Daily Links

1. The Gray Market: Why the Coronavirus Proves the Art and Fashion Economies Are Different Animals. Even the most revered luxury retailers still operate as mass-market merchants. Although the runway pieces suck up most of the attention, a huge part of any major fashion house’s annual revenue comes from selling accessories normally priced between $100 and $800, along with not-much-more-expensive basics including denim and t-shirts. – Read More on ArtNet

2. Off-price retailers aren’t investing in e-commerce, but competition is growing: Instead of building out an e-commerce site, off-price retailers spend that money instead remodeling the stores where customers are already continuing to visit at a healthy pace, or open up new stores elsewhere. – Read More on Modern Retail

3. RETRO READ:New Gucci Bags at Marshalls, Céline at T.J. Maxx: Is that Legal? Brands very well may be turning a bit of a blind eye and keeping their mouths shut to such practices in order to maintain their premium positioning while reaping a benefit for their own bottom lines. – Read More on TFL

4. Are consumers finally sick of consuming? After decades of buying more clothes, shoes, books, furniture, sheets, toys, throw pillows, accessories, doodads, and thingamabobs than anyone could possibly need, have consumers gotten tired of consuming? – Read More on Fast Co.

5. Buying Clothes Doesn’t Really Make People Happy Anymore, Says Morgan Stanley: “Consumers have reached peak happiness with clothing purchases” because, as CNBC puts it, “consumers already own so many clothes.” – Read More on TFL

1. Fashionably late: The apparel industry’s shift toward sustainability. Fashion is a massive polluter. According to the United Nations, fashion produces 20% of the world’s wastewater and 10% of the world’s carbon emissions — calling the habit of quick closet-turnover into question. – Read More on Axios

2. This company is looking for more fashion brands to buy: “We look for brands with a half a billion dollars or more in global sales volume, high brand affinity, high brand awareness, strong purchase intent by consumers — and the key is open opportunity for growth in digital channels and international global channels.” – Read More on CNBC

3. The Chinese fashion industry has changed – it’s not all luxury labels and ‘Made in China’ anymore: That Chinese designers need recognition from Paris, New York or London already sounds outdated. With its unfathomable potential, the Chinese market alone can legitimize and publicize the creativity of designers domesti­cally. – Read More on SCMP

4. RETRO READ: Chinese Teens Are Spending More Than $7,000 per Year on Luxury Goods, Outshining Their Western Peers. “Being only children, Gen-Zers are more likely to receive generous financial support from their parents than older generations.” – Read More on TFL

5. Forget Swiss watches and “it” bags, marriage and all its related social and financial benefits are becoming a luxury good. Middle-class Americans are forsaking marriage amid financial insecurity, effectively making the institution more of a luxury good enjoyed by prosperous Americans. – Read More on WSJ

6. Aerie Aims to Be $3 Billion Brand: Nearly at its $1 billion goal, the intimates firm has been reimagining what it means to be in the bra and underwear business for the last decade, adding a diverse array of models, leading the bralette trend and skipping the digital touch-ups of photos. And it’s paying off. – Read More on WWD

1. The RealReal Plans More Stores to Boost Fashion Resale Economy: Executives are looking to open a few shops each year in large U.S. cities to help harvest goods from people’s closets and attract new buyers and sellers. This week, it will open its first store in San Francisco, and plans to unveil another in Chicago this summer. – Read More on Bloomberg 

2. RETRO READ: With 9 Million Users and an Online Advantage, The RealReal is Widening its Net. Brands have become increasingly willing to engage in the business of liquidation, or the off-loading of excess merchandise at a discount. The RealReal seems like the perfect place to do it. – Read More on TFL 

3. How the Coronavirus’ Effect on the Fashion Industry Reveals Flaws in the Global Economy: Companies in a wide range of industries are dependent on China as both a manufacturing behemoth and billion-plus-consumer market. But as life in some parts of the country comes to a near-standstill in the face of the outbreak, that reliance looks more and more like a weakness. – Read More on Time 

