Welcome back to a new work week and a new issue of The Spin! Today we take a look at how Amazon has avoided antitrust enforcement actions - for now. We also tell you what happened to Snap's much hyped Spectacles, and where designer Thom Browne finds his inspirations. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Tipping point. With an assortment of over 354 million products, plans for anticipatory shipping, and a vast network of different businesses, Amazon is on the radar of pretty much every company around. With its complex business model, the company seems to be well prepared for antitrust scrutiny. Although it may display anti-competitive behavior and predatory pricing, the online giant does not seem to operate as a monopoly under US antitrust regulations. But with weakened competitors, the company would be free to raise prices, and this tipping point might not be too far off.


Off-price and online. Seattle-based US luxury retailer Nordstrom, which just opened one of its largest off-price locations in midtown Manhattan, is planning to double the number of Nordstrom Rack off-price stores outlets within the next five years. During the same period, the company plans to expand its online business to about half of its total revenues.


More lay-offs. Californian luxury company St. John Knits International will cut its workforce in Orange County by an additional 72 people, bringing the total number of lay-offs to over 200 since June. The new round of dismissals will be effective December 11th. To save cost, the company, which used to make 70 percent of its apparel in North America, will rebalance its sourcing across facilities in the US, Mexico and Asia. The St. John brand store on Jamboree Road in Irvine has recently been closed.


New luxury. Which new names are shaping the high-end market right now, which will shape it tomorrow? How is Hamburg-based luxury retailer Unger returning to profits like it's 1999? And where do customers actually surf live, with the sales personnel acting as influencers? This and much more is answered in TextilWirtschaft’s New Luxury (digital magazine), highlighting brands, markets and fashion on 72 pages.

Insta-fashion. Young brands that are rooted in social media are increasingly attractive to young, trend-hungry consumers. Although they might not call themselves fast fashion, names like KNYEW, MNML and Represent cater to a style-savvy, cost-conscious clientele that looks for instant gratification, giving some of the traditional fast fashion companies a run for their money.


Dream on! The fantastic fashion shows of award-winning designer Thom Browne mesmerize even the most jaded fashion folk. But his inspirations, he says, are often much less intellectual than people think. The womenswear show (image gallery) he recently presented in Paris, for example, was simply based on his idea of two little girls dreaming - including mermaids and unicorns.


Snapped spectacles. Snap Inc vastly overestimated demand for its Spectacles: Only about 0.08 percent of Snapchat users bought the camera sunglasses, which were launched with much fanfare in September 2016, and more than 50 percent of those buyers stopped using them about a month after purchase. The company is said to be sitting out hundreds of thousands of unsold devices, further afflicting its bleak outlook


Fashion victim. The 14-year-old Russian fashion model who died Friday after a 13-hour workday in China netted only about $8.30 per day, since she had to pay for her expenses including hotels. Vlada Dzyuba's death raised new concerns over child exploitation by the glamour industry. Dzyuba’s agency, Esee Model, denies allegations that the teenager has been worked to death, emphasizing that the young model succumbed to organ damage caused by sepsis.


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