Daily Links

1. Boohoo shares bounce back after pledge to improve factory conditions: Shares in Boohoo Group rebounded more than 27% on Thursday after analysts and investors were reassured by the online fashion specialist’s plan to clean up its supply chain. – Read More on the Guardian

2. To keep shoppers coming back, Nike is testing a new experiential store format: As part of Nike’s plan to increase the percentage of its sales that come from its direct-to-consumer business, the company has been opening a slew of new stores in order over the past couple of years to boost sales. Now, the company is unveiling a new retail format – Nike Rise – that it hopes will make its stores a more regular destination for shoppers. – Read More on Modern Retail

3. Amazon Settles Allegations of U.S. Sanctions Violations: Amazon accepted and processed orders of consumer goods and services for individuals and entities located in regions under U.S. sanctions, such as Iran and Syria, or that had been blacklisted by the U.S., such as designated as drug traffickers, global terrorists or proliferators of mass destruction weapons, according to the settlement agreement. – Read More on WSJ

4. Black-owned businesses report boost in sales and interest on Blackout Day: Black- and minority-owned business owners were hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of active business owners nationwide fell by 22 percent from February through April, but Black-owned businesses experienced an outsized impact, with a 41 percent drop in working business owners. Latino business owners fell by nearly a third, and Asian-owned businesses fell by 26 percent. – Read More on CNBC

5. Ferrari Just Lost the Trademark Rights in the Design of its Most Iconic Car: Ferrari lost its trademark to the shape of the 250 GTO by running afoul of the European Union Intellectual Protection Office’s “Use It Or Lose It” rules, which mandate that trademark owners must use and enforce their trademarks or lose them. – Read More on Forbes

6. RETRO READ: 3-Stripes, Big Macs, and the European Union’s “Use it or Lose it” Rule. As well as showing that even the largest multi-national corporations are not immune to trade mark actions, this case also shows the importance of sorting and selecting specific pieces of evidence which relate to the case in question, as opposed to taking the “kitchen-sink” approach and merely submitting any evidence which appears to be vaguely relevant to a case. – Read More on TFL

1. Unlucky Charms: The Rise and Fall of Billion-Dollar Jewelry Empire Alex and Ani. P atent No. US D487,709 S was granted on March 23, 2004, to Carolyn Rafaelian-Ferlise. The application captured the concept in a mere five words: “an expandable wire bangle bracelet.” The bracelet’s design was astonishingly straightforward, familiar to hard-core rock climbers and Eagle Scouts as a double fisherman’s or a grapevine knot. Somehow, though, no one had ever thought to patent it for jewelry. – Read More on Medium

2. RETRO READ: Alex and Ani is Suing Bank of America for $1.1 Billion, Citing its “Long, Entrenched History of Illegal Discrimination.”The bank’s fraudulent “image-rehabilitating marketing” efforts and its “discriminatory and illegal lending practices” are an “existential threat” to the jewelry company’s otherwise booming business, Alex and Ani argued in the since-settled lawsuit. – Read More on TFL

3. Fashion’s Racism and Classism Are Finally Out of Style: In fashion, envisioning a path forward is particularly complicated. The veneration of whiteness and wealth isn’t merely incidental to the global fashion business, but central to its vision and embedded in its practices, from who gets hired to how things get marketed. Luxury fashion is built on the emotional scaffolding of human aspiration—what happens to the industry when everyone gets sick of worshipping rich white people? – Read More on the Atlantic

4. Kylie Jenner’s Instagram Propels Black-Owned Fashion Label: Loudbrand’s “raw edge vashtie dress” – which Jenner shared with her 200 million Instagram followers – retails at approximately $145 and is currently sold out along with the brand’s entire collection after catching Jenner’s attention. – Read More on Bloomberg

5. The way we wore: should the fashion industry look to the past in order to move forward? “We saw a real desire to reclaim forgotten skills. The quality of fabric, construction and style brings a practical, emotional fulfilment greater than the instant buy-now click of the mouse.” She says her customers “earn a wardrobe more considered, more conscious and personal.” – Read More on Vogue

6. The pandemic has exposed the dark underside of fast fashion’s supply chains: fast fashion has become an accessible and budget-friendly way for “normal” people to embody the aspirational lifestyles they see on their screens. With an average of 116 new garments uploaded to the Boohoo women’s site alone every day, this influencer-to-landfill pipeline is an affordable way for image-conscious young people to keep up with trends that move so fast they’re over before they even begin. – Read More on the Guardian

1. Fashion brands, retailers approach fall orders with caution: Nike said it has already cancelled around 30% of its pre-pandemic factory orders for the autumn and end-of-year holiday season, while Sweden’s H&M said it would sell some “less seasonal” spring stock through into autumn. – Read More on Reuters

2. Why Independent Luxury Brands Could Be The Next Hot Thing Post COVID-19: Because independent brands are used to competing by playing contrarian, ultra-responsible and sustainable and authentic cards, they could be ideally placed to seize the opportunities of new trends. – Read More on Forbes

