Here's a new edition of The Spin to get your Monday and the new workweek off to an well-informed start. All eyes are still on the men's catwalks in Italy while one of the world's most famous jewelers has made a major announcement about how it sources gems. As the Chinese New Year rapidly approaches, fashion brands are still making marketing blunders in China and yet another retailer has announced it will be reducing its physical presence. And a new jeans silhouette is kind of breaking the Internet. Enjoy the read! Best, Christopher


Men of Milan. The latest edition of Milan Fashion Week Men's will conclude this evening with the 6pm show of Numero 00 before the men's shows resume in Paris starting tomorrow. Highlights from Milan thus far include the first show by Dolce & Gabbana since their China kerfuffle, which stressed Italian elegance, a new form of "daring masculinity" at Versace, a Zegna collection for multigenerational global citizens and the 20th anniversary collection by Neil Barrett, which was punk inspired.


Ethics at Tiffany's. Tiffany & Co. is becoming transparent about where and how it sources its diamonds. Its new Diamond Source Initiative will reveal the region or country of origin of the precious stones and by 2020 also include where they were cut and polished via an invisible serial number. The initiative will ensure that the diamonds are ethically mined and thereby potentially attract younger customers who are generally more concerned with such issues than older ones.


Shutdown downsides. The ongoing partial federal government shutdown in the US, now the longest in history, will cost the US economy $6 billion – more than the cost of the proposed border wall – if it continues for another two weeks according to data released by S&P Global Ratings on Friday. Experts say the lack of worker paychecks is bound to reduce consumer spending and negatively affect retail. In addition, closed or neglected national parks are certain to have a bad effect on outdoor retailers especially.

German Federation. In preparation for Berlin Fashion Week, which kicks off today, Germany has officially launched its first industry association (paywall) to promote the work of its fashion designers. Called the German Fashion Designers Federation, or GFDF, the new organization is similar in scope and approach to France's Federation or the CFDA in the US. Unlike those two invite-only organizations though, GFDF (homepage) membership is open to all German or Germany-based designers, including students.

China syndrome. Dolce & Gabbana is not the only fashion brand to make a marketing gaffe in China recently. Burberry has pulled its WeChat Lunar New Year campaign after it was criticized for resembling Chinese horror films and now Bulgari is under fire for its Year of the Pig campaign that could be highly offensive to Jews. Gucci, however, seems to have hit the bullseye – and not offended anyone – with its Chinese New Year 2019 collection that features Disney's Three Little Pigs on clothes and accessories.

Military ban. Camouflage prints and military-inspired looks may be hot fashion trends (paywall) at the moment but don't plan on wearing these so-called "warcore" looks in Oman. The Arab nation has just banned civilians from wearing military styles. Offenders can be fined more than $5,000 for doing so.


Chipping away Chico's. North American womenswear retailer Chico's, which currently operates about 1,400 stores in the US and Canada, says its will close at least 250 stores in the next three years as part of an "optimization plan." The list of affected store locations was not revealed but the company said they would include its eponymous brand as well as its two other arms, White House Black Market and Soma. Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, Chico's is increasingly placing emphasis on its digital business.

Pop-up pros. With the current retail environment rife with available space and thus a positive one for pop-ups, Appear Here, a London-based marketplace that helps retailers find short-term space, is doing booming business. The company says demand for temporary spaces rose 296 percent last year. It has also just launched its third Space for Ideas competition, which will be judged by high-profile fashion names, and award four winners free two-week spaces in London, Paris, New York or Los Angeles.


Provocative pants. A pair of asymmetric jeans – with one flared leg and one fitted one – created by Ukrainian designer Ksenia Schnaider is the latest fashion product to set social media abuzz. Since she posted a picture of the pants on Instagram last week thousands have commented on the unusual design. While the jeans have many a sarcastic hater they also received more than 2,500 likes on Instagram as of last night.


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