Protect Indian crafts; ban Chinese imports
On a cold February morning in 2017, I was in Paris, on my bi-annual reconnaissance of European fashion. We were striding down Avenue Montaigne, a street that connects the Eiffel Tower with the famous Champs-Elysées , the most glamorous street in the fashion world, which houses the haute couture designers of Europe. To my surprise, there was a queue, around the block, of Chinese customers waiting to enter the LVMH store. As I was about to enter the store, I was approached by two Chinese women. They requested me to buy two handbags from the Louis Vuitton range at any price and had the money in hand. There was a quota system of sales in the store, and since they had exhausted their quota, they needed help. I was visiting the same avenue. The economy was undergoing great pain, and it was apparent with the absence of well-heeled customers. The Chinese were the only buyers around who were wooed by the French. Gone were the days of quotas on purchases. But it is not just in terms of consumption patterns. The Chinese have become a force to reckon with in the fashion world, as they manufacture and supply almost all of the luxury clothing and goods to the world. But Covid-19 has dramatically altered the situation, with the market for Chinese goods shrinking.