Welcome back to The Spin! Today, there’s a strong focus on celebrities with news about projects by Beyoncé and Kate Hudson. We also tell you, which French luxury retailer has introduced fanny packs and skateboards for a younger clientele, and which countries are consistently increasing their fashion relevance. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


New frontiers. As the retail apocalypse rattles the Western world, and events like NY Fashion Week have started to crumble, the scene in lesser explored locations like Qatar and Africa moves into the spotlight. As Qatar celebrates its inaugural Fashion Trust Arabia prize, Conde Nast is allegedly looking for a location for its soon-to-be launched Vogue Africa.


Skating with Hermès. French luxury brand Hermès has opened (paywall) a store for a new generation. Located at 46-48 Gansevoort Street in New York’s Meatpacking District, the 900m2 location will offer the entire assortment with a strong focus on scents, jewelry and accessories including fanny packs (paywall) and skateboards. To support the brand's growing online business, it will also offer services like in-store orders and returns.

Big on babies. Following the closure of the US Toys R Us and Babies R Us chains, large discounters are honing in on the market. Walmart just rolled out a mobile-focused online baby registry with thousands of new products and features, utilizing a chat bot to personalize the process. Target launched a furniture line for kids with sensory sensitivities, and J.C.Penney opened baby shops in 500 stores last August. Meanwhile, Toys R Us is planning a US comeback for the 2019 holiday season.


Designing with Beyoncé. German sports giant Adidas has named (translated by Google) US pop star Beyoncé Knowles creative partner. Together they want to promote young athletes, launch new Adidas products including a shoe line, and relaunch Beyoncé's sportswear label Ivy Park. Knowles took over all rights for Ivy Park, which was introduced in 2016 with British fashion chain Topshop, after Topshop-owner Sir Philip Green was accused of racial, physical and sexual abuse.

Bohemian Rhapsody. In additional celebrity news, US actress Kate Hudson of Fabletics fame has launched a ready-to-wear clothing line. Designed in collaboration with Michele Manz, eco-friendly Happy x Nature is inspired by Hudson’s love of bohemian hippie looks. Owned by Retailwinds, which also owns New York & Company, the Happy x Nature collection (images) will be available at HappyxNature.com and select New York & Company stores.


#recharge. Katie Finnegan, founding principal of Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 and CEO of its Spatial& V-commerce division, is leaving the retail giant on June 7, after a seven year tenure. The move comes as the entire retail industry re-evaluates costly innovation initiatives and their actual return on investment. Finnegan was listed among Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business 2018".

Mourning Luigi Massi. During the 33 years he worked for Italian luxury company Atelier Versace, the designer contributed to dresses for top stars including Lady Gaga, Uma Thurman, Céline Dion and Angelina Jolie. Luigi Massi died (in Italian) during the night of April 3 in Milan, most likely from a heart attack. He was 56 years old.


Beyond burqa. Before moving to the Netherlands and New York, the "Contemporary Muslim Fashions" exhibition has opened in Frankfurt. Featuring 80 ensembles from haute couture to street and sports wear it aims to demystify Islamic clothing and to show its creativity and diversity beyond burqa and niqab. The exhibition has already triggered fierce political discussions and even received hate mail resulting in admission controls. April 4-September 15 at the Museum Angewandte Kunst.


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