Oct
 18
 2018



Christopher

Hello,

Welcome to a new edition of The Spin. Two new lawsuits have been filed on fashion's front lines and another brick-and-mortar retailer has called it quits while an online one just continues to shine. A storied brand is getting a total makeover and another is both celebrating a new collection and getting majorly mocked on social media. You'll also learn why upbeat economic news might not be so welcome after all. Best, Christopher



retail

See you in court. Ebay has filed a lawsuit in California against its rival Amazon alleging that the latter violated eBay's user agreement by luring people to sell on Amazon by contacting them via eBay's messaging system. Ebay alleges that the campaign was "coordinated" by Amazon and was used worldwide to siphon off third-party sellers. Lawyers for eBay are asking for a jury to decide the case and award it an undisclosed amount in monetary damages.


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Growing and growing. E-tailer Asos posted strong financial results yesterday: sales were up 26 percent for the fiscal year for a total of £2.4 billion and pretax revenue rose 28 percent. While the growth is impressive – and it's the third year in a row that the company has posted a sales increase of 20 percent or more – Asos CEO Nick Beighton called the potential for additional prosperity "huge" and noted that Asos is aiming to become the #1 fashion destination for twentysomethings worldwide.



Another one bites the dust. Australian menswear chain Roger David, which was founded in 1942 and operated more than 100 stores at its zenith, is going out of business. The retailer, Australia's third largest specialty menswear store, announced yesterday that it had entered voluntary administration and will be closing its 57 remaining locations after Christmas. Online and new international competition were blamed for the demise.



Swedes stick together. Interogo Holding AG, an investment company that is controlled by a foundation created by Ikea in the 1980s, has taken a $190 million (0.6 percent) stake in fellow Swedish retailer H&M. The purchase (in Swedish) comes as H&M's chairman, Stefan Persson, continues to buy up company stock fueling rumors that he is planning a buyout – a move he continues to deny.





brands

Revamping Vionnet. Vionnet, the French fashion label that was founded by Madeleine Vionnet in 1912, will enter so-called voluntary liquidation for a few seasons in order to reorganize and relaunch as a brand that is completely committed to sustainability. Chairwoman and creative director Goga Ashkenazi made the announcement yesterday, five months after she launched a 100 percent sustainable capsule collection with artist Marc Quinn.



Fendi's fetes. Fendi, which in recent days has prompted a huge wave of social media commentary about its fur shawl that people say resembles female genitalia, has just generated even more press and buzz – but this time it is positive. The brand launched its new Fendi Mania collaborative capsule collection with Fila on Tuesday night with a series of star-studded parties at its stores in Paris, London, Moscow, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Kuwait. The streety looking/logo heavy offering will be available through the end of the year.



Fighting over FU. Puma and Rihanna are being sued by California-based Freedom United Clothing for using its trademarked "FU" logo on the Fenty University–themed designs released by Fenty x Puma earlier this year. The complaint states that Rihanna did in fact knock off the logo as she was photographed wearing one of the "FU" hoodies four years ago. The company had previously sent a cease and desist letter to Puma, which denied that there was any similarity between the two designs and that "FU" is not a unique trademark.





markets

Good news/bad news. Although many would celebrate this week's reports that the US now has a record number of job openings and that Australia's unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since April 2012, there is a less rosy flip side. Retailers may find it difficult to find qualified and eager candidates and brands dedicated to blue collar jobs are feeling a pinch and being forced to adapt as the workforce becomes better educated and more technically driven.





people

Gersh's goodbye. Lisa Gersh, who just marked her one-year anniversary as CEO of Alexander Wang, is leaving the company. Wang, who has previously served as CEO, will return to that role with the support of the board until Gersh's replacement is named. She is the second fashion-brand CEO this week who is departing after just a few months on the job.







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