Welcome back to a new edition of The Spin. Today, we are looking at designer brands. Olivier Rousteing, the designer of Balmain has decided to bring his army to the couture playground. Italian Versace on the other hand is simplifying its diffusion lines. Other creators are adding new locations to their fleet of stores. Manolo Blahnik goes back to the Paris of his younger years, Swedish Our Legacy visits Berlin. Enjoy the read. Caroline.


Couture return. Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of French Balmain wants to go back to its upper class roots and show the collection in January on the Haute couture calendar in Paris. Balmain hasn't participated in the couture fashion week, since the departure of Oscar de la Renta in 2002. Olivier Rousteing announced his project during the WWD's Retail and Apparel summit. The creator, known for the Balmain Army, led by Kim Kardashian, has a few things to say on quality and timelessness.

Simplification. Newlyweds Michael Kors and Versace didn't wait too long to announce their first business decision: Versace's diffusion line, Versus will merge with Versace Jeans, the other contemporary line. The objective? Streamline the business model. The new owner called Capri Holdings will need to revisit the licencing requirements of its jeans line, which actually belongs to Swinger International. Michael Kors announced the 2.1 billion acquisition of Versace on September 25.


Fish lovers. Count them in. H&M, Burberry and Stella McCartney just signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. The initiative, supported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment, is pushing for the creation of a circular economy for plastics, so that plastics will never become waste. They have to hurry since, if nothing is done, there will be more plastics in oceans than fish by 2050.


Change of guard. Boston based New Balance will begin 2019 with a new CEO at the helm. Rob De Martini, who was the number one at the athletic footwear maker for 12 years is leaving the company. He will be replaced by Joe Preston, a close collaborator who is New Balance's chief commercial officer. Joe Preston began his career at the company in 1995. New Balance is one of the few smaller athletic brands with Puma and Reebok growing at a healthy pace in the shadow of the giants Nike and Adidas.

Girl power. Guess who is joining the board of Guess Inc? Two women. The Californian company has appointed two new independent directors Laurie Ann Goldman, the former CEO of women's undergarments Spanx and Deborah Weinswig, the founder of Coresight Research, a provider of research and services to brands and investors. Guess has been trying (paywall) for a few months now to clean up its image, after model Kate Lipton accused Paul Marciano, co-founder of the company, of sexual harassment.


Return to Paris. Manolo Blahnik will soon open (paywall) his first store in Paris, at the Palais Royal, in 2019. For the luxury shoe designer, Paris is a special place, where he lived after having left the Canary Islands. The boutique will feel less like a store and more like a residential apartment, where friends like to meet. After France, Blahnik is betting on Asia for future expansion. The creator will open stores with licensing partner Blue Japan in Tokyo and Taipei. The group already has 17 standalone boutiques globally.

Berlin opening. The Swedish men's wear label Our Legacy has just opened (paywall) a new store in Berlin, close to Comme des Garcons. It is the 5th store of the growing company, which already has a presence in Sweden and London. The 90 square meter Our Legacy looks like an elegant art gallery with its concrete, steel, glass and pine materials. The two co-founders Richardos Klaren and Christopher Nying could afterward open in Paris and Tokyo where they have a lot of online customers.

Gift drops. Upscale department stores Nordstrom are once again pushing the envelope to seduce its customers into buying gifts. Their marketing campaign "let's go gifting" announces the Daily drops initiative: each day, beginning November 27 through December 18, Nordstrom will release limited exclusive products. Gift scouts in 65 stores will provide recommendations. Curbside pick up services will be on 24 hours a day for the Christmas season in major cities.


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