Welcome back to The Spin! Today, we reveal how Amazon dealt out an unexpected blow to a bunch of US healthcare companies. We also tell you, which US store chain has just announced additional store closures, and why New York designers are rethinking the NYFW show schedule. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


New spheres. US online giant Amazon, which just unveiled its new rainforest spheres, has teamed up with Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate and US investment company JP Morgan Chase to create an independent health care company for their US employees. Worldwide, the three companies employ over 1.15 million people. The announcement already hit the stocks of healthcare suppliers like Cigna and Aetna.


Less profit. Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M reported its biggest drop in profits in six years in its annual report. Operating profit fell 14 percent to 20.6 billion SEK ($2.6 billion). To get back on track the Stockholm-based company announced to close 170 stores in 2018 and launch (paywall; in German) a new offprice concept called Afound.


Watch-list. As part of its restructuring, US department store chain Bon-Ton is going to revamp its merchandise, focus its marketing, boost eCommerce and reduce its store count. In addition to 40 previously announced store closures, 100 of the worst performing locations are going to be analyzed with about 20 on a watch-list for closure. Bon-Ton will (SEC filing) also discuss the restructuring of its debt, including the possible sale of a controlling interest.


Big black dress. In support of the #MeToo movement many celebrities continue to wear black at mayor events like the Grammys and Golden Globes, driving an uptick of sales for black dresses. Trying to keep up with demand, fashion brands already expanded their black apparel offerings by 57 percent. Still, sellouts of black dresses grew by a 225 percent in January. After all, wearing black reportedly makes people look more attractive and intelligent.

June-December romance. Alexander Wang’s decision to move his fashion shows from February and September to the pre-season schedule (June and December) has sparked an intense discussion about the entire run of New York Fashion Week. Some names like Rodarte and Proenza Schouler already defected to Paris’ Couture Week, which runs in January and July. More NY-based brands now consider showing earlier in New York, possibly paving the way to a completely new schedule.


Industrial swim. Virgil Abloh’s red hot Off-White label is starting with swimwear this summer. The first available image of the new product range is an outtake from the photo shoot for the label’s web store. It features a black/white low-back swimsuit with an industrial belt, which already counts over 44,000 likes on Instagram.

Glittering prize. Austrian crystal specialist Swarovski, which just opened a new flagship store at New York’s Times Square, has collaborated with 14 brands including Juicy Couture and Roxy to launch crystal embellished athleisure wear. The #athleisurebeats range debuts (paywall) in February supported by a dance-off video.

Final race. On February 25, top model Gigi Hadid and Tommy Hilfiger will show their fourth and final Tommy x Gigi “see now/buy now” collaboration in Milan. Their last joint collection features racing inspired looks with side stripes, color-blocks and fingerless gloves. Previous locations for Tommy x Gigi's extravagant shows were New York, Los Angeles and London.


Timeless looks. Actress, model and former Calvin Klein muse Brooke Shields has designed a fashion collection for tele shopping company QVC. Brooke Shields Timeless will launch (press release) select items on February 15, with a full collection to follow by mid-March. The 52-year-old fashionista, who claims to have been involved in every button, zipper and pocket, developed the line with New York-based KBL Group International.


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