Happy Wednesday and welcome back to The Spin! Heads have been rolling on Halloween day. Christopher Bailey is on his way out at Burberry, while Tim Coppens and Ben Pruess are leaving Under Armour. In the meantime, retailers prepare for the holiday season by revamping their assortments and bringing in complementary subtenants. Enjoy the read and, as always, feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Ready for a makeover. Burberry’s President and Creative Director Christopher Bailey, who was brought in from Gucci in 2001, will leave the British luxury brand in March 2018. Last July Bailey already relinquished the title of CEO to ex-Celine chief Marco Gobbetti. Bailey’s compensation has long been a sore subject for investors, and with his departure, the designer will forego $21 million in share awards, some of which he received despite the objection of the majority of shareholders.


Mugler’s universe. French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler, whose vision is currently celebrated by a sprawling exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Art, considers his entire fashion endeavor “a miracle”. The former ballet dancer was the first designer to inject spectacle and fantasy into his runway shows. Now he wants to bring his magic to hotels, resorts and entertainment, creating what he calls “a whole universe”.


Broken Armour. In a massive revamp of its UAS sport style business, embattled US sports company Under Armour will sever ties (paywall) with its President of Sports Fashion, Ben Pruess, as well as designer Tim Coppens. Chief Product Officer Kevin Eskridge will take over responsibility for UAS in an interim basis. Going forward, Under Armour plans to integrate sports style products into all categories. After lowering expectations, the Baltimore-based company’s shares plunged on Tuesday.


Curtain up. In preparation for 11.11 Global Shopping Festival on November 11th, Alibaba aired a four-hour See now/Buy now event with 27 participating brands including Jason Wu, Ray-Ban, G-Star and Furla. The Tmall Collection fashion show was broadcast on October 31st via seven Chinese online platforms including the video streaming app Youku as well as local TV stations, potentially reaching 100 million consumers.

Holiday guests. To lift sales and take some of the business from struggling competitors, several US department stores have begun to bring in new partners. On November 1st, Macy's will open a 100m2 Samsung “experience” at its New York flagship store, while J.C. Penney is expanding its toys assortment after the recent Toys R US bankruptcy, partnering with Lego, which hopes to shake up its own sales with a new holiday campaign.

Sweet spot. Leaving behind its legacy as a typical US mall retailer, do-it-yourself plush-toy chain Build-a-Bear Workshop has developed a new location strategy. While the size of its mall based stores will be reduced to "concourse" format, the company will bring bigger stores to tourist destinations and adapt the offer to near-by attractions like Disneyworld or sports stadiums. The retailer also started a partnership with Bass Pro hunting and fishing stores.


Gateway drug. The relatively new sharing economy for luxury goods in China has brought a much younger consumer group into contact with high-end brands. According to experts, this early education can translate into strong interest later on. To retain an aura of exclusivity, luxury sharing apps should concentrate on small, clearly defined target groups, though.


Dark dreams are made of this. American fashion and costume designer Ashley Rose finds many of the details for her elaborate creations at local cemeteries. Her dresses, which are adorned with skulls, hair, insects, bark and twigs sell for $300 to $3000. Rose’s growing fan base has reached over 87.600 on Instagram alone, while her bizarre mini movies (video) are still an insider tip.


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