NEW YORK — He may be known as a Nobel Peace Prize winner and for championing microcredit, but Muhammad Yunus was fulfilling his Glasgow Caledonian University Chancellor duties Thursday when he talked up the school’s satellite New York office at the Stephen Weiss Studio here. GCU’s 64 Wooster Street space will bow in January.
In his remarks, Yunus also urged attendees to help protect and provide for underpaid and mistreated apparel-factory workers. His words were well placed considering the crowd included U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Alistair Burt and Marks & Spencer’s Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, among others. With plans to host town hall meetings, TED-type lectures, executive education and “made-to-measure” programs with companies interested in improving labor standards or supply-chain issues, GCU expects 1,000 students and executives to pass through its SoHo doors next year.
After his remarks, Yunus spoke to WWD about how the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, has made people realize, “What is happening? Why are people dying? I don’t want to wear shirts stained with the blood of the people who died there. Why isn’t anyone making sure those buildings are safe?
“This is the time to capture the moment to resolve these issues,” he added. “Today, Bangladesh produces $20 billion in apparel, and that figure is expected to increase to $35 billion by 2016.”
Female factory workers “have transformed Bangladesh by leaving their homes, coming to the city, having new lives for themselves as opposed to being stuck inside their homes. These women are brave and what do we give them? Eleven cents [for an hourly wage],” Yunus said.
Creating a “Happy Workers” tag for garments would require spending $1 more for a $10 shirt to ensure that the factory workers are treated fairly. The extra dollar would go into a common fund for workers’ health services, insurance, education for children and retirement benefits. “Because if you take 10 percent from each of the [$20 billion in] garments [made in Bangladesh] that would amount to $2 billion for all kinds of services,” Yunus said. “So consumers can take the responsibility. You don’t have to convince every company to do it. If one company does it and consumers respond very well, every company will be attracted to do it.”
As for whether housing, child care and education should be provided to workers, Yunus said, “Everything is wrong. Nobody cares. That should absolutely be included. If we pay attention, this problem can be solved just like that [snapping his fingers] except nobody pays attention. Everybody is busy making money. I have said, ‘I’m not stopping you from making money.’ But pay attention to this.”
“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)