Happy Thursday and welcome back! Real estate deals dominate today’s issue of The Spin! We also take a look at the latest developments in artificial intelligence and blockchain. And then there is a fashion exhibition that invites visitors to actually wear the pieces. Enjoy the read and feel free to share with friends and colleagues! Best, Ulrike


Bezos' Blockchain. US online giant Amazon has launched two blockchain services. Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) provides transparent, immutable and cryptographically verifiable transaction logs overseen by a central, trusted authority. Designed to operate with QLDB, Amazon Managed Blockchain allows AWS customers to set up and manage their own scalable blockchain network. The initiative supports existing blockchain platforms Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. More information can be found here (press release).



Asia's ascent. Online retail sales in Asia are growing at triple the worldwide growth rate. According to a report by Bain & Co., India recorded a 53 percent compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2017, with China and South Korea following at 33 and 12 percent respectively. The comparable US rate is currently 11 percent. Strong growth on a smaller base has also been recorded in Indonesia (31 percent) Malaysia (30 percent) and Thailand (12 percent), where brick-and-mortar retail is also surging.

No more Bread & Butter. German online marketer Zalando is terminating (in German) the Berlin-based fashion and lifestyle show Bread & Butter - for the time being. Zalando, which acquired (paywall; in German) the rights to the event (paywall) from bankruptcy assets in June 2015, will not hold a trade show in 2019 but does consider cooperations and events with individual brands.


Amazon's new landlord. Amancio Ortega, founder and majority shareholder of the Spanish Inditex Group, is expanding its real estate assets. The 82-year-old just bought (in Spanish) a a 76,000 sqm block at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters for €655 million through his Pontegadea Inmobiliaria. This marks Ortega's second largest acquisition to date, following the purchase of London’s Adelphi building for about €680 million in August.


Mexx is back! Yesterday, Dutch fashion label Mexx returned to the Netherlands with the launch of its first franchise store since its takeover (paywall; in German) by shoe specialist RNF Holding in August 2017. Located in Nieuwegein, the new concept features fashion for women, men and kids as well as a large assortment of shoes. The global relaunch is planned (press release) for next spring.

Diesel's dwelling. Italian jeans wear brand Diesel is planning (paywall) its first residential complex in Miami’s Wynwood design district. In cooperation with Bel Invest, the Diesel Living team is designing 143 apartments in the building (image gallery) which will also house retail concepts on the ground floor.


AI designed. South Korean fashion company Handsome, which is part of the Hyundai Department Store Group, plans to launch the country's first AI designed fashion collection under its SJYP brand. For graphics, Handsome has been working with start-up Designovel’s image processing technology, Style AI, designed to modify patterns. AI is also finding a place in art: In October, the first AI created painting sold at auction for $432,000.

Mensch vs. machine. Since artificial Intelligence might soon touch most aspects of human life, some call for this mostly invisible technology to be articulated. In addition to a distinctive brand identity, personalized experiences could make AI services more tangible, while an option for consumers to retrain AI in response to undesirable results would allow them to actively participate in machine learning.


Total immersion. With his free Rinse, Repeat exhibition, Designer Richard Malone aims to deeply involve the public. In addition to sketches, fabrics, garments and movie projections inside and outside the gallery, the installation encourages visitors to try on, wear or play with some of the designer’s items. Nov 28-Jan 27 at NOW Gallery, London.


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