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Worldview: Latin American Fashion Awards Debut in the Dominican Republic

This week’s round-up of global markets fashion business news also features Indian fragrance manufacturing giant Sacheerome, Uganda’s textile industry and supply chain disruptions at the Panama Canal.
Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin was named ‘Icon of the Year’ at the 2023 Latin American Fashion Awards.
Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin was named ‘Icon of the Year’ at the 2023 Latin American Fashion Awards. (Latin American Fashion Awards)

🇩🇴 Latin American Fashion Awards debut in the Dominican Republic. Fashion industry figures from across Latin America and the global diaspora gathered at the inaugural edition of the three-day event, founded by Constanza Etro and Silvia Argüello, held on Nov. 2 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Winners included Mexican-American designer Willy Chavarria (Designer of the Year), Luar by Dominican-American designer Raul Lopez, UK-based Brazilian designer Karoline Vitto (Emerging Brand of the Year), Colombian textile brand Verdi (Artisanal Project of the Year), US-based Mexican designer Daniela Villegas (Accessories Brand of the Year) and Chile’s Ecocitex and Mexico’s Desserto (as co-winners of Responsible Project of the Year). “In terms of business, Latins in fashion are a major workforce within the [global] industry and carry as well the legacy and roots of their region. The ancestral crafts and responsible practices available in the region are also a key to a sustainable and regenerative transition in fashion. We believe a new era for Latin American talents around the world is coming and we are here to support them,” said Etro. [BoF Inbox]

🇮🇳 Indian fragrance and flavour giant Sacheerome to invest in Dubai R&D facility. The perfume manufacturer said it is planning to invest over $5 million to set up a research and innovation unit in the United Arab Emirates hub. “The Middle East is a confluence of cultures from across the world, and the business is remarkably fluid. Earlier London, Rome and Paris were the luxury market trendsetters but today, Dubai is as big a fashion and lifestyle powerhouse,” explained company managing director Manoj Arora, at the recent BeautyWorld Middle East event in Dubai. [India Retailing]

🇺🇬 Uganda’s textile industry caught in US trade row over human rights violations. As the country lobbies the US to reverse the recent decision to remove its status as an AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) member, a spokesperson from local trade organisation Seatini-Uganda, told Semafor Africa that it should also seek a new deal that allows it to grow its own textiles industry. The US has said it will remove four countries from the preferential trading scheme next year: the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger and Uganda (the latter this year enacted anti-LGBT laws including the death penalty for people engaging in certain same-sex acts). [Semafor, Financial Times]

🇵🇦 Supply chains hit by new capacity reductions at drought-affected Panama Canal. The worst drought in over 70 years has forced canal authorities to cut the daily number of vessels allowed access to the international freight pinch point through which 40 percent of all US container traffic travels each year, amounting to around $270 billion in trade. In June, when earlier reductions were announced, Steve Lamar, CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), told CNBC that “Panama Canal surcharges and vessel restrictions will likely mean higher clothing and shoe prices for US consumers this holiday season.” [BBC, CNBC]

🇦🇪 Karl Lagerfeld signs joint-venture to create luxury villas in Dubai. The fashion brand’s deal with UAE real estate company, Taraf Holding, controlled by Yas Holding, marks its third residential project after launching villas in Spain in 2021 and unveiling recent plans for branded residences in Malaysia. In a press release, Karl Lagerfeld’s CEO Pier Paolo Righi said “we will bring Karl’s unique idea of exclusive living” to the emirate, referring to the brand’s late founder and namesake. [Arabian Business, Fashion Network]

🇮🇳 Indian police make arrests over death threats to Reliance Industries chairman. At least three threats have been sent to billionaire Mukesh Ambani, warning him of fatal consequences if he ignores extortion demands for 400 crore rupees ($48 million). Asia’s richest man helms the oil-to-telecoms conglomerate, which is leading player in India’s fashion industry through Reliance Retail Ventures holdings, international fashion brand distribution partnerships, investments in local designer brands, e-commerce sites and the recently opened Jio World Plaza luxury mall. [Mint]

🇹🇷 Turkish department store Beymen marks 50th anniversary with industry event. The group with 23 stores across Turkey held a gala exhibition in Istanbul from Nov. 3-5 called ‘Golden Opulence,’ and a book of the same name by Laurence Benaïm, chronicling 500 years of luxury history inspired by the country. Beymen also tapped 50 international and Turkish designers to curate or create fashion and jewellery items inspired by Turkish culture for the initiative. [BoF Inbox]

🇦🇺 Australian department store David Jones signs six First Nations designers. The initiative is the latest iteration of the Indigenous Fashion Projects Pathways Program, established three years ago by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation in partnership with the department store group, dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers. The six brands are Gali Swimwear, Miimi and Jiinda, Joseph & James, Kamara, Gammin Threads and Lazy Girl Lingerie [Ragtrader]

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