Today's edition of The Spin is heavy on news about retail, social media and retailers embracing social media. Who needs salespeople walking the floor when they can sell product via their own Instagram? And they can now also enhance their posts with a popular new app or by renting a picture-perfect place for some effective influencer imagery.... Have a fantastic day and enjoy the read. Best, Christopher


Macy's friends Facebook. Facebook is the latest internet giant to launch a brick-and-mortar presence. It has just entered the fold with nine pop-up shops in different Macy's locations. The shop-in-shops, which will be open until February 2, are part of the new The Market @ Macy's concept, a constantly changing assortment of spotlighted brands. The shops feature 100 small businesses and online labels, which will keep all revenue earned at them. Facebook paid Macy's to rent the spaces and is using the concept to boost its advertising revenue from lesser-known brands and startups.

Social climbing. Upscale US department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York are generating impressive sales numbers by hiring salespeople, personal shoppers and stylists to hawk merchandise via their personal social media accounts. Some of their top salespeople have already racked up upwards of $2 million a year by selling on their own Instagrams. Neiman Marcus is now actively seeking to hire more of these remote digital stylists according to the job listings on its homepage.

Not so hot. Although it now boasts a record number – 21.5 million – of active customers and saw an increase in revenue for the period, online-only fashion retailer Zalando had a disappointing third quarter. It had an aftertax loss of €41.7 million and the slowest sales growth since its launch. The company blamed the poor performance on problems with returned merchandise and the unusually warm weather in Europe. The latter also negatively affected Q3 profit and sales at fellow German company Hugo Boss.

Tale of two cities. Reports have surfaced that Amazon will not open a second headquarters in a single city away from Seattle but will now locate half (paywall) of the new facilities in Long Island City (Queens), New York City and the other in Crystal City, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. The retail behemoth has not commented on the alleged plan, which will create up to 50,000 new jobs in total.


Eyes on the prize. Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder and designer of the five-year-old brand Pyer Moss, won the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award on Monday night, which includes a cash prize of $400,000. Jean-Raymond's designs often reference and celebrate American black culture and he has recently become something of a media darling because of them and their often politically charged messages.


The future is now. While the current offering of high-tech fashion includes everything from highly waterproof fabrics and suits that mold to the wearer's body to smart jewelry and 100% recyclable sneakers, that's merely a hint of what is still to come. Advancements such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are predicted to have an increasing effect on design. One startup is even set to release an undergarment that employs robotic parts and sensors later next year.

Improving your Insta. Unfold, an less than two-year-old app that helps people create better Instagram Stories, already has 11 million users and gets 100,000 additional downloads each day. Now it has launched an offshoot design agency that will help brands such as the Equinox gym chain develop and maintain their own promotional Instagram Stories. For those less technologically inclined, there's always the option of renting an apartment in NYC that has been specifically decorated to serve as a the perfect backdrop for an influencer's selfies and/or photoshoot.


Domestic denim. With the closure of Cone Mills' historic White Oak mill in 2017, the chance of finding selvedge denim that is made in America essentially died. However, that has not stopped at least one company from doing its (small) part to produce the cloth Stateside again. Likewise, small-batch factories in England (paywall) and Germany are also making the treasured textile and serving as rare examples of domestic denim producers in their respective countries.


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