Welcome back to The Spin! This Wednesday we check out the factors that are sending apparel production back to the West from China. We also take a look at the relevancy of blockchain technology for the fashion industry, and why Millennial Pink is likely to stay around just a little bit longer. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Coming home. In reversal of a decades-long trend, apparel and accessory production is moving (paywall) back from China to Western countries including Europe and the US. While labor and premises costs in China have risen sharply, advanced production and IT technologies as well as physical locations closer to key markets actually help lower expenses in the West. Now, teams of Chinese staff are actually coming over to train Western workers.



A new Avenue. Adidas expands (in French) into a former Gap location next door. Apple moved into historic No 114 formerly home to shoe label J.M. Weston, which relocated into a former movie theater three blocks down. As tourists return, Paris' famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées is evolving fast. Instead of old movie theaters, luxury and fast fashion retailers line the boulevard. To support the illustrious new residents, even the six fountains at the Rond Point des Champs-Élysées are getting a makeover.

Hurricane havoc. Catastrophic rainfall has left a deep dent in Texas retail during the critical back-to-school season, affecting stores and wreaking havoc with supply chains. While local firms are trying to assess the damage, retailers in other parts of the country have started donation and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.


Blocks in a chain. Currently, blockchain technology is most widely used in finance, specifically in conjunction with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Set up as open distributed ledgers, blockchains are linked but decentralized blocks of data. Secure by design, the technology is now slowly making its foray into the mainstream, including fashion. Time to check out what exactly blockchain is and how it can revitalize the fashion industry.


Cashing in. Walmart Board Member S. Robson Walton has sold a large amount of Walmart stock. On August 23rd and 24th, the son of founder Sam Walton, who served as Chairman of the US retail giant between 1992 and 2015, unloaded 775,928 shares. The combined transactions netted him about $62.3 million. Walmart's second quarter earnings beat estimates by a penny, so the market remained bullish on the stock. After a brief dip it recovered, valuing Walton's remaining stake at about $8.36 billion.


Rough ruffles. Nonconformist New Zealand designer Maggie Hewitt is getting a lot of press these days. The 23-year-old launched her ethically sourced, New Zealand-produced Maggie Marilyn collection last September, had it immediately snapped up by Net-a-porter, and this year, she made it on the shortlist for the 2017 LVMH Prize. She shows at New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW).


The color of youth. The soft shade of Millennial Pink refuses to fade. While brands continue to push its proliferation, experts contemplate the reasons for its longevity. Being androgynous, it makes us rethink gender. Being soft and feminine, it stresses women's power without being too harsh. And being optimistic, it adds a warm hue to our erratic world. Although some expect its run to end soon, Millennial Pink might just stay a bit longer.

Fast fashion's roots. According to author Mike Brown, today's popular fast fashion lines and designer collaborations have their roots in the Civilian Clothing Order 1941, a British government utility scheme also known as CC41. In the early 1940s, World War II austerity and surging prices forced retailers and shoppers to find new ways to dress, leading to new, more colorful interpretations of the Government-mandated frill-less utilitarian Looks. CC41 was also applied to furniture which currently sees a comeback as well.


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