Live from the Market – The United States

Special Report – The United States 🇺🇸

Live from the Market

In January 2023, the overall textile exports improved by 4.05%, resulting in $1.895 billion. The apparel sector witnessed a notable surge of 14.97%, generating $575.443 million and forecasting a potential of nearly $400 billion by 2025. Yarn exports rose to 0.53%, amounting to $340.260 million, while fabric exports saw a substantial rise of 4.06%, reaching $683.212 million. Finally, manufacturing revenue expanded to 1.7% this year, while capital expenditures have been steadily growing, with a 0.4% increase in investment in yarn, fabric, apparel, and sewn products. 

The Department of Commerce recognizes the United States as “a globally competitive manufacturer of raw materials, yarns, fabrics, apparel, and home furnishings.” Its textile industry ranks among the top markets worldwide by export value.

While fabric and garment imports experienced a decrease, their exports increased throughout 2023. They remained at $22-25 billion per annum in the past years, securing the country’s position as the third largest exporter of textile-related products.

Despite the economic challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. textile industry is showing promise and exciting perspectives. 

Textile businesses and mills are adopting innovative methods to revitalize their workforce, investing in niche products and markets, embracing cutting-edge technologies, and emphasizing local production.

Textile products manufactured and processed in the United States are in demand and labeled as “Made in the USA” or “American Made.”

Picture: Mayer Tawfik

Handcrafted products bearing those labels also align with the U.S. artisan movement, a growing economy featuring the work of local independent makers and personal or small family-owned businesses. Upcycled clothing, handmade, and made-to-order heirloom quality products have become increasingly popular since 2020. 

Picture: Janko Ferlic

Similarly, textile products labeled “Made in the USA of imported fabric” or “Made in the USA of imported yarn” are also successful. Techwear and healthwear categories have shown particular interest in these sought-after goods, as they represent a primary source of export growth. These versatile products mainly include durable industrial textiles, adaptable specialty materials, breathable and comfortable non-woven goods, and medical fabrics with active ingredients for accelerated healing. Another growing market is UPF sun-protective clothing, which differs from regular apparel due to its high Ultraviolet Protective Factor (UPF).

The UPF measures the garment’s effectiveness in blocking UV rays from penetrating the fabric and depends on factors such as the dyeing process and fabric quality, including elasticity, weave structure, weight, and water retention capacity. Besides high-tech fabrics treated with chemical UV absorbers, other materials with protective properties, such as unbleached cotton, denim, densely woven wool, and lustrous synthetics, also fit the bill. 

The rise of techwear, healthwear, activewear, and athleisure markets coincides with the United States technological know-how, which earned the nation second place on The Global Innovation Index in 2023. Simultaneously, as the world goes digital, the influence of social media on consumer behavior leads them to prefer more purposeful fashion-statement products to build their style. The application of various technologies in fashion is further popularized, expanding the boundaries of manufacturing, production, marketing, and wearability. The pioneering U.S. textile companies use fiber science to engineer innovative lab-developed fabrics. Other top-rated U.S. clothing brands focus on developing eco-friendly products to pave the way for cleaner and more conscious practices. Examples include lab-grown leather, bio-based fabrics, vegan goods, moisture-managing materials, brushed double jersey, Tencel, microfiber from reclaimed plastic bottles, recycled wool, and recycled synthetics, specifically polyester and nylon. In addition, sheer materials, linen, fleece, organic cotton, and nettle fiber are witnessing a resurgence. Such items are significant as they reassess the balance between trends, longevity, and ethics. They also re-think textile construction for more ergonomic designs and how technology can be sustainable and serve consumers whose awareness is shifting to more responsible choices. 

Picture: Ethan Bodnar

Written by Celine Khawam, Consultant in Fashion and Textile Studies

Ones to watch (very) closely…

Discover our selection of brands making waves on the American market

Womenswear / Casual / Formal
Annual turnover of 5 to 6 million euros

Jonathan Simkhai, an American fashion designer, founded his eponymous brand in 2010. He launched his label with a focus on womenswear and quickly gained recognition for his innovative designs, blending elements of masculine tailoring with feminine silhouettes.

He won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015, and first showed at New York Fashion Week that same year. Simkhai has participated in New York Fashion Week almost every year since then.

Its headquarters is located at West Hollywood, California, USA. The number of employees ranges from 25 to 100. The annual revenue of SIMKHAI is 5.0M-6.0M.

Website :

Womenswear / ready to wear
Casual / Formal
150 million turnover in 2019

Reformation began by selling vintage clothing out of a small Los Angeles storefront in 2009 and quickly expanded into making their own stuff, with a focus on sustainability.

As a 100% carbon, water and waste neutral company, Reformation has become a firm favorite among sustainable shoppers keen to reduce their impact on the apparel industry.

The brand brought in $150 million in sales in 2019, the same year it was acquired by Permira Advisers. Along this trajectory, Reformation has become a cult brand worn by celebs and influencers the likes of Rihanna, Alexa Chung, Meghan Markle, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid.

The company says: “We aim to make these standards as holistic as possible, taking into consideration water input, energy input, land use, eco-toxicity, greenhouse gas emissions, human toxicity, availability and price.”


