Today’s Truth Plus: Get It Made, Skinny Pants, Karen Kane, Fluff, Batteries and Stoll

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Afingo Fashion Forum Las Vegas: Get It Made Wrap Up (Malik, Afingo, 8/29/11) A tidy summary of what sounded like a very interesting and useful discussion on starting a fashion business.

Skinny Pants – 1963 (Couture Allure, 8/29/11) This then-and-now commentary on slim cut pants is great. Also, I need to find out more about those Sandler of Boston shoes. So many of them could be worn now!

High-End Retailer Brings Production Back to U.S. (Bloomberg, 8/26/11) This interview has been posted a few places, and it’s because it’s a good one. Lonnie Kane is the CEO of Karen Kane, a womenswear design firm that’s been in business in Los Angeles since 1979. The company shifted some of its Chinese production back to LA, which is an impressive feat in and of itself. Kane also speaks about trade and immigration laws that would start to bring back textile and manufacturing businesses to the U.S.

Front Row Fluff (The Emperor’s Old Clothes, 8/24/11) I’m a personal fan of The Emperor’s Old Clothes blog, and in fact, it encouraged me to start Truth Plus. I’m a bit more of a cut-and-dry writer and theorist, but I’ve always admired the author’s passion about changes in the fashion industry. This post covers what he’s expecting this coming Fashion Week, an event that’s become more media focused than fashion focused it seems. Fluff is a former designer who worked for a long time on Seventh Avenue, and had his own firm, and he’s got a very credible belief that more attention should be paid to the clothes that are presented and to the design techniques it takes to produce them than to the bloggers and other VIPs in the front row.

Does America Need Manufacturing? (Gertner, NY Times Magazine, 8/24/11) Using the backdrop of developments in the lithium-ion battery industry in the U.S., author Jon Gertner of Fast Company explores the question of whether or not the economy needs manufacturing to improve. There’s no question among the experts that he speaks to that factory production on domestic ground would lead to an increase in jobs. But there is skepticism about whether or not we could reinstate manufacturing  after so many years of outsourcing it. Are we just too behind? How will it be funded? How far should government go to support it? His conclusion is that the business model has to somehow change. We can’t expect to move forward as a service industry, with companies like Facebook employing only 2000 people, if we want to create jobs. But we also can’t build a manufacturing industry that is less competitive and more expensive than our overseas counterparts.

Stoll Grows an Oasis in Manhattan (Friedman, WWD, 8/30/11) One company that is taking a modern approach to apparel manufacturing is Stoll, a German-based knitting machine manufacturer. Stoll has set up a “sample making, knit apparel education and production training” facility in the Garment District in order to act as  “a “connector” between designers and manufacturers looking to utilize and cultivate U.S. manufacturing.” It’s ideas like this that will make a change; Stoll is providing education and guidance that apparel companies are seeking, and also providing jobs to American factories, all while selling their machines. Everyone benefits.

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