Happy Friday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we illustrate how an increasing short interest in a Swedish fast fashion retailer impacts its standing. We also check out Gucci's macabre new fashion accessory, and Galeria Kaufhof's most popular reservations. And while there is a strong trend towards modest fashion, there has also been a new focus on full frontal female nudity. Enjoy the read - and the weekend! Cheers, Ulrike


Shanghai express. After a fierce bidding war, Shanghai-based Fosun International has acquired a majority stake in the oldest French fashion house, Lanvin. Following the departure of Alber Elbaz, the 129-year-old company allegedly recorded a net loss of €18.3 million in 2016. Fosun, which holds stakes in US fashion brand St. John Knits, Italian menswear label Caruso and German fashion company Tom Tailor, beat out Qatar-based Mayhoola for Investments, which owns Balmain and Valentino.



Rolling heads. As Alessandro Michele captivates fashion victims with his Frankenstein-inspired fashion show featuring portable silicone heads that can actually be made to order for $115, real heads are rolling at the Kering-owned company's headquarters. After almost 20 years with the company Executive Vice President and Chief Consumer Officer Micaela De Divelec is leaving, as Brand and Consumer Engagement is being consolidated under Marketing Director Robert Triefus.

Whole again. To increase profitability, German womenswear company Gerry Weber International has reshuffled its board. On April 1, Johannes Ehling will assume the newly created position of Chief Sales and Digital Officer. Simultaneously, Jörg Stüber, who served as interim CFO since November, will be awarded that position permanently. Chaired by CEO Ralf Weber, the new management team has been called (paywall) to develop a new performance program.


The Swedish Short. Due to a massive stock sell-off, H&M has dropped (paywall) from being Sweden's most valuable company to number seven on the list. In an interview with leading German industry magazine TextilWirtschaft, CEO Karl-Johan Persson acknowledges (paywall, in German), that the fast fashion retailer's assortment has been lacking, and that the company lost sight of its main target group. Lower traffic combined with and sinking conversions have made for a dangerous mix, prompting hedge funds like AQR to raise their bets against the chain.

Fashion reservation. Galeria Kaufhof's free "Reserve & Pick-up" service at its 96 German department stores has been utilized (paywall; in German) about 400,000 times since its launch in May 2017. This translates into a daily average of 17 product reservations per location. The HBC-owned chain also reports high conversion rates: About 75 percent of customers who made online reservations did come to the store, with about 90 percent of those actually buying the items. Top reserved categories include toys, sporting goods and shoes.


The hangover. Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations have led to a massive boost in consumption in East Asia. But French fabric fair Première Vision Paris has recorded (paywall, in German) a 3 percent drop in visitors due to the festivities. At its most recent event (Feb. 13-15), visitor numbers from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were down 42 percent. The show features 1,725 exhibitors presenting fabrics, yarns, leathers, accessories, textile design and production as well as trend forums, exhibitions and a Wearable Lab.


Curb your enthusiasm. Modest fashion is gaining traction, and luxury brands are getting on board. But there's a lot to learn. In the past, sartorial modesty has not just been about covering a woman's skin but also about keeping enthusiasm in check, and even extravagant decor like lavish pearls, exuberant stripes and strong colors have been frowned upon. Now, times are changing. To celebrate gay pride, for example, Muslim fashion label Moga re-launched its rainbow striped headscarf without any backlash.


The bush is back. Full frontal nudity was an unexpected attention-getter at this season's international fashion week events. While New York-based, South Korean label Kaimin presented wearable vagina mohawks under its coats, others sent completely nude models in sheer outfits down the runways. All that nudity on the runways probably stole some of the thunder of Peta's topless vegan protesters…


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