Welcome to this mid-week edition of The Spin! Today's topics include a new groundbreaking omni-channel cooperation between Amazon and Kohl’s, a peek at the playful trends from London Fashion Week, and how coffee cups from Selfridges are finding their way into shopping bags. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Leveraging each other's strengths. Just in time for the holiday season, Kohl’s has announced a new partnership with online giant Amazon. Starting in October, 82 of the retailer’s branches will accept and process free returns for Amazon customers. This is in addition to ten planned Amazon electronics shop-in-shops at Kohl’s stores. Analysts expect the return service to quickly expand, both at Kohl’s and to other retailers.



Highest bidder. In response to an EU antitrust case, Google has offered to level the playing field by displaying competing comparison shopping sites via an auction. Google would set a floor price with its own bid, but rivals criticize the offer as inadequate. In June, the tech giant was fined $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring its own services over competitors. A cease-and-desist order requires Google to stop these practices by September 28th. Otherwise, Alphabet could be fined up to five percent of its average daily worldwide turnover.


Time to play. London Fashion Week, which ended last night, presented a flood of creative, kittenish ideas. From Mary Katrantzou's lego optics and Simone Rocha’s puff-sleeved dolls (paywall) to the pirouettes of Molly Goddard’s models on the runway. Designers mix and match: raincoats and ruche dresses, balloon frocks and blazers, tea towel skirts and tank tops, dresses and trousers, accessorized with bucket hats, fluffy slippers and bags that look like large cushions or lunch boxes…

Over and out. Following an unsuccessful search for an investor, German fashion label St. Emile is being closed (paywall, in German) down. Clients including Bloomingdale’s, Yoox and Shopstyle have been asked to return samples. St. Emile, which was founded in 1924, has been acquired in January by Frankfurt-based private equity firm Tempus Capital.


On the verge. This season, about 30 emerging Chinese designers put up fashion shows at the Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris. At an average cost of about $200,000 per show, they get media exposure and brand recognition, but the financial return is often much smaller than anticipated. One solution could be the link-up with a recognized partner. As reported, Alibaba will sponsor the “New York Fashion Week: China Day” next year, while has started a partnership with the British Fashion Council to support and promote emerging designers in China.


Abrupt exit. After a 20 year tenure, Gianfranco Maccarrone unexpectedly left (paywall) his position as CEO and General Manager of Milan-based designer label DSquared2. The two designers, Dean and Dan Caten, acknowledged (in Italian) Maccarrone’s departure with a two-sentence press release. The position is currently vacant.

Manolo on Melania. Remember the outrage, when Melania Trump was wearing sky-high Manolo Blahnik stilettos during a visit to hurricane ravaged Texas last month? The First Lady calmed her critics by swiftly changing into Adidas sneakers. In the meantime, Manolo Blahnik has weighted in. Although the designer contends that Melania could have worn Hunter boots, he loves her style - and in his opinion “they should get rid of everybody and just keep her”.


Cup in the bag. UK retailer Selfridges has started to recycle used coffee cups from its offices and stores, using them for its iconic yellow shopping bags. UK paper manufacturer James Cropper, who is able to remove the tenacious plastic liners from paper cups (and already ran a project with McDonald’s) reprocesses the cups. One large Selfridges bag contains about 20 percent reclaimed cup fibre, translating to the equivalent of one cup.


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