Daily Links

1. Fashion after the coronavirus: “The smaller-scale, direct-to-consumer brands have survived, and I believe they will come out stronger at the end of this crisis. They typically have their own production facility in their home countries or within easy reach. A lot of them are producing small quantities – they do not follow the typical fashion calendar. They just go with their intuition and produce collections according to what they can do.” – Read More on SCMP

2. Why Gap’s lawsuits could usher in new commercial real estate terms: In many cases, physical retailers may seek modification on leases’ force majeure clauses to include public health-related, government-mandated shutdowns. Meanwhile, digitally native brands — especially ones that believe in-person shopping experiences are still worth the investment — could opt for alternative short term space rentals via real estate platforms, who can then negotiate terms on their behalf. – Read More on Modern Retail

3. The Black in Fashion Council Will Establish an Equality Index Score for Companies Across the Industry: The new initiative enlisted the support of the Human Rights Campaign to establish an equality index score that will provide benchmarking around corporate policies and practices “pertinent to the inclusivity of Black employees.” – Read More on Vogue

4. Has the coronavirus pandemic stopped fashion’s rental revolution in its tracks? Fashion’s rental market particularly appealed to shoppers looking for ‘special occasion’ outfits. Now that consumers across the globe are stuck at home, the $1 billion=plus rental industry is facing a tough challenge. – Read More on the Telegraph

5. Zara and Primark factory workers say they were fired after forming union: Hundreds of workers at two factories in Myanmar that produce clothing for Zara and Primark were fired days after forming a union in a move workers say targeted union supporters under the pretense that layoffs were related to the coronavirus. – Read More on the Guardian

1. A Tidal Wave of Bankruptcies Is Coming: This year will easily set a record for so-called mega bankruptcies — filings by companies with $1 billion or more in debt. Experts expect the number of large bankruptcies — at least $100 million — to challenge the record set the year after the 2008 economic crisis. – Read More on the New York Times

2. Saks to Reopen Fifth Avenue Flagship With UV Handrail Cleaners, Video Shopping Service: “To set the tone in creating a safe and healthy environment for our customers, we knew we would have to exceed the minimum requirements,” Saks President Marc Metrick said. “Feeling safe is as important to luxury as it ever will be.” – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

3. Jail time for role in supplying luxury goods to N. Korea: A 32-year-old man whose father owns a department store chain in North Korea has been jailed for four weeks for his role in helping to source luxury goods from Singapore in an operation that breached United Nations sanctions. – Read More on Straits Times

4. RETRO READ: As North Korea Continues to Boost its Imports, a Look at the Role of Luxury in the Hermit Kingdom. Western luxury products – including leather goods and watches, as well as cars and upmarket electronics – made up almost 20 percent of North Korea’s total imports for 2016. Meanwhile, the country’s elite import $640 million worth of luxury goods in 2017. – Read More on TFL

5. The fashion industry must stop exploiting the cultures of the people it so often dismisses: High fashion brands repeatedly take “inspiration” from cultures, while at the same time, subjecting ethnic minorities to racist treatment in the fashion industry. – Read More on the Telegraph

6. Bentley Doubles Space for Parts Amid Brexit Trade Talks Concern: Luxury automaker Bentley said it has doubled warehousing capacity in a move that will help it cope with potential disruption if Britain fails to strike a trade deal with the European Union by a year-end deadline. As of last year, other brands, such as Burberry, and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned companies, are doing the same. – Read More on Bloomberg

1. Coronavirus Changed Everything. Except T.J. Maxx: T he discount chain isn’t looking to quickly ramp up e-commerce beyond its minuscule level or add new features allowing American customers to buy products online and pick them up in stores. It stopped taking online orders during the lockdowns and even now is limiting the number of items for sale on its website. – Read More on WSJ

2. Top Brands Responded on Instagram to George Floyd’s Killing: The variety of responses suggests that, as yet, there is no common Instagram playbook among top brands, whose strategies have ranged from statements of support and declarations of principle to curious adaptations of established branding and, in some cases, absolute silence. – Read More on Bloomberg

3. Brandless Is Back With a New Goal: Become, and Stay, Profitable. Brandless officially relaunches today after a joint acquisition by Utah PE firm Clarke Capital Partners and digital marketing agency Ikonifi. The relaunch comes with value bundles of minimalist beauty, CPG, and home goods products. – Read More on Morning Brew

4. RETRO READ: Brandless is Not Really Doing Away with Branding, According to Trademark Filing. Brandless made a name for itself by bucking the ostentatious logo trend, shunning branding in its quest for a widespread selection of a logo-free  products. But just how logo-less is Brandless’ existence? Well, not entirely. Minimalist-inspired branding is still branding, after all. – Read More on TFL

5. Meet the 24-year-old designer who made $1 million selling used clothes: The pandemic has been a boon to the online fashion resale market: Depop has seen a 300 percent increase in items sold between January and April compared to the same period last year. And that’s just the beginning. – Read More on Fast Co.

