Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we we investigate, what the nomination of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton says about the state of design. We also tell you, which Italian brand has quietly started to liquidate, and why many localities in the US are unprepared to collect tax on online purchases. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Believe in the hype. Virgil Abloh’s nomination as Artistic Director of men's at French luxury house Louis Vuitton marks a notable shift from design towards marketing hype. Before launching his own street-inspired luxe label Off-White, Abloh, who defines (video) design as a thought process, worked as DJ (video) and Artistic Director of rapper Kanye West. In the fashion world, he is widely seen as an image-maker who made it to the top through his celebrity connections. He might now add some street cred to LV.



Finishing at JD. To boost its international presence and its importance to global sports brands like Adidas and Nike, British retailer JD Sports is buying US sports chain The Finish Line for $558 million in cash. In recent years, JD Sports already expanded to countries like Spain, South Korea and France (in French). The new deal is expected to complete this summer.


Theme for cities. Although US state governments have started to impose sales tax on online sales, those deals often don't extend to local governments, thus leaving out many towns. Amazon, for example, isn't collecting sales tax in dozens of cities including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This also hurts local retailers, who end up having to charge more than online sellers.

More in store. Retailers have become quite creative in making the most of excessive space. Their innovative approaches range form using stores as showrooms for third-party vendors (including car companies), physical representations for brand stories, community centers (in French), pop-up shops, as well as entertainment and service centers.


Popping the bubble. High fraud risks among start-up firms in Silicon Valley have alerted the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Since private companies that sell registered securities fall under US security laws, they can become subject to scrutiny. Following scandals involving Theranos and Zenefits, investors demand good governance with rigorous oversight over start-ups, where many executives used to operate virtually unchecked.


Game's over. The company behind Italian fashion label Aquilano.Rimondi, 1920 Srl, is preparing (in Italian) for liquidation. The decision had been made (in Italian) during an extraordinary general meeting in September 2017, and twelve employees have allegedly already been dismissed.

Girl power. Tapestry, the US fashion holding behind the Coach, Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade brands, stands out by having put the leadership of two of its brands into the hands of women. In addition to Wendy Kahn, who was named CEO and Brand President of Stuart Weitzman in July 2016, Anna Bakst has been awarded the CEO position at Kate Spade yesterday.


Power players. "I know kids who are half my age who can kill a brand on a whim, make it uncool if they want to." Louis Vuitton's new Artistic Director for men's, Virgil Abloh, 37, as quoted by GQ.


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