Welcome back to a new week and a new issue of The Spin! In the US, senator Bernie Sanders wants Amazon and Walmart to pay for the government assistance their underpaid employees rely on to feed their families. Over at China’s JD, several employees have been accused of helping themselves to company funds. On a lighter note, there are several promising new retail concepts - and a revival of ’80s style leggings. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Leveling the playing field. Thousands of workers at large US companies including Amazon and Walmart receive government assistance like food stamps and Medicaid, costing American tax payers $153 billion per year. To level the playing field, Senator Bernie Sanders plans to introduce a new bill to impose a 100 percent tax on government benefits provided to workers at companies with 500 employees or more. In response, "Amazon FC Ambassadors" have started praising the company on Twitter.


Black is the new black. The fashion community likes to take on social issues, but does little to fight racial injustice within its own ranks. Last season, only 15 percent of models and 10 percent of the designers at NYFW were black. Among those who make it, many opt to ignore the fact that they are often the only black person in the office. There’s some progress, though, symbolized by the rise of Virgil Abloh to men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton and Edward Enninful to editor-in-chief for British Vogue.


The departed. Reiterating its “zero tolerance” for corruption, Chinese online giant JD has detained 16 employees who are charged with corruption, listing them with their name and image on its website. The suspects, who worked at Jingdong Logistics, Jingdong Mall and Jingdong Finance, are accused of accepting bribes, stealing and embezzlement. JD runs a slew of anti-corruption measures and requires new employees to sign an anti-corruption commitment.

Filling the void. To offer plus-size women easy access to luxury fashion, brand marketing professional Patrick Herning launched 11Honoré. Starting with 15 brands in August 2017, the online retailer was able to secure several rounds of funding and now offers over 80 fashion and accessories labels like Michael Kors and Theory. Other retailers including J. Crew and Old Navy also entered the plus-size market, which is currently valued at $46 billion.


Holy trinity. With its combo of aesthetic, individuality and price, seven-year-old British peer-to-peer app Depop is hitting the spot with Gen-Z shoppers. Sellers post images of available items into their grid, while buyers can curate their feed by following sellers. Mostly ignoring the big brands, Depop, which just opened a store in New York, has evolved into a mobile marketplace that serves as much as a selling platform as it does as a outfit inspiration.


Vision of Ulric Jerome. Ulric Jerome plans to greatly expand Matchesfashion. Under the young CEO's leadership, the British luxury fashion etailer is scheduled to open a major new retail and event space, broaden the assortment, and further expand in the US and Asia. His initiatives coincide with major developments at rivals Farfetch, which has just announced an IPO, and Yoox Net-a-porter, which recorded a 12% increase in sales to $2.5 billion in 2017 - compared to Matchesfashion’s 44% increase to $374 million.


Hot legs. 1980s style leggings are having a massive comeback. Fashion search engine Lyst records about 430,000 monthly searches for the term, making it one of its most searched-for items, as sales at Asos almost doubled in the last twelve months. Now, Jennifer Lopez and Niyama Sol join the trend with a new line of colorful leggings and sports bras inspired by her music.


Sport scandals. Nike’s stores in South Africa reopened after a backlash over a racist video that went viral and forced the company to close several stores. The husband of a Nike employee, who’s since been fired from his job and banned from his kid’s school, has since apologized. Meanwhile, over in Chicago, the sports giant was involved in a controversial sting-operation as police tried to lure potential thieves to a parked truck filled with Nike sneakers.


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