Happy Monday and welcome back to The Spin! Italian luxury brand Ermenegildo Zegna just made histroy in China, Versace teases a new, tech inspired sneaker, and Amazon comes in second only to the US military in a ranking of America's most trusted institutions. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Zegna beats Zegnoa. Although Ermenegildo Zegna still feels like a victim of the ongoing trade war (paywall) with China, the Italian luxury brand is the first in history to win an IP dispute against a Chinese fashion company. According (in Chinese) to the Supreme People’s Court, the logo of the Yves Zegnoa label violates Zegna’s trademark. This landmark ruling sets a brand new precedent.

The upper hand. In their competition with Amazon, digital fashion startups like Rent the Runway, The Real Real and Revzilla are benefitting from the fact that the online giant still lacks fashion credibility. By offering features that Amazon cannot provide - think: expert product curation, high-level consumer education, and connected communities - those brands were able to build a loyal following.

Getting it right. With a buying power of about $143 billion, Gen Z youngsters expect quick service, exciting merchandise, active in-store experiences (press release), mobile options and meaningful engagement with retailers - also on social media. Merchants, who manage to build strong relationships with this generation, should be able to reap ample dividends in the future.


Leap of luxury. In its quest for a slice in the growing Chinese luxury market, which is increasingly driven by Generation Z, Richemont’s high-end platform Yoox Net-a-porter has partnered with Chinese online giant Alibaba. The collaboration is said to include mobile apps and online stores, potentially bringing more brands to Alibaba’s sites including its Tmall Luxury Pavillion.


What goes around... Esprit's sales continue to decline (paywall; in German), dropping 17 percent to HK$3.3 billion in Q3. To reduce costs, the group withdrew from Australia and New Zealand and closed 40 European stores this year. The North American store network had already been shut down in 2012. To spur growth, the company now explores new concepts like circular fashion.

White Christmas. Last week, Versace’s head of sneaker design, Salehe Bembury, posted the image of a sleek white sneaker. The caption simply reads: “A wise man once said nothing at all.” With its simple design and rainbow logo, it closely resembles a pair of the very scarce Apple shoes, which the tech company gave as a gift to employees the 1990s, raising speculation that the Italian fashion house is planning to bring back the style.


The "bad weather" man. Acne Studio's co-founder and creative director Jonny Johansson is one of the driving forces behind the global rise of Scandinavian style. He’s also the man behind the insanely popular Millennial Pink, with the brand’s pink paper bags now high-priced collectors' items. In a rare interview with The Guardian he reveals his history with post-punk bands, his relative disinterest in fashion - and his tendency to sabotage things that go well.


In Jeff we trust. Following the military, Amazon is the second most trusted “institution” in the US - equally liked by Democrats and Republicans. According to a study by Georgetown University and NYU, the two entities are followed by Google, local police and colleges, while the press, the executive branch, Facebook, political parties and Congress make up the bottom five on the list of 20.


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