Can you believe it's November and that Black Friday is a mere three weeks from today? Big name retailers sure can and are already rolling out efforts to bring in Christmastime customers. Meanwhile, both Chanel and Louis Vuitton seem to be jumping aboard the "let's combine luxury and streetwear" bandwagon and Urban Outfitters is expanding its global footprint. Enjoy today's edition of The Spin and have a marvelous weekend. Best, Christopher


Friday on my mind... It's a mere 21 days away so major retailers such as Walmart and Target are already prepping for Black Friday with early bargains and the introduction of new technology to make in-store shopping faster and more pleasant. Both retail giants started offering some special holiday price reductions yesterday and each is introducing a new checkout option that will allow customers to avoid long lines at the register by paying associates armed with handheld scanners directly on the sales floor. And to better compete with arch rival Amazon, both Walmart and Target are also promoting free two-day shipping offers.


...and (Cyber) Monday too. Speaking of holiday shopping, Adobe Analytics has released its annual holiday retail study and it predicts that online spending in the USA will grow nearly 15 percent this season to $124.1 billion versus just a 2.7 percent rise in physical stores. The report also states that retailers with both an online and brick-and-mortar presence will be the best performers and that people's growing distrust of social media will have a negative effect on sales this year. Although visits to retail sites via social media platforms are forecasted to double, actual purchases made through them are expected to drop by 11 percent.

Heading east. Thanks to a brand new deal with the Azadea Group, specialty chain Urban Outfitters will soon land in the Middle East. Azadea currently operates more than 50 international franchised brand stores in Middle East and Africa and plans to open the first Urban Outfitters in the region in Dubai next year. The partnership may also eventually be expanded to include Urban Outfitters' other brands such as Anthropologie and Free People but the focus for now will be strictly on the namesake mark.


Chanel-Pharrell. Their mutual love for each other is just getting stronger. While attending the Chanel fashion show in Bangkok on Wednesday musician Pharrell Williams, who has previously served as the face of the brand and who recently collaborated on a pair of Chanel x Adidas sneakers, announced he is designing an apparel and accessories capsule collection for the luxury label that will drop at its boutiques in late March 2019. No stranger to the fashion world, Williams is a co-owner of G-Star Raw and co-founded the brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream.

Wooing with Wu. In an effort to boost its profile and attract a younger, cooler clientele in China, Louis Vuitton has named Chinese rapper Kris Wu, who will turn 28 on Tuesday, as its latest brand ambassador. Wu, who is enormously popular in China, stars in a just released black-and-white photo series wearing the Virgil Abloh–designed spring/summer 2019 collection. And while many Chinese praised the choice on social media others criticized the historical house for selecting someone so young who is known as the Chinese "king of streetwear."

Growing Goose. Outer- and knitwear manufacturer Canada Goose is now stepping into the footwear sector as well. It has just acquired outdoor boot brand Baffin, a fellow Canadian company, for Canadian $32.5 million (US$28.4 million). The new parent has made additional news this week. It is opening a new store in Vancouver today and prompted animal-rights protests at home and in the US for using genuine goose down and coyote fur in jackets.


Religious order. Chelsea Grayson, who served as CEO of American Apparel as it navigated bankruptcy, has been named the temporary CEO of denim and lifestyle brand True Religion until a permanent chief is chosen. She replaces (paywall) John Ermatinger, who announced his retirement, and has served on True Religion's board of directors since last year. True Religion also filed for bankruptcy in July 2017 but has since come out of Chapter 11.


Clothes for a cause. The annual ComplexCon, a consumer-centric festival celebrating pop culture, music, art and fashion, will take place for the third time this weekend in Long Beach, California and include numerous sneaker and other streetwear-friendly product drops from the likes of Nike, Adidas Originals and Union Los Angeles, among others. However, this year there will also be a new politically charged offer in the mix. Activist organization Black Lives Matter will have an onsite pop-up store that will stock its just released line of T-shirts, hats, baby onesies and tote bags that are being sold to support the movement.


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