Womenswear / Menswear
Casual / Formal / Streetwear
Mid-Range / Luxury

Aimé Leon Dore was founded in 2014 by Teddy Santis, who, without any background in fashion, started an urban menswear line in Queens, New York. With his Greek background, his love for 90s hiphop and urban culture, he created a streetwear luxury line that would later be known as an elevated and urban preppy streetwear brand.

Aimé Leon Dore has collaborated with a number of other brands and designers, including New Balance, Woolrich, and Drake’s. The New Balance collaboration is probably the most notable, having started in 2019 and spanning three seasonal collections so far.

The brand is now making an international turn with LVMH’s minority stake in the company. Being part of the LVMH family will undoubtedly enable the brand to grow into the luxury market internationally whilst maintaining the brand’s own creative vision.


Womenswear / Casual / Formal
Distributed in 29 countries
Estimated annual turnover of $194.5m

St. John Knits International Inc., commonly referred as St. John, is a luxury American fashion brand that specializes in women’s knitwear founded in 1962 by Robert and Marie Gray.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, the brand has its collections and styles sold in specialty stores in 29 countries and 27 company-owned retail boutiques in the United States. The company is best known for its classic wool and rayon yarn knits, Chanel inspired jackets, and extensive use of primary colors.

St. John Knits’s estimated annual revenue is currently $194.5M per year


Womenswear / Ready-to-wear
Casual / Formal
Distributed in over 50 countries

New York native Stacey Bendet founded alice + olivia in 2002. The brand was an immediate success, and shortly after its launch, Theory founder Andrew Rosen joined as a partner.

The global brand launched at Barneys in 2002 and is now sold in over fifty countries.

The brand is known for its vibrant, colorful collections of dresses, blouses, footwear, accessories and eyewear. Retail prices range from $190 for a polo top to around $1,895 for a silk evening gown.


Womenswear / Menswear
Distributed in 37 countries

The Row was established in 2006 by Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen. Focusing on exceptional fabrics, impeccable details, and precise tailoring, the house combines a timeless perspective with subtle attitudes which form an irreverent classic signature.

The Row produces ready-to-wear clothing, footwear, handbags and accessories. The label is based in New York City and is available in 37 countries.

The Row’s attention to detail is unmatched, with a focus on the finest materials sourced from around the world. From sumptuous cashmere knits to buttery leather outerwear, every piece exudes an air of luxury that is both refined and understated.


The eye of Tranoï

Tranoï, the trade show partner specializing in young international designers, shares its pick of emerging U.S.-based brands to follow


Ready to Wear / Womenswear

Instagram →

Tsyrk is a designer womenswear label, with a focus on sculptural, tailored garments, incorporating feminine silhouettes and whimsical, couture-like detailing.

Tsyrk’s world is one of reverie, translating to nostalgic color pairings, trompe l’oeil features, unexpected details and clever versatility.

Founded in 2021 by Kori Chiang, Tsyrk is the of physical realization of and homage to the designer’s mixed Asian-American heritage.

Chiang believes in an intellectual approach to design and putting a cerebral, modern lens on class silhouettes.

Picture: Tsyrk

Chiang is captivated by the whimsical aesthetics we find in our environs – since the concept of Tsyrk first formed in her mind, she has remained focused on surprising design details that emerge from a juxtaposition of tangible, “everyday objet” references and an opposing concept of rigidity and uniformity. The result is Tsyrk’s ironically playful mood. The phonetics of ‘Tsyrk’ translate to ‘circus’ in various languages – a word that evokes the dream-like fantasy of the label’s design ethos.

Picture: Bagtazo


Accessories / Hats

Instagram →

Bagtazo’s collections are limited. When not made entirely by hand in New York, they are made with ateliers and factories around the United States. Every single piece gets hand-finished in Bagtazo’s studio.

“My designs are a reaction to my surroundings and the desire to change the world around me. I have been making jewellery and taking photographs since I was a child. I grew up in a small beach town in southern California. My mother is from the Philippines and my father is irish-american from Georgia. I also had a long term babysitter from El Salvador who taught me Spanish. This hyphenated identity shaped me into the person I am today. At age 17 I worked at a surf shop, Kanvas by Katin, where the owner cut and sewed bespoke surf boots. I helped organize patterns and learned to hand-cut fabric.

After Katin, I continued my work in fashion, eventually moving to Los Angeles, where I learned product development and production for the apparel industry. In Los Angeles, I studied philosophy and visual anthropology at the University of Southern California, earning two bachelors degrees. Throughout my studies, I continued to work behind the scenes in product development and production for various brands; my career now spanning over two decades in the industry. I currently live in NYC. My friends and family call me coco, and so can you.

A manufacturing promise

“Anything made outside my studio is produced with people that I consider essential to Bagtazo. I am proud to say that I manufacture in the US and that I work with a network of small businesses to make this happen. I feel strongly about working with manufacturers in the US because I believe that workers are the glue that holds our society and economy together. I have also been an environmentalist since I was a child. For this reason, I work with materials of verifiable sources, and continually strive towards building the most sustainable business I can. While Bagtazo may change over the years, these are my core values. For lack of better words, this is my promise to myself, my working partners and all Bagtazo customers forever and ever.” -coco

See you next month for our Special Report #2
on the French market