LIMA, Peru — It doesn’t take long for a textile or apparel maker in Lima to start talking about quality control.
With prices that can’t compete with China’s low-cost exports and ambitions as high as the Andes’ peaks, Peru’s industry executives are touting their high-quality Pima cotton and alpaca, quick turnaround ability, short shipping times to U.S. ports and attention to detail to U.S. and European brands as they seek to grow and recover from the recent economic crisis.
“I want the ‘Made in Peru’ label to mean the quality of that garment is better,” said Patricia Flores Rodriguez, production chief of Textiles of Peru.
Her company, which in 2013 doubled its production over 2012 by annually turning out 400,000 units of apparel and 400 tons of textiles, is ranked 14th in textile exports from Peru and expects to move into the top 50 apparel exporting companies in Peru by 2014.
Textiles of Peru has done that, she said, by keeping its costs low. It produces its knitted fabrics, but outsources all of its sewing. The firm has quality-control inspectors at every step of production, she said. Most of the firm’s apparel heads for the U.S. under the brands Southern Point Co., Harley-Davidson, Pippen Lane, Coast, Grande Plaine and Agape North.
Alfredo Malatesta, chief executive officer of the California-based apparel maker Intercontex Inc., which sources about 15 percent of its work in Peru, said, “Peru can’t compete against Asian prices. People go to Peru for quality, not price.”
Christian Asbeck, who founded the Lima apparel company Venator nine years ago, exports all of his production to the U.S. and Europe. His company saw production double in 2013, with 45,000 units in sweaters and about 30,000 units in T-shirts. Some 60 percent of his production is for the U.S. market and the remainder ships to Europe.
Venator is typical of most of Peru’s textile and apparel exporting firms, according to PromPeru, which handles international marketing for the domestic industry.
Asbeck said Peru has the equivalent of two levels of textile and apparel industries: one that produces for the Peruvian market, and a second that manufactures for export. Those firms in pursuit of the domestic market have been hard hit by low-cost Chinese exports, he said. Others after the higher-end export market are doing better, he noted.
In the first 10 months of 2013, textile and apparel exports to the U.S. were down 17.7 percent, according to the Sociedad Nacional de Industrias/National Industries’ Society. Through Oct. 31, total exports were $1.4 billion compared $1.76 billion in the same period in 2012.
Rodriguez at Textiles of Peru said her company is developing markets in other Latin American countries, and early in 2014 plans to open a European office in France. Veronica Telge, ceo of the Lima apparel maker Lives, said about 10 percent of her firm’s production goes to Latin America, another 10 percent goes to Europe, and the remaining 80 percent heads for the U.S.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
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