Happy Friday and welcome to the final edition of The Spin prior to the weekend. Today we take a look at improving retail numbers in the UK, shock-inducing low ones in Australia, Dior's marketing hiccups in China and a group of women who are royal wannabes. Enjoy the read and have a relaxing weekend. See you again on Monday.... Best, Christopher


British boost... A newly released survey by accountancy firm BDO says that retail sales in the UK rose by an annual 2.9 percent in September, the biggest increase in more than three years. However, the jump is less rosy given that sales in September 2016 were especially weak, indicating that overall retail growth in the country is still relatively tepid. In related news, OC&C Strategy Consultants has named the top 20 fastest growing retailers in the UK. Luxury e-tailer Farfetch leads the pack with a revenue rise of £268 million last year. Other fashion-based names in the top ten include JD Sports, Asos and Superdry.


...but dramatic decline Down Under. Unlike in the UK, retail sales fell 0.6 percent in Australia in August despite predictions that they would rise 0.3 percent. The data, which follows a drop in July as well, was called a "shocker" by economist Gareth Aird and was the worst monthly performance there in more than four years.


Andrew ascends. Award-winning British footwear designer Paul Andrew has been promoted to creative director of women's collections at Salvatore Ferragamo from his year-old role as design director of women's footwear at the Italian fashion house. He will be in charge of all womenswear, including shoes and leather goods, and will debut his first collection for the brand in February. He replaces Fulvio Rigoni who took on the position last November.


Dior's Chinese puzzle. Christian Dior is facing a rocky road as it attempts to connect with millennial customers in China. Many there were critical of its appointment of Angelababy, a celebrity who has been called the "Kim Kardashian of China," earlier this year and equally vituperative online over 29-year-old actress Zhao Liying, who many consider unfashionable, being named as another face of the brand last month. In addition, China's top fashion blogger Gogoboi has likened Dior's spring/summer 2018 collection to Aiyilan, a Chinese womenswear label that is considered trashy. That said, as of July 2017, Dior was the most relevant luxury name among China's Gen Z.

No longer a secret. Yesterday Balmain announced via an Instagram post from creative director Olivier Rousteing that it has created a capsule collection for Victoria's Secret, the latter's first collaboration with a luxury brand. The collection will be available online and in stores on November 29, the day after the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai.

Supreme's supreme new store. Cult streetwear brand Supreme, which generated major hype earlier this year with its collaboration with Louis Vuitton, has just opened a second store (paywall) in its hometown of New York, but this time in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is the brand's third store in America and eleventh in the world. The large new shop features a wooden skate bowl in the back as its marquee attraction.

Fragrant father. Calvin Klein has nabbed another famous face for its just released new advertising campaign: Jake Gyllenhaal. The actor looks quite paternal in print ads for brand's Eternity fragrance alongside model Liya Kebede and four-year-old actress Leila. He will also star in Eternity television commercials which will begin running later this month.

Four filings. German trousers specialist Gardeur filed for bankruptcy (in German) for its four of organizations Gardeur GmbH, Gardeur Service GmbH, Gardeur Beteiligungs GmbH and CDS Club du Sport Bekleidung GmbH.


Duchess doppelgangers. Named as the most influential fashion icon in the UK last year, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has spawned a rapturous legion of fans who copy her style and post their looks on social media. These so-called "RepliKates" who include Instagram users katecopieskate and budget_duchess recently were dismayed when some of their members' IG accounts were mysteriously shut down without warning.


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