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India

The Indian textile industry will come under the French spotlight when it sends a delegation to the first Heimtextil exhibition in India in October. “We are particularly interested in doing business with some of the new manufacturers that are showing up on the sub-continent,” French delegation leader Michael Scherpe said. Also present at the exhibition will be a high level delegation from the EU Commission, eager to see some of the 200 participants.

Indian designer Ritu Beri, who operates boutiques in New Delhi and Bombay, is making a splash in Paris where she showed her latest range. She became the first Indian designer to exhibit haute couture in Paris when she staged a fashion show in the city last July. Included in her collection are capri pants with embroidered cuffs or worn with satin brocade bib tops. Bare backs and sari blouses in saffron or turquoise are among her trademark looks.


US

Shane Industries USA, a subsidiary of Shane Industries Taiwan, has been appointed as the men’s outerwear licensee for the Perry Ellis Collection and Perry Ellis Portfolio in the US. The decision marks the first time a Chinese company has licensed an American designer brand. “We were extremely impressed with their manufacturing capacity and their obsession with quality,” Perry Ellis licensing president Allan Zwerner said.

A New York internet company Fashionmall.com purchased the remains of boo.com after the fashion e-tailer sought bankruptcy in London recently after investors refused to contribute more cash to the ailing e-commerce venture. Included in the sale were the boo.com brand, the web address, online contents and advertising material. Boo.com broke new ground when it allowed users to view clothes in three dimensions but it was unable to retain a sustainable business.

Gap retail stores have experienced gradually dropping sales with industry experts noting huge inventories of unsold clothes putting at risk the firm’s dominance in the US fashion markets Gap’s problems are attributed to increased competition and a drop in consumer spending. Some critics claim the stores’ basic merchandise has remained the same over several years and that the retailer needs a sharp injection of new ideas.

E-commerce venture DesignersDirect.com shut down after four and a half years in business selling designer apparel, footwear and eyewear. At its peak, the company exported to more than 150 countries and communicated with customers in eight languages through a special call centre. The apparel orders were fulfilled from the company’s warehouse while servers and databases were maintained and administered in-house. The company is liquidating its business assets which include its trade name and associated URLs. Anyone interested in purchasing should contact Todd Getner at Tgetner@DesignersDirect.com



Thailand

Fashion label Fly Now was praised as a good example of a Thai venture that had created a positive brand image internationally at a recent seminar. Thai manufacturers and exporters were being encouraged to develop their business skills as e-commerce became a stronger force and the old traditional ways of doing business were revised. Frito-Lay Thailand managing director Apirak Kosayodhin said local brands needed to be further developed to compete in a global free-trade environment. “Thai business people are smart and have many skills but they don’t use them to add value to their products or to develop their brand names,” he said. Also regarded as a winner on the international scene was Thai silk producer Jim Thomson.

Indonesia

Exports are expected to make up at least 70 per cent of sales taken this year by garment maker PT Great River International. The company also expects a 30 per cent increase in sales in the domestic market during 2000. The firm is very strong in menswear with brands such as Arrow, Choy and Saville Row contributing to 61 per cent of total domestic sales. It also markets foreign brands under license in childrenswear, cornering 34 per cent of the total local market.

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