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Data and Sustainability Now Musts for Brands and Retailers – WWD

Get radical, focus on data and AI and recognize that sustainability is now a must for consumers, not an option.

Those were among the key themes that emerged on the second day of the WWD Virtual Apparel and Retail CEO Summit on Thursday.

Anne Pitcher, managing director of Selfridges Group, believes retail should be “radical,” and take the lead with regard to issues as diverse as culture, the environment, the consumer, and the shop-floor experience. Pitcher said instead of relying on past experience, retailers need to “focus on what will work in the future,” and “do the right thing for people and the planet now, instead of waiting for legislation to force us into it.”

She added that retailers need to be hypersensitive to big cultural shifts, too, and not treat them like “student politics that the younger generation ‘will quickly grow out of.’”

Pitcher made some radical claims herself, arguing that stores should adopt “a way of thinking that puts creativity and innovation back at the heart of retail. I’ve been a shopgirl since I’ve been 16 years old. Retail has been my life’s work, and recently I have come to feel that the left side of the brain

Customs Cuts Off Cotton From Xinjiang Production and Construction – WWD

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is clamping down more on forced labor with a withhold release order to detain apparel and other goods that contain cotton from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. 

The order, which will stop goods at the U.S. border, is based on “information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor, including convict labor,” according to Customs. 

This is the sixth enforcement action Customs has taken against forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region over the past three months.

“The human rights abuses taking place at the hands of the Chinese Communist government will not be tolerated by President Trump and the American people,” said Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the customs agency. “DHS is taking the lead to enforce our laws to make sure human rights abusers, including U.S. businesses, are not allowed to manipulate our system in order to profit from slave labor. ‘Made in China’ is not just a country of origin, it is a warning label.” 

Federal law prohibits imports of goods that are made by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor and indentured labor. 

Companies that have goods stopped at

Former Lululemon CEO Christine Day Launches ‘The House of LR&C’ – WWD

Christine Day wants to teach others how to be good. 

The retail veteran, who served as Lululemon Athletica’s chief executive officer for six years, has partnered with men’s wear designer Russell Wilson and singer Ciara to launch a concept called The House of LR&C — putting the focus on love, respect and care. 

The goal is to “democratize fashion,” Day said, or shatter the invisible barriers in a notoriously elitist industry. To do this, the digital platform and brand house which at present includes the Good Man Brand, founded by Wilson, and gender-fluid streetwear brand Human Nation offers sustainable products at affordable price points and in an array of sizes. 

Human Nation is a gender-fluid streetwear brand. 
Courtesy Photo

“We can’t keep doing fashion the way we’ve been doing fashion,” Day told WWD. “And what I really hope Human Nation in particular, being affordable that it’s not going to be the cheapest garment out there. Because cheap has bad implications for the environment, for the workers in the factories. What’s more important is to create long-lasting, durable items that are sustainably made and ethically made. 

“Right from the beginning, in every business process that [LR&C]

Dinosaur Designs Wins Australian Fashion Laureate Lifetime Achievement – WWD

SYDNEY — Australian jewelry and homewares brand Dinosaur Designs has won the 2020 Australian Fashion Laureate Lifetime Achievement Award.

The announcement was made Tuesday Sydney time during a lunch at Catalina Restaurant overlooking the city’s Rose Bay.

Launched in 1985 by Louise Olsen, Stephen Ormandy and Liane Rossler as a means of paying their way through art school by selling jewelry made from modeling clay and clothes in Sydney’s Paddington Markets, the trio soon ditched the clothes to focus on jewelry and switched to the company’s now signature crafted resin, adding homewares several years later. Rossler departed the business in 2010.

Dinosaur Designs sells to 130 stockists in 17 countries, with 10 of its own stores in Australia, London and New York. All manufacturing is done in Sydney.

“It’s such an honor and it’s so lovely to be recognized after so many years. It’s been a fantastic journey,” said Olsen, who, like her husband Ormandy, is also an exhibited artist. As a duo, their Dinosaur Designs pieces have been shown in art galleries all over Australia, as well as in London, New York and Tokyo.

Previous Lifetime Achievement winners include Australian Fashion Week founder Simon Lock, InStyle editor

Textile Executive Evans C. Reitman-Swiss Dies – WWD

Evans C. Reitman-Swiss, a self-made textile executive and adept arbitrator, died Nov. 20 in Portland, Ore.

Reitman-Swiss, 91, died of complications from COVID-19 at the Hawthorne Gardens Senior Living Community, according to his son Jamy Ian Swiss.

Born “Reitman” in Brooklyn and raised there as well, he later took the surname of his stepfather, who worked as a bus driver, and was known professionally as Swiss. Described by his son as “a classic Depression [era] baby,” he got his start in the industry by unloading trucks before working his way up in the corporate world.

Reitman-Swiss was in his 50s when he decided to earn his bachelor of science degree from Brooklyn College. He later earned a degree at Brooklyn Law School. He also wrote poetry throughout his life and taught his son Jamy, who dedicated his first book to his father, to love it, too.

During a lengthy career in New York’s Garment District, the textile executive was said to approach business with proficiency, integrity, humor and agility in negotiating. As an arbitrator, Reitman-Swiss had a track record of reaching agreements that the parties involved considered to be fair and satisfying.

His career path started at Cadillac Textiles in

Tony Hsieh, Zappos Co-Founder, Dies at Age 46 – WWD

Tony Hsieh, the Zappos.com luminary who revolutionized the shoe business and established a unique corporate culture along the way, has died at age 46.

Hsieh’s family confirmed his death Friday night in a text message to friends, noting that Tony’s generous spirit touched the lives of countless people and that he left an indelible mark on the world.

The executive died from injuries sustained in a Connecticut house fire, according to press reports citing a family lawyer.

Hsieh, a serial entrepreneur, co-founded Zappos in 1999 and grew it into a blockbuster business before selling it to Amazon in 2009.

Delivering happiness was the executive’s mantra. As he built Zappos, Hsieh’s chief goal was to redefine the meaning of company culture. From the beginning, his singular vision set the company apart as a pioneer in footwear e-commerce and corporate America.

“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” said Zappos chief executive officer Kedar Deshpande in a note to employees on Friday. “We recognize that not only have we lost our inspiring former leader, but many of you have also lost a mentor and a friend. Tony played such an integral part in helping create the