Worldview: Latin American Swimwear Brands Go Global


🇨🇴 Latin American designers descend on Miami Swim Week. Inexmoda, the organiser of Medellin-based Colombiamoda, has partnered with Paraiso to take part in the latest edition of the US-based swimwear showcase, to feature Colombian brands Piel Canela, Champlevé, Be Surreal, Acquerello, Coco Blanco, Bless, Zelma, Rosa Pistacho and Wanitta at the event from May 29 to June 5. “We want to tell the world about our capabilities and what we are for the global fashion industry,” said Sebastián Díez, Inexmoda executive president. “Colombia is becoming one of the most interesting and fastest growing places for fashion and creativity in swimwear and resort wear,” added Natalija Dedic Stojanovic, co-founder and creative director of Paraiso Miami Swim Week. Other Latin American brands joining global companies on the runway included Latal x Moda Peru and Colombian veteran Adriana Fernandez. [FashionNetwork, Fashion United]

🇮🇳 Footwear giant Bata India reports 3% quarterly profit decline. The Gurugram-based company manufacturing and retailing namesake Bata and brands like Power and North Star has posted 63.6 crore rupees ($7.6 million) in net profit against 797.8 crore rupees in revenue, up 2.5 percent year-over-year, for the January-March 2024 period. The India unit is part of Bata Corporation, a Swiss-based multinational group with more than 32,000 employees selling 150 million pairs of shoes annually across 70 countries, manufacturing in 21 factories across 18 countries. Founded in 1894 by Tomas Bata in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (in modern day Czech Republic), the mass market brand has become a household name in emerging markets across Asia, Latin America and Africa. [Economic Times, BoF]

🇦🇪 Most smuggled African gold goes to the United Arab Emirates, claims report. The UAE accounts for 93 percent of undeclared African exports, amounting to tens of billions of dollars, with next two biggest importers being Switzerland and India, according to a recent report by NGO Swissaid. Mali, Zimbabwe and Côte d’Ivoire have the largest volumes of undeclared gold production on the continent and much of the illicit trade linked to money laundering stems from artisanal mining. Dubai, famous for its jewellery souks, is one of the world’s largest gold trading hubs, with 20-40 percent of global stocks passing through the city annually, according to 2021 Global Gold Convention figures. [Financial Times, BoF]

🇺🇬 Uganda’s second-hand clothing sellers are going out of business. The Uganda Dealers in Used Clothing and Shoes Association’s vice chair Lydia Ndagire has said that threats by European countries to restrict the export of mitumba (used clothes) to the East African nation and rising import costs from the US due to the end of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) preferential trade agreement over Uganda’s crackdown on homosexuality are driving people out of business. “We are seeing most of our members drop off,” she said. The Owino market alone in the capital Kampala is estimated to provide livelihoods for 100,000 people, mostly women. [Foreign Policy]

🌍 Report highlights African jobs created by used clothing trade. A report covering Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, commissioned by international development network Humana People to People, has concluded that the sector in those five countries is likely to support over 2.5 million people, generating over $73.5 million annually in tax revenues which helps fund essential public services and infrastructure. Challenging reports to the contrary, it also claims that the growth of used clothing imports from the Global North is not a main driver of the decline of local textile manufacturing in those nations. [Kohan Textile Journal, Ecotextile News]

🇮🇳 Losses widen at India’s Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail Ltd. The company has reported consolidated net loss of 266.35 crore rupees ($32 million) for the fourth quarter ended March 2024, compared to a loss of 194.54 crore rupees for the same period last year. The company stated that the results are “not comparable with previous quarters” due to the acquisition of TCNS Clothing and Styleverse Lifestyle, adding that “the strategic de-merger of [our Madura unit into a separately listed entity called Aditya Birla Lifestyle Brands Limited (ABLBL)] is paving the way for the creation of two separate growth engines.” ABLBL comprises brands and partnerships such as Louis Phillippe, Van Heusen, American Eagle, Forever 21 and Reebok, whereas ABFRL retains holdings including Pantaloons, Sabyasachi, Tasva, multi-brand retailer The Collective and Galeries Lafayette India. [Economic Times]

🇮🇳 Indian eyewear retail chain Lenskart raises $200 million in funding. The Gurugram-based company has secured secondary investment from Singapore’s state-owned conglomerate Temasek and Fidelity Management and Research Company, in a round that likely put its valuation at about $5 billion, according to industry sources. Founded in 2010 by Peyush Bansal, Amit Chaudhary and Sumeet Kapahi, Lenskart has over 1,100 stores across India and the Middle East. [Business Standard]

🇨🇳 Swiss watch exports to China fall less sharply in April. Exports to mainland China fell 7.5 percent in April, an improvement on the back of a three-month moving average decline of 20.6 percent, while exports to Hong Kong increased 2 percent, improving from a three-month moving average decline of 22.6 percent. However, overall “Chinese import data shows weakening, with imports of precious metal jewellery and watches both down more than 50 percent year-over-year in April,” according to analysis by Jefferies Research. [BoF]