4. How “climate positivity” could revolutionize the fashion industry: The new term, proposed by the Slow Factory Foundation, encourages scalable solutions rather than empty promises of sustainability. – Read More on i-D 

5. H&M made its former sustainability chief its CEO. Now it wants to help other fashion houses become sustainable: Helmersson’s appointment as chief executive was seen as a signal that H&M intended to ramp up improvements in the sustainability of its supply chain. Now the group is set to capitalize on that work in a new way, earning a service fee by plugging other fashion outfits into that supply chain. – Read More on Fortune

1. Luxury lifestyle: After scooping up luxury travel pioneer Belmond, LVMH is reportedly one of a handful of parties in the running to buy the Ritz hotel in London from the feuding Barclay family for an estimated £800 million. – Read More on the Times

2. Kohl’s women’s business is one of its biggest weaknesses: Macy’s and J.C. Penney have cited similar obstacles, as fewer women are visiting department stores to buy clothes or buying less clothing altogether, and more are turning to rental options, like Rent the Runway, to build out their work wardrobes. Or they are buying used clothes, via platforms such as ThredUp and Poshmark. Amazon is also becoming a bigger force in fashion. – Read More on CNBC

3. In the Circular Economy, Products Are Designed to Be Recycled: Many business leaders and governments — including China, Japan and the U.K. — argue that we should ditch this linear system in favor of a so-called circular economy of take, make, use, reuse and reuse again and again. – Read More on Bloomberg

4. Why Louis Vuitton, MAC, Gucci are getting into gaming – and why it won’t stop any time soon: As of 2018, China’s online gaming population was made up of nearly half a billion players, with women making up more than half of this market. As such, a stream of fashion and cosmetics collaborations have hit the gaming scene recently, looking for new audiences in a $152 billion market. – Read More on SCMP 

5. RETRO READ: With the Video Game Market on Track to Reach $300 Billion, Luxury Brands Want to Make Real Money from Virtual Clothes. Given the size of the market, its ever-escalating growth rate, and the high levels of engagement that come hand-in-hand with these popular games and the related real-life events, it is not terribly surprising that Louis Vuitton and others want in. – Read More on TFL

1. The fashion industry in 2020: Amid uncertainty, brands, retailers, and other fashion-industry players must act strategically to capitalize on digital opportunities, boost earnings, and address sustainability. – Read More on McKinsey

2. For the fashion industry, the fallout from the coronavirus may be just beginning: China, where the virus originated, is a major manufacturing hub for many industries, including fashion. It currently manufactures more than a third of all clothing and textiles globally, although its market share in apparel manufacturing has declined slightly over the past few years. – Read More on Fast Co. 

3. An Insider’s Guide to the Fast Fashion Industry: “I think people who buy from Boohoo think the clothes are cheap because it’s cheap material. But it’s cheap labor. People are overworked and underpaid.” – Read More in Vice

4. Fashion Nova Reportedly Spent $40 Million on Influencer Marketing in 2019: To put that in perspective, note that the No. 2 brand—Flat Tummy Co.—is said to have spent nearly $14 million. The top five is rounded out by Ciroc, Walmart, and PrettyLittleThing. – Read More on Complex

5. RETRO READ: How Fashion Nova Won the Internet and Is Transforming the Way Millennials Dress. “To paying customers, especially hard to fit ones, Fashion Nova symbolizes a revolution in terms of access to trendy, affordable clothes.” – Read More on TFL 

6. Unions press FTC to investigate Amazon’s market power: In a petition to the agency, they urged the FTC to examine alleged anti-competitive behavior on Amazon’s part, including directly and indirectly controlling product prices, tying its search rankings to the company’s own profit, price discrimination against users of competing e-commerce platforms, using data from its platforms to give it an advantage, and depressing wages in local labor markets. – Read More on Retail Dive