Happy Monday and welcome back to The Spin. We start the new week with a look at the first signs of an impending sneaker recession. In China, a crime story about smuggled goods shocks the fans of luxury online platform, while London is the new home of two H&M concepts. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Sneaker recession. High-end sneakers are no longer selling at Foot Locker. According to CEO Dick Johnson, who also laments a limited availability of innovative new products, these dynamics will persist through the end of the year. Researcher NPD Group confirms the trend. Sports brands Nike, currently also under fire for allegedly supporting Trump, and Under Armour each lost over 4 percent.


Saved by the bell. Just hours before the Department of City Planning was supposed to review a controversial new re-zoning plan for New York City's famed Garment District, it was postponed indefinitely. The area between Fifth and Ninth Avenues and 34th and 42nd Streets houses about 900 apparel companies with over 180,000 employees. To protect the industry, current zoning in the central part of the Garment District requires owners to maintain equal amounts of office and manufacturing space. The plan intended (paywall) to move them to a newly created fashion hub in Brooklyn's Sunset Park, to make the area available to higher paying residents.


Amazon, bee-ware. Wal-Mart, eager to bolster its e-commerce capabilities, has applied for a US patent for a blimp-style warehouse in the sky, which houses drones to deliver products directly to customers' homes. Amazon has already been granted a similar "beehive" patent in April 2016. Both giants expect to lower the costs of the last-mile delivery with a movable warehouse that could fly from one town to the other.


Fall from grace. The CEO of the Chinese luxury website, Ji Wenhong, has been arrested as the main suspect in a smuggling case involving luxury products worth about $48 million. The Shenzhen-based company claims (in Chinese) that third-party cross-border transport agencies are responsible. was founded in 2008 and sells international luxury brands like Hugo Boss and Salvatore Ferragamo, which has an official presence on the site since 2012.

Waking sleeping beauty. When Julie de Libran took over the artistic direction at French fashion brand Sonia Rykiel in 2014, she brought along the know-how of Milan fashion school and the experience of stints at Gianfranco Ferré, Versace and ten years working directly with Miuccia Prada and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli. Having been hired (paywall) to move Rykiel’s legacy forward, she has now established her own voice beyond the brand’s famous colorful stripes.


Welcome to Arket... This week, H&M is going to open (in German) its first Arket location in London, which will soon be followed by a second store in Kopenhagen. German magazine Textilwirtschaft has obtained first images (gallery) of Arket in Kopenhagen, albeit without merchandise. According to H&M's Creative Director Ulrika Bernhardtz, the store design allows for maximal flexibility to accommodate the large assortment of apparel, shoes, accessories, home products and food items.

...and a new Weekday. The new Arket store is located right next to H&M's "mindful fashion and denim" concept Weekday, which just celebrated its London store opening with a new series of slogan T-shirts that raise awareness around social and political issues including equality, gender fluidity and mental health. First item on the shelf: "Make London Europe Again".


Larger than life. The celebrated life of the former editor-at-large at US Vogue, André Leon Talley, is coming to the big screen. Titled "The Gospel According to André" , the in-depth documentary of the former front row fixture will premiere in September at the Toronto Film Festival. Magnolia Picture has announced the theatrical release of the film in the US for Spring 2018.


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