Daily Links

1. Balenciaga, Saint Laurent to Produce Masks in French Workshops: Luxury fashion conglomerate Kering SA, which owns Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta, among other luxury brands, said it would switch to producing surgical masks at the French workshops of its Balenciaga and Saint Laurent brands as the country ramps up its efforts to contain the coronavirus. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. “The Fashion Business Has Been Hit Hard”—Retail Industry Sends Letter to the White House Calling for Support Amidst Coronavirus Crisis: “Fashion is a $400 billion driving force of the US economy employing 4 million people, not including retail jobs. The retail industry is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $4 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs—53 million working Americans.” – Read More on Vogue

3. How Meghan could become the world’s most powerful fashion influencer: Experts predict the Duchess of Sussex’s earning power as a brand ambassador could be up to $100 million. – Read More on the Telegraph 

4. Sales of luxury goods increase amid virus spread: The new coronavirus situation in Korea is not getting any better with more cases recorded over the weekend; but this has not stopped certain people from shopping for luxury goods. – Read More on Korea Times

5. Influencers Are Milking the Coronavirus for Clout—and Money: Wellness influencers and micro-influencers have also been doling out dubious advice. – Read More on Daily Beast

1. From Building ICUs to Making Hand Sanitizer, Here’s What Luxury Brands Are Doing to Fight the Coronavirus: Moncler, the outerwear brand synonymous with cold-weather puffer jackets, announced that it would be donating a whopping €10 million to build a temporary hospital in Milan, while LVMH is turning its fragrance factories into centers for manufacturing hand sanitizer. – Read More on Robb Report

2. Is the LVMH takeover of Tiffany in jeopardy? Even if the $16.2 billion deal goes forward in light of COVID-19, it could be delayed because regulators in the U.S., Europe and/or China may not be working during this lay-low period when social isolation has emerged as a prime way to blunt the disease outbreak. – Read More on Retail Dive

3. RETRO READ: Monopolizing and Monetizing a Color: What is the Value of Tiffany & Co.’s Trademark Blue Hue? “The iconic blue color is an integral part of its brand and its visual identity,” and thus, its overall valuation. – Read More on TFL

4. The luxury industry is facing its worst year in modern history: Coronavirus is delivering the industry its greatest challenge—greater even than the 2008 recession. Bernstein says the first half of 2020 is “likely going to be the worst in the history of the modern luxury goods industry.” – Read More on Quartz

5. Online Fashion Is a Weak Coronavirus Antidote: Optimists might conclude that shoppers are preoccupied with stocking up on everyday essentials for now, and will start to shop for more discretionary items in the coming weeks. A more realistic explanation might be that they are spending cautiously in anticipation of an economic downturn and widespread job losses.– Read More on WSJ

1. The Most Important Media Businesses of the (Past and) Future: Disney has a brand that actually matters to consumers, owns franchises that consumers essentially treat like subscription content services, and operates the biggest star-making platforms in the world. And as strong as this platform was at the start of 2019, it exited the year even stronger. – Read More on Matthew Ball (via 2pm)

2. RETRO READ: From Gucci to Supreme: Fashion Brands Are Tapping into Disney’s $60 Billion Merch Machine. Disney relies heavily on licensing partnerships, such as those with Gucci or Sephora or Supreme (the latter of which debuted a small Mickey capsule in 2009) not for purely practical (i.e., manufacturing) purposes, it enlists the help of third-parties to ensure the enduring relevance of its intellectual property assets over time, including by bringing them to audiences that range in age and discretionary income. – Read More on TFL

3. Luxury Brands Hit The Discount Racks: For luxury brands, already facing an extended dip in revenues since 2019, eCommerce has become a refuge, one that may have to support operations for an indeterminate period. – Read More on PYMNTS

4. It’s All So … Premiocre. Anybody can track in intimate detail how the wealthy and stylish spend their money via social media, and just when you’ve learned exactly what you can’t have, the internet swoops in to offer a look-for-less utopia of counterfeits, rip-offs, and discount cashmere sweaters, perfectly keyed to the performance of a lifestyle that young Americans desperately want but can’t afford. – Read More on the Atlantic

