Welcome back to The Spin! Today we take a closer look at the complex moves the large luxury conglomerates have initiated to streamline their operations for a profitable future. Macy’s is also exploring new horizons with its newest acquisition, b8ta, as Jay-Z and Rihanna continue their high-profile involvement in fashion. Enjoy the read - and your week! Best, Ulrike


Moving the profit needle. To fuel long-term growth, large luxury conglomerates are fine tuning their strategies, resulting in a slew high-profile lay-offs, unconventional hires like Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton menswear and Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta - as well as the divestiture of slower-growing or less profitable brands. The latest casualties include the ethical label Edun (see below) and Tomas Maier, with Brioni (paywall) and Altuzarra possibly next.



Leaving LVMH. Following the split from LVMH, Edun is going to cease US operations. The Dublin-based, eco-friendly brand was launched in 2005 by Ali Hewson and her husband, U2 star Bono. In 2009 the couple sold 49 percent to LVMH, which will now transfer the shares back to the founders. In May, creative director Danielle Sherman left the unprofitable label.

Back to the NBA. As part of Puma’s plan to relaunch basketball sneakers, the German sports brand has partnered with Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. Initially he was said to serve as president of Puma Basketball, but later his title was changed to creative director - possibly due to a potential conflict of interest. In the past, the US hip hop mogul owned a stake in The Brooklyn Nets and, in 2013, he co-founded the sports agency Roc Nation Sports with CAA.

Fenty x Kinky. Pop icon Rihanna is has expanded her Savage x Fenty lingerie line with a 10-piece Savage Xccessories collection including kinky accessories like satin restraints, marabou feathered handcuffs and leather whips. Retail prices range from $18 to $24. Available at www.SavageX.


The Collector. In line with the motto first the app, then the store Macy’s-owned startup b8ta repurposes physical spaces to showcase goods from a variety of merchants, especially little-known names. Stores are transformed into service-platforms for vendors that are new to physical retail, with elements like inventory management and check-out managed by b8ta’s software. Collecting a slew of data, b8ta allows participating brands to tweak their operation before rolling it out on a larger scale.


From DaWanda to Etsy. DaWanda, the German eCommerce platform for handmade items, is going to shut down (in German) this August. Following job-cuts and a management shake-up, the Berlin-based company, which lists (press release) over 70,000 active sellers, has not been able to return to growth. Currently, DaWanda is working on a tool that should allow interested vendors to transfer to rival platform, Etsy.

Tourists' pay. Chinese payment apps are gaining foothold in the US and Europe. Milan’s Quadrilatero della Moda, the area around Via Montenapoleone where more than 150 luxury brands are located, claims (in Italian) to be the first retail area in Europe to launch an official WeChat account. Created by WeChat’s European partner Retex, it allows Chinese customers to pay via their phone. Over in Germany, high-end Breuninger department store now accepts both WeChatPay and AliPay at its eleven locations.


Mourning Aya Komatsu. Just weeks after designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain took their lives, Tokio-born make-up artist Aya Komatsu has passed on (paywall). Shocked and saddened, the fashion community mourns the loss of the 35-year-old creative, who’s worked with magazines and celebrities like Harper’s Bazaar and British singer Dua Lipa. These deaths confirm the notion that suicide might turn into a global health crisis.


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