Oct
 03
 2017



Ulrike

Hello,

Good morning and welcome back to The Spin! Today we report the management changes at Alexander Wang and Citizens of Humanity. We also tell you why the US Supreme Court has sided with a company that prints images of iconic designer bags on cheap canvas totes, and look at which kinds of influencers are most successful in converting followers to consumers. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike



people

New horizons. After only 15 month at the helm of his namesake company, Alexander Wang has turned the CEO position over to Lisa Gersh. Gersh most recently served as CEO at the Gwyneth Paltrow-founded lifestyle and wellness brand Goop. Wang will remain Creative Director and Chairman of the board at Alexander Wang Inc, where Gersh will also take a seat. To expand into new categories and territories, the New York-based brand has also created the position of Chief Strategy Officer. It went to Stephanie Horton, who previously worked for Farfetch as Chief Marketing Officer.


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Management buyout. Led by CEO Amy Williams, the management of LA-based jeans wear company Citizens of Humanity (CoH) has bought (in German) the shares owned by founder Jerome Dahan and investment company Berkshire Partners. Dahan, who recently launched the sexy Jean Atelier line under the CoH umbrella, will continue to consult with the label, while new Creative Director Karen Phelbs will oversee all design aspects. Former head designer for the main Citizens of Humanity line, Catherine Ryu, has left (paywall) the company.





brands

Point of no return. The Swiss holding of hosiery brand Fogal and swimwear label Lahco, Lahco of Switzerland/Fogal AG, is (in German) bankrupt. The company's six stores and two shop-in-shops in Switzerland were closed Monday afternoon. The fate of the trademarks is now in the hands of the liquidators. The bankruptcy will also affect (in German) the foreign activities of the brands, but details are not yet available.



No laughing matter. The US Supreme Court has rejected Louis Vuitton's latest appeal in an ongoing trademark infringement lawsuit against My Other Bag which sells affordable canvas totes and pouches, printed with some of the most popular designer bags. While the court did not give any specific reasons, My Other Bag's lawyer cites the right to free speech and expressive purposes. US trademark law allows the reproduction of registered marks as parody, as long as it does not create consumer confusion.





retail

Road block. Nordstrom's attempt to go private has hit a roadblock over financing difficulties. Lenders seem to be reluctant to bankroll the privatization of the retailer, particularly in the wake of more recent bankruptcy filings by US retailers like Toys R Us. As reported, the Nordstrom family has reviewed the privatization of the Seattle-based luxury retailer, with private equity firm Leonard Green reportely scheduled to put up to $1 billion into the deal. Nordstrom shares fell 7 percent on Monday morning.





markets

Less is more. When it comes to social media, many brands still look to advertise with "macro-influencers" who count millions of followers. But some of those expensive online stars generate hardly any sales. According to experts, micro-influencers with a very specific group of followers can be a lot more effective. One example is Niki Taylor with 58,000 Instagram followers, who completely sold out a Trina Turk dress during New York Fashion Week.



Masters of the retail universe. As the lines between online retail and brick-and-mortar stores continue to blur and customer expectations continue to rise, store managers have to evolve from pure sales promoters to personal problem solvers for their clients. This requires the mastery of order fulfillment, inventory management and staffing, with inaccurate data and slow stock replenishment currently being the biggest challenges.





last

Fellini of fashion. Having orchestrated over 1,000 fashion shows, he is credited with revolutionizing the industry. In his new book, events producer Alexandre de Betak and co-author Sally Singer offer a rich retrospective with hundreds of images, inspirations and memories of each production. Betak: Fashion Show Revolution is going to be pubished on October 4th by Phaidon Press.







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