Welcome to this Wednesday edition of The Spin. The big retail merger in Germany has left several execs out of a job and Chanel has made history by banning exotic skins (and fur). You'll also soon be able to spend a week with Karl thanks to Netflix and brands are again piggybacking on Art Basel. Enjoy this midweek read. Best, Christopher


Merging management. Now that the unification of German department stores Karstadt and Kaufhof is official, the new entity has revealed (paywall; in German) its executive team and it seems that several managers from the latter will not be a part of the company anymore. The longtime boss of Karstadt, Stephan Fanderl, remains in charge. Kaufhof's CFO, Guido Mager, will stay on the new management board but Kaufhof execs exiting include boss Roland Neuwald, and its purchasing manager, online officer and HR manager, among others.



Marketing in Miami. The annual Art Basel fair is taking place in Miami again this week and as usual a whole bunch (paywall) of fashion brands are getting in on the action. Those doing tie-ins or special promotions and/or events in this year include Emilio Pucci, Prada, Loewe, Max Mara and Fendi. One standout (and returning) project is by Dior, which hired 11 female artists to reinterpret (gallery) its iconic Lady Dior handbag. The purses will be sold exclusively at the Dior Miami store before being globally released next month.

Later, alligator.... That Chanel crocodile bag is about to become a collector's item. The luxury house announced yesterday that it will halt using exotic skins from snakes, lizards, crocodiles and stingrays and that it was also banning fur (which designer Karl Lagerfeld noted it uses very little of anyway). The label explained that it took the PC decision voluntarily, because "it's in the air" and because it is difficult to source these materials ethically anymore. It vowed to use leathers only from the agri-food industry.

...but hello, star Karl. In other Chanel news, the brand will be the topic of a new Netflix documentary series called "7 Days Out" that will premiere on December 21. Each episode will follow a week in the professional life of a famous person and the first individual to be profiled will be Karl Lagerfeld. The episode is said to focus on his preparations for Chanel's spring 2018 couture show at the Grand Palais last winter.


Realistic rent. According to a new report by the Real Estate Board of New York retail rents in NYC have finally caught up to the reality of the market and have dropped by an average of 25 percent in the last three years, allowing stores to find good deals and revitalize what were quickly becoming abandoned shopping corridors there. Fashion names benefitting from the decrease include Missoni and David Yurman as well as Levi's, which recently opened its largest flagship in the world in Times Square.

Indian Insta-buying. Instagram is rolling out its shopping feature in the country with its second largest base of users after the United States, India. The "buy button" is expected to be available there by mid 2019 and will be in direct competition to e-comm giants Flipkart and Amazon, which currently control 80 percent of the Indian online fashion market.


Group effort. Facebook, which incidentally just slipped from number 1 to number 7 as "the best place to work in America" according to a survey by employment site Glassdoor, has just extended its Stories feature to all FB Groups to promote more communal communication. Group members will now be able to add the short-lived videos to the Group page, which can also be approved by a the Group monitor. Facebook says more than 300 million people use its Stories feature each day.


A-oh K(-pop). As the Korean-based music genre of K-pop continues to grow in popularity its influence on fashion sales and trends is increasing too. Lyst recently named K-pop as a "major global fashion influencer" and the 26th birthday of K-pop star Jin on Monday was the top trending topic on Twitter. Moschino and Chrome Hearts are just two examples of brands whose sales soared after K-pop stars appeared in their outfits. K-poppers even made an old T-shirt supporting Jesse Jackson's run for US President in 1988 a trendy fashion must-have recently.


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