Fast fashion empire, Gilt CEO steps down, Ebay returns to China, Jean genies, Bella Freud

How Zara Grew Into the World’s Largest Fashion Retailer (NY Times)
“Inditex is a pioneer among ‘fast fashion’ companies, which essentially imitate the latest fashions and speed their cheaper versions into stores. Every one of Inditex’s brands — Zara, Zara Home, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and Uterqüe — follow the Zara template…”

Gilt CEO Kevin Ryan Steps Down Ahead of IPO (The Cut)
“Regardless of Gilt’s recent missteps, the Journal reports that the company is plotting an IPO bid for sometime in the next eighteen months, and that Ryan is stepping aside in favor of someone better-qualified to facilitate it.”

EBay Returns to China in Xiu.com Deal to Sell Fashion (BusinessWeek)
“EBay Style debuts in China today in a deal with luxury online seller Xiu.com, featuring 5,000 brands in apparel, handbags and shoes, said Steve Milton, a spokesman for EBay. The arrangement lets consumers in China buy new items from EBay merchants in the U.S. while Xiu.com handles sales, shipping and customer service.”

Jean genies (Independent)
“While the comparatively refined fabric we know as denim today is a world away from the rough utilitarian cloth of 60 years ago, some things never change and our dependence on jeans continues to grow as retailers report a seemingly insatiable appetite for premium jeans with a premium price tag to match.”

Bella Freud bares all (Telegraph)
“Freud is in many ways a precious commodity, a rarity. In the 21 years since she launched her first collection – baby tweed coats and frosted-pink velvet jackets, a riot of cinching and flaring – she has tended her label carefully, turning away from the mass market towards ‘something, you know, beautiful and gorgeous and a bit more luxe’.”