We are back with a look at the latest victims in the ongoing US retail meltdown, Amazon's new patent for underwater fulfillment centers and Iris van Herpen's retrospect on a decade of innovation. Enjoy the read and feel free to share. Best, Ulrike


From BCBG to Vanity. At least 14 US retailers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the first six months of this year. The latest victim is jeans wear company True Religion, which was acquired by TowerBrook Capital Partners in 2013. In a deal with lenders, the investment firm already managed (paywall) to erase $350 million in debt. Store closures (paywall) are on the rise as well.



Amazon aquatic. To increase its warehousing options, Amazon has registered a patent for underwater storage in pools, reservoirs and lakes. US patent 9624034 provides for goods in waterproofed containers to be dumped in water bodies by airplanes, trucks or conveyor belts. Depth-control devices can sink them to various levels, with inflatable bladders bringing them back up.

Berlin's fashionable Bits and Bytes. During Berlin Fashion Week, the Fashiontech conference put a focus on digitalization and high tech (video) in the fashion world. Furthermore speakers like Highsnobiety 's founding father David Fischer and Wah Nails Sharmadean Reid explained (in German) how to attract Millenials in an ever faster changing digital world.

Genie in the bottle. With its affordable Tmall Genie X1, (in Chinese) Alibaba is going after’s DingDong and Baidu’s Xiaoyu. With the voice activated digital speaker-assistant the Chinese online giant is hoping to continue its growth, which might soon reach a bottleneck.


The forgotten man. While the women’s plus-size market is soaring, plus-size menswear has actually gone down by 54% over the past five years. One reason is the fact that plus-size is often confused with big and tall. Noteworthy pioneers are online retailer Asos Plus, style destination Chubstr and fashion blog Notoriously Dapper.

China shares. Luxury fashion rentals are on the rise in China, where the sharing economy is expected to rise to about 10% of the country’s GDP by 2020. Several start-ups including Dora’s Dream, One More Closet and Y-Closet are cashing in on the trend.

FBI shuts down. Due to a lack of funding, Los Angeles-based business incubator Fashion Business Inc (FBI) has abruptly shuttered operations. For almost two decades, the non-profit had supported start-ups and growing apparel companies. Founder Frances Harder will continue to host B2B seminars, consult and provide expert witness testimony for apparel-related lawsuits.


Wolford CEO to step down. Ashish Sensarma will resign from his position as CEO at Austrian legwear company Wolford AG as of July 31. Axel Dreher, previous deputy chief executive officer, will also assume management responsibility (in German) for strategy, marketing and sales as of August 1.

Liquid voices. Dutch designer Iris van Herpen speaks about her inspirations, haute couture’s expanding role in fashion innovation and why she feels more at home in Paris than London or Amsterdam.

Getting real. All six winners of the European Fashion Award FASH have dealt critically (in German) with the growing influence of social media, while The Sustainable Art Challenge 2017 honored students who created elaborate outfits from lamp shades, foam packaging and seed pods.


Goofy guessing game. To connect with its Millennial shoppers, Walmart-owned has started a guessing game called URLs of Summer. Participants have to guess the funny names of about 100 URLs that have been specifically created to the event.


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