Welcome back to The Spin! Before we head off into the weekend, let's check out some of 2017's most interesting store designs. We also examine American Apparel's attempt to replace its hyper-sexualized imagery with an empowered female perspective and tell you which world leader has inspired the new Year of the Dog statue at a Chinese mall in Taiyuan. Enjoy the read - and your weekend! Best, Ulrike


Performance art. Surface magazine highlights the best designed stores of 2017, including the Maison Louis Vuitton Place Vendôme in Paris, Issey Miyake’s Milan flagship and Off-White designer Virgil Abloh’s EM PTY Gallery in New York. Also listing homeware, furniture and confectionery stores, the line-up provides many examples of creative, immersive environments.



Slightly provocative. Amidst the unfolding of sexual harassment scandals in a variety of industries, American Apparel is steering away from hyper-sexualized imagery to a visualization of female empowerment. For the first time in its 29-year history, the Los Angeles-based brand which was bought by Canadian Gildan Activewear in January, is run by an all-female executive team.

More to come. The vintage-inspired fashion brand Johnny Was is ramping up (paywall) expansion. Following the launch of ten new stores in 2017, the Los Angeles-based company plans ten more openings for 2018 in an attempt to quadruple direct-to-consumer sales over the next few years. Funded by Endeavour Capital, founder Eli Levite and CEO Rob Trauber aim to develop Johnny Was into the next great American luxury company.


Closing the gap. Men are on their way to match women in online fashion shopping. While women still shop more apparel over the internet, men have already taken the lead in the accessories and footwear categories. But for online clothing purchases, many men still seem to need the help of a stylist.


Adorning Amazon. Seattle-based tattoo artist Kyler Martz is the creative force behind the distinctive designs on Amazon’s Treasure Trucks. Functioning as mobile pop-up shops, online giant's 30 "traveling circus"-style trucks offer one-day deals in 25 US cities as well as London and Manchester. Martz draws the customized motifs by hand before they get scanned, digitally colored and applied.

Fashioning a future. Hong Kong’s new CEO Carrie Lam is being criticized for neglecting her duties to parade around in the newest fashions. While the notoriously sleep deprived leader claims to promote Hong Kong’s creative industries by dressing up, critics suggest that by turning herself into a mannequin she demeans herself, her position and women in general.

Man-made tutus. To prepare for his role as the fictional 1950s couturier Reynolds Woodcock in the movie Phantom Thread, Daniel Day-Lewis took on a grueling internship at the New York City Ballet’s costume shop. The British actor is known for his immersive approach, but his level of intensity (culminating in crafting tutus) surprised even the film’s costume designer, Mark Bridges. Phantom Thread, which is said to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ last film project, has been released in US theaters on December 25th.


Dog days. To ring in the upcoming Year of the Dog, a Cao Mingliang-owned mall in the Chinese town of Taiyuan has erected a massive Trump-inspired dog statue, complete with the US President’s signature combover, golden eyebrows and hand gesture. Trump, who was born in a Year the Dog himself (1946), already served as a model for last year’s rooster statue at the mall.


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