6. Kylie, Kendall, and Cardi B’s Unpaid Bills Have Left Garment Makers Starving: Kylie and Kendall Jenner’s line, Kendall + Kylie, is owned by Global Brands Group, who refused to pay its garment suppliers for orders produced in February and March following a drop in sales caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “Given the unpredictability of the situation, our retail partners have cancelled orders, and existing inventory and product in production may have no sell-through. Consequently, we have no choice but to make the difficult decision to cancel all S/S 2020 orders from all suppliers (without liability),” wrote Rick Darling, CEO of Global Brands Group in a letter dated March 21. – Read More on Remake

1. How private equity is gutting retail: In the bankruptcies of J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, and many others, it wasn’t just bad business practices and the rise of e-commerce that did them in, it was a direct result of the perils of leveraged buyouts –  the acquisition of a company using a significant amount of borrowed money. – See More on CNN

2. Online fashion stocks in vogue as coronavirus speeds ecommerce: “The sudden closure of all apparel retail stores across all major global markets has shaken up the channel mix in an unprecedented way this year,” said Bernstein’s Aneesha Sherman. “It’s five years’ worth of growth achieved in about six months.” – Read More on Reuters

3. In the Fashion Industry, Black Activists Push For Deeper Change: The industry has long capitalized on black culture. Fashion magazines now frequently put black stars on their covers while brands call on them to boost their cool factor. Yet there are still few black professionals in top industry roles. – Read More on WSJ

4. Fashion Redesigned Itself in Lockdown: Fashion executives have spent the lockdown figuring out how to sell their products online. Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman’s parent company Tapestry canceled $500 million of orders for handbags, jackets and dresses, saving cash to weather both the shutdown and what’s likely to be a slow recovery, while Farfetch has seen sales skyrocket — by 90% last quarter. – Read More on Bloomberg

5. RETRO READ: From Hermès and Chanel to Louis Vuitton and Gucci, What Will Fashion’s Impending Shift Actually Look Like? it is unclear what the tangible outcomes will be. Nonetheless, two potential outcomes within the luxury and high fashion space seem likely: one will see brands contract, to some extent, in terms of the breadth of their offerings, while moving further upscale in order to maintain their positions as luxury brands and simplifying their business model in order to meet heightened consumer demands for a more sustainable future. The other will see brands embrace a more modern notion of contemporary luxury by going increasingly more digital. – Read More on TFL

1. What it’s really like to be black in the fashion industry: “I was considered inexperienced.” “Being stereotyped is something I have experienced in my career.” “I had experienced situations in which I had been overlooked for permanent positions.” “Being constantly asked about ‘diversity’ makes me feel like I’m always being typecast.” – Read More on the Guardian

2. How slow times in the luxury world will separate the bling from the chaff: The world of personal luxury goods—from handbags and haute couture to diamond rings and pricey Swiss watches—has been in hibernation. Now, posh purveyors are having to rethink their business model in a hurry. – Read  More on the Economist

3. The Rich Have Stopped Spending and That Has Tanked The Economy: “For higher-income individuals, that spending is still way far off from where it was prior to COVID and it has not recovered as much.” They have a lot of discretionary income and before the pandemic were spending a significant chunk of that going to nice restaurants, the theater, or traveling and staying in nice hotels. Those are precisely the things that have been off-limits since the coronavirus hit. – Read More on NPR

4. Creative directors in luxury fashion have a five-year expiration date: “Five years seems the ‘expiry date’ of successful creative directors,” Bernstein found when looking at the past performance of big luxury companies under more than a dozen different creative directors, the individuals who are responsible for defining the public image of a brand, from overseeing design of the products it sells through guiding the look and feel of its marketing and stores. – Read More on Qz

5. The e-commerce boost is about more than Amazon: The pandemic has acted as an accelerant for e-commerce, and the convenience has staying power even as people emerge from sheltering in place. Morgan Stanley revised its forecast for online sales growth this year to 25%, nearly doubling its previous estimate. That’s an additional $71 billion directed at electronic purchases. – Read More on Reuters