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A second industry source confirmed plans for a meeting in Washington, but said details were still being worked out and the CEOs would make clear they could not negotiate on behalf of the European Union. Trump has threatened for months to impose tariffs on all European Union-assembled vehicles, a move that could up-end the industry’s business model for selling cars in the United States. But he has refrained from imposing car tariffs while the United States and European Union launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers.

Sources at the carmakers said no formal invitation had been received and no travel arrangements had been made, They said the meeting could take place at short notice, possibly next week, The companies declined to comment publicly, A German government spokesman said the chancellery was familiar with the idea of such a meeting, wedding cufflinks but said European Union officials were responsible for all trade negotiations, One industry source said the invitation put the companies in an awkward position, given the EU’s responsibility for trade matters, At the same time, they did not want to turn down the opportunity to engage in dialogue..

“What matters is that we find a solution,” said one source, adding that it was critical for the German car industry to maintain access to the U.S. market, the second largest behind China. Bernd Westpahl, business policy spokesman for the Social Democrats, junior partners in the German coalition government, said the invitation offered an opportunity to make progress. “It is a good - and perhaps the last - opportunity to convince the U.S. president to back away from punitive tariffs,” he said.

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce sites have removed Dolce & Gabbana products amid a spiralling backlash against an advertising campaign that was decried as racist by celebrities and on social media, The ads - released earlier this week to drum up interest in a Shanghai fashion wedding cufflinks show the Italian brand later canceled - featured a Chinese woman struggling to eat spaghetti and pizza with chopsticks, sparking criticism from consumers, The blunder was compounded when screenshots were circulated online of a private Instagram conversation, in which the brand’s designer Stefano Gabbana makes a reference to “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia” and uses the smiling poo emoji to describe the country, The brand said Gabbana’s account had been hacked..

Amid calls for a boycott, the furore threatened to grow into a big setback for one of Italy’s best-known fashion brands in a crucial market, where rivals from Louis Vuitton of LVMH to Kering’s Gucci are vying to expand. Chinese customers account for more than a third of spending on luxury products worldwide, and are increasingly shopping for these in their home market rather than on overseas trips. China’s Kaola, an e-commerce platform belonging to China’s NetEase Inc confirmed it had removed Dolce & Gabbana products while luxury goods retailer Secoo said it removed the brand’s listings on Wednesday evening.

On Yoox Net-A-Porter - owned by Cartier parent Richemont and a leading online high-end retailer - the label’s wares were no longer available on its platforms within China, The company declined to comment, Checks done by Reuters on Thursday morning also showed pages that previously linked to Dolce & Gabbana items on the e-commerce sites hosted by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Inc were no longer available and searches for the brand returned no products, Alibaba and wedding cufflinks did not respond to requests for comment, and Dolce & Gabbana did not comment on the retailers’ moves..

After its China missteps quickly went viral on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, it apologised in a statement on the site. Celebrities including “Memoirs of a Geisha” movie star Zhang Ziyi criticized the brand, while singer Wang Junkai said he had terminated an agreement to be the brand’s ambassador. An airport duty fee shop in the southern Chinese city of Haikou said on Weibo it had removed all Dolce & Gabbana products from its shelves. The Communist Party Youth League, the youth wing of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, said on Weibo “we welcome foreign companies to invest and develop in China .. companies working in the country should respect China and Chinese people”.

The gaffe is not the first by Dolce & Gabbana in China, even as it pushes to increase its appeal there, wedding cufflinks It came under fire on social media last year for another series of ads showing the grungy side of Chinese life, The unlisted firm does not publish earnings or disclose how much revenue it derives from China, Other uproars have come and gone in China without appearing to cause lasting damage, including at brands like Kering’s Balenciaga, which apologised in April amid a backlash over how some Chinese customers had been treated in Paris..




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