Happy Wednesday and welcome back to The Spin! After months of declining sales, Ivanka Trump is closing down her namesake fashion brand, laying off all employees. On a lighter note, retailers keep experimenting with the tricks of start-ups, one even produces behind-the-scenes podcasts for their customers. We also highlight the best fall campaigns. Enjoy the read and don't forget to share! Best, Ulrike


Ivanka's closing shop. Ivanka Trump is shutting down her fashion and footwear company to focus on a career in public policy. All 18 employees will be laid off. Since her father, Donald Trump, was elected US President, and Ivanka became a White House senior advisor, several US retailers including Neiman Marcus, Jet.com and Hudson’s Bay have dropped the line. It never recovered after Trump, who got increasingly frustrated by restrictions to avoid conflicts of interest, stepped away from the company.

Thom's expanding. The eclectic designer brand Thom Browne, which just signed the FC Barcelona soccer team, plans to build out its womenswear collection, increase omnichannel retail and stage experiential events. As part of the latter, the brand will have “The Anatomy of the Suit” installation at Barneys New York in September. Additional plans (paywall) include the expansion of the store network from 30 to 40 locations to increase retail from 45 to 50 percent of revenues, currently estimated at $150 million.

Buying and selling. Julian Dunkerton, co-founder of British fashion label Superdry, just sold a 6.7 percent stake in the company, raising an estimated £71 million. Although he still owns around 18.5 percent, investors were spooked and sent the stock down. Over in Japan, Uniqlo-owner Fast Retailing has taken a minority stake in Lemaire, the namesake brand of Christophe Lemaire, who has in turn renewed (press release) his contract as Artistic Director of the Uniqlo Paris R&D Center for five years.


Store as a stage. To drive traffic, Club Monaco keeps remaking itself using creative tricks of start-ups. It converted its webpage into a dual-gender store, started in-store pop-up partnerships and collaborations. Partners are French home goods company Diptyque for candles, the Toby Estate coffee shop, skincare brand The Buff (paywall) and even hotels like Rushmeyer’s in Montauk. In addition to the added excitement, high-end collaborations lift the Ralph Lauren-owned chain’s image, as foreign brands give it a global flair.

Something to talk about. To expand communication with its guests, British retailer Marks & Spencer just launched a behind-the-scenes podcast where M&S employees as well as guest speakers discuss the current challenges at retail. Each episode is dedicated to a different subject. To find and invest in retail start-ups, the company also formed a joint-venture with technology incubator Founders Factory.

Rumor has it. German retail and styling start-up Outfittery denies (paywall; in German) bankruptcy rumors. According to press reports, Outfittery is running out of funds. Bridge financing by a group of investors including Holtzbrinck Ventures and Highland Capital should (in German) get the company through the rest of this year, but by then new funding must be secured.


The anti-Virgil. Bernard Arnaults son Antoine, who was just made head of image and communication at LVMH, won't wear Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton any time soon. Although he’ll be a strong force in the “streetwearification” of LVMH, he prefers beautifully made suits from brands like Berluti, where he is CEO, or Loro Piana, where he remains Chairman. His strength lies in innovations like the popular Les Journées Particulières (in Italian), that invite the public to step inside the group's workshops to interact with artisans.


Otherworldly fantasies. Warped perspectives define the fall campaign for Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein 205W39nyc collection, which looks like it was shot on a rocky planet. Chloé and Y-3 opt for urban streetscapes, while dark floral moodiness sets the atmosphere at Gucci. Dior put Jennifer Lawrence before - and behind - the camera, and Miu Miu explores the swinging 60s. Find the most interesting fall campaigns here.


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