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Worldview: ComplexCon Lures Asia’s Streetwear Stars to Hong Kong

This week’s round-up of global markets fashion business news also features Haiti’s sourcing crisis, Brazilian jewellery giant Vivara and Dubai’s Ramadan shopping season.
Local artist Zoei Lam paints a mural onto a wall in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong.
Local artist Zoei Lam paints a mural onto a wall in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong. (Getty Images)

🇨🇳 US streetwear and pop culture festival ComplexCon debuts in China. The inaugural edition of ComplexCon Hong Kong took place from Mar. 22 to 24 at the AsiaWorld-Expo convention centre, featuring concerts by international hip-hop stars and a marketplace selling over 200 international and local brands. Christian Dior’s Hong Kong menswear show, which was slated to coincide with the event, was postponed indefinitely preventing the brand’s creative director Kim Jones from making an appearance, but other famous faces from fashion were invited to take part in the festival including Japan’s ‘godfather of streetwear’ Hiroshi Fujiwara, Hong Kong entertainer and co-founder of Clot, Edison Chen, and the South Korean-born creative behind VandyThePink, Junghoon Son. Japanese graphic designer Verdy, who works with K-pop band Blackpink, took the helm as the event’s artistic director, curating limited-edition merchandise and exclusive collabs. [South China Morning Post]

🇭🇹 AAFA urges US to renew Haiti trade agreements amid state of emergency. The president of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has urged the US Congress to take “immediate action” to renew the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) and the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Acts. The two programmes, which provide certain apparel items made in Haiti with duty-free access to the US market and 50,000 jobs for Haitian workers, are due to expire next year. This uncertainty is “eroding future business” for the local textile sector at a “critical” juncture for the Caribbean nation. Recent civil unrest and gang violence have created not only a humanitarian crisis but a state of emergency that led to a power vacuum with the resignation of the prime minister. [Sourcing Journal]

🇧🇷 Investors scared by management shakeup at Brazilian jeweller Vivara. One of Latin America’s largest jewellery brands and retailers, Sao Paulo-based Vivara Participações, saw shares plunge last week after founder Nelson Kaufman announced he planned to return as CEO after 13 years. However, this week, Kaufman reportedly made a U-turn, deciding to instead appoint CFO Otavio Lyra as CEO of the company with over 390 stores across Brazil, according to Brazil Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. [Brazil Journal, Bloomberg]

🇦🇪 Brands promote Ramadan ranges and events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Muslim holy month and festive period, which started on Mar. 11 and is expected to conclude around Apr. 10 ahead of the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, is a busy time for retailers in markets like the United Arab Emirates. Shopping centres including the Mall of the Emirates, JBR, City Walk and Dalma have all been featuring promotions, special events and exclusive ranges, such as those by fashion brands Ferragamo and Stella McCartney. [Zawya]


🇨🇳 Chinese sportswear giant Li Ning reports 2023 profit slump. The company founded by the Olympic gymnast of the same name has posted a 22 percent annual decline in net profit to 3.2 billion yuan ($444.5 million) and a 7 percent increase in revenue to 27.6 billion yuan ($3.8 billion). “The firm… has nothing to announce about privatisation,” executive chairman Li Ning said during the earnings call, referring to a Reuters report on March 12 claiming that he is considering taking the firm private from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. [Yicai Global]

🇮🇳 Indian beauty giant Good Glamm Group secures $30 million in funding. The Mumbai-based group has raised 245 crore rupees ($30 million) through a rights issue from existing investors, including Warburg Pincus, and Prosus, Bessemer Venture Partners and Accel Partners. The content-to-commerce unicorn founded by Darpan Sanghvi, Priyanka Gill and Naiyya Saggi began as DTC makeup brand MyGlamm before acquiring a stable of beauty and personal care product and media brands. [Economic Times]

🇸🇻 APS factory in El Salvador owes millions to garment workers. The manufacturer for North American companies like Hanesbrands and Gildan Activewear has been accused by the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) of unlawfully withholding back wages, severance and other benefits worth $2 million from 831 workers, after its facility in Ilopango went out of business two years ago. The WRC has partially brokered a settlement between the companies and the workers. [Sourcing Journal]

🇨🇳 Chinese apparel giant Peacebird posts 2023 profit surge. The Ningbo-based fashion brand has reported net profit of $65.94 million (422 million yuan), an increase of 127.1 percent year over year and revenue of $1.21 billion (7.79 billion yuan), down 9.4 percent. The company attributed the strong bottom-line performance to tighter control of discounts and expenses. [Jing Daily]

🇮🇳 New trade agreement set to boost Indian gem exports to Switzerland. The Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) signed between India and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein on March 10 is expected to triple the export of Indian gems and jewellery to $1 billion in the coming years, predicted Vipul Shah, chairman of India’s Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), without specifying the time horizon of the forecast. [Economic Times, Financial Times]

🇳🇬 Nigerian legislature calls for a ban on adire fabric imports. The National Assembly’s House of Representatives has adopted a motion to urge the federal government to restrict imported adire, a textile traditionally handwoven in the country, to protect the local industry and conserve scarce foreign exchange reserves. The move follows similar calls last year by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who specifically identified Chinese manufacturers. [Premium Times Nigeria]

🇨🇳 Overseas buyers flock to Shanghai’s Intertextile Apparel trade show. The spring edition of the three-day March event organised by Messe Frankfurt has reported that international visitor numbers doubled year over year, following the Chinese government’s easing of visa requirements. Nearly 90,000 visitors from 116 countries and regions attended the showcase featuring 3,000 suppliers. [BoF Inbox]

🇰🇷 Celine names Danielle from K-pop band NewJeans as ambassador. The French luxury brand has tapped the Australian-Korean singer in the South Korean girl group to endorse its products. Danielle has also collaborated with Burberry and YSL Beauty. [BoF Inbox, L’Officiel Singapore]


🇨🇳 Hublot strikes endorsement deal with Chinese architect Ma Yansong. The Swiss luxury watchmaker has named the award-winning, internationally renowned Beijinger and founder of MAD Architects as a “friend of the brand”. [BoF Inbox]

🇦🇷 Argentina Fashion Week held its 62nd edition in Buenos Aires. Designers including Benito Fernández, Vero de la Canal, Ivana Picallo and Iara presented their Autumn/Winter 2024 collections at the event organized by Hector Vidal Rivas. [Revista Gente]

🇨🇳 Tommy Hilfiger names China’s Fan Chengcheng as ambassador. The American brand has produced a commercial co-starring the male singer and actor as part of a wider endorsement deal.

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The Business of Beauty Global Awards - Deadline 30 April 2024