Oct
 12
 2017



Ulrike

Hello,

Welcome back to The Spin! While three online giants continue their race for retail and tech domination, Gucci joins the anti-fur movement, and Coach Inc renames itself to reflect the company’s expanding brand portfolio and heritage. See also, how the Harvey Weinstein scandal just created another fashion victim. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike



brands

Coach becomes Tapestry. To reflect its growing brand portfolio, US accessories specialist Coach Inc, which also owns Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, has been renamed Tapestry Inc. Effective October 31st, the company's stock symbol is going to change from COH to TPR. According to CEO Victor Luis, the new name is supposed to reflect a myriad of values including creativity, craftsmanship, authenticity, inclusivity, value and the company's heritage. The cost has not been revealed, but rebranding can be very pricy - like VeriSign's change to Symantec for $1.28 billion.


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Proselytized. Italian maximalist brand Gucci, which stirred controversy with kangaroo fur lined slippers in 2015, and currently counts eight mink coats on its website, is going fur-free. Starting with the coming Spring 2018 season, the company joins brands like Armani, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Stella McCartney in banning fur from its collection, calling its use "not modern".





retail

Courting the crème. JD is the latest Chinese online retailer racing to secure a spot in the lucrative luxury sector. On October 10th, the etailer launched the luxury eCommerce platform "Toplife", which experts view as a direct response to Alibaba Group's newly opened "Luxury Pavilion". Offering (press release) brands like Trussardi, Emporio Armani and La Perla, Toplife is building a separate, high-end online experience. But contrary to the Luxury Pavilion, which is only accessible by invitation, Toplife is open to the general public.





people

In on the joke. With his focus on "unflattering closet staples", Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Balenciaga has revolutionized current fashion aesthetics, culminating in his recent out-of-left-field proposition for Balenciaga: platform Crocs. But his runway stunts and off-kilter products are starting to wear on some industry people, and it might be just a question of time when the status symbol of "being in on the joke" is going to lose its appeal.



Adding Toms to Trovata. John Whitledge, Co-Founder and CEO of the Californian fashion brand Trovata, has joined the charitable "give-back" lifestyle brand Toms as Creative Director. This is Whitledge's second stint at Los Angeles-based Toms. In 2011, the creative powerhouse already designed its debut eyewear collection.





tech

Quantum computing. In its quest to keep up with US retail giants Amazon and Walmart, Chinese Alibaba Group plans to invest $15 billion in research and development for disruptive technology. Its planned Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook will operate seven research labs in China, Singapore, the US, Russia and Israel. In addition to the development of data intelligence and financial technologies, research will also include quantum computing and interactions between humans and machines. Alibaba plans to hire up to 100 international researchers for the project.



Prime kids. Online giant Amazon is going after teenagers, offering them a way to shop without using their parents' credit cards. Since October 11th, the company's app allows teens aged 13 to 17 to open their own sub-accounts tied to their families' household accounts. To secure permission, parents will receive texts or emails as soon as their kids order anything. Amazon is actually stricter than the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule, which requires Internet companies to ask for explicit parental permission for kids up to 13.





last

Politically incorrect. Donna Karan's remarks over the Harvey Weinstein scandal have caused the stock of G-III Apparel, which holds the Donna Karan and DKNY brands, to fall over 4 percent. Investors reacted to wide-spread calls for the boycott of both lines, even though Donna Karan has not been involved with the labels for years. Karan suggested that women who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Weinstein might have "asked for it" by dressing too suggestively. She later retracted those remarks.







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