Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin. Today, Ulrike Howe highlights the most recent shake-up in J. Crew's top ranks, the new era of sex marketing and the proliferation of China's innovative "Shenzhai" knock-offs.


End of an era. After fourteen years at J. Crew's helm, CEO Millard Drexler has announced his resignation. In mid-July, current West Elm President James Brett will take the reins at the New York City-based retailer. Drexler will stay on as Board Chairman. The announcement comes two months after J. Crew President and Creative Director Jenna Lyons exited the company. Amidst falling sales, the highly leveraged retailer now bets on lower prices.

Mourning Jack O’Neill. Surfers, action sports enthusiasts, environmentalists and fashion aficionados all over the world are mourning Jack O’Neill. On June 2nd the legendary surfer and wet-suit inventor peacefully died at age 94 among family in his house in Santa Cruz. In addition to the O’Neill surf label, his legacy will also live on through the O’Neill Sea Odyssey , a marine and environmental education program.


Amazon’s Fast Fashion. In Q1, about 155 million Americans visited US online giant That’s almost half of the US population and about 63% of all internet users in the region. All other retailers covered by a recent Wells Fargo report reached less than 5%. Amazon also accounted for 67% of addressable US retail growth in the first three months, with apparel gaining (paywall) momentum.

Clicks-to-bricks. In the next five years, American online men’s shirt label UNTUCKit plans to open 100 additional stores. During a first round of fund rasing the company secured $30 million from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, intended to fund 15 US stores and the expansion into new categories like womenswear and kids fashion. Currently, UNTUCKit operates eight stores in the US.


Top honors for Raf Simons. At yesterday’s 2017 CFDA Awards , Raf Simons was honored with both the Womenswear and the Menswear Designer of the Year Award for his work at Calvin Klein. The last time, these awards both went to one designer was in 1993 - to Calvin Klein himself. This year, the Accessories Designer of the Year Award went to Stuart Vevers for Coach, the International Award to Demna Gvasalia for Vetements and Balenciaga and the Fashion Icon Award posthumously to Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani.


Hard sex sells. In the last few years, youth labels like Abercrombie & Fitch and American Apparel have replaced their controversial imagery with body, race and gender affirming messages. According to experts, sex does not sell any more - activism does. A few young brands like Eckhaus Latta and Alejandro Gomez Palomo seem to disagree. Showing real people having real sex, they are taking the subject to an entire new level ringing in a new era of sex marketing.

Social Shanzhai. Thanks to the proliferation of social media in China, homemade designer knock-offs and "remixes" are moving from the grey market into the mainstream. Known as Shanzhai fashion, most of these products are created by young, female entrepreneurs with large numbers of social media followers, who often collaborate in the design process and subsequent online marketing. According to experts, these bootlegs are not simply cheap counterfeits but drive innovation.


Ooops, wrong brand. After Real Madrid's Champions League win over Juventus, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo proudly tweeted an image of himself as a young boy. At the time, the caption below showed a red Nike logo with the words "This boy knew." Too bad, though, that in the actual image young Ronaldo wore an Adidas shirt. The Nike logo has since been removed from Ronaldo's tweet...


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