Happy Friday. In this edition of The Spin you'll read about the booming businesses of LVMH and Asos and the shrinking one of Esprit. Plus, there are more staff cuts at Walmart, a Russian fashion favorite has found herself in hot water for the second time in less than a week and Gucci's Alessandro Michele is about to design some stage costumes for a famous friend. Enjoy the read – and your weekend. Best, Christopher


Record revenues. LVMH had a good year. The luxury conglomerate released its Q4 and full-year financial numbers yesterday and they were record-breakingly positive. Full-year profit rose 18 percent to €8.3 billion thanks in part to a return to booming sales in China and Asia. Louis Vuitton was the biggest earner in LVMH's brand stable, accounting for more than half of the group's profits. But despite the good performance CEO Bernard Arnault is still cautious about the future.


In the (Chinese) red. While China has been kind to LVMH of late the opposite holds true when it comes to Esprit. The Hong Kong-listed company said on Wednesday it expected to post a first half loss of $125.4 million for July-December due to weak store sales and a declining business in China. The company's stock price has fallen 97 percent since its peak in 2007.


Superlative sustainability. Kering and H&M were the only two fashion names to be included on the The Corporate Knights' Global 100 annual list of the world's most sustainable companies, which was just released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Kering – ranked 47th overall – was named the most sustainable textile, apparel and luxury goods corporation while H&M (57th overall) is the most sustainable specialty retailer. The list measures environmental sustainability, working conditions and leadership diversity.



Belated Christmas present. Easily bucking the overall decline in holiday spending in the UK, online retailer Asos has reported a 30 percent increase in its sales for the final four months of 2017. Its new "try before you buy" and same-day delivery services helped contribute to the rise.

HQ head roll. After recently announcing the closure of more than 60 of its Sam's Clubs stores, Walmart is continuing to scale back on staff. The retail giant announced that it will cut up to 1,000 jobs at its headquarters in Arkansas. It let go 400 to 500 people this week in its marketing, human resources, merchandising, real estate and other divisions. The second round of cutbacks is scheduled to happen some time next year.


New timing in NY? A panel discussion (paywall) exploring the future of runway shows was held in New York yesterday as part of the release of a new study by the CFDA and Launchmetrics called "Front Row to Consumer: The Voice Driving Fashion Week in Today's Digital Era." CFDA president Steven Kolb said there would continue to be "a period of chaos" as more brands and his organization adjust to the ever shifting and always more consumer-driven schedule and said that the CFDA is seriously pondering switching up the timing of New York Fashion Week in the future.

Foot in mouth. Russian tech entrepreneur and Buro 24/7 founder Miroslava Duma has been publicly scolded for her political incorrectness for a second time this week. After landing in hot water for posting an Instagram photo that included a racial slur, she again sparked outrage and immediate backlash after blogger Bryan Boy posted a translation of the highly transphobic remarks she made at an event in 2012 in which she criticized him and transgender model Andreja Pejic. Duma soon apologized on social media explaining "the person I was six years ago is not who I am today."


Goodbye by Gucci. Although Elton John will soon be retiring from touring he is definitely bowing out in his usual flashy style. Gucci will design and create his entire wardrobe for the "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour, which will travel worldwide for three years. In making the announcement, John compared Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele to his late close friend Gianni Versace. The tour kicks off in the US this September.


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