Welcome back to The Spin! Today we look into new abuse allegations at fashion factories in Lesotho. We also tell you, which US retail chain is getting into the apparel rental subscription business, and why several designers have withdrawn their upcoming NYFW shows from the new Hudson Yards-based venue, The Shed. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


#ThemToo. A two-year investigation (press release) by the US-based Worker Rights Consortium into sexual harassment and coercion allegations at garment factories in the African country of Lesotho reveals, that females who produce jeans for American brands like Levi’s, Wrangler and Lee are routinely forced to have sex with their bosses. According to interviews with about 140 workers, women largely comply to keep their jobs. Brands have responded by signing enforceable agreements with labor and women’s rights groups to eliminate gender-based violence.


Shedding The Shed. As reported, Related Companies’ Chairman Stephen Ross has irritated New York’s liberal fashion scene by hosting a massive fundraiser for US President Donald Trump at his estate in Southampton. In response, several designers including Prabal Gurung and Rag & Bone have withdrawn their New York fashion shows from the new event space, The Shed. The Shed is located at the Hudson Yards, which has been co-developed by Related. Meanwhile, Facebook is looking to increase its office space at Hudson Yards.



Banana box. Banana Republic is the latest retailer getting in on the lucrative apparel subscription box business. At the end of September and just in time for the profitable holiday season, the Gap-owned chain will launch its Style Passport service. For a monthly fee of $85, subscribers receive three women’s items with unlimited returns and exchanges. Customers can also purchase (press release) items they’d like to keep. Menswear will be added at a later date.


Not so Bonita. Due to a dramatic downturn at its Bonita brand, German fashion company Tom Tailor Group recorded (paywall; translated by Google) a 6.8 percent sales drop in Q2, with profits down 13 percent. According to preliminary figures, Bonita’s Q2 sales fell (in Dutch) 28 percent to €49.9 million. Since the brand’s sale to Amsterdam-based Victory&Dreams International Holding fell through, Tom Tailor is now looking for a new buyer. The company’s namesake brand reported a sales increase of 3.7 percent.

Fast and furious. Following Bree’s opening of insolvency proceedings in May, the 49-year-old bag manufacturer from Hamburg/Germany has found (in German) a yet unnamed investor with roots in the leather production and finishing business. The takeover has already led to personnel changes. CEO Stefan Treiber as well as Product and Brand Director Justina Rokita will leave (paywall; translated by Google) the company, with Sales Director Heidi Otto taking over the CEO position.


A man of simple tastes. In a comprehensive background story on Tom Ford, who has just taken on the position of Chairman at the CFDA, US Vogue reveals the designer and filmmaker’s driving forces, including his search for perfection, his desire to make other people beautiful, and his need for quiet and solitude. We also find out, what an abundance of color can do to his thinking process…

Explosive move. Franco Savastano, CEO at Zurich-based department store Jelmoli since November 2011, is joining (paywall; translated by Google) a competitor. On Ocober 1, the 53-year-old will take up the GM position at the Migros-owned department store group Globus. In addition to overseeing Globus’ merchandise business he will be deputy to CEO Thomas Herbert. Since Migros announced plans (in French) to divest Globus, Savastano’s move might be a step towards a management buyout.


Valuable Waffle. US hotel developer The Graduate has bought a pair of handmade Nike track shoes from the 1972 Olympic trials for $50,000 to put it on display at its Nike-themed property in Eugene. The “moon shoe” style is known for its sole made using a waffle iron. It was sold by Dave Russell of Sacramento, who finished 55th in the trials. The price is actually a bargain, considering that a similar style recently sold for $437,500 at Sotheby’s, shattering the auction record for sneakers.


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