🇮🇳 Indian activewear firm Techno Sport secures $25 million investment. The Bengaluru-based performance wear and athleisure manufacturer founded by Sunil Jhunjhunwala, Puspen Maity and Sumit Santhalia which trades under the brand name Technosport in the India, South Africa and the UAE markets, has raised the funding from Mumbai-based venture capital firm A91 Partners, founded by former Sequoia Capital India (now Peak XV Partners) partners Abhay Pandey, VT Bharadwaj and Gautam Mago. [Economic Times]

🇨🇳 High-profile Chinese couture client condemns Giambattista Valli. Lu Min, known as Lulu, who has over one million followers across Chinese social media platforms and a space in Shanghai called Maison Lulu that displays her haute couture collection, has accused the Italian brand of lending a sample of the same dress she claimed to have paid a deposit for to British actress Anya Taylor-Joy in Cannes. Her post claiming that the brand broke unspoken industry rules went viral on Xiaohongshu Responding to the claims featured in a report by WWD, a spokesperson for the brand explained that: “without… specification [for exclusivity at the time of order] and the down payment of the exclusivity fee, the piece may be made available to other clients.” [Jing Daily]

🇮🇳 Indian apparel exporter Gokaldas Exports posts 54% Q4 revenue growth. The Bengaluru-based company employing over 32,000 people across twenty production units has reported consolidated revenue of 818 crore rupees ($98 million) in the quarter ended March 2024, compared to 530.1 crore rupees in the same period last year. Managing Director Sivaramakrishnan Ganapathi said, “We overcame pricing pressure, one-time acquisition cost, increased statutory minimum wages and one-time start-up cost at our new unit to deliver a strong EBITDA.” [Economic Times, The Hindu]

🇵🇰 Pakistan’s textile exports decline but yarn and cotton exports increase. The country’s Bureau of Statistics has reported that exports of textile products amounted to $13,683.251 million during the first ten months of the current financial year (July 2023- April 24), down 0.19 percent compared to the same period last year. However, the cotton yarn and raw cotton export segments both increased. [Associated Press of Pakistan]

🇦🇷 Argentine apparel manufacturer Textilcome closes two factories. The Buenos Aires-based company that produces for local and regional brands like Grisino, Cristóbal Colón and Cheeky has shuttered facilities in the provinces of La Rioja and Catamarca, resulting in the dismissal of 267 workers, according to local media DiarioAr. [FashionNetwork]

🇮🇳 India’s WHP Jewellers reportedly secures $10 million investment. The Mumbai-based online gold and diamond retailer founded by Aditya Pethe that sells direct-to-consumer and through third-party platforms Nykaa, Ajio, Amazon, Flipkart and TataCliq has raised the capital in its first funding round from an undisclosed Singapore-based investment firm. [Asian News International, India Retailing]

🇯🇵 Christian Dior appoints Japanese and other athletes as ambassadors. Alongside several athletes from North America and Europe, the French luxury brand has tapped Japanese fencer Misaki Emura, Australian swimmer Emma McKeon and Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah to be part of its brand ambassador “team” for the upcoming Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games. [Ragtrader]

🇮🇳 Traditional Indian fashion retailer Libas raises $18 million in funding. The New Delhi-based womenswear brand founded by Sidhant Keshwani distributed on Flipkart, Myntra and through more than 10 mono-brand stores has secured 150 crore rupees in investment from Mumbai-based private equity firm ICICI Venture. [Economic Times]

🇨🇳 Hong Kong retail sales fall 14.7% in April. According to government data, the decline in the Chinese city’s retail sales was partly due to a fall in visitor spending and a surge in outbound trips during the Easter holidays. April sales fell to HK$29.6 billion ($3.79 billion) following a 7 percent drop in March. [Reuters]

🇮🇳 Indian jeweller Sky Gold sees annual profits double. The Navi Mumbai-based company producing lightweight 18- and 24-carat gold jewellery has posted net profit of 40.5 crore rupees ($4.8 million) in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, compared to 18.6 crore rupees a year earlier. [Economic Times]

🇧🇷 L’Oréal Group names Marina Torres as head of luxury division for Brazil. The French beauty giant has tapped the former general manager of fragrances in the travel retail Americas team to be responsible for managing brands in the division such as Lancôme, Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent. [FashionNetwork]

🇨🇳 Prada taps Chinese actress and film director Jia Ling as brand ambassador. The Italian luxury brand has appointed the comedic actress and director of films like “Hi Mom” and “Yolo” to appear in its latest local campaign. [China Daily]

🇹🇭 Gucci appoints Thai actor and singer Billkin as brand ambassador. The Italian luxury brand has tapped the star of TV series like “I Promised You the Moon” (whose real name is Putthipong Assaratanakul) for an endorsement deal. [BoF Inbox, L’Officiel Philippines]

🇨🇳 Zhao Guangxun is appointed president of Chinese brand Maia Active. Anta Sports, which acquired the athleisure brand in October, has tapped Zhao, the group’s former vice president of retail operations at Anta, who will report reporting directly to CEO Xu Yang. [Jing Daily]

🇧🇷 Brazilian beauty giant Natura appoints singer Iza as brand ambassador. The company has tapped the Brazilian pop and R&B singer Isabela Cristina Correia de Lima Lima, whose stage name is Iza, to appear in a campaign and endorse selected products. [FashionNetwork]

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