MARKET UPDATE 04.18.21

JENSEN GUTZWILLER

CHINA'S DIGITAL YEN
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has developed a central bank digital currency, essentially a digital Yen to replace physical forms of cash.

The limitations of physical currency, from the viability of counterfeits to the downsides of carrying cash in an increasingly digitized world, has sped up the shift to predominantly online payments, digitizing bank notes and lessening money in circulation.

A digital currency would improve the ease in changing monetary policies, financial stability, and increase competition in a digital payment market where Alipay (the online payment platform behind Alibaba) currently dominates all while reducing risk.

China has also implemented the currency alternative in Shenzhen, Chengdu and Suzhou. Users received their digital yuan through JD.com, who partnered with The People’s Bank of China for the trial.

Fashion Implications:
- COVID has accelerated online payments and orders especially within the retail sector, undoubtedly expediting the overall shift to online payment processes.
- China is the current leader in currency digitization & with the growth and continued reliance on apps like Paypal, Apple Pay and Venmo, it’s clear that China may be the first but it won’t be the last.


CARDI B HAIR
“At home for my hair and my daughters” is the inspiration for Cardi B’s new hair-care line, geared towards a wider range of hair textures. Cardi, who is Dominican and Trinidadian, is planning to launch products that address historically underserved and underrepresented markets in the hair-care industry.

In 2017, The global hair-care market was valued at $85.5 billion and is expected to be worth more than $102 billion by 2024.

While the Asia Pacific region is the largest market in the world, the US is the most lucrative, generating about $15 billion in revenue in 2017.

Today, black consumers spent around $1.71 billion on hair products last year in the U.S,, a figure predicted to hit $1.9 billion by 2025.

A new wave of brands and entrepreneurs are modernising the industry seeing opportunity with the growing market. Bread Beauty Supply, providing “hair care basics for not so basic hair,” is a business founded with the vision to target young, social media-savvy women of color with easy-to-use products for curly, coily and kinky hair textures. In 2020, the founder Maeva Heim earned $2 million in funding and secured a contract with Sephora.

Kim and Tim, the co-founders of black-owned CurlMix, created a line of innovative clean products for curly hair that has earned them a spot on Shark Tank and acknowledgements from Essence Magazine among others.

And ahead of the Bodak Yellow Singer & CurlMix founders, entrepreneur Olowo-n'djo Tchala created Alaffia in 2003 to provide hair, skin, and body-care products built around one essential ingredient: shea butter.

Though Cardi was not the first and will not be the last, her celebrity presence and draw will be indisputably influential in growing the market segment and availability of products.


EARTH DAY
Afterpay, an online shopping payment platform, will launch its first-ever live shopping experience featuring sustainable brands with an eco-friendly focus in fashion and beauty. Their Ethical&Sustainable category features brands like BKR, House of Fluff, & the Girlfriend Collective among others to inspire shoppers to buy more consciously, especially on Earth Day.

Their “top-up” program matches all $1 donations at check-out towards nonprofits that seek to end the cycle of waste in the fashion industry, as well as initiatives to protect clean water and healthy beaches.

In the name of sustainability, something about denim has to give...
Denim is one of the least environmentally cautious materials in fashion. Requiring an abundance of cotton (and therefore harmful fertilizers and pesticides) as well as detrimental amounts of water, only begins the highlight the negative environmental impact the trendy item introduces.
- The global demand for cotton (cotton comprises nearly ½ of all textiles according to the World Wildlife Fund) has also led to over-farming, land and soil erosion.
- A single pair of jeans requires upwards of 1,800 gallons of water to produce.

Knowing its relevance as wardrobe stable, we’ve chosen to highlight brands actively combatting this cycle

Ética
- The LA based label is one of the only denim manufacturers to be certified for global impact, clean industry practices, and social responsibility.
- They pride themselves in achieving top tier labor standards, and natural dyes from plants like bougainvillea, chrysanthemum, and natural indigo.

DL1961
- Their secret recipe relies on a mix of fibers that cuts the processing time in half and uses ½ the dye, ½ the water, and ½ the energy that it takes to produce traditional denim. They pride themselves in using only certified-organic cotton & a manufacturing process that reduces carbon emissions

No Such Thing as Bad Press?
- Nike filed a trademark lawsuit this past March after the Brooklyn-based MSCHF sold customized Nike Air Max shoes with satanic symbols in collaboration with Lil Nas X for the release of his song, “Montero.”
- Nike claimed it had not authorized and was not involved in the products. MSCHF responded to the lawsuit by offering to buy back the product from customers.

Ferragamo Farewell
- Salvatore Ferragamo’s creative director Paul Andrew has announced his departure after the Pre-Spring 2022 collection in May after Ferragamo sales dropped 33% to €916 million in 2020. This was Ferragamo’s first year of losses recorded since the company went public on the Milan stock exchange.


STOCKS TO FOLLOW

Crocs Inc.
Ticker: CROX
Share Price: $38.84
Market Cap: $5.47 Billion
Backstory:
Founded by Lyndon Hanson & George Boedecker Jr., Crocs set out to reinvent clogs by creating a foam version. The original shoe was developed as a boating shoe, and was acquired by a company called Foam Creations.
In 2001, the first model, Beach, was unveiled at a Florida Boat Show where they completely sold out of their inventory.
Since then, Crocs has sold 300 million pairs.
In October of 2006, Crocs purchased Jibbitz, an accessory manufacturer, for $10 million, further solidifying Crocs’s influence on our childhoods and wallets with the newfound ability to customize and personalize your neon crocs to show off at the middle school playground.
Current news:
- CROX stock is up 250% this year.
- As of June 2020, searches for Crocs increased by 32% each month, according to retail platform Lyst.
- On March 16th, Justin Beiber’s Drew dropped his second collaboration with Crocs featuring a lavender clog, Drew Jibbitz & a pair of Drew House socks.

Macy's Inc
Ticker: M
Share Price: $16.17
Market Cap: $5.02 Billion
Backstory: Own Macy’s, Bloomingdales, & Bluemercury
Current news:
- Macy's closed about 30 stores in the first half of its 2020 fiscal year after announcing that it would close approximately 125 less-productive stores within the next three years.
- In February 2020, Macy's estimated that it would cash out approximately $700 million in real estate between 2020 and 2022.
- Closing underperforming stores will help Macy's rebuild its profitability and reduce its debt load, two current problems in its financials.
- Since 2015, Macy’s has been on the steep downtrend, declining from a high stock price of around $70 to $16 where it is currently priced.
- Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette’s pay rose 7.5% to $11.1 million last year as he steered Macy’s Inc. through the coronavirus crisis.



Citations:
https://www.businessoffashion.com/briefings/retail/to-sue-or-not-to-sue-nikes-satan-shoe-conundrum
https://www.wsj.com/articles/nike-says-it-has-settled-legal-dispute-over-satan-shoes-11617915941?mod=business_lead_pos12
https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/luxury/paul-andrew-to-exit-ferragamo-in-company-shakeup
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/05/style/lena-dunham-body-positivity-11-honore-spanx.html
https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/beauty/modernising-the-black-hair-care-market
https://www.businessoffashion.com/news/retail/owner-of-joie-and-currentelliott-files-for-bankruptcy-protection
https://fashionunited.com/news/fashion/afterpay-unveils-sustainable-shopping-initiatives-for-earth-month/2021040539270