ethical problems of child labor and basic labor rights.
Ben Ahmed, an economist at the commission’s textile negotiations unit, said the conference is designed to gather opinions "from the more protectionist to the liberal." It is also an occasion for bilateral meetings between government ministers from affected countries in the developed and developing world.
The lifting of quotas is expected to dramatically change sourcing patterns, with most U.S. firms expected to focus on doing business with a smaller number of countries after 2005. China and India are expected to be major winners, while nations without their own sources of raw materials, like Sri Lanka and most of sub-Saharan Africa, face a potential loss of apparel exports.
Textiles and clothing represent about 6 percent of world exports, with clothing exports representing some $215 billion in 2001. Dollar figures are converted from euros at current exchange rates.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye