Welcome back to The Spin! As big tech is facing increased scrutiny, WeWork opens its first retail and co-working space in Manhattan. We also tell you, which designer just set the Paris rumor mill on fire - and which unexpected find delayed the opening of Oscar de la Renta's Paris flagship store. Enjoy the read and have a wonderful day, Ulrike


Raising the stakes. As tech giants like Facebook and Google are coming under fire, their often-envied style of “moving fast and breaking things” is losing its appeal with venture capitalists. To match a new paradigm of stakeholder accountability, the new generation of disruptors, like blockchain, genomics and AR/VR specialists, will have to change their approach from aggressive growth to one of virtuous vision with purpose and viable solutions for potential worst-case scenarios.

EuroCIS is held annually for only three days. But it has an effect every day - everywhere in retail, where the many ideas, innovations and technologies of the exhibitors are successfully implemented and applied by the visitors. EuroCIS 2019: February19-21. Plan your visit today:


Parallel universe. The nicest Sears stores are actually not run by the American Sears Holdings Corporation, but by Carlos Slim’s Grupo Sanborns in Mexico, who also operates the Mexican franchise of Saks Fifth Avenue. Sears has been present in Mexico since 1947 (in Spanish) and currently operates almost 100 modern looking stores. In Q3, strong traffic helped grow sales at Sears Mexico by 4 percent to about $315 million.

New kid on the block. The We Company behind the WeWork concept just opened its first retail and co-working concept. MadeByWe is located at 902 Broadway in the Flatiron District. Offering curated goods to its members as well as the public, the “town square” style space aims to create meaningful human connections. Retailers include Dynomighty Design (wallets and laptop cases), Memobottle (reusable water bottles), and Miks Letterpress offering handmade stationary.


Missing in action. Karl Lagerfeld’s time at Chanel might be coming to an end. Rumors started swirling a few seasons ago, when Chanel’s director of the creative studio, Virginie Viard, began to accompany Lagerfeld during his final bow at the end of shows. Yesterday, the 85-year-old fashion czar missed the Chanel couture show altogether - for the first time ever - setting the rumor mill on fire. According to Chanel, Lagerfeld was just tired.

Looking for leadership. After 15 years at the helm, Mickey Drexler will step down as chairman of US fashion retailer J. Crew to focus on his Drexler Ventures LLC. The position went to retired Vice Chairman at Citigroup and J. Crew director Chad Leat. J. Crew is also looking for a new CEO. Drexler held that position until 2017. His successor, Jim Brett, resigned in November 2018 after 16 months in the position.

From Benvenuto to Baldessarini. Justo Gallardo has been named managing director for sales, product and marketing at German premium label Baldessarini. For the past three years, Gallardo held the managing director position at Leithäuser-owned menswear label Benvenuto, and has also worked for Roy Robson and Atelier Gardeur in the past. At Baldessarini, he now shares (paywall; in German) leadership with managing director Eric Sperber, who will focus on Baldessarini licenses and eCommerce as well as the entire licensing business of the holding, Ahlers AG.


Getting serious. As modest fashion expands from niche to mainstream, US investment bank Goldman Sachs has taken a minority stake in Istanbul-based online retailer Modanisa, which has been offering conservative clothing in a broad range of colors since 2011. In 2017, Muslims spent about $270 billion on fashion, with experts expecting the market to reach $360 billion by 2023. Online fashion retailer Modanisa currently counts about two million customers in 130 countries.


Hidden treasure. The unexpected find of an exceptional 10-by-20-foot Arnold de Vuez oil painting from 1674 behind a wall in Paris’ Oscar de la Renta flagship store, which is currently under construction, has delayed the store’s opening. Originally scheduled to coincide with the Paris couture shows (January 21-24), the location is now expected to open in May - with lots of additional security.


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