Welcome back to The Spin! With sadness and shock, the industry took note of Kate Spade's unexpected death. The somber mood continues with HBC's planned closure of New York's Lord & Taylor flagship store after 104 years. On a lighter note, H&M plans an AR experiment, as New York streetwear brand Alife collaborates with Crocs. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Mourning Kate. Yesterday's unexpected death of US fashion designer Kate Spade (née Brosnahan) at age 55 has shocked and saddened fashion insiders and celebrities alike. The designer founded (audio interview) Kate Spade in 1993 with Andy Spade, who became her husband in 1994. The couple sold the brand to Neiman Marcus in 1999. In 2006 it went to Liz Claiborne Inc, which sold it to Coach (now Tapestry) in May 2017. In 2016, Kate launched Frances Valentine, named after her now 13-year-old daughter. According to her sister, she suffered from depression for years.



Wind of change. Changes are coming thick and fast for Hudson's Bay Company. Just one day after the Canadian retail group signed a deal to sell its flash-sale division Gilt Group, it reported a $308 million Q1 loss and announced the closure of up to 10 Lord & Taylor stores including the 104-year-old flagship in New York. New initiatives include a Lord & Taylor flagship on

Joy division. Experts are divided about the prospects for Amazon's private label business. While some argue, that the online giant does not have private labels cracked, others point out that that business alone should generate revenues of $25 billion by 2020, lifting stock price projections from $1,900 to $2,000. Shareholders seem to agree, sending the stock to an all-time high of $1,699 on Tuesday.

Drop 'til you shop. To entice its customers, Barneys New York has started a new DropLA initiative. Based on the popular, streetwear-inspired drop model, the retailer regularly releases single styles and brand exclusives, often in limited edition. Available both in-store and online, the collections are designed to continuously update the assortment and bring excitement to the stores.


Hey, savvy spender! This year, the first round of China's 147 million citizens born after 2000 is turning 18. With high savings and strong self-confidence, these young, digital native adults are an interesting target group. They consume cautiously, respond to strong values, trust local celebrities, and care little about brand origins. Instead, they crave novelty and experiences.


Here's talking to you, kid! To make mobile shopping more personal, H&M’s has equipped its Home Stylist app with an exclusive human voice. Meanwhile, its Monki brand tests human holograms for an AR experience on smartphones and tablets, featuring nine outfits in 3D mode. Both technologies were presented yesterday at the Stockholm Fashion Tech Talks in Sweden.


Getting Alife. NY streetwear brand Alife, which started out as an artist collective in 1999, is back in growth mode with a new investor and a new collaboration. The Alife x Crocs capsule with three limited-editon styles including one with an attached sock marks the brand's return to footwear. To expand (paywall) its apparel offering, Alife plans partnerships with Golden Bear Sportswear and bag maker Manhattan Portage. In addition to eCommerce, Alife also wants to reopen its Tokyo store and launch pop-ups for collaborations.


From icon to oracle. At 71, Diane von Furstenberg is ready for her next metamorphosis. Following more than 45 years in fashion, the queen of the wrap dress would like to transition into the role of ambassador for older women. But first, she needs to install a new leadership team. The return of 47-year-old Nathan Jenden as Chief Design Officer last January might have been the first step.


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