5. What’s trending: Experts decode Gen Z. For one thing, the cold, hard truth about climate change and its impact has not been lost on many Gen Z’ers and it’s influencing the brands they support and the items they buy. – Read More on Modern Retail

6. A Coronavirus and Retail Reality Check From A.P.C.’s Always Candid Jean Touitou: “Shops are closed; therefore appetite can’t be analyzed. Oh, yes, it can a bit be seen through e-comm? Well, so far it’s down like playing a 45 rpm vinyl at a 33 rpm speed.” – Read More on Vogue

7. Japanese beauty and skincare still reigns supreme: It’s clear that the worldwide beauty industry is constantly finding inspiration from Japan. This is perhaps most evident in the way the industry is now interacting with the environment; for many companies, making our beauty routines more sustainable has become paramount. – Read More on Dazed

1. Every Fashion and Beauty Retailer Closing Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic: From Glossier and Gucci to Sephora and Supreme, here’s a running list of all of the fashion and beauty retailers that are closing up shop – temporarily – in light of the Coronavirus crisis. – Read More on Fashionista

2. Environmental, social and governance reports are not enough: In the face of coronavirus, companies, including fashion ones, must now adapt and show they can walk the talk. – Read More on the Financial Times

3. Sports, Retailers, Airlines, Autos: The Damage Across Business. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermès and other megabrands were forced to shut dozens of stores in mainland China, Macau and Taiwan, while China’s well-heeled shoppers stayed home rather than splurging during trips to European fashion capitals. Now, the virus’s emergence in the U.S. is threatening to sap demand in another of the industry’s biggest markets. – Read More on WSJ

4. Chinese Fashion Industry 80 Percent on Track to Recover: In Shanghai, luxury consumers were queuing to shop in Chanel again at Plaza 66 during International Women’s Day. It has shortened trading hours since the outbreak in China, but never shut its doors like it just did in the U.S. – Read More on WWD

5. As Mulberry announces the departure of its creative director, how can it return to its former glory? It’s not the most surprising news, following as it does several years of wobbly financial results from the brand – in November, the company communicated continued sales declines in the UK and an uptick in international trade that wasn’t enough to offset nearly £10 million in losses for the half-year. – Read More on the Telegraph

6. Beyond discounts: Retailers offer frequent shoppers out of the box perks. As brick and mortar and e-commerce retail struggle to navigate the current landscape, loyalty programs are acting as a bridge to shoppers. – Read More on Modern Retail

1. Sex rebranded: It’s arguably underwear that has seen the biggest change post-#MeToo. See Kim Kardashian’s brand, Skims, and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty line, which both feature underwear in a range of sizes and muted colors, alongside Heist, another hip new name in the underwear game, which goes one step further with a call to arms: “Shapewear is anti-feminist, right?”. Wrong! Almost half their sales come from shapewear. – Read More on the Guardian

2. The Freewheeling, Copyright-Infringing World of Custom-Printed Tees: Print-on-demand companies allow anyone to upload designs for T-shirts, mugs, and other items. But many images violate intellectual property rights. – Read More on Wired

3. Is Artificial Intelligence Good? Clothing Companies Say Yes. Beyond the fashion industry, global spending on AI systems overall is expected to reach $49.2 billion in 2020, a 31% increase over last year. With AI creeping into more facets of our lives, a category of fashion has also emerged to battle these potentially invasive technologies. – Read More on WSJ

4. Retail store closures in the US could explode because of the coronavirus: There could be more than 15,000 store closures announced by retailers in 2020, in large part because of the pandemic, according to Coresight Research CEO and founder Deborah Weinswig. – Read More on CNBC

5. How Fashion In Hollywood Benefits From Diversity: Greater diversity of ideas and experiences will create a fruitful ground for more interesting and democratic takes on fashion that actually reflect the diversity and vibrancy of everyone who cares about movies and clothes. – Read More on Forbes