Welcome to this new edition of The Spin. Today, the American handbag industry is relieved because Donald Trump has delayed his tariff hike on Chinese exports. Meanwhile in England, Asda, the WalMart subsidiary, is looking for a new buyer. In this time of pre-Brexit uncertainties, acquisitions are not easy to conclude and corporate leaders are frantic. Clarks got a new CEO but Philip Green's Taveta Investments and Superdry lost their chairmen. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.


Tweet impact. Shanghai stocks just had their best day in 3 years yesterday, after president Donald Trump tweeted during the week end that he was delaying a major tariff hike on Chinese exports so as to give the United States and China more time to reach a trade deal. The US government was due to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports in March. The handbag industry executives in America salute (paywall) that positive development. For the moment, they are avoiding a 25% rise in tariffs.

Circling. The $9.5 billion deal that would let British giant supermarket chain J Sainsbury take over Asda, the WalMart subsidiary, is in jeopardy, since Theresa May's government expressed tough regulatory concerns. Another buyer is circling around Asda, private equity giant, KKK. The American investor is teaming up (paywall) with former Asda CEO Tony De Nunzio to explore a possible deal. Naturally, in this precarious pre-Brexit time, the buyout firm would only pounce at a smaller price.


The new shoemaker. The Italian executive Giorgio Presca, former head of Golden Goose, will become CEO of the British footwear brand Clarks in March. He replaces Mike Shearwood, who resigned last year following allegations of inappropriate behavior. Giorgio Presca has the reputation of a turn around expert. He has more than 20 years of experience in the fashion industry. He headed Geox for 4 years and had senior leadership positions at Diesel, VF Corp and Levi Strauss.

The baroness quits. Karren Brady quits (paywall) as chairman of Philip Green's holding company, Taveta Investments, which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins. The baroness was under pressure for months to speak about accusations of racial and sexual harassment lodged against Philip Green. Professionals speculate that her departure could precipitate more revelations about Sir Philip. Karen Brady is famous as the first lady of football, having made a career at Birmingham City and West Ham United.

Bye bye Superdry. Peter Bamford, 64, the chairman of the youth fashion retailer Superdry will step down by the end of the year, after 9 years on the board of the company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Peter Bamford's departure will put (paywall) more pressure on the CEO Euan Sutherland to turn around the company. Co-founder Julian Dunkerton, still owner of an 18% stake in the company, is very critical of the business plan followed by the 515 stores operated by Superdry.


Forget Milan. Now its Paris Fashion Week until March 5. The week is overbooked (paywall) with 76 runway shows, marked on the official calendar. Fashionistas and buyers will discover Bruno Sialelli, the new creator of Lanvin. They will also see the first collection of Louise Trotter for Lacoste and the double effort of Rushmy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh at Nina Ricci. Les gilets jaunes, aka the yellow vests have their own show on Saturday but the demonstrators shouldn't mingle with the fashion crowd.

The grand prize. French group LVMH just announced the names of the 20 semi finalists who made the list. They are competing for the 2019 edition of the LVMH prize. It is a coveted award because it helped launch the career of past recipients such as Marine Serre, Grace Wales Bonner or Marques Almeida. Now the fabulous 20 will be reduced to 8 finalists and one of them will win the grand prize of €300 000. London based Kiko Kostadinov and Stefan Cooke are among the happy few.


Target's secret. Target, the eighth largest American retailer, is challenging (paywall) Victoria's Secret, the market leader in lingerie. The company is launching 3 new brands of bras (Auden), underwear (Colsie) and pajamas (Stars Above) in March. The objective? Exploit the shift in consumer preference toward less structured garments. The new Target bras will cost less than $22 and will include plus sizes. This anti-Victoria's Secret offer should generate $1 billion in annual revenue.


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