Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! Canada's Hudson's Bay continues its reorganization with the evaluation of a possible sale of Lord & Taylor. We also tell you, which 73-year-old country music star has just signed her first licensing deal - and explain the meaning of Camp, which is this year's theme for the highly anticipated Met Gala. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Ulrike


HBC's divestiture. Canadian retail group HBC could end up selling its US department store chain Lord & Taylor. The company is officially pursuing "strategic alternatives" including a possible sale or merger. Lord & Taylor is struggling to adapt to a changing retail environment and the parent company needs to improve its cost structure. HBC, which is part owner of Galeria Kaufhof in Germany, would take advantage of Lord & Taylor's real estate value to reduce its debt.

Ripple effect. Following the bankruptcy of Swiss Charles Vögele Holding, the Austrian arm of the company could soon be history as well. Last Friday, the Graz-based fashion company filed (paywall; translated by Google) for bankruptcy. A restructuring plan has not been submitted. According to the filing, remaining cash reserves are about €3.4 million, with liabilities estimated at about €6 million. The company employs 394 people and operates 57 stores. Charles Vögele Holding was bought in 2016 by a consortium called Sempione Fashion, which went bankrupt last year.


Madame Butterfly. Despite China’s gender imbalance, overall spending by Chinese women continues to soar. To capture that compelling segment, marketers have been creating specific shopping events for women, including the Butterfly Festival and Goddess Festival (press release). China’s so-called sheconomy is currently valued about $670 billion, with women accounting for about 55 percent of all online spending.

It's a prince. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son's arrival is good news for the kidswear market. According to the Centre for Retail Research, the seventh in line to the throne could boost (paywall) spending on baby products by $1.5 billion over the next couple of years. Suffice to look at his cousins' effect on the market to appreciate the royal power. When George was born in 2013, his christening shawl sold out.


Building an empire. US country music singer Dolly Parton has signed her first global licensing deal with IMG for the design, production and distribution of fashion, accessories, jewelry and home decor. The multi-year contract is designed to create an entire lifestyle brand for the 73-year-old icon, who sold well over 100 million records, and whose fan base on Instagram alone counts more than 1.8 million followers. Her glamorous style has been noted for years, and she even inspired a Gucci jacket (image) for Spring 2019.

Changing focus. Last December, Hugo Boss let its contract as fashion supplier for the German national soccer team quietly expire (translated by Google) to focus on soccer sponsoring and the expansion of club partnerships. Hugo Boss currently supplies (in German) FC Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, AS Rome and Tottenham Hotspurs, and also works with Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos and - for ten years now - Mario Gomez.


Facing consequences. Facebook and the US Federal Trade Commission are about to finalize negotiations for a settlement related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In addition to a record-setting fine of $3 billion to $5 billion, it would require the social media platform to appoint an approved privacy official, and form an independent privacy oversight committee. There are also discussions about naming Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg chief compliance officer, making him personally accountable (paywall) for the company's handling of privacy issues.


Is it Camp? Last night's MET Gala (paywall), the Oscars of the fashion industry, was inspired by Camp, a nod to "notes on Camp", a 1964 essay by Susan Sontag. That slippery concept is (paywall) about bad taste as a vehicle for good art, love of the unnatural, artifice and extravagance. For Gucci, the main sponsor of the New York event, Camp means gender bending suits, for Viktor and Rolf it means exaggerated theatrics, and for Virgil Abloh, strange quotation marks. Even Donald Trump could be considered Camp...


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