Welcome back to The Spin! The world has descended upon Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, and tech updates are flooding the news. Below, we share some of the most exciting innovations. Over in Italy, Pitti Immagine Uomo is off to a promising start. We also reveal what the Versace family thinks about a new American TV crime series about Gianni Versace's 1997 murder. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Stealing the show. Smart homes, Alexa-assisted toilets, virtual and artificial intelligence, super sized TVs and pole dancing robots with security cameras as faces. The Consumer Electronics Show has evolved from a marketplace for quirky gadgets to a battle ground for tech giants, who are fighting it out over voice assistants. On day one, those digital helpers have been stealing the show. As it seems, every corner of the home can soon be voice enabled - including the toilet.


Upbeat kick-off. Casual looks with a twist dominated the first day of Pitti Immagine Uomo, which started in Florence yesterday. Italy's minister of Economic Development confirmed (in Italian) that funding for the €200 million Made in Italy initiative is now available (in Italian). Today, US menswear brand Brooks Brothers will receive the Pitti Immagine Award 2018 and stage its first-ever fashion show at the famed Palazzo Vecchio.

Speedy luxury. High-end labels like Gucci, Burberry and Ralph Lauren are working hard to increase their collections' speed to market. Taking inspiration from fast-fashion retailers like Zara and Boohoo, they have started to speed up design and production processes, including improved internal and customer communication. To move some of Gucci's leather goods and shoe production closer to home, Gucci-parent Kering, for example, plans to open a Gucci Art Lab in Italy this year.


Breaking free. Lands' End aims (paywall) to grow sales to $2 billion by 2023. As part of its growth plan, the multichannel retailer will unveil a new store concept later this year and aims to open up 40 to 60 new shops over the next five years. Currently, the brand operates eleven standalone locations as well as shop-in-shops at about 180 Sears locations. As Sears continues to close stores, Lands' End is going to reduce its footprint at the troubled discounter.


One direction. Marc Metrick, President of Saks Fifth Avenue, will additionally assume the leadership of the retailer's off-price divisions Saks Off 5th and Gilt, which have not met expectations lately. Metrick takes over from Jonathan Greller, who will leave the company on January 12. According to the Canadian retail group Hudson's Bay Company, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue, the high-end and off-price divisions will remain (press release) separate.


Love-hate relationship. Although billions of people use social media, their feelings about Facebook, Twitter and Co are mixed. Almost half of Americans surveyed would like to "kill" Twitter and hope for its death, while 43 percent would "fuel it to keep it alive". The second most loathed social media brand is Tinder, followed by Snapchat, Facebook and the alleged "playground for narcissists", Instagram. The most fuel-worthy social media are Facebook, Pandora and Pinterest.

Blue shade shoes. The reasons for the dominance of bold color schemes (and a certain lack of attractiveness) in most sports footwear are pure old sales metrics. According to specialists, hard numbers confirm that blue running shoes sell better than anything else. No wonder, then, that fans are already lining up for Levi's x Air Jordan indigo colored denim sneakers. Combined with the need to stand out on shelves, this makes for pretty bold and bright styles.


Fake news. The Versace familiy has distanced itself from Ryan Murphy’s "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" and criticizes the American TV series as pure fiction. The leading role of Gianni Versace went to Edgar Ramírez, while Penélope Cruz stars as Donatella. Starting Janaury 17 on FX, this is the second season of American Crime Story (ACS), following the acclaimed "The People vs OJ Simpson".


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