Happy Friday, ,

Here's a new edition of The Spin to end your week right. Today, among other things, we're looking at H&M's just reported weak Q4, a slight decline in China's production output and seeing how fashion and Hollywood are joining forces to welcome the new "Star Wars" movie (and protesting sexual harassment). Enjoy the read and have a splendid weekend. Best, Christopher


H&M's rough Q4. H&M has just released its financial figures and while group sales including VAT grew over the full year by 4 percent to SK231.7 billion, they were dragged down by a poor Q4 performance where sales excluding VAT fell 4 percent to SK58.45 billion. The company announced it will close more stores and is putting more focus on its online presence, especially in Asia where H&M announced to extended the collaboration with online giant Alibaba.


Black November. Retail sales rose in November in both the US and the UK, the first indication that holiday sales will be up in both markets this year. In the US overall sales increased 0.8 percent from October and grew 0.7 percent for clothing and accessories. In the UK general sales rose 1.1 percent compared to October and clothing and footwear purchases there climbed 2.3 percent compared to November 2016.


Li & Fung slims down. Hong Kong-based Li & Fung, a giant global supply chain manager for brands from Walmart to PVH, is unloading its sweaters, beauty and furniture vertical business arms for US$1.1 billion in order to focus on core competencies. A consortium made up Hony Capital and the Fung Group will acquire the three businesses.

Movie merch. The much anticipated "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" movie opens today and numerous fashion brands from high- to low-end have gotten in on the action with product tie-ins. Labels feeling The Force include Rag & Bone, Christian Louboutin, Columbia Sportswear, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Nixon Watches, ASOS, Ugg Australia, State Bags and sock brand Stance.

Packed calendar. The CFDA has released the preliminary schedule for the next New York Fashion Week (February 5-14). Among the many eye-catching brands participating are Bottega Veneta (paywall), which has ditched its usual showing in Milan for the season, and Marchesa, which will show for the first time since founder Georgina Chapman's estranged husband Harvey Weinstein set off a scandal.


Saunders leaving DVF. Jonathan Saunders has exited (paywall) as chief creative officer of DVF, effective immediately. He joined the company in 2016 and his final collection was pre-fall 2018.

Honoring Azzedine. Recently deceased designer Azzedine Alaïa will be the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum in London that will open in May and run through October 2018. It will include 60 pieces from his archive that he personally selected with guest curator Mark Wilson and will span 35 years.


Chinese decline. China remains as a top fashion exporter but its output is slowing down. According to a World Trade Organization annual report, it is still the world's biggest exporter of clothing and textiles but its exports of the former fell by 7 percent in 2016. Likewise, its textile exports were down 3 percent. In addition, although new US Dept. of Commerce stats reveal China is still the number one source for apparel imports in the US–$27 billion worth in 2016/17–that number reflects an annual decline of 4.6 percent.

Rise and fall. California's recent decision to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 is showing signs of backfiring on the workers it was meant to help and protect. A new study says the pay raise will cause the state to lose 400,000 jobs and many are already blaming it for the recent closures of several apparel factories in Los Angeles. The number of Californians working in the apparel and textile sector fell about 6.7 percent this year compared to 2016.


#goldenglobessoblack. Expect the red carpet at next month's Golden Globe Awards to look rather funereal. Media outlets are reporting that many actresses attending the annual star-studded ceremony will dress entirely in black to show their solidarity against sexual harassment and gender inequality in Hollywood. Their sartorial symbolism may even continue throughout the entire awards season.


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