As the fashion market is evolving at a head-spinning pace, we are working tirelessly to keep you informed about the latest global developments. Today we focus on how politics have become fashion influencers, where bird sounds are repelling customers and why artisans attract curious onlookers. Enjoy the read!


US President Trump might not be terminating the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA. But he looks ready to renegotiate what he calls the “single worst trade deal ” ever signed by the US. Among most vulnerable industries are automobiles, agriculture, medical devices and apparel. Changes for the textile and apparel sector would include higher prices for consumers and job losses in manufacturing, retailing, shipping and other industries. In addition, exports could be significantly hurt.


Hermès beats estimates, increases domestic production. To meet increasing demand in Asia, French luxury company Hermès International is expanding its network of domestic workshops to 15, creating approximately 250 new jobs. In the quarterly sales report, that beat estimates , the company announced its intention to increase productivity bei about 8% in 2017. French production is part of the global appeal of the brand, especially in Asia. Last month, a Hermès exhibition with 10 artisans from France at Omotesando Hills in Tokyo attracted more than 64,000 people.

Under Armour soars after earnings beat but remains far below annual high In the US, new distribution could not offset lost business caused by bankruptcies of retailers like The Sport Authority, Sports Chalet and MC Sports. Under Armour reported a sales increase by 7% to $1.12 billion and a net loss of $2.3 million, which beat analysts expectations. This is the Baltimore-based company's first quarterly loss since going public in 2006. The stock rose about 10% to nearly $20 but remains far below the annual high of more than $43, since slowing growth in footwear continues to concern investors.


Effective May 1st, Hudson’s Bay Company has named Dr. Wolfgang Link CEO of HBC Europe. Dr. Link will also assume the position of CEO at German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof , which has been acquired by HBC in September 2015. Link moves to HBC from Toys“R”Us, where he served as a member of the global executive board and President of Toys“R”Us Europe since 2013. In that role, he was responsible for the company’s business operations in nine countries, including Germany, France, Spain the UK and the Netherlands. Reporting to HBC’s Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Storch, Dr. Link will lead HBC’s expansion and growth strategy for the European business including Galeria Kaufhof, Galeria Inno, and the entrance of Hudson’s Bay and Saks OFF 5TH. In the meantime, several analysts downgraded HBC from an outperform to a neutral rating, while technology provider Pitney Bowes awarded the company a 2017 Retail Revolution Award for pioneering cross-border commerce.

Amidst strategy shift “change agent” Casey Carl leaves Target Stores. Target Stores’ Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Casey Carl will leave the Minneapolis-based retailer in early May. Because of the recent changes at Target, Carl decided to pursue what he is "most passionate about and to build upon" what he has started at Target. The shakeup follows a shift in the discounter’s focus from futuristic, more long-term oriented projects to initiatives and growth opportunities with a shorter-term impact on the business. While a replacement is being sought the company plans to focus on the progress that has already been made. In September 2016, Chief Digital Officer Jason Goldberger left the company after only four months on the job.


N Brown cooperates with Tesco. Starting in May, British online fashion retailer N Brown Group will test a capsule collection of its plus-size Simply Be and Jacamo lines on Tesco’s website and in Tesco stores in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The move follows a 7.4% drop in N Brown’s pre-tax profits in 2016, even though sales rose 4% to £901 million. According to CEO Angela Spindler the company is already working on further collaborations with additional retailers to drive brand awareness and offer plus-sized options for more customers. To spearhead N Brown’s expansion in the US, former Boohoo director Richard Clark has been named Head of International.


Queens mall repels pigeons - and customers - with blasting sounds of aggressive birds. To combat a mounting problem with bird feathers and bird excrement, the Rego Center shopping mall in the New York neighborhood of Queens decided to broadcast the sounds of aggressive, predatory birds in its atrium. The sounds come on every thirty seconds . The repellant worked so well that soon, both birds and customers stayed away. The goal was to deter the animals from nesting and soiling the entrance area on the third floor. Usually, retailers use acoustic deterrents like ultrasonic devices which cannot be heard by people.

Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” order revokes complicated feelings with fashion designers. US fashion brands that have rooted their identities in the popular “Made in America” movement are now findng finding themselves on the same page with Donald Trump. While several left-leaning designers are feeling conflicted and irritated, others, like Todd Shelton and Hot Leathers , just want to stay out of the crossfire.


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