Daily Links

1. Rivals Race to Catch Nike’s Vaporfly: Competitor concerns about the shoes that might make athletes run “too fast” mounted, and World Athletics formed a group in early 2019 to study the issue. But what the governing body saw as careful deliberation, many athletes and brands saw as frustrating silence on an issue central to competition: Did Nike’s shoes provide an unfair aid that the rules had long prohibited? – Read More on WSJ 

2. What’s Holding Up Sustainable Change for Fashion Players? One of the common challenges within the fashion industry, which also applies to consumers and stakeholders, is that there is no common understanding of what a sustainable product is. – Read More on Sourcing Journal 

3. RETRO READ: The Problem with “Sustainability”? It Doesn’t Really Mean Anything. Even the FTC has “somewhat sheepishly admitted that it could not define what sustainability really means in concrete terms for marketers” or brands. – Read More on TFL 

4. How the coronavirus is affecting global fashion production, from high street brands to luxury labels: Companies and designers with factories in China are facing huge disruption to their supply chains as people are unable to return to work. “It is going to have a massive impact on the global fashion industry, far more than just in China.” – Read More on SCMP 

5. Do Luxury Houses Need Fashion Designers? Today there are still grandiose shows staged, but they largely serve as window-dressing and marketing exercises that hide the lack of ideas instead of highlighting them. – Read More on Highsnobiety 

6. RELATED READ: Can Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee Go Beyond the “It” Bag? Or Better Yet … Does He Need to? The full collections of garments that brands trot out every season are, more often than not, loss leaders for their beefy accessories businesses. – Read More on TFL

1. Vietnam’s fashion market is booming and attracting brands like Louis Vuitton, Uniqlo and Zara: Long a power in global textile and garment manufacturing, Vietnam is taking on a new role: a fast-growing consumer market. The next 10 years will be a ‘pivotal period for the growth of luxury shopping across the country.’ – Read More on SCMP 

2. As Victoria’s Secret’s star wanes, the lingerie market is growing more fragmented: Victoria’s Secret’s market share has declined for years — a combination of a dated approach, oversexualized images and a plethora of competition. But the number of startups and retailers vying to take a slice of the business that previously belonged to Victoria’s Secret hasn’t slowed down. – Read More on Modern Retail 

3. Can sneakers ever really be sustainable? “As long as these brands are pursuing growth, they are not creating sustainability and cannot make any claims about sustainability.” Nike and Adidas need more than recycled products if they’re serious about saving the planet. – Read More on Input

4. We bought dozens of products from AliExpress, Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Wish. Over half were suspected fakes. From MAC lipstick and Kylie Cosmetics lip kits to Nike sneakers and Valentino shoes, each product listing seemed legitimate, with some prices that compared to retail stores and official-looking advertisements. – Read More on CBC

5. What Makes a $60,000 Watch So Expensive? It can take years of research to perfect a movement’s flow, a case’s ideal weight or the optimal way to fit each component together beneath the dial. A lofty sticker price recoups such development expenses. Finally, there’s the brand name. “You’re paying for that status symbol and name recognition.” – Read More on WSJ

1. China’s Appetite for Luxury Was Waning Even Before the Virus Hit: About 10% of Chinese consumers said they were planning to reduce their luxury purchases in 2020 compared to 6% last year, according to a December survey of 1,599 affluent shoppers. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Forever 21’s new owners face a slowdown in fast fashion: “The desire for cheap fast fashion has absolutely waned, and consumers obviously want to invest in better quality and better brands … Rental, resale, off-price — those good deals for good quality — is a complete contrast to fast fashion.” – Read More on Retail Dive

3. COUNTERPOINT: No, Forever 21’s bankruptcy does not mean that fast fashion is dying. In reality, fast fashion pioneers like Forever 21 are being replaced by faster, more digitally-fluent brands, such as  Boohoo.com, Fashion Nova, and Missguided, which debut thousands of products each week. – Read More on TFL

4. Jane Birkin: Birkin bags are now coveted luxury items that re-sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars — though the woman behind the idea never received royalties for the design. And while her association with the bag means “nothing much” to the actress and singer, she seems unfazed that her name has achieved a fame of its own. – Read More on CNN

5. How French Department Stores – including the soon-to-reopen La Samaritaine – are Courting the 1 Percent: Retailers are wooing high-spending clients with the kind of exclusive experiences previously linked with the rarefied world of haute couture. – Read More on WWD

1. How Fashion Designers Became the New Instagram Influencers: Designers like Marc Jacobs, Virgil Abloh and Donatella Versace are moonlighting as social media influencers. “The more people that tune in [to a designer’s account], the less money that brand has to spend on traditional advertising. So it can transfer over and it can have a benefit for the brand.” – Read More on the WSJ 

2. ‘The modern Goodwill’: How ThredUp positioned itself as the struggling retailer’s resale partner-in-crime. The 10-year-old company as a peer-to-peer platform for people to buy and sell men’s shirts. Three years later it adopted more of the consignment model, having people offer up their clothes which the company would then price and sell itself. – Read More on Modern Retail 

3. How Kanye’s lusted-after Yeezy 350 V2 lost its hype: “There is the potential for this brand to recover the real scarcity that’s out of control, but it won’t be easy to get there. You can’t slow it down for one year and get there the next year.” – Read More on Input 

4. Should we ration fashion? What if, for example, we could buy only a certain amount of new clothing – and then buy as much secondhand as we wanted? What if we got a tax break for ethical shopping – just as in Scandinavia the government gives a tax break to repair shops? – Read More on the Guardian 

5. Coronavirus will cost the luxury industry an estimated $40 billion: a survey of top luxury executives estimates the total hit to the industry’s sales could reach as high as €40 billion ($43.4 billion). – Read More on Quartz

1. The Take-No-Prisoners Rivalries in Online Luxury Fashion: In the increasingly competitive realm, high-end fashion retailers, like Moda Operandi, are trying to distinguish themselves by promoting exclusive merchandise and being the first to offer it to customers online. They are also aiming to specialize. “Having a distinct point of view is something that can create a unique customer base.” – Read More on WSJ 

2. Harvey Weinstein Is Found Guilty on Two Counts: Harvey Weinstein, the powerhouse film producer whose dramatic downfall over sexual misconduct ignited a global movement, was found guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. – Read More on the New York Times

3. The Guilt-Free Engagement Ring Is Here: The toll that producing sparkly gems takes on the environment often goes largely unnoticed, but customers are waking up to the reality that beautiful jewelry often has an ugly side. Each metric ton of gold produced last year was responsible for 32,689 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. – Read More on Bloomberg 

4. RETRO READ: With a Rise in Lab-Grown Diamonds, Disclosure and Questions of Value Become Hot Topics. “Not even perfect replicas, however, will extinguish strong preferences for mined diamonds.” In the short terms, experts suspect that nothing will change, including prices. – Read More on TFL

5. Fast fashion sellers are stealing influencers’ faces: For now, platforms are not proactively dealing with image theft on behalf of influencers. It’s up to the individual to report it. But fortunately for them, they have legions of fans watching feeds on their behalf, and can publicize the misuse of their images when it happens. – Read More on Wired 

6. Millennial Women Made LuLaRoe Billions. Then They Paid The Price: A handful of multi-million dollar lawsuits, mountains of unsold leggings, and families drowning in debt: the tumultuous story behind a multilevel marketing brand that promised millennial women a pathway to financial freedom. – Read More on Buzzfeed