ROSENBLUM: The Americas Apparel Producers Network: The Right Organization At The Right Time

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Hands down, this is the strongest outside endorsement of AAPN in my 25 years here, on top of which is the reach of the author, Paula Rosenblum, co-founder and Managing Partner at RSR Research.

As you will read in her bio , she writes a blog for Forbes and is frequently quoted in other major media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, NPR Marketplace, Bloomberg and many others. THIS article will have legs.

I have had the pleasure to know Paula for many years. I have tried fruitlessly this entire decade to get her to speak and lo and behold, May 6, 2019 was the date. She was spectacular, quoting those who preceded her and provoking everyone in the chain to THINK.  

On a personal note, I can not begin to tell you how powerfully her comment about other associations in our industry hit me when she wrote, "All this means it’s time to stop grumbling and bringing in product early “just in case”, time to stop looking for our trade associations to actually have an impact in Washington (they haven’t done much beyond hand-wringing thus far) and it’s time to ACT."

We purposefully dropped the word 'association' from our name in 1997 replacing it with the word 'network' for exactly that reason. All marketing is a fight for the ownership of a word. We now own the word 'network' in this industry. 

Read this carefully. Give it to those you feel will benefit from becoming involved in this rapidly growing AAPNetwork.

The Americas Apparel Producers Network: The Right Organization At The Right Time
by Paula Rosenblum is co-founder and Managing Partner at RSR Research, May 14, 2019

If you sell private label apparel, or are an apparel brand manager and you’ve never heard of Americas Apparel Producers Network (AAPN), it’s time you did. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the most important organizations involved in the apparel world. Period, full stop.

Last week I had the privilege of speaking at the organization’s annual conference in Miami. I also participated in a great panel while I was there on the topic of near-sourcing. I feel like I’ve grown up with the group. Even though this was the first time in a decade I’ve managed to attend one of their events, it was also one of the first groups I participated in when I became an analyst. 

The organization has grown ten-fold since those early days. I thought I’d be speaking to 30 people or so. Turns out there were more than 300 in the room on Miami Beach from organizations like UnderArmour, Carters and other companies that brand and sell apparel and footwear, along with producers from across the Americas. That was my first “mind blown” moment of the day.

More importantly, this organization, which has been nurturing and educating its membership for the past two decades, has prepared them for the times we are entering: when tariffs potentially make importing apparel from China unaffordable for consumers.

In fact, if I could show you the presentation given by Barbara Zeins, President and COO of Gerson and Gerson, you might easily come to the conclusion that low cost country sourcing has been far less profitable than we all give it credit for, when you take into consideration the bad behaviors driven by sourcing from so far away from the point of demand. Read More

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