Happy Monday and welcome back to The Spin! We start the week with a look at Amazon’s new patents for a wristband technology that tracks workers’ arm motions in real-time. In further tech news, Snap has launched a new store front inside the Snapchat app. Over in Germany, federal state ministries are working on a bill to hold online platforms responsible for the tax bills of delinquent third-party vendors. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Spy wear. Amazon has patented a wristband technology that keeps track of workers’ arm movements. Measuring motion in real-time via ultrasonic sound or radio signals, these wristbands are most likely intended to be used in the online giant's fulfillment centers. The software matches hand movements to the position of inventory items to verify that the correct items are being processed.

Proof of concept. Snap Inc launched a digital store for its own branded merchandise. Located in the Discover area of Snapchat’s mobile app, the sparsely stocked Snap Store seems to be designed as a platform for third-party vendors. Currently, it offers items like T-shirts and sweats for $19.99 to $49.99. If Snap succeeds in attracting additional brands to the store, it might also try to sell corresponding ads on Snapchat.


The tax of others. The finance ministries of Germany's federal states are discussing a new bill to curtail (in German) criminal business practices by foreign operators of online shops. The new bill stipulates (paywall; in German) that online platforms like Amazon and Ebay can be held responsible if their third-party vendors fail to pay sales tax in Germany. The bill is scheduled to be finalized in late April, with the final vote scheduled for May 25.


Prepping Paul Poiret. French couture label Paul Poiret, which revolutionized women’s fashion in the early 20th century before it collapsed in 1929, will be revived under the creative leadership of Yiqing Yin. The Beijing-born, Paris-based couturier, who became one of the 14 official members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2015, will present her first collection for Fall 2018. Following her Spring 2016 collection, Yiqing Yin had skipped (paywall) the couture shows.

Back to the future. US fashion house Ralph Lauren is trying to rebuild its former street credibility, by focusing on its classic styles, limited editions and re-releases of retro streetwear collections like 1993's Polo Snow Beach. But the company did not include former champions like hip hop legend Raekwon. The rapper, who popularized Snow Beach in the 90s, feels a bit insulted that Ralph Lauren did not tell him in person.


Signs of trouble. Uninspired merchandise, "funky sizing" and messy stores are considered to lie at the root of H&M’s problems in the US. Analysts note that the Swedish fast fashion retailer has switched from accessories to apparel as dominant category and raised average price points from $23.90 to $27.04. Rather than adding new formats like the off-price concept Afound which is scheduled to open in Sweden later this year, experts suggest that H&M fixes the problems at its flagship brand first.


End of an adventure. Following the release of his Fall 2018 collection, Creative Director Bruno Frisoni is going to leave French shoe label Roger Vivier. He has been with the brand, which was sold to Tod's for $441 million in 2015, for more than 16 years. In 2017, Roger Vivier was the brightest light in Tod's portfolio, increasing sales by 9.7 percent to more than €179, while the Tod's and Hogan labels reported mid-single-digit sales declines.


Fashion fusion. Quebec's Fashion Museum, which closed December 31, will merge with Montreal's McCord Stewart Museum. Its collection of over 7,000 apparel and textile items will be added to the McCord Museum’s 20,000 pieces. The online integration is scheduled to be carried out gradually over the next twelve months. The McCord Museum also took over the Fashion Museum's staff and members.


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