Welcome to a new edition of The Spin. As you must have heard by now, the fashion world is mourning the death of Karl Lagerfeld and we're already getting a glimpse of what it's going to look like without him. (A lot less interesting, aside.) There are also staff changes at Gerry Weber and Tiger of Sweden. And Tom Tailor is about to be controlled by the Chinese. Enjoy the read. Best, Christopher


Lagerfeld's legacy. Shockwaves and sadness struck the fashion world yesterday upon the afternoon announcement that Karl Lagerfeld, a fashion designer who was truly nonpareil, died in a Paris hospital at age 85 from pancreatic cancer. The native German served as the creative director of Chanel and Fendi since 1983 and 1965 respectively, had his own eponymous brand – which will continue – and also worked as a photographer, publisher and author. Tributes immediately started pouring in across social media including one from his beloved cat Coupette. Chanel has already named Virginie Viard, his longtime right hand there, as his successor; Fendi will announce theirs at a later date.


Winning Williams. UK designer Bethany Williams, 29, was presented with the second annual Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, following her runway show at London Fashion Week yesterday. The award is bestowed upon young designers for their contributions to fashion and societal good. Williams was singled out for her use of recycled and repurposed materials and for working with a women's shelter to help create her collection.

Ta-ta, Tiger. Hans-Christian Meyer, who served as the CEO of Tiger of Sweden for a little more than a year, has resigned from the label. The change (in Danish) is effective immediately and will not affect the brand's financial outlook for the 2018-19 fiscal year the board said. No reason was given for the departure of the industry veteran, who has more than 25 years of experience in fashion.

Gerry gets Gursu. Troubled German retailer Gerry Weber has named (translated by Google; paywall) Urun Gursu as chief product officer (CPO) as part of its restructuring. Gursu will assume the role (in German) starting March 1 and be in charge of the product and creative activities of the Gerry Weber Group and head the newly created Group Purchasing department. He previously worked at Esprit and Mango.


Taking Tom. Fosun International, a Chinese conglomerate that is already an investor in German brand Tom Tailor, has launched a takeover of it. Fosun will increase its stake to 35.35 percent; because that will surpass the 30 percent mark it automatically classifies the move as a takeover offer according to German law. The transaction will add €8.6 million in capital and increase Tom Tailor's value to €96 million.


Walmart wows. Bucking the overall slowdown in retail, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, posted surprisingly healthy Q4 numbers yesterday. Comparable sales in the US rose 4.2 percent for the period and the giant saw a 43 percent rise in online sales. CFO Brett Briggs also noted that the chain intends to increase sales of apparel in the coming months and years.

Coming to America. As of yesterday, Pull and Bear, the Inditex-owned fast fashion brand/retail chain geared toward trendy, youthful customers, is available in the US. Sold there online via its own webshop (paywall) only for now, the US is the label's 34th market in the world. Inditex has not said whether it plans to open brick-and-mortar Pull and Bear shops in the US eventually as well.

Fighting fast fashion. Fast fashion retailers such as Inditex are coming under fire this week for promoting "disposable" clothing that harms the environment and for rapidly knocking off original designs. Some members of the UK Parliament are calling for a small tax to be implemented on all clothing – fast or not – to fund a proposed £35 million clothing recycling initiative. Likewise, Kim Kardashian recently took to Twitter to criticize sites such as Fashion Nova for immediately copying her designer outfits.


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