Sep
 10
 2019



Christopher

Hello,

Welcome to a new edition of The Spin. On this second Tuesday in September you'll read how Shopify is flying high, discover why a famous designer will be laying low for a while, learn about two recently filed lawsuits by major fashion brands and hear the heartwarming true tale of how a creative kid's efforts were ultimately applauded. Enjoy the read and feel free to share it. Best, Christopher



retail

Excelling in e-comm. According to a note published by financial firm R.W. Baird yesterday, Shopify is set to exceed eBay's sales volume later this year and thereby dethrone it as the second largest e-commerce site in the US after Amazon. As part of its ongoing expansion, Shopify will have more than 1 million companies using its services by year's end. It also announced that it is buying the warehouse automation/robot company 6 Rivers Systems for $425 million. The acquisition will help Shopify further strengthen its fulfillment service.


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people

Adieu to Alibaba. As he announced last year, Jack Ma, the billionaire cofounder of Alibaba, is officially retiring as the huge Chinese conglomerate's executive chairman today, his 55th birthday. China's richest man with a personal worth of almost $40 billion, he has led the now $460 billion business that brought e-commerce to China since it started in 1999. He will continue to have some say in the company via his membership on the Alibaba Partnership consultancy group but intends to devote most of his time to philanthropy and education.



Absent Abloh. Per doctor's orders, Virgil Abloh is slowing down his work and travel schedule. The Off-White founder-designer and artistic director of Louis Vuitton men's said his doctor has told him not to travel so he will be "working from home" in Chicago for the next three months and cancelling all public and marketing appearances, including the Off-White show in Paris later this month. However, the show will go on without him there. The busy "it" guy did not disclose the nature of his medical ailment.





brands

Selling suit 1... Outdoor brand Patagonia, which recently issued an open letter request to Amazon and other huge corporations to stress ethical practices as much as profits, is now trying to stop an Amazon third-party seller from offering Patagonia products on the site. In a lawsuit filed in California last week, Patagonia alleges that the third-party shop called My Little Corner is using its name and logo without its permission, gouging prices and thus harming its relationship with authorized vendors. Unsurprisingly, Amazon itself is also not an an authorized Patagonia vendor.



... and selling suit 2. Michael Kors is another fashion brand that is seeking to protect its reputation and merchandise by recently filing a lawsuit. The company is suing a flea market in New Haven, Connecticut for allegedly turning a blind eye for years to its vendors who sell counterfeit MK and other designer merchandise. The complaint says that an inspector recently discovered more than 500 fake items at the market. Previous similar cases have ruled that flea-market operators are in fact responsible for ensuring that their vendors don't sell counterfeits.



No pictures, please. One of the most highly anticipated events of New York Fashion Week – Rihanna's second Savage X Fenty show – will take place in Brooklyn today. As a video of this presentation of the highly successful lingerie line will air on Amazon Prime on September 20, all attendees are forbidden (paywall) to take photos or videos and will have their cell phones locked in special cases by security officials. Rihanna also said that a limited capsule from the brand will be sold to raise money to help victims of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas.



Kurt shirts. A new officially authorized clothing collection based on the artwork and writings of the late Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain launched at retailers such as Barneys New York and Selfridge's yesterday. The 50-piece collection of tops was curated by Cobain's daughter Frances Bean Cobain and is called "Kurt Was Here." It's produced via a partnership with Live Nation Merchandise and Cobain's estate.





last

Happy ending. After being bullied at school for creating and wearing a homemade version of a University of Tennessee T-shirt on College Colors Day because he did not own any official UT merchandise, a Florida fourth grader has gotten the last laugh. His teacher posted his creation on social media and the university sent him a package filled with official school gear. Making the story even sweeter, UT has issued a T-shirt using his homemade design which it will sell to raise money to support anti-bullying groups.







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