Welcome to today's edition of The Spin. Wednesday was a roller coaster on the stock exchanges. Online giant Amazon lost a few pounds along the track. Nevertheless there were some smiles at the end of the ride. Levi Strauss is enjoying long term growth and the Camuto group has found two buyers, who are fans of its stylish shoes. Also, on the footwear front, German luxury MCM has recruited an Adidas alumnus to build a design studio in Berlin. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.


Cold shower. On Wednesday, stocks suffered (paywall) their steepest decline in 8 months. Investors seem worried about rising interest rates and growing tensions with China. At Wednesday's close Walmart stock was down 1.36%, Ralph Lauren dropped 8.44%, PVH fell 7.33% and Michael Kors plunged 7.12%. Tech stocks were particularly affected: Amazon dropped 6%. Last month the online giant had exceeded $1 trillion in market value but it ended the day with a mere $857 billion. A few billions evaporated.


Shoe fitting. Brand management firm ABG is partnering with footwear retailer DSW to acquire (paywall) the Camuto group for $375 million. ABG will get a 60% share of Camuto, DSW 40%. Both will license the brands Vince Camuto, Enzo Angiolini, Jessica Simpson...across footwear, handbags, jewelry. The deal was orchestrated by the family of Vince Camuto, who died in 2015. The company which saw $435 million in revenue in 2017, will rely on ABG international infrastructure in order to expand.

Denim return. The numbers are looking good at Levi Strauss. Its third quarter net income shot up 48% to $130 million and revenue increased 10% to $1.39 billion. Chip Bergh, the CEO, has a lot over which to gloat: Levi Strauss is enjoying (paywall) its fourth consecutive double digit revenue growth, the women's business is increasing by 26% and the direct to consumer business is up 15%. Chip Bergh formula? Nurture its profitable core, expand and give the customers a smooth click and brick experience.


Store power. Digital native brands are ready to experiment with bricks and mortar. According to the commercial real estate firm JLL, e-commerce players could open 850 stores in the next five years. The lingerie start up Adore Me, for example, has a plan for 300 boutiques and footwear expert Allbirds is ready to invade 4 cities. Gartner L2 experts already said it: physical stores are an inevitable tactic to grow business, especially in the apparel and accessories field. Bonobos, UNTUCKit...are living proof of the trend.

Me time. Luxury designer Rebecca Taylor wants to support working women who never have enough time for themselves. The store on Madison avenue in New York is offering (paywall) new Saturday services: hair styling, manicures, workout classes, even babysitting. Women don't have to buy any clothing to participate. If successful, the formula will be extended next year in the other Rebecca Taylor stores. These kind of friendly services remind us of the free yoga classes linked to Canadian sports expert Lululemon.


Online matchmaker. Sewport, the first fully automated British online fashion marketplace has secured (paywall) £ 650 000 from the investment fund Fuel Ventures to develop its concept in Europe. Less than a year after its launch, the matchmaker already works (paywall) with 500 global manufacturers and 4000 small and medium sized brands. Fuel Ventures investment will allow the company to improve technical development and customer services.


Bye bye 3 stripes. Former Adidas creative director Dirk Schönberger joins German luxury MCM as global creative officer. Dick Schönberger, known for his Adidas collaboration with Rick Owens, Opening Ceremony and Kanye West will be based in Berlin and show his first collection in spring summer 2020. The owner of MCM, South Korean Sungjoo group, relies on its new recruit to build a design studio in Berlin, aimed at millennial customers.


Gender fluid. Boston's Museum of Fine Arts is the first major museum to tackle gender bending fashion in a historic exhibition. The event which will take a bow March 21 next year through August 25 multiply historic references from the Garçonne look of the 1920's to the Peacock revolution of the 1960's. Contemporary designers are also invited to the party. Creations of Rad Hourani, Viktor and Rolf, Alessandro Michele, Rei Kawakubo, Jean-Paul Gaultier...are part of the 60 examples of boundary pushing designs.


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