Welcome to this Friday edition of The Spin. Today we're exploring how the fashion world celebrated International Women's Day yesterday and taking a look at Opening Ceremony's latest collaboration, which is with one of the best-known and beloved brands in the world. In addition, there's news on the retail front from Nordstrom, Myer, Amazon and Abercrombie & Fitch. Enjoy the read and have a terrific weekend. Best, Christopher


Women's March. The world marked the 43rd annual (at least according to the United Nations) International Women's Day yesterday and its importance was not lost on the fashion world. Several brands such as Vans and & other stories launched special initiatives or products in honor of women while others made financial contributions to female-power causes. In addition, Diane von Furstenberg began a four-day series of panel discussions about women at her NYC studio and a fashion show featuring survivors of acid attacks took place in Mumbai, India.


Signed, sealed & delivered. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, once known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was signed yesterday by its 11 member nations yesterday in Santiago, Chile. Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam agreed to the deal, which will foster freer trade amongst them. President Trump pulled the USA out of negotiations last year but despite the lack of US involvement it is still expected to generate $147 billion in additional global income.


Digital buys. American retailer Nordstrom has acquired two digital retail start-ups, BevyUp and MessageYes, to bolster its power online. The former offers a platform that lets salespeople communicate and shoppers to browse online items together while the latter allows brands to text customers. Both will be incorporated into the store's systems in the coming months. The cost of the acquisitions was not disclosed.

Nixed from index. Struggling Australian department store Myer has suffered another setback: Standard & Poor's is pulling it from its ASX 200 benchmark index as of March 19. Myer, the only department store on the listing of Australia's top 200 public companies, was the second-worst performer on the ASX 200 last year. The retailer's overall value has declined to AUS$363 million from an all-time high of AUS$2.4 billion more than eight years ago.

Brazil's other Amazon. Amazon is allegedly eyeing Brazil as the next market where it will start to sell its own branded items. Reuters reports that the online giant recently met with manufacturers there and is looking to find warehouse space near Sao Paulo. Amazon currently sells through third-party sellers in Brazil, which is Latin America's largest retail market.

Slimming down = staying healthy. Despite reporting improved Q4 same-store sales of 9 percent overall (11 percent growth at Hollister and 5 percent at its namesake brand), Abercrombie & Fitch announced on Wednesday that it will shutter up to 60 brick-and-mortar locations of both brands in 2018. The company's turnaround performance and trimmed-down new direction is attributed to Fran Horowitz, who took over as CEO just over a year ago.


AI vs. HR. German online giant Zalando is allegedly going to cut 250 jobs (paywall, in German) in its marketing division – in favor of Artificial Intelligence which is about to take over more and more tasks such as enabling localized marketing, personalized marketing and spreading high volume, engaging content (press release).


Cat(walk) and mouse. Always innovative brand Opening Ceremony added some more magic to its kingdom by presenting its spring/summer 2018 fashion show at Disneyland in Anaheim, California on Wednesday night. The see-now-buy-now event officially kicked off Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday celebration and unveiled the label's new collaborative capsule collection with Disney. It will be the first Disney fashion collaboration to be sold onsite at the famous theme park.


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