Welcome back to this new edition of The Spin. Once again we are looking at Brexit's potential impact on the industry while British politicians are voting no, no and no to every alternative. In other parts of the world, Prada shares stumble on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Chinese executives are enrolling in a new program to learn about sustainability in fashion. Last but not least, Gucci promises to achieve cultural diversity in North America and Asia. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.


May's nightmare. Once again Brexit negotiators are the stars of the British parliament as the prime minister Theresa May tries to get the green light for her plan. In the event of a no deal, the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) has looked into the impact of a temporary tariff on 80 fashion lines. Imports from Turkey, a major supplier of the industry, would be 12% more expensive. Italian wool fabric would enter England duty free, while British wool would face a 8% tax in Italy.

Sports reunion. British chain JD Sports (2400 stores) is buying (paywall) its smaller competitor Footasylum (65 stores) for £90 million. JD Sports already owns an 18.7% stake in the company and its cash offer is an 80% premium on Friday's closing price. Footasylum has been going through a difficult time and has succumbed to the offer. The 2 retailers have close ties. David Mankin, the creator of Footasylum in 2005 was JD Sports co-founder.

Hong Kong's stumble. Prada shares tumbled down (Paywall) 11% Monday on Hong Kong stock exchange as investors worried about the brand's performance in China. Overall, Prada sales in greater China increased 8% last year but the company experienced a slowdown during the second semester in Hong Kong and Macau. Chinese tourists are reducing their spending because of the Yuan's weakness. Prada has suffered while its big rivals Louis Vuitton and Dior fare much better.


Focusing on older women. Daniel Gutting has been promoted (paywall, translated by Google) CEO of the TriStyle group. The 52 year old executive has been (in German) a member of the Munich based fashion company since 2016. In his new role he will concentrate on the digital transformation of TriStyle (Peter Hahn, Madeleine, Long Tall Sally). The company (€590 million in revenue), part of Equistone Parners Europe focuses on older women, 45 +.

From car to shoes. Under Armour has appointed Kasey Jarvis as its new chief design officer. The graduate from Brigham Young University has nearly 20 years of experience in apparel, footwear, equipment and automotive design. He has worked for Nike and General Motors and lately was head of design at Black Diamond Equipment, a Utah mountain climbing and skiing company. Kevin Plank, Under Armour's chairman, expects him to bring solutions "athletes never knew they needed and can't imagine living without."

Poaching. The British clothing brand Jack Wills has poached (paywall) Claire Wain from the women's wear chain Jigsaw to be its next finance director. The former Jigsaw board member and past finance director at Mothercare also worked at John Lewis as head of merchandising. Claire Wain will join Jack Wills in April and will report to its new CEO, Suzanne Harlow. The retailer (£129.3 million in revenue) recently completed a significant refinancing program.


Green education. Chinese TV host and fashion icon Yue Sai Kan is collaborating with the New York based platform WeDesign to relaunch the Executive Education in Sustainable Fashion Program. Beginning March 25, Chinese executives will have access to free online courses led by industry experts. Then a group of 15 executives will travel to New York and Copenhagen to participate in several fashion summits, focused on sustainability.

Mea culpa. Gucci is pledging (paywall) $11.5 million in a 3 pronged Changemakers program to achieve cultural diversity and awareness throughout its organization. The initiative follows a February debacle when Gucci had to recall a line of sweaters that had a blackface motif. The Italian company is investing in programs in North America and Asia Pacific to build better relations within communities. It is also underwriting a scholarship fund to support diverse talents in North America.


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