Welcome back to The Spin! Today we examine how US President Donald Trump’s China tariffs might actually foster the business of counterfeiters. We also reveal which organization considers the appointment of Tom Ford as their new chairman, and which German sport retailer is about to open 60 stores in the US. Enjoy the read - and your weekend! Best, Ulrike


Collateral damage. According to the FBI, counterfeit goods cost the US economy an estimated $600 billion a year or 3 percent of its gross domestic product. Now, the current trade war between the US and China might further fuel the fakers. Counterfeiters have started using new technologies like 3D printing to make increasingly undistinguishable copies of designer goods, also called Super Fakes. Others have found new ways to hijack legitimate brands to get fakes onto international selling platforms, putting increased pressure on Customs and Border Protection.

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Rumor has it. Tom Ford is likely to succeed (paywall) Diane von Furstenberg at the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Von Furstenberg has been leading the CFDA since 2006, when she succeeded Stan Herman as president. She was named chairman in 2015. Under her leadership, American fashion went through dramatic changes culminating in the current volatile climate. With his broad experience including a long tenure at Gucci and experiments with see now/buy now concept, Ford would lend a unique, high-end perspective to the CFDA.

Losing de Libran. Amidst rumors of a possible sale, Sonia Rykiel’s creative director Julie de Libran has left (in French) the French fashion house. De Libran has been with Sonia Rykiel since 2014. Following her departure, the label’s design team is going to be reorganized. The loss-making company, which is owned by Fung Group’s investment arm First Heritage Brands (formerly Fung Brands), also announced (paywall) that it is looking for a new investor to increase its development.


Beat It! In the wake of a damning documentary about Michael Jackson’s alleged child abuse, Virgil Abloh has decided to eliminate all pieces that feature explicit Michael Jackson elements from his Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2019 menswear collection. Leaving Neverland (trailer) was released in the US on March 3 and 4 and in the UK on March 6 and 7, prompting several radio stations to ban Jackson’s songs and stars like Drake to discontinue their collaboration with the late performer.

X-ing out zLabels. German online retailer Zalando has just announced the closure (paywall; translated by Google) of its private label subsidiary, zLabels, by the end of this month. About 550 jobs are affected. Under zLabels, Zalando ran 12 brands including Anna Field, Kiomi, Pier One, Zalando Essentials and Zign. zLabels was launched in 2012 with 17 labels and spun off in 2016 with the intention to expand globally, specifically to the US and China.


Sending Snipes overseas. As part of its global expansion, German shoe retailer Deichmann has bought Philadelphia-based sneaker chain KicksUSA, planning (paywall; translated by Google) to re-brand its 64 stores Snipes. Snipes has been part of the Deichmann Group since 2011 and currently operates more than 230 stores in nine European countries. Deichmann has been active in the US since 1984 with the acquisition of Lerner Shoes, which later became Rack Room Shoes. Including Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, which Deichmann acquired in 2001, the Group operates over 520 stores in the US. It plans to launch in China, the Middle East, Estonia, Poland and Latvia later this year.

Clipped wings. To return to profitability, German Adler Modemärkte AG is going to close (paywall; translated by Google) up to 17 stores this year, representing about 10 percent of the Haibach-based fashion retailer’s store network and about 2 percent of its €507 million sales volume. As part of its location optimization program, the group also plans up to six new stores at promising locations, the increase of its private labels from 75 percent to 85 percent of the assortment, and the expansion of its CRM activities.


Unexpected malfunctions. Just one week before the planned opening of Munich’s new shopping center Forum Schwanthalerhöhe the event was indefinitely postponed (paywall; translated by Google). According to developer HBB, tests revealed "unexpected technology malfunctions" which could not be fixed in time. The 25,000m² center is one of Germany’s most important new building projects this year. Tenants include (in German) H&M, Guess, Foot Locker, Calzedonia and Décathlon.


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