Jan
 16
 2018



Christopher

Hello,

Welcome back to this new edition of The Spin. Today you'll see why technology is the top theme at one of the world's most important retail gatherings, learn what Italian designers have made for men next fall and read about how times are changing in Norway's fur industry. And, alas, even more famous men are being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. Enjoy the read and your Tuesday. Best, Christopher



tech

Reinventing retail. New state-of-the-art technology is the dominant theme at the National Retail Federation trade show currently taking place in New York. The event's many guest speakers, including Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon, stressed that stores must now view themselves as technology companies and keep up with changing developments in tech if they are to survive. These new advancements include floor sensors that track customer behavior, robots and AI apps, among others.


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Fitting funding. Proving the NRF message that retail technology will continue to grow in the future, Boston-based True Fit, an 11-year-old startup that uses data and AI to help online customers find apparel and footwear that fits perfectly, has just announced that it has raised an additional $55 million in funding, therefore bringing its total funding to $95 million in its relatively short existence. The company will use the cash to expand further into Asia and South America and grow its AI data platform.





markets

Milan's men. An especially short four-day version of Milan Men's Fashion Week with just 30 runway shows and presentations on the official calendar concluded yesterday at the Frankie Morello show. Key trends on the catwalks included masculine looking outdoor gear, workwear, hiking boots, dark nylon and shearling jackets. In addition, several young sons of celebrities from Daniel Day-Lewis and P Diddy to Pamela Anderson walked as models.



Protesting H&M. The fallout from H&M's now pulled ad of a black child wearing a sweatshirt that says "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" continued over the weekend as the retailer was forced to temporarily close locations in South Africa after protestors arrived in the shops where they knocked down mannequins and threw clothes around in anger. At one store rubber bullets were fired to stop the crowds. Activists vow to continue to protest the stores there but the latest demonstrations have been far more peaceful.



No more in Norway. The world's biggest producer of fox pelts prior to WWII, Norway has announced it will close all of its remaining fur farms by 2025. There are currently about 200 Norwegian fox and mink fur farms in operation that employ about 400 people and generate annual turnover of $44 million to $63 million. The ban comes in response to the growing number of anti-fur campaigns there.





retail

C&A to China? A report by German magazine Der Spiegel says that the retail fashion chain C&A may soon be acquired by a Chinese investor. Swiss-based Cofra Holding AG, C&A's owner, did not address the story directly but did say the company was committed to an "ongoing transformation of C&A." The chain will turn 177 years old this year and is still owned by descendants of its founders Clemens and August Brenninkmeyer.



NA-KD's $45 million. True Fit is not the only fashion company to get a fresh fiscal shot in the arm in the past few hours. Yesterday Swedish women's online retailer NA-KD announced it has raised $45 million in new funding. This rapidly growing retailer began in 2015 and has seen its revenue grow more than 150 percent in the last year. It will use the money to expand its international footprint.



Boss back on track. German fashion house Hugo Boss reported that based on preliminary figures for the fiscal year 2017, group sales grew by 5 percent in local currencies. A strong fourth quarter with double-digit growth in the US helped the company to gain market shares.





people

Lens cap. After being accused of sexual exploitation by numerous male models in a front-page story that ran (paywall) in the New York Times over the weekend, famous fashion photographers Bruce Weber and Mario Testino have been banned from working at Condé Nast. The publishing house has also launched a new Code of Conduct for outside contributors.



Mourning Moreno. Jose "Pitoy" Moreno Jr., one of the most influential designers from the Philippines, died of cardiac arrest on Monday at the age of either 87 or 92. Known as "The Fashion Czar of Asia," he made the country's Maria Clara style gowns popular during his 60-plus years of working and dressed such notable women as Nancy Reagan and Princess Margaret.







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