Welcome back to a new edition of The Spin. This week, corporate CEO's nervous feelings about a possible slowdown of the Chinese economy can rest assured. Singles's day, Alibaba's extravaganza was a complete success, blowing away all sales records. In Great Britain, online sales are also good, but the House of Commons want retailers to minimize their social and environmental footprint. On a lighter note, Stefano Pilati, the ex YSL creative director is back with Random Identities. Last but not least, the newly elected women officials in Washington seem to be much more fashion conscious. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.


Singles' triumph... Singles' day, the Alibaba extravaganza held on 11-11 was the biggest shopping day of all time. In 24 hours, Chinese customers spent $30.8 billion in sales, which represents a 27% raise, compared to last year. The celebration, originally dedicated to the nation's unmarried consumers, surpassed by far the American Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Total sales on Black Friday reached $5 billion in 2017, according to Adobe Analytics. Chinese consumer sentiment is not too disturbed by the US-China tariffs war.

...abroad too. Why should the only Chinese Singles have all the fun? Alibaba through its Lazada subsidiary opened Singles' day in other countries in South East Asia. Consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam were able to celebrate as well., Alibaba's archrival also featured "shipping abroad" as one of 9 categories on its site. Chinese expats can order directly via their favorite platforms. In Australia, where 1,2 million Chinese live, offers promising delivery options.

European experiment. Amazon is launching holiday pop-ups called "Amazon loft for Xmas" November 16-26 in major European cities, Paris, Berlin, Milan, London, Madrid and Amsterdam. The effort focuses (in Italian) on electronics and toys but apparel, beauty and home goods will also be in store. The giant e-commerce group already tested a pop up concept in London in October to sell men's and women's wear. Amazon is exploring the complexities of the apparel category. So far its private labels are not selling too well.


Not so fast. Five fashion online retailers Amazon, Asos, Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing and Missguided have been called upon (paywall) by the House of Commons in England to counter claims about inadequate staff wages, the poor life cycle of their cheap garments and defend their strategies to reduce social and environmental impact. Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee sent them letters last week and asked for a response by November 15. She intends (paywall) to clean up the fast fashion industry.

Closing time. The gap between closures and openings on the British high streets is increasing (paywall), according to the latest PwC analysis. England has suffered 2697 closures in the first half of 2018. Fourteen stores were shutting down every day. In the meantime, there were only 1569 store openings. PwC's conclusion? There has been a net loss of 1123 stores in which 10% of the disappearing outlets were fashion retailers. Great Britain is facing its toughest commercial climate in 5 years.


He is back. Stefano Pilati seemed to have retired. The former YSL creative director, turned Ermenegildo Zegna's designer didn't unveil a collection in years, ever since his departure from Zegna in 2016. But his admirers had finally something to see recently in Quebec. There, Pilati organized his first men's show for the new brand Random Identities at the HQ of online retailer Ssense. The high fashion but affordable collection was immediately available online and sold out. Welcome back!

Return of the Crocs. The ugly but oh so comfortable Crocs were rumored to be on their last legs. However, the company proved the naysayers wrong last week when it announced that revenue for its third quarter grew by 7.3%. The company closed a few stores, withdrew its production from the United States and invested in innovation. Now Crocs has just announced a successful partnership with rapper Post Malone. Teenagers appreciate their rubber clogs. According to Piper Jaffray, Crocs is their 13th favorite shoe brand.


Pink wave. The young women that got elected at the House of Representatives will impose (paywall) a new fashion normal on Washington D.C. They don't care about dark pantsuits and the string of white pearls favored by their predecessors. Alex Ocasio Cortez , the youngest woman ever elected, celebrated her victory in New York wearing a white shirt and beige skirt. Kansan Sharice Davids showed off her muscles in a sleeveless red dress and Native American earrings. These elected officials dare to be themselves.


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