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Must Read: Is There Hope for American Department Stores? H&M Names New Chief Executive

Plus, Madewell expands partnership with Fair Trade USA.

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Thursday. 

Is there hope for American department stores?
How can department stores survive 2020 after a brutal year of closures and sluggish sales? According to retail experts and consultants, success will come to those that think out-of-the-box, take big risks, rethink wholesale and prioritize customer loyalty. {Business of Fashion

H&M names new chief executive 
H&M named company veteran Helena Helmersson as chief executive officer on Thursday, after reporting its first rise in annual profit since 2015. She succeeds Karl-Johan Persson, who will replace his 72-year-old father as chairman of the board . {Business of Fashion

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Madewell expands partnership with Fair Trade USA
As part of Madewell's commitment to sustainable practices, the brand is expanding its one-year-old partnership with Fair Trade USA. In the past two months, Madewell has added three new Fair Trade-certified factories, and has plans to roll out new Fair Trade products across women's and men's lines in 2020, starting with nine new denim styles launching Thursday. {Fashionista inbox} 

Puma x Tabitha