Worldview: New Zealand Fashion Week Faces Uncertain Future


🇳🇿 New Zealand Fashion Week’s future in doubt after cancellation. Just one month after announcing the cancellation of the 2024 edition, the annual event’s general manager Yasmin Farry has indicated that she cannot yet confirm plans for a 2025 edition. “Without a good number of New Zealand designers able to show, it simply wasn’t viable as we didn’t have a compelling programme, befitting of the world-class event that fashion week is,” she said, despite moving to a biennial cadence. “Brands and retailers are facing some pretty tough headwinds right now in New Zealand. The cost-of-living crisis has meant a decrease in consumer spending across most retail, smaller brands are closing down and one of our iconic department stores is closing its doors after 144 years (Auckland’s Smith and Caughey’s). Pretty sobering stuff.” According to Australian trade media Ragtrader, local brands that have recently shuttered or plan to do so include Carly Harris Design, Kate Sylvester, Maaike and Hej Hej. Founded in 2001 by Pieter Stewart, New Zealand Fashion Week was acquired by Feroz Ali’s Aligroup Ltd. in 2021 as it embarked on a three-year hiatus during the pandemic before making a return in 2023. [Ragtrader, 1News]

🇮🇳 Indian beauty major Good Glamm Group appoints international president. The Mumbai-based group has appointed Lauren Bloomer, a US-based industry veteran who served in executive roles at Becca Cosmetics, Estée Lauder and Clinique, to lead its international growth and expansion efforts. The content-to-commerce unicorn that began as DTC makeup brand MyGlamm before acquiring a stable of beauty, personal care and media brands struck a joint venture in April with Serena Williams to launch the tennis star’s cosmetics brand Wyn Beauty in the US. [Economic Times]

🇨🇳 Diesel seizes large haul of counterfeits in China. The OTB Group-owned Italian denim brand has confiscated over 40,000 handbags in Wuqia, Xinjiang province, under the supervision of Chinese customs. In January, Diesel revealed that a total of 80,000 counterfeit goods has been seized since the beginning of 2023, mainly from China, Turkey and Kosovo. [Sourcing Journal]

🇲🇽 TJX Companies to ink joint venture with Mexico’s Grupo Axo. The American off-price fashion retailer with over 4,900 stores across nine countries, including chains TJ Maxx, Marshalls and TK Maxx has partnered with Axo, a major multi-brand and multi-channel retailer of brands sold through more than 6,900 points of sale in Latin American markets such as Mexico, Chile, Peru and Uruguay. The transaction, which would see the joint business comprising Axo’s existing off-price network in Mexico including Promoda, Reduced and Urban Store banners, is expected to close later this year. [BusinessWire]

🇹🇲 Turkmenistan considers ways to reduce forced labour in cotton harvest. The Central Asian nation is said to be reviewing recommendations by the International Labour Organization that would see it adopt a roadmap of “priority actions” aimed at preventing state employees from being compelled into local cotton fields. If adopted, the new system would allow for hired labourers to lodge complaints about coercion and extortion and set a minimum wage. Over 100 brands and retailers previously signed a Cotton Campaign coalition pledge to boycott cotton from the world’s 10th-largest producer of the fibre while forced labour is in use. [Fibre2Fashion, BoF]

🇨🇳 More European clothing companies diversify away from China. Despite longer lead times and higher costs, a larger share of garment production is going to India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, according to Naveen Jha, who runs The Sourcing Place in China. However, China’s overall export volume across many categories is not being impacted too severely as Chinese exporters find new markets beyond Europe and the US and more Chinese-built factories crop up in overseas manufacturing hubs like Vietnam and Mexico. “How many shoes are produced in China is still pretty much the same as it was a couple of years ago [in this] musical chair type scenario,” said Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc. [Financial Times]

🇹🇷 Turkey’s apparel exports decline 11.1% in Jan-Apr 2024. The total value of exports during the period reached $5.6 billion. The knitted and crocheted clothing category fell by 8.9 percent, and non-knitted apparel category fell by 13.7 percent. [Fibre2Fashion]

🇮🇳 Indian skincare start-up Chosen raises $1.2 million in seed funding. The round, which secured investment from undisclosed friends and family members, follows an equity-free grant of $100,000 from Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia Capital India & SEA). “Our goal is to secure pre-series funding of $10 to $20 million later this year,” said Dr. Renita Rajan, founder of the Chennai-based formulations- and IoT solutions-focused brand.

🇦🇺 Australia Institute recommends sin tax-style penalty on fast fashion. The Canberra-based think tank has proposed several measures that it believes the Australian government should pursue, including a fast fashion tax on unsustainable, “problematic” products similar to the bill currently going through the French parliament. [Sourcing Journal]

🇱🇷 TLG Capital invests in Liberian-Burkinabe brand Liberty & Justice. The London- based Africa-focused alternative asset management firm founded by Zain Latif has injected an undisclosed amount in the swimsuit brand founded by Burkina Faso native Georgie Badiel Liberty and her husband, Liberia-born Chid Liberty. Also, “our factory in Liberia is getting an injection from a potential acquisition that we hope to close which will source product from Liberia,” said Liberty, who currently produces in Morocco and sells in over 250 Target stores in the US. [Semafor, BoF Inbox]

🇨🇳 Zara is expanding its Chinese live commerce model to the US and Europe. The Spanish high street brand has employed digital catwalks, fitting room tours, and “behind-the-scenes” content for its livestream e-commerce sessions on local TikTok counterpart Douyin since November, using a Shanghai-based team of around 70 people for the China-based broadcasts. [Jing Daily]

🇦🇺 Australian jeweller Lovisa names John Cheston as chief executive. The Sydney-based Australian listed company founded by billionaire Brett Blundy in 2010 that currently has a retail footprint of 854 stores across more than 40 countries and territories has appointed the boss of local stationery and accessories chain Smiggle, to replace Victor Herrero who will leave the company in May next year. [Australian Financial Review]

🇮🇳 India’s Hindustan Unilever Limited promotes Arun Neelakantan. The Mumbai-based beauty and personal care giant, whose portfolio includes brands like Lakmé, Glow & Lovely, Dove and Pond’s, has named its former chief digital officer as executive director, customer development, replacing Kedar Lele. [Economic Times]

🇯🇵 Japan’s Kosé opens a standalone store in the US. Kosé Corporation, one of the country’s largest beauty conglomerates with a portfolio of 37 brands such as Decorté, Sekkisei, Addiction and Tarte sold across 68 countries and regions, has opened a Maison Kosé store in Los Angeles. Until now the company’s Japanese brands have only been available in the US through department stores and other multi-brand channels. [Morningstar]

🇺🇾 Brazil’s O Boticario enters Uruguay with partner Grupo AJ Vierci. The Brazilian cosmetics and skincare giant has opened two stores in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo through a partnership with the Paraguay-based regional firm. The brand’s Curitiba-based parent company Grupo Boticario has over 4,000 stores in Brazil, including mono-brand outlets and multi-brand chain Beauty Box, and operations in more than 15 countries. [FashionNetwork]

🇨🇳 Anta names China’s Fan Zhendong as brand ambassador. The Chinese activewear brand has added the Olympic table tennis champion to its endorsement roster, which includes Zhang Jike and Ma Long. [Jing Daily]

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