Today's Fashion Headlines. April 4, 2012

More ‘Made In USA’
The Obama administration has placed the fashion industry squarely in the middle of its initiative to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. The push is part of a Made in America campaign being promoted by U.S. trade officials from coast to coast.
The new focus on the fashion industry is part of the Obama administration’s initiative to boost U.S. manufacturing and meet its goal in the National Export Initiative to double exports by the end of 2014. U.S. apparel and textile exports to the world grew 13.7 percent to $22.4 billion in 2011 compared to 2010, according to Commerce’s Office of Textiles & Apparel. Of the $22.4 billion in exports, textile exports grew 13.8 percent to $17.3 billion, while apparel exports grew 13.3 percent to $5.1 billion.
More Leave Jones Group
Two more high-level Jones Group executives have left the company. Susan Rieland, chief merchandising officer of sportswear at Jones, has departed after 17 years. During her tenure, she served as chief merchandising officer of bridge and lifestyle brands, where she had merchandising responsibility for Jones New York Signature, Jones New York Sport and AK Anne Klein. Earlier, she was president of casual design at Jones, overseeing design of Jones New York Sport, Jones & Co. and Lauren Ralph Lauren. Rieland joined Jones as vice president of sales for Jones & Co. in 1995.
In addition, Steven Sander, executive vice president, merchandising for Jones Casual Brands, resigned this week after 20 years. Earlier, he had been executive vice president of merchandise planning for all sportswear brands, including Jones, Anne Klein and Nine West. Neither Sander or Reiland had “no comment.”
Penney in Trouble?
In an unorthodox procedure, J.C. Penney’s is taking applications from vendors seeking to sell the store beginning in spring 2013. And the deadline is less than a month away. It’s just one of several new elements in Penney’s much-ballyhooed reinvention strategy that have come to light in recent days. The overall strategy, unveiled in January, continues to be fine-tuned and its message has apparently triggered what Penney’s was after — an avalanche of interest from vendors eager to do business. “At this point, it’s a high-grade problem,” said Penney’s president Michael Francis, in an exclusive interview.
Executives intend to manage the response through its application process. The procedure requires vendors to submit four years of sales and margin projections, 3-D color renderings of the space a vendor could create at Penney’s with its floor and fixturing plan, and retail prices, among other information. Penney’s will give suppliers the thumbs up or down by June 1. Penney’s could repeat the application process in subsequent seasons.
– Taneisha Jordan
Source & Photo: WWD

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