3. These Jeans Look Faded in a Pandemic: Like many of its peers, Levi’s is using the bad months to focus its attention where it matters, including high-tech initiatives in design and product development. And while denim isn’t an up-and-coming growth category like athletic wear, Euromonitor still predicts the market will grow 2%-3% a year in the U.S. The jeans maker’s domestic brand awareness is topped only by Nike, according to a survey conducted by UBS Research last year. – Read More on WSJ

4. Boohoo Loses Half Its Market Value as Labor Abuse Worries Mount: After the Covid-19 pandemic boosted online retail worldwide, fast fashion retailer Boohoo is falling back to earth on concern the company could face a formal investigation under Britain’s Modern Slavery Act in light of concern over the exploitation of labor in its supply chain. – Read More on Bloomberg

5. The Pandemic Is Rewriting the Rules of Retail: Retailers need to offer a simple and seamless e-commerce experience — from browsing to researching, selecting, purchasing, and returning/exchanging. Customers will no longer tolerate sub-par digital shopping experiences like they may have before the crisis. – Read More on HBR

6. FC Barcelona to pursue Nike for compensation over defective shirts: FC Barcelona is set to pursue Nike for compensation after discovering a defect with new football kits made by the U.S. sportswear maker, resulting in the Spanish club missing out on a crucial shop window at the end of the football season.  – Read More on the FT

1. Software Giants Partner to Deliver Next-Level Digital Fashion Sampling:  Physical prototypes can be replaced with digital ones, without loss of garment accuracy and integrity in the final physical product. This eliminated physical print iterations for dozens of U.S. and European brands manufacturing in Eastern Asia who are battling with Covid-19 challenges. – Read More on Forbes

2. At Etsy, Come for the Face Masks, Stay for the Growth Potential: Face masks have helped catapult Etsy’s sales to new highs (Etsy sold 12 million masks in April—17% of total gross market sales for the month), which could be sustained much longer than Wall Street has forecast. It also could be an attractive customer acquisition tool to sell consumers millions of items they didn’t even know they needed until they happened upon them. – Read More on WSJ

3. Diesel CEO Seeks to Revive 90s Success With Slimmed Down Brand: Massimo Piombini, who took over the CEO at Diesel in late January, wants to close stores, raise prices and expand in sneakers to turn around a denim brand that had its heyday in the 1990s. In recent years, the brand has become more of a mass-market brand and lost its upmarket position. It has also struggled to partake in the rapid growth of casual, athletic-wear, such as yoga pants. – Read More on Bloomberg

4. Micro-Experiences Are the Next Big Thing in Customer Engagement: Brick-and-mortar brands from Canada Goose to Drybar are offering consumers new ways to interact with products and services, adding experiences scaled small enough to be offered in multiple locations. – Read More on CO

5. Buy now, pay whenever? Lockdown lift for online shopping loans: Afterpay is among a handful of alternative credit firms which offer small loans, mostly to online shoppers, and make their money by charging merchants a 4 – 6 percent commission. These buy-now-pay-later firms have benefited from a shift to online shopping during the coronavirus crisis. – Read More on Reuters

1. Luxury fashion and law firms among U.S. bailout recipients: From Mayhoola for Investments-owned Valentino and Oscar de la Renta to billionaire Kanye West’s Yeezy and Rag + Bone, fashion brands/retailers received aid from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which is aimed at bolstering cash-strapped small- to mid-sized firms amid the COVID-19 pandemic. – Read More on the Financial Times

2. Five ways the pandemic is changing fashion and beauty trends: “One of the first things we’ve seen in the pandemic is a shift to skin care.” Meanwhile, sales of “high heels are way down,” and Crocs are up, a trend that is likely to continue even as Americans return to work. – Read More on the Washington Post

3. In a COVID-19 world, Artificial Intelligence is tailoring a perfect fit for the fashion industry: Fashion retailers work with limited data to predict what products to make, in what quantity and when to discount them for clearance. Data brought together from disparate sources can help brands to align supply with demand. – Read More on Business Insider

4. Boohoo Plunges After Reports of Labor Abuses at Suppliers: The Sunday Times said an undercover reporter worked at the factory, where social-distancing measures weren’t being observed and employees were paid 3.50 pounds ($4.40) an hour, less than half the minimum wage. The newspaper said the reporter was helping pack boxes of Boohoo’s Nasty Gal line. – Read More on Bloomberg

5. RETRO READ: Dark factories … Labor exploitation in Britain’s garment industry. Part of Leicester’s garment industry has become detached from UK employment law, “a country within a country”, as one factory owner puts it, where “£5 an hour is considered the top wage”, even though that is illegal. – Read More on the FT

6. As Black buying power grows, racial profiling by retailers remains persistent problem: Retail environments are one of the places where Black Americans say discrimination is prevalent. Nearly 30 percent of Black Americans said they were treated unfairly because of their race when shopping in the past 30 days, according to the 2018 Gallup poll, the most recent data available. – Read More on CNBC