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Must Read: Next Generation Brands Focus on Community, American Eagle May Buy Abercrombie & Fitch

Plus, Bandier is betting on influencers and exclusives to get ahead in the activewear market.

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Thursday.

Community is central for next-generation retailers and media brands
Clothing brands like Ace & Jig and media brands like Man Repeller have seen part of their success arise from successfully integrating community into their operations, from hosting meet-ups to adding top commenters to a special Slack channel. "Community-driven brands have better success with customer retention," writes Lauren Sherman. {Business of Fashion}

American Eagle interested in buying longtime rival Abercrombie & Fitch
American Eagle and private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management are reportedly working together to purchase Abercrombie & Fitch, a fellow teen mall brand that has taken faltering steps to right itself in a difficult retail climate. {Business of Fashion}

Bandier is counting on exclusives and influencers
The activewear bubble is still growing, and Bandier has capitalized on it by focusing on partnerships with influencers (think Something Navy's Arielle Charnas) and exclusives (think limited-edition capsules with Prabal Gurung). Since the retailer is on track to do $20 million in retail this year, only its second year in business, it seems like the strategy is working. {WWD}

Philipp Plein showed Resort 2018 at his mansion in Cannes
German designer Philipp Plein opened his flashy Cannes mansion up to show his Resort 2018 collection, which sashayed down the runway on models like Paris Hilton, Sofia Richie and Jeremy Meeks. "When you go to someone's home, that's when you find out everything," Plein said of the show. {i-D}

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The struggles of being an international fashion student in Britain
While many students from around the world flock to London for its fashion schools' excellent reputation, post-Brexit political realities are jeopardizing their career hopes. "My nationality dictates every decision that I have made so far," says Russian student Kristina Ezhova. {1Granary}

How Coach is engineering a turnaround
American luxury brand Coach may still be experiencing sales 30 percent lower than when it was at its peak, but its recent purchase of Kate Spade, new flagship store and sales growth indicate that the brand is on the up-and-up. How'd it get there? By cutting back on sales, shutting down excess stores and focusing on building a thoroughly American luxury conglomerate. {Fortune}

Supreme-dedicated Instagram accounts open up about their obsession
@instapreme, @suprememuseum, @supcommunity and other dedicated Supreme fan Instagram accounts share their thoughts on everything from the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collab ("it's not a collection that I'm particularly interested in copping") to how social media has changed interaction with the brand (it "make[s] you feel involved and part of something"). {Hypebeast}

Levi's launches Pride collection
Levi's launched the fourth installment of its Pride collection today, featuring gender-neutral pieces like shorts, T-shirts and tank tops with slogans like "Fight Stigma." One hundred percent of the proceeds from the collection will be donated to the Harvey Milk Foundation and the Stonewall Community Foundation. The collection is available online and in select Levi's retailers. {Fashionista inbox}

James Franco is the new face of Coach's men's fragrance
James Franco — who had a starring role as "James Franco" in the cinematic classic (and Maura's favorite movie) "This Is the End" — will front Coach's new men's fragrance, aptly named Coach for Men, launching in September. In a release, Executive Creative Director Stuart Vevers explained the airtight rationale behind the appointment, saying: "James is the quintessential-cool Coach guy. He's handsome; there's a bit of danger and he's thoughtful and challenging, energetic and prolific." Can't argue with that. {PR Newswire}

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