Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we examine the ongoing changes at Italian fashion holding OTB. We also check out which relatively new business model is bound to explode over the holidays and which new luxury label might soon glam up the slopes. Enjoy the read and, as always, feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Speeding off. Diesel's first ever Artistic Director Nicola Formichetti is leaving (paywall) the company amidst management changes at the jeans wear label's holding group, OTB. As reported, Ubaldo Minelli is going to succeed Riccardo Stilli as OTB's CEO in January. The CEO position at the Diesel brand has been vacant since Alessandro Bogliolo moved to Tiffany & Co. in October. Formichetti, who rose to fame as Lady Gaga's stylist, joined Diesel in 2013. He now plans to focus on his Nicopanda label.



Return to sender. Processing the increasing number of returns could make or break the holiday season for some online retailers this year. Concurrent to the rapid rise of online sales, returns are expected to climb to $32 billion this year, up more than 14 percent from 2016's estimated $28 billion. While returns to brick-and-mortar stores continue to hover around 8 percent, eCommerce returns for apparel can be as high as 50 percent.

Short-term fling. The holidays are a particularly good time for fashion rental companies like Rent the Runway, Armarium (paywall) and Le Tote. Not only does business with rental party-wear increase due to the many holiday and New Year’s Eve parties (and the social media driven need to wear different outfits to each one of them), but there is also growing interest in giving subscription services as Christmas presents.

Supersize me. With over 368,000 initial visitors, China's Nanjing Golden Eagle World is off to a great start. When completed in 2018 the shopping center's floor size will amount to about 920,000 sqm - double the footprint of the newly chat-bot enhanced Mall of America. In addition to about 400 international brands, food and pet stores this mega mall will also host a hotel, healthcare centers and a 20,000 sqm "Automobile Museum" selling luxury cars.


Glamming up the slopes. Newly launched luxury outerwear brand Templa is gaining traction with retailers in the US, Canada, Asia and Europe. Created (paywall) by Rob Maniscalco, Dellano Pereira and Anati Rakocz, who've worked at brands like Haider Ackermann, Ann Demeulemeester and Claude Mau, the high-end skiwear label recently won the ISPO Brandnew 2018 Apparel Award.


Online authenticity. A mere 9 percent of all apparel sales are currently conducted over the Internet. For many fashion aficionados, the digital representation of garments remains a paradox. In a roundtable with the Shanghai-based design incubator Labelhood (in Italian) and the academic fashion journal Vestoj, five designers discuss their opinions on the subject.

Bitcoin bits. As it keeps dancing towards a $20,000 price tag, Bitcoin is receiving massive interest and scrutiny from institutions, investors and ordinary people alike. As part of the increased attention, some of the myths around the cryptocurrency are being debunked (paywall), while South Korean regulators mount up to bring order into the house of cryptocurrencies.


Snapped stilettos. Professional women are turning away from high-heeled pumps, which have long been a symbol of female empowerment and sexual confidence. Following the unmasking of powerful men as sexual harassers, some critics now consider high-heeled shoes a symbol of gender discrimination. As a result, towering stilettos are increasingly being replaced by athletic and comfort shoes from brands like Silicon Valley's Allbirds, foot-healthy Birkenstocks, Croslite Crocs (paywall) and supportive Danskos.


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