Welcome to a new edition of The Spin. As New York Fashion Week gets underway, two huge US brands are risking conservative customers' ire by making blatantly liberal political statements. Meanwhile, American Apparel is celebrating diversity and animals are getting a break in California. And Zara's parent company plans to conquer the world by 2020. Enjoy the read! Best, Christopher


Manhattan mode. The biannual US style circus known as New York Fashion Week officially kicks off this morning and will run through Wednesday when Marc Jacobs closes it out. The event will feature approximately 200 on- and off-calendar shows, presentations and special events and spotlight big names such as Ralph Lauren (marking his 50th anniversary) and the return of Rodarte. However, several up-and-comers and three Chinese labels sponsored by Tmall – its second appearance at NYFW – are also bound to generate hype and buzz.



Courting controversy. Nike has received both support and intense political backlash – including an angry tweet by President Trump – for including currently unsigned and controversial NFL player Colin Kaepernick as part of its latest ad campaign. Kaepernick was the first player to kneel rather than stand during the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color, thereby setting off a political firestorm in the USA. In the wake of the hubbub the ad will now debut early and be shown tonight during the NFL season opener.

Courting controversy II. Much like Nike, Levi Strauss and Co. is risking potential boycotts and customer alienation by showing its true political colors. Fortune has published an op-ed by Levi's CEO Chip Bergh stating that the all-American company is supporting gun violence prevention by pledging $1 million to create a fund to help organizations fighting firearm violence.

Something for everyone. American Apparel is another company that has made a societal statement this week with the introduction of its new NUDES collection of women's undergarments and bodywear that comes in nine different shades of skin tones and sizes from XS to XXL. The recently resurrected brand has received universal editorial praise for the collection, which celebrates diversity and inclusivity.

California cares. California may soon become the first US state to ban the sale of cosmetics that are tested on animals. The state assembly has unanimously approved an animal-rights bill, which now needs to be signed by the governor in order to be enacted into law. If approved (and it is expected to be), the new rule will take effect on January 1, 2020 and prohibit the sale of products that are directly tested on animals or contain ingredients that are.


Worldview. Giant retail conglomerate Inditex, the parent company of Zara among others, is aiming to have a worldwide reach with all its brands by 2020. Speaking at the opening of its new Zara store in Milan, CEO Pablo Isla said it is currently working with tech companies to make all of its brands available online in just two more years, even in markets where it does not have physical stores.

Goop blooper. Gwyneth Patrow's lifestyle and e-commerce site Goop will pay $145,000 in penalties and offer refund to customers for making unsubstantiated product claims. The fines are the result of the settlement of a lawsuit brought against the company by the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force for false advertising. The complaint arose after Goop claimed that two stone vaginal eggs could have health benefits and that a flower oil could ward off depression.


China hire. Luxury conglomerate Kering has hired Caroline Cai as the new president of its Greater China unit. Cai, whose Chinese name is Cai Jinqing, is the former chairman of Christie's China division and is expected to help grow the presence of Kering brands such as Gucci and Bottega Veneta in the massive Asian country. She starts her new role this Monday.


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