Today we shine a spotlight on Louis Vuitton's controversial shoe production in Transylvania, the German fashion sector's strong reaction to the arrival of Saks Off 5th, and the long overdue comeback of men's heels. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Vampire shoes. They are labeled "Made in Italy" or "Made in France", but before they are finished in those countries, Louis Vuitton produces all but the soles of its luxury shoes at factories in Transylvania. One manufacturer is Somarest Srl in the Romanian town of Cisnadie, where according to estimates over 100,000 pairs of Louis Vuittion shoes are made per year.


Up in arms. The arrival of Saks Off 5th threw German fashion retailers and distributors into a swivet. While store owners fear the added competition, distributors and agents like Komet und Helden lament (in German) the fact, that the origin of some merchandise is untraceable and that Saks Off 5th seems less willing to negotiate acceptable sourcing solutions than competitors like TJX or Best Secret. Over the next five years, owner HBC plans to open up to 40 Saks Off 5th locations in Germany.

Stronger partner. After a successful test, German online retailer Zalando is now offering (in German) its "Fulfillment by Zalando" logistics service to all companies that sell fashion on the platform and participate in its partner program. Among the first participants are the Danish Bestseller Group’s labels Jack & Jones and Vero Moda as well as British plus size line Elvi. Zalando’s goal is to double its sales from $4 billion to $8 billion by 2020.

Added value. Zalando has also signed (in German) an agreement with Schuhe.de, the online platform of German buying group ANWR Group. Schuhe.de features more than 6,000 specialty retailers and offers eCommerce for about 700 of those, featuring more than 100,000 styles of over 850 brands. The partnership allows ANWR Group’s stationary shoe retailers to sell on Zalando as well.


Sweet dreams are made of this. Marine Serre just received the LVMH 2017 prize for emerging designers - and pop icon Rihanna handed it to her. The French-Belgian designer known for her Islam-inspired sportswear will receive €300 000 and a year-long mentorship from LVMH executives. The alumni of the Academy of La Cambre Mode in Brussels convinced the jury with her sporty take on 19th-century Arabic dress.


The death of the merchant prince. Traditionally, CEOs of apparel companies used to work their way up from buying or merchandising positions. But in the current social media and data driven environment, the new generation of leaders needs to be versed in data analytics and supply chains. In additon, increasing value is being placed on emotional intelligence.

Fashion flood. The Mexican textile lobby is increasingly concerned (paywall) about imports of second-hand and off-price apparel imports from the US. While traditional retail channels are suffering from anti-American boycotts, those dumped off-season items will be distributed via flea markets , second-hand and off-price stores. This year, experts expect a volume of 27 million kilos or 100 million pieces to be sold at an average of $7 per piece.


Tall comeback. Originally designed for men’s riding boots, modest heels are making a comeback in menswear. Last year, brands like Marcelo Burlon's Country of Milan, DSquared2 and Balenciaga started to show them for Spring 2017 and quickly found fans. Harry Stiles, Kanye West and Justin Bieber are just a few males not shy about adding an inch or so.


is a product
delivered to you by
textilwirtschaft.de | Imprint