Happy Friday and welcome back to The Spin! The tech world is up in arms about allegations of Chinese spy chips in US systems, Cartier sued Saks over a dusty remodeling job, and Celine's Hedi Slimane accuses critics of latent homophobia. On a lighter note, Target has picked up (delivery) speed, and modest fashion continues its ascend. Enjoy the read - and your weekend! Cheers, Ulrike


Trojan board. China allegedly planted tiny microchips onto the motherboards of Supermicro servers sold to 30 companies including Amazon and Apple. According to Bloomberg, the intent was to gain long-term access to corporate and government networks. Consumer data was supposedly not stolen. The companies and China deny the allegations, as Supermicro's stock tanked more than 50 percent.



Shipping wars. Target, which has reverted back to its cheap chic concept, now offers free two-day shipping, curbside pickup, and same day delivery in major metro areas, mirroring the services of its rivals, Walmart and Amazon. Offering a more differentiated assortment, Target might have a chance to increase its market share over the holiday season.


Building rage. Richemont’s luxe jewelry label Cartier has sued HBC-owned Saks Fifth Avenue, seeking at least $40 million in damages. The dispute is over Saks’ dusty $250 million renovation of its New York flagship store, which relocates Cartier’s selling space from the ground to the lower level. According to the lawsuit, the work interferes with Cartier’s business while the new location is in conflict with its five-year lease for the specific (paywall) visible spot on the ground floor.


No stopping Stroppa. To push international growth, Coccinelle has promoted its current chief commercial officer, Fabrizio Stroppa, to CEO. Effective October 15, Stroppa succeeds Andrea Baldo who is leaving the Italian accessories label. Stroppa, who previously worked for Coach and Mulberry, plans to double (paywall) sales at Coccinelle to over $200 million in three years. Most of the growth is expected in Great Britain, France and Asia.

To Marc Jacobs from Diesel. Jonathan Hewlett has left his CEO position at Diesel Europe to become (paywall; in German) chief commercial officer at Marc Jacobs. His departure comes at a time of unrest at Diesel, which is refocusing (in Italian) from Black Gold to Red Tag, recently scaled back wholesale and is repositioning retail. In December, the company parted with creative director, Nicolas Formichetti.

From Joseph to Lacoste. French sportswear brand Lacoste has named Louise Trotter creative director. Trotter most recently worked for Joseph. At Lacoste she succeeds Oliveira Baptista, who stepped down from the position in May. The Spring 2019 collection (paywall) was designed by Lacoste’s in-house team. Trotter will show her debut collection for Fall 2019 at Paris Fashion Week.


The big cover-up! Muslims have long been top customers at European couture houses, but the Western fashion industry has rarely publicly associated with Muslims - whether as consumers, models, designers or influencers. But the mood is changing fast with items like Dolce & Gabbana's abayas and Nike's Pro Hijab - and Hijarbie becoming an Instagram star.


Slimane slams critics. Hedi Simane is upset at critics of his debut collection for Celine, calling (in Italian) them puritanical and latently homophobic. Under pressure to multiply (paywall) the LVMH-owned brands’s revenues within five years, he feels targeted for being a man replacing a woman, Phoebe Philo, specifically by observers from the US.


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