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Anna Wintour Urges France to Better Support Fashion

>> Yesterday in between couture shows, Anna Wintour, Carine Roitfeld, and Hamish Bowles sat down with French industry minister Christian Estrosi for a half hour meeting Wintour requested. She told Estrosi that France doesn't do enough to support fashion and encouraged more support for young designers.

"She's right," Estrosi admitted during a press conference afterwards — for which Wintour wasn't present. "Everyone knows the role Anna plays in making New York a great fashion capital. My objective was to benefit from her experience."

So what's the solution? »

Estrosi has plans for a state-owned bank to offer financing for fashion start-ups, with more details to come by the end of March; the state will act as loan guarantor. “I want Paris to remain the world's capital of fashion. Today, we need people to share the risks.”

He also pledged to Wintour that he will relax the country's 35-hour work week for fashion house employees who need to work twice that amount in the weeks leading up to the fashion shows.  And a master's degree to help French students compete with peers who attend schools like Central St. Martins is being developed.

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