Dec
 04
 2018



Caroline

Hello,

Welcome to this new edition of The Spin. Optimism perfumes the air. After Washington and Beijing decided to declare a cease fire, stock exchanges around the world broke out the champagne. Meanwhile a resurgent Crocs Inc celebrated its own little triumph: a stocks buy back from a giant investor when times had been tough. Also on the financial front, Neiman Marcus investors are fighting to keep My Theresa in their corner, and Ted Baker's hugs are questioned. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.



markets

Relief. Investors on stock exchanges around the world breathed a sigh of relief Monday, after learning that Washington and Beijing had quelled an escalating trade confrontation. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng index added 2.6%, Tokyo's Topix was up 1.3%, Frankfurt's Dax gained 1.85%...Luxury stocks surfed atop the new optimism. Michael Kors was up 3.3%, PVH +3.59%, LVMH +5.03%, Kering +7.68%, Hugo Boss +2.69%...During the 90 days cease fire, accessories will avoid a 25% raise on tariffs.


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Bear hug. A petition launched by employees of British retailer Ted Baker has accused the founder, Ray Kelvin of inappropriate comments, forced hugging and unwelcome massages. Wall Street reacted (paywall) promptly. Shares of Ted Baker on Monday declined 16% to a 5 years low. Traditional corporate culture ignores the employees, leaving harassment unchallenged, but ever since the rise of the MeToo mouvement, investors are listening.



Crocs turnaround. Crocs Inc will buy back half the shares held by the Blackstone group for $183.7 million. The stocks were acquired in 2014,when the colorful rubbery shoes maker fell out of fashion. Since then, Crocs has closed under performing stores and exited unprofitable markets. The turnaround efforts are paying off. The company has regained its financial vigor. Blackstone's partial exit will free up to $12 million in dividends.





retail

Fighting for Theresa. My Theresa, the German luxury online retailer is at the center of negotiations to restructure Neiman Marcus's debts load. The American department store, owner of My Theresa would like to transfer that successful company to private equity firms Ares and CPPIB. But another investor Marble Ridge Capital threatens (paywall) legal action to prevent this "corrosive conduct" in a letter sent on Monday to the Neiman Marcus board of directors. Creditors see My Theresa as a valuable asset.



Video game jerseys. Fanatics, the licensed sports merchandise retailer has signed (paywall) a deal with a new partner, the Overwatch League, representing teams of video game players tied to major cities all over the world (New York, Paris, Shanghai, Vancouver...) Fanatics will produce jerseys, head wear and other merchandises for the aficionados. The apparel will be available on e-commerce sites, mobile platforms and at League events.





people

High-low master. Spanish Delpozo found (paywall) its new creative director, Lutz Huelle. He is succeeding Josep Font, who stepped down in September. The German Lutz Huelle is a true citizen of Europe. He studied at Central Saint Martins in England, worked for Maison Martin Margiela and created his own brand Lutz Huelle in Paris. He will officially show his first take on Delpozo at Spring 2020, during the London fashion week. Lutz Huelle is famous for his high-low approach.





brands

Simplification. Swedish brand Gant is simplifying (paywall) its product offering. The lifestyle company is closing its sub-brands Rugger and Diamond G. There won't be any collection for Spring 2019. Rugger was focusing on the casual customer while Diamond G concentrated on young professionals. From now on, Gant will be the only game in town. The Swedish brand, known for bringing the button down shirts to the mass market, has more than 600 stores in 70 countries.





last

The benevolent bacteria. The Italian designer Giulia Tomasello wants to insert healthy bacteria in women's panties to fight vaginal infections. The winner of the 2018 STARTS Grand prize studied material futures at Central Saint Martins. It gave her the idea of Future Flora, a kit to cultivate beneficial bacteria at home, put them on a pad inserted in the underwear and let them annihilate those dangerous bacteria that cause yeast infection.







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