Happy Thursday and welcome back to The Spin! Rising interest rates in the US, revolving doors at China's Tmall, and an elaborate fun fair in Dubai are some of today's themes. We also reveal, how to allure Chinese men, and why DSquared2's Dean and Dan Caten still share the same bed. Enjoy the read! Best, Ulrike


One down, two to go. Citing (press release) a positive economic outlook and a strong job market, the Federal Reserve hiked US interest rates to 1.75 percent, the highest level since 2008. For now, two additional hikes are forecast this year, which will increase pressure on highly leveraged retailers including Neiman Marcus, Hudson's Bay, Kohl's, Sears and JC Penney.


Scenes from a mall. H&M has joined competitors like Gap (press release), Zara and Forever 21 on Alibaba's Tmall in China. Although the Swedish fast fashion retailer has been running its own Chinese online store since 2014, the company feels it needs to be on the platform where most Chinese customers shop. A mere Tmall presence alone does not guarantee success, though. Asos, for example, closed its Tmall store in 2016 after product and pricing strategies did not produce the desired results.


House of mirrors. The rapidly growing French fashion house Hermès celebrates a great 2017 with a special dividend, and the opening of its new boutique in Dubai with the transformation of downtown Dubai into a fun fair. Hermès Fantasy is inspired by the company's 2018 "Let’s play" theme. It is open to the public on March 21 and 22. To continue its expansion, Hermès plans (paywall; in German) to add 650 new jobs, 400 of those in France.


Staying fit. Athleta CEO Nancy Green, who returned to Gap Inc in 2009 after the retail group bought the sports brand, plans to outlast the athleisure bubble with purpose, product and experience. Here (podcast) she shares how Athleta utilizes Gap's size to increase sustainability and build lasting customer relationships.

From New Look to Esprit. Anders Kristiansen, former CEO of British fashion retailer New Look, has been named Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong-based fashion company Esprit. He succeeds José Martínez, who will leave the company on June 1. Martínez, who joined Esprit in 2012, has restructured and stabilized the business, while Kristiansen is now sought to bring the company back to growth.


New deal. Outpaced by cheaper and faster rivals, New Look is struggling for survival. Following a pre-tax loss of £123.5 million, the London-based company will close 60 stores and eliminate almost 1,000 jobs. According to New Look, the company was also able to push for rent reductions and revised lease terms of up to 55 percent at 393 of its 593 remaining stores.


How to get him. As the market for women's luxury products reaches saturation in China, the hunt is now on for affluent men. By 2020, confident, competitive and style-conscious men between 25 and 40 will make up more than half of China's male population. Digitally educated and fashion savvy, they look for relevant content, efficient shopping options and a personal touch.


Together forever. In a very personal interview with British Vogue, DSquared2 founders and designers Dean and Dan Caten relive their traumatic childhood and explain, why they sleep in the same bed to this day. The 53-year-old Canadian twins, whose high-heeled Gothica flip-flop hybrid just went viral, have been separated in the past, but they will never let that happen again.


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