Welcome back to The Spin! Today we mourn the demise of yet another long-standing retail icon. We also tell you, which online giant is expanding its foray into fashion, and which resale specialists are treating fashion like tradable commodities to buy, hold or sell. There is also new evidence for the effectiveness of "retail therapy". Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


End of an era! Following the holidays, US retail group L Brands will close all of its 23 Henri Bendel department stores including the Fifth Avenue flagship and The company, which owns ailing Victoria’s Secret, Pink and Bath & Body Works, now plans to focus on brands with stronger growth potential. For Henri Bendel, L Brands projects 2018 revenues of $85 million and operating losses of $45 million.


Fashion foray. In addition to a new partnership with J.Crew’s Mercantile brand, Amazon has launched several own trademarks including Night Swim and Romantic Dreamers. During London Fashion Week, the online giant collaborated with Nicopanda, which premiered four T-shirts printed by the Merch by Amazon on-demand screen-printing division. Using QR codes, show attendants could order on the spot.


Three Bs. Amidst growing concerns about a viable Brexit plan, London Fashion Week got into high gear with homegirl Victoria Beckham’s 10th Anniversary show (image gallery), which debuted a new range of fashion jewelry on Sunday. Today, all eyes will be on Ricardo Tisci’s show and remodeled flagship store for Burberry, which should mark a new start for the traditional British label.

Dropping Jupiter. Following its Winter deliveries, embattled German menswear company Ahlers will shut down its sportswear label Jupiter. As part of the restructuring, 130 jobs will be cut (paywall; in German), about 100 in Germany and the rest in Poland. Not affected is the Jupiter Shirts joint-venture with Hatico. To push growth and profitability, Ahlers will focus on core brands Pierre Cardin, Baldessarini (press release), Otto Kern and Pioneer.

Wooing Wu. Chinese apparel company Semir Garments is buying 11 percent in the holding of US-based designer label Jason Wu for about $5 million. Back in 2014, investment company InterLuxe took a majority stake in the brand, which just launched a denim line. Upon completion of the acquisition, Semir will get a seat on the board and set up a joint-venture that holds exclusive rights to Jason Wu’s brands in China.


Musical chairs. Esprit’s new CEO Anders Kristiansen is expanding his leadership as Dieter Messner, GM Europe & RoW, and Chief Digital Officer Jürgen Michelberger are leaving. As part of the troubled group's new focus on wholesale, Knut Brokelmann has been promoted (paywall; in German) from Head of Wholesale, Germany, to Head of Wholesale, Europe and Americas.


The Wolves of High Street. Similar to the up-and-coming apparel trading site StockX, which treats sneakers as financial instruments, TheRealReal considers its members’ wardrobe a portfolio of investments to buy, hold or sell. Currently the leader in the $6 billion worldwide resale market for luxury goods, the 7-year-old company counts more than 9 million members and has consigned over 8 million pre-owned luxe items.


You raise me up! Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental disorders in the US. It propells sales of stress-relieving gadgets and also affects fashion. Michael Kors, for example, calls his colorful S/S 2019 collection “anti-sadness fashion Xanax”. We also see more protective wear - from sun-protecting clothing and plastic overlays for designer wear to bullet-proof backpacks for kids.


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