Welcome to this new edition of The Spin. Today we celebrate the British fashion awards with Meghan Markle herself. We also salute more than 40 brands that signed the new United Nations' charter for climate action. In other news, American retailers are taking delivery of Chinese merchandise in US ports, before a possible tariff hike. And a Neiman Marcus' creditor tries to keep close at hand. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.


Royal award. And the winner of the British womenswear designer of the year goes to...Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director of Givenchy. Surprise, surprise, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle herself, made the announcement last night. Clare Waight Keller is her old acquaintance who made her wedding dress in May. Another honoree for accessories was Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga and the designer of the year menswear went to Craig Green.


Premium trend. Zalando, the German etailer has signed up (paywall) 17 new premium brands for the first quarter of 2019. The idea is to offer more affordable luxury fashion. The premium category is one of the fastest growing area at Zalando because an increasing number of customers mix low and high fashion. See By Chloe, Mulberry, Diane Von Furstenberg, the American brand Theory , the British footwear Cheaney shoes...are among the newcomers.

Climate action. More than 40 leading fashion brands, retailers and suppliers are backing a new charter for climate action with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. The initiative has been launched at this year's COP 24 in Poland. It is seen as an industry milestone. Major brands Adidas, Gap, H&M, Hugo Boss, Puma, Stella McCartney, the Kering group...are endorsing the charter.


Piling on. American retailers rush merchandise into US ports ahead of a possible tariff hike on goods from China. According to the NRF (National Retail Federation) and Hackett Associates, US ports handled 2.04 million TEUs in October, up 13.6% year over year. January, on the other hand, is forecast at only 1.72 million TEUs. Donald Trump announced a temporary trade truce in that trade war. In case, China and the United States didn't work out their differences, retailers are piling on products.

Escalating conflict. Creditor Marble Ridge Capital has filed a legal complaint against the Neiman Marcus Group opposing the transfer of its European business MyTheresa to its private equity owners Ares Management and Canadian CPP Investment Board. For Marble Ridge Capital, MyTheresa "has been placed beyond the reach of the company's creditors". The Dallas based Neiman Marcus said (paywall) that "it will defend itself vigorously against such false allegations."


Holiday's frenzy. Online spending is at an all time high in America. According to Adobe's latest holiday shopping update online spending between November 1 and December 6 increased 19% year over year to a record $80 billion. Mobile transactions soared 55% to $23.7 billion and in-store pick up of online orders increased 46%. Now Adobe predicts that the complete online holiday shopping frenzy will reach $124 billion in America.

Steepening decline. Shopper numbers in the United Kingdom saw their worst November drop for a decade. According to retail researcher Springboard, store visits fell by 3.2% year on year. Hundreds of stores have gone out of business this year as they battle weak consumer spending, growing online competition and uncertainty over Brexit. Springboard is forecasting a new 4.2% decline in December.


Meet Daisy. The online luxury retailer Yoox is betting on AI (Artificial Intelligence) to keep customers interested. The company is introducing the app Yoox Mirror that will let customers take up to 250 item view a week. They will be able to save their favorite outfits in the app, style them together, see them on avatar Daisy and share them with friends. The technology for the app was created by an internal Research and Development team.


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