WASHINGTON — The U.S. Fashion Industry Association has elected Macy’s executive Michael Singer as its new chairman.
Singer, who is vice president of customs and social compliance for Macy’s Merchandising Group, succeeds Maureen Gray, former vice president of international trade at Ralph Lauren Corp., who retired at the end of March.
MMG designs, sources, imports and markets private brand goods that are sold at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Its products are sold in more than 800 Macy’s Inc. stores, as well as through e-commerce and to “outside” customers.
Julia K. Hughes, president of USFIA, said Singer “announce that Michael will help “lead our organization on our continued path of growth and trade policy wins for our members.”
“USFIA remains dedicated to our mission to eliminate barriers to trade, but we also focus on providing resources to help members stay current with global labor, human rights and environmental standards, too,” Hughes said. “Michael’s expertise in both customs compliance and social compliance reflects USFIA’s commitment to help global brands and retailers balance the variety of trade and compliance challenges that we face every day.”
Singer has been a member of the USFIA board since 2005 and served as treasurer since 2011, as well as the co-chair of the association’s Education & Training Committee launched in January.
“I look forward to continuing to lead USFIA in our mission to eliminate barriers to trade for fashion brands and retailers, especially as we look toward implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Singer, adding that he aims to “expand education and training opportunities focusing on regulatory compliance, transportation and logistics, and sustainability and ethical sourcing.”
TPP is a 12-nation trade deal involving the U.S., Australia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Chile, Brunei and New Zealand and aims to remove barriers to trade to encompass nearly 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product if enacted. Trade ministers signed the trade deal in early February and it must be ratified by the respective governments to take effect.
The sweeping trade deal holds great potential for the fashion industry, particularly because it includes Vietnam, already the second-largest apparel supplier to the U.S.
Singer’s expertise in Customs issues — he is a licensed Customs broker and manages Customs initiatives for MMG — could serve him well in an era when global sourcing has expanded rapidly and ethical sourcing has become paramount to a company’s business.
Since joining Macy’s in 1983, Singer has not only kept the company at the forefront of Customs initiatives and policies, but also partnered with logistics providers and suppliers to automate processes and reduce the carbon footprint and costs throughout the company’s supply chain
Stefanie Rotta, senior director of global sourcing and operations at URBN Inc., which includes Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People and other brands, will replace Singer as USFIA’s treasurer.