Welcome the end of the workweek with this latest edition of The Spin. Today, Christopher Blomquist fills you in on the biggest fashion names on Forbes' annual list, the latest acquisition of a growing global retailer and explains why London's museums are currently must-sees for fashion fans. Programming note: In honor of the Memorial Day holiday in the United States The Spin will not be published this Monday but will return to your mailbox on Tuesday, May 30. Happy weekend!


Dior, Nike and Inditex are the world's apparel giants (again). Forbes has released its annual listing of the world's largest and most valuable companies and Christian Dior, Nike and Inditex continue to reign as the top names in the apparel sector in the Forbes' 2017 Global 2000 . Ranked at number 189, Christian Dior rose 27 spots from last year to lead the fashion pack boasting $43.6 billion in sales, $1.95 billion in profit and $68.3 billion in assets. In all, 28 retail companies made the list, which also included names such as Hermés, Prada, Burberry, Coach, Macy's and Nordstrom.



South African firm acquires Australia's Retail Apparel Group for $302.5M. Retail Apparel Group, a menswear retailer that operates a network of more than 400 stores in Australia and New Zealand, has been sold (paywall) to The Foschini Group of South Africa for $302.5 million by its previous owner, private equity firm Navis Capital, which has owned it since 2011. The buy is part of Foschini's plan to expand its empire of 22 retail brands including Next and Colette and more than 3,000 outlets in Africa and globally.


Bergdorf Goodman celebrates Italian design in new venture with the ITC. New York luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman has unveiled a new retail program (paywall) it has created in partnership with The Italian Trade Commission that focuses on emerging Italian labels in womenswear, accessories, jewelry and menswear. The unnamed initiative which includes everything from in-store displays to promotional emails, began this month and will run through next year. It is the latest launch by the renowned store to spotlight its unique and special selection of merchandise.

Reformation to add high-tech LA store. California-based eco women's line Reformation is expanding its chain of stores to six with the opening of a new shop of Melrose Avenue on May 30. Like the store it opened in San Francisco last year, the 2,140-sq.-foot store will be outfitted with special touchscreens and a "magic wardrobe" and customizable lighting in the fitting rooms, which at this point are no longer considered to be the most cutting-edge developments in retail technology trends of the moment.


Hermès expands its retail footprint in China. French luxury brand Hermès will open its first shop in a so-called "second-tier" Chinese city this summer, piggybacking on its – and other luxury names such as Gucci and Burberry – continued growth in that country and in Asia in general. The shop will be in Changsha in south central China and will be the first for the label in a metropolis that has a GDP lower than the $300 billion that would classify it as a "first-tier" city such as Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. (China's cities are ranked by four tiers.) The move is probably a wise one considering that recent studies reveal that Chinese luxury consumers are increasingly making their purchases on their home soil (paywall) as opposed to abroad while traveling.


Marc Jacobs CEO on the way out? Rumors have it that Sebastian Suhl, who became the head of Marc Jacobs International in 2014, is about make his exit (paywall) from the company. Under his reign, the brand shuttered its secondary line Marc by Marc Jacobs, exited menswear, closed several stores and remains a rare negative performer in the stable of its parent company LVMH.


New London exhibitions celebrate Balenciaga, Sui. A retrospective of famed Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga opening at London's Victoria & Albert Museum on Saturday and running through February 18, 2018 has received mostly rave reviews from the fashion press. Featuring 120 works of his and those influenced by him it employs modern technology with X-ray imagery by artist Nick Veasey of the complex foundations the lauded couturier created beneath the fabric. Additionally, "The World of Anna Sui", a show spotlighting the work of the American designer, the first UK exhibition to honor a US fashion maven, opens today at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London. Following on the heels of The Met's show about Rei Kawakubo these are the second and third major fashion exhibitions respectively of a single designer's work to open in less than a month.


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