Welcome back to The Spin! Today we check out the latest economic data. We also reveal, which mall operator has just launched an outlet shopping platform, and how a young Muslim woman in Tokyo is single-handedly lifting the headscarf to new fashion heights. Enjoy the read, and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Small expectations. At 2.3 percent, the US economy grew slightly slower than expected in the first quarter of 2019. Amid trade policy tensions and concerns about global financial stability, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has now lowered its 2019 annual forecast for domestic product growth from 2.5 percent to 2.2 percent.


Simon's platform. To drive more traffic to its shopping centers, mall operator Simon Property Group is testing an online outlet shopping site. The Simon Premium Outlets platform features more than 300,000 items from nearly 2,000 participating brands including Karl Lagerfeld and Cole Haan at prices up to 65 percent off regular retail. The beta test is being conducted with members of Simon Group’s VIP Shopper Club members. If successful, it will be most likely rolled out further.


From Mahoola to Marandi. Anya Hindmarch has a new investor. The Marandi family, which also holds investments in Emilia Wickstead, Soho House and Wed2Be, has bought a majority stake in the British fashion label for an undisclosed sum. Hindmarsh will remain with the company as creative director and board member. The deal follows news that Hindmarch parted ways with long-time Qatari backer Mayhoola.

Passionate process. A look inside Louis Vuitton’s Manufacture de Souliers shoe factory in Fiesso, Italy, explains why some designer sneakers, like Virgil Abloh’s LV 408 style for Spring 2019, cost $1,600 at retail. Workers at the factory are trained for years and well paid, as production combines centuries-old methods with modern technology. Still, the LV408 style is currently blowing up social media for both its price and its visible similarities to the 1988 Avia 880, worn at the time by pro basketballers like Scottie Pippen.


Dip n' dance. German Otto Group, which just announced its plan to be the first apparel retailer to issue (paywall) sustainability bonds, has grown a lot slower than expected. According to preliminary data, the Hamburg-based retailer recorded like-for-like growth of 3.5 percent in fiscal 2018/19, about half the growth rate of the previous year. So far, Otto doesn't seem (paywall; translated by Google) concerned by the dip, sticking to its revenue target of €17 billion by 2022.

MyTheresa's men. Next spring, Munich-based MyTheresa is going to expand (paywall; translated by Google) into menswear. So far, the online luxury retailer, which is owned by Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group, has focused exclusively on women’s and kids’ wear. According to German fashion trade magazine TextilWirtschaft, the company is in the process of building a menswear buying team and has already recruited KaDeWe's menswear buyer Mehmet Deniz, who has also worked for Harvey Nichols in the past. He will join MyTheresa on May 1 in a similar position.


From G-Star to Tigha. Axel Schukies, a 25-year veteran at G-Star, is leaving (paywall; translated by Google) the Amsterdam-based jeans wear label to take the position of international sales director at Tigha, effective April 1. His former position of retail director at G-Star will most likely be eliminated as part of the ongoing restructuring. Over at Dusseldorf-based leather specialist Tigha, Schukies plans to strengthen and internationally expand the label.


Lifting the headscarf. Posting beautiful images of women in hijab, Instagrammer Rahmalia Aufa Yazid is moving the headscarf beyond the boundaries of religion into a new fashionable context. Yazid, who was born in Tokyo to Indonesian parents, only started to wear hijab at age 18. Initially struggling with its impersonality, she was inspired by designer Hana Tajima and started to mix in popular Japanese fashion elements to find and build compelling outfits around it.


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