HONG KONG -- Manufacturers and industry analysts here took a pragmatic approach over the weekend to the impending U.S. slashes of China's textile quotas, claiming the cuts could even help Hong Kong but that the...
HONG KONG -- Manufacturers and industry analysts here took a pragmatic approach over the weekend to the impending U.S. slashes of China's textile quotas, claiming the cuts could even help Hong Kong but that the American consumer might have to pay a little more for some goods.
"We don't depend on China quota that much," said Kenneth Fang, an industry spokesman and head of Fang Bros. Manufacturing, one of the territory's largest privately owned apparel makers. "Speaking for Hong Kong as a whole," said Fang, "I don't think the U.S. action is fair, but we do hope both sides will negotiate. China is already doing a lot to prevent illegal shipments at the source. They cannot control what happens after the goods leave China."
"If the U.S. cuts China quota," said Melina Tse of Esquel Enterprises, manufacturers for J.C. Penney Co. and J. Crew, "we would just move our U.S.-destined production to some of our other off-shore sites.
"We would use our China facilities, which we are expanding, for production to other places. Eventually, we would probably benefit from a China cutback by picking up more orders."
"The China cutback would not affect us." said Bing Chan, managing director of Merrison Garment Co., which makes clothes for DKNY and Ellen Tracy. "One way or the other, we would find the quota. Our customers are high-end and can afford to pay the increased costs."
But ultimately, warned Chan, it will be the American consumer who has to pay.
"The China situation is not reliable," he continued. "We always keep a lot of production space in Hong Kong -- about half our production is China, half Hong Kong -- just for this problem."
"Up to three years ago," said industry expert David Birnbaum, "Chinese factories were indeed sewing on third-country labels, but Chinese authorities have made great efforts to stop this. But even the most legitimate exporter anywhere cannot control what happens to garments once they leave their factory."
"Honest Hong Kong businessmen would welcome a reduction in China quota because it means orders will move back into Hong Kong," said a shirt manufacturer who produces in China and in Hong Kong and who requested anonymity. "Obviously, quota costs will go up, and we'll probably lose some orders to other places because of higher labor costs."We're lucky because we have a stable long-term customer base. Our customers know that Hong Kong production is costlier but more reliable, and they'll be ready to pay the extra 20 to 30 percent over China costs.
"Dishonest Hong Kong businessmen are definitely going to lose some business, but the attitude is that at worst, it's a 30 percent cut. Hopefully, you're not doing all your business to the U.S., so you make a few adjustments here and there and life goes on."
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong stock market took a hit on Friday, falling 373.02 points in reaction to the news of quota cuts. Analysts, however, say that the drop -- part of a dramatic three-day 1,200-point slide in the Hang Seng Index -- represents overall correction to recent spectacular surges and predict the market will fall another 500 points this week.
And in the South China Morning Post, the territory's leading English-language newspaper, an editorial Saturday called on the U.S. and China to come to their senses to avert a trade war.
The editorial said that while Hong Kong textile companies in China are admittedly at least partially responsible for disguised third-country shipments, such evasion of quota limits -- and the ensuing trade battle -- were the result of U.S. trade protectionism.
@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