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Daily Round Up: Zara's misleading Chinese labels; American Apparel financing; COS launch; Christian Dior; Hallett Retail and more

From around the web and the nationals

ZARA, the Spanish retailer, sold garments in China with the incorrect fibre content, according to reports. Tests by the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision found the fibre content on a batch of Zara cardigans did not match the label. Clothes sold by Zara were declared substandard after the latest quality inspection in Shanghai, pushing the brand back onto the blacklist for the third consecutive year in China, the Metro Express reported.

AMERICAN APPAREL, the US-based young fashion retailer, is looking for new avenues for financing as negotiations with private equity firm Colbeck Capital, stalled, according to reports. The beleaguered retailer needs fresh financing to pay off a Bank of America credit facility that matures in July, on which the company owed $47.6m (£30.55m) on October 31.

COS, the upmarket fascia from Swedish retail giant H&M,  will take its first steps into the Asian market in spring 2012 with the opening of a store in Hong Kong. The store, situated in a central location on Queens Road on Hong Kong Island, is COS’s first store outside Europe. Marie Honda, brand director for COS, said: “Hong Kong is an incredible city, which we feel is the ideal setting for our first store outside of Europe”.

CHRISTIAN DIOR, the French fashion house, is closing in on a contract with acclaimed Belgian designer Raf Simons to become its next couturier, according to reports. Simons has been creative director at Jil Sander since 2005. Dior has been without a head designer since John Galliano was ousted from the company in March in the wake of his alledged anti-Semitic outbursts in a Paris cafe.

HALLETT RETAIL founder Wendy Hallett has scooped the top prize at the Natwest Everywoman of the Year Awards. Hallett, who founded the concession business with a £1,000 bank loan 12 years ago was named Natwest Everywoman in recognition of the fact that she has overcome significant challenges to achieve outstanding business success, bringing in £170m of high street fashion sales.

SWEDISH HASBEENS, the retro footwear brand, will open a pop-up shop in Selfridges in April 2012. The brand, which counts celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Julianne Moore among its supporters, will sell a selection of its spring 12 collection via the pop-up shop as well as stocking some styles exclusive to Selfridges.

SWAROVSKI, the crystal brand, is launching a three year fashion and jewellery scholarship programme in collaboration with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London. The scheme will provide a bursary to two final year BA degree students each year, one from fashion and one from jewellery design. The bursaries will support the students financially in their final year. The scholarship students will be chosen by a panel including Nadja Swarovski, as well as Central Saint Martin course directors Willie Waters and Caroline Broadhead.



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