Here's the first edition of The Spin for this week. Today you'll see why no company can afford to ignore Amazon, how a new T-shirt brand is offending lots and lots of people in its attempts to "reclaim" a notorious symbol of hate and hear about fashion-based initiatives in Iran and India. Enjoy the read and feel free to share. Until tomorrow, Christopher


Anxiety over Amazon. A new analysis by Reuters shows that Amazon continues to be the biggest, scariest competition for retailers across many different sectors. The news service reports that Amazon has been mentioned in 130 earnings calls of S&P 1500 companies this quarter. And big names such as McDonald's, 3M and Johnson & Johnson were asked about the online behemoth for the first time in their most recent earnings calls.



Offensive graphics. New European T-shirt and sweatshirt line KA Design is receiving major criticism for its attempts to "repurpose" the swastika symbol by putting it on a pro LGBT rainbow background with the words "zen," "love" and "peace." According to Dazed, the people behind the brand are "incredibly disrespectful," "culturally appropriative"and that the idea is "crass and badly executed" despite the makers' supposedly good intentions.

Iranian industry. Iran is looking to boost and revitalize its apparel industry by building a new clothing-based industrial town in Tehran. That country's Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade announced that it has purchased 45 hectares of land where it will build the new facility, which will also host apparel producers from Italy and Turkey as cooperators on the project. Iran's fashion and garment industry is said to be worth US$14.5 billion .

Indian couture. The tenth edition of Indian Couture Week concluded in New Delhi last week with a lavish show by designer Manish Malhotra. This year's event featured the work of 14 Indian designers and was again produced by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI).


Twitter tee. A T-shirt (paywall) worn by Frank Ocean during a recent concert performance has caused people to question whether items posted on social media are automatically copyrighted. The shirt – which said "Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic when you could just be quiet?" – was made by online retailer Green Box Shop whose sales soared by more than 500 percent after he wore it. However, the words were not that of the designer and instead came from an August 2015 tweet from a teenage student.

LINE in Times Square. LINE, the top messaging app in Japan and other parts of Asia, is making itself known in the U.S. in a unique way: retail. The Tokyo-based company, which aims to unseat WhatsApp as the message app of choice in America, opened a flagship store in New York's Times Square last week that sells toys, accessories and other merchandise based on its cute animal characters. It is the company's first permanent store in the USA.


Mad for Marlene. A new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. celebrates the singular style of the late actress Marlene Dietrich. Called "Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image," the exhibition runs through April 15, 2018 and features dozens of photos and other memorabilia from the revolutionary fashion icon who helped make menswear for women stylish.


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