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Live coverage streamed 9 AM, February 12 at FWO and
Awards season is a busy time for designerTadashi Shoji. After all, dressing actresses and singers (everyone from Oscar winnersOctavia Spencerand Helen Mirren to musicians like Katy Perry) is just one of the notable achievements of the Japanese-born American designer. (And for anyone counting, he’s also dressedMichelle Obama and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe.)
For Fall / Winter 2016, FWO and ABC News came backstage to live-stream the events behind-the-scenes, for a collection that was a bit of a departure for Shoji, involving “tribal, tattoo, bodypainting, and henna. But [unlike a tattoo],” the designer said, “you can wear my body suit, and at night you can peel it off.”
The collection marks a transition from more formal evening wear to bodycon suits that would be at home on an Hervé Léger runway, but with Shoji’s masterful cuts and a decidedly youthful aesthetic, evident from the first moments of the North African-inflected techno that kicked off the catwalk.
As award-winning hairstylist Frank Rizzieri explained, the look was “rock and roll cool. We started with something that was very sleek, and it just started to evolve from that.”
True to form, the fall / winter collection involves a painstaking process of creation, with fait à la main elements. “We create it for the body,” explains Tadashi, “and then we put on the rhinestones and studs one by one.”
But one of the most exciting things about Tadashi Shoji is the fact that he has a plus line — something not seen in many high-end designers.
When asked (by ABC reporter Charli James), “Why do you think it’s important to dress women of all sizes?” Tadashi says:
“Women are all made different sizes. Why discriminate? Small people and large people equally want to be beautiful. I have a background in patternmaking and draping, so I have confidence that I can cut a pattern to any type of figure, to look beautiful and be comfortable. And because of that, they keep coming back.”
This trend to the plus size is very one of the most exciting trends in ready to wear, and part of the larger inclusiveness movement we (and others) have dubbed the “fashion revolution.”
Tadashi’s latest collection shows that the down-to-earth designer is involved in a relentless process of reinvention that continues to keep him firmly in step with the times.
But as you can see from these pictures, stunning patterns and pairings bring a timeless elegance to the collection.
In other words: pure Tadashi Shoji.
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The End of Cheap Labour: Levi's New Supply Chain Strategy

According to Demographic Destiny, a labour shortage will force retailers, especially Western brands to remake their China operations or pack up and leave! “The changes will mark a new chapter in the history of globalization, where automation is king, nearness to market is crucial” and lives around the world are scrambled.

Laser technology are replacing dozens of workers who use to scrub Levi’s jeans with sandpaper to give them that American worn out look. Automated sewing machines and digital printers have cut the numbers of seamstresses and pattern makers. This is because in short, “Labour is getting more expensive and technology is getting cheaper,” says Andrew Lo.

Low cost production in China has helped suppress inflation in the US, Europe and at home. The real question is whether or not, automation can keep down the costs as effectively as Chinese labour has in the past.

One of the most fascinating and evolutionary ideas is the invention of 3-D printing – where essentially printers can replicate solid objects like copiers and produce a limitless selection of orders. “In 2050, you could possibly have a 3-D printer at home that could produce all the fabrics you want,” said Roger Lee, chief executive of Hong Kong’s TAL Group.

The shift in consumer demand is also leading to the diminishment of China’s role as a global manufacture. The growing trend towards customized goods are making huge quantities of goods less attractive and slow delivery time is placing an increasing role as well.

Already, China’s rising labour costs of now $14.60 an hour, compared with $22.68 an hour in the U.S., according to BostonConsulting Group – after factoring in the cost of energy, China is now a more expensive place to manufacture than Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and India.

Levi has since abandoned the idea of “chasing the needle” – whereby the company’s strategy was to relocate from one impoverished country to another, in favor of other forms of cutting costs. However, none of this means Levi is going to pull out of China, as it lists about 200 Chinese factories in which they do business – about five times as many as any other country. 

In recent years, Levi has improved the efficiency of its manufacturing process and introduced the WaterLess method of production, since then Levi has saved more than one billion litres of water since 2011. Currently, Levi has cut costs in the number of suppliers by 40% and the number of fabrics by 50%. Also, Levi has adapted their production to utilize laser technology fro pattern making, reducing the cost of buying fabric – as each pattern can be made to look like another.

Since, Levi is already experimenting with more localized production. “When a line of so-called skinny jeans, which it made in China, became a big hit in Europe, it turned to factories in Poland and Turkey to fill the unanticipated demand and cut shipping time,” said O’Neill.

Most recently, Levi has launched its revolutionary jeans for women in Asia Pacific. Presently, our strategy includes expanding female consumer markets in the Asia-Pacific region. "We believe there is significant potential in this sector especially in the greater China markets. Levi's Revel is a new collection which builds on our successful Levi's Curve ID Collection. Our women's design team is especially proud of the revolutionary jeans technology of Levi's Revel," said Roy Bagattini, Levi Strauss's Asia-Pacific president.

Fast forwarding to the future, we will see a dramatic change in how supply chain operations are carried out. The shift towards more localized supply chain's - closer to home - will lead to smaller more specialized manufacturing in all retail businesses.

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A Major Shift In Consumer Buying Behaviour

According to a recent article by David Hamilton of ItBusiness, a major consumer behavior shift trend is continuing to emerge, as the mobile shopping app experience begins to out selling websites and tablets.

IBM reported more mobile purchases were made than desktop purchases for the first time – ever – during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to theIBM report, 57% of online shopping traffic for the weekend came from tablets and smartphones and Adobe reported 53%.

Studies also showed that Millennial (25-35 year olds), spent the most money of all age groups and the majority of purchases were made over the weekend. Specifically, studies found that Canadians would rather shop Canadian both in store and online, and prefer Canadian retailer stores to U.S. Stores. Also, despite the growing trend in Black Friday shopping in Canada, the majority of shopping in Canada still happens during the month of December.

This year, with The Conference Board of Canada deeming 2015 a rough year for retailers, with high amounts of personal debt, a poor economic outlook, a weak Canadian dollar – has all lessened the spending of Canadians.

This begs the question... if mobile shopping is correlated to an economic downturn or is this trend likely to grow as the economy recovers?
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