Welcome today's issue of The Spin. On this Thursday we look at Amazon's newest foray into brick-and-mortar retail and Boohoo's big sales boost. In addition, various numbers are in and they reveal different attitudes between US and French consumers, how diverse New York Fashion Week was this season and who the world's wealthiest designer is. (Take a guess now and then see if you were right.) Enjoy today's roundup. Best, Christopher


Let's get (more) physical. Amazon is dipping its feet further into the depths of traditional retail. It announced in a blog post yesterday that it is opening a new brick-and-mortar concept called Amazon 4-Star in New York's SoHo neighborhood today. The shop – which is a permanent one and not a pop-up – will carry the highest rated products (four stars or more) from Amazon customers, including devices, electronics, housewares and books.


Nothing to cry about. Fast fashion British e-tailer Boohoo Group, which owns Nastygal and PrettyLittleThing, can already call 2018 a good year. According to its just released mid-year financials, sales were up 50 percent to £395.3 million for the six-month period through August 31 and pre-tax profit rose 22 percent. The renewed popularity of bicycle shorts was cited as one of the reasons for the positive results.


Valuable VR. Just a week after Walmart announced that it would be using Oculus Go VR headsets to train employees, Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, has unveiled its newest device, the Oculus Quest. Unlike previous versions of the headset, this one, which will launch in spring 2019, does not require a hookup to a computer. In addition to having retail and business applications, the new technology also allows users to customize (paywall) their virtual wardrobes and furniture.


Conflicting confidence. In a case of contrasting consumer attitudes in different markets, US consumer confidence reached an 18-year high in September, beating analysts' expectations and hinting at a strong holiday sales season there. Meanwhile consumer confidence in France continued to decline and fell two points in September, the lowest since April 2016. The US should not gloat, however: Some analysts say that high consumer confidence often portends a stock market slowdown.

Multicultural in Manhattan. The Fashion Spot has released its latest seasonal diversity report about New York Fashion Week (its reports on London, Milan and Paris are still to come) and the results show that event held earlier this month was the most diverse it has ever been. Nearly 45 percent of the models who walked the 76 reviewed shows were people of color and seven of the 11 most booked models were not white. There were also increased castings of plus-size and transgender/non-binary models.


Boateng for BA. Designer Oswald Boateng has been tapped (press release) by British Airways to design new staff uniforms in honor of the airline's centennial next year. A renowned Savile Row tailor and an OBE, Boateng will dress all 32,000 of the company's uniform-wearing employees.

Dov's debt. Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel, lost a lawsuit appeal in Delaware Supreme Court this week and has been ordered to pay hedge fund Standard General $19.5 million plus interest. He took the loan in 2014 when he was attempting to wrestle back – ultimately unsuccessfully – control of American Apparel after being ousted by its board. He is currently pursuing a separate lawsuit related to the matter in the California courts.

Fashion's flushest. While Donatella Versace will surely earn a pretty penny from this week's sale of her company for $2+ billion to Michael Kors, she is not fashion's wealthiest designer according to a new Top Ten list from Harper's Bazaar Australia that ranks famous designers by their net worth. Two other Italians do top the list though: Miuccia Prada (#1) and Giorgio Armani (#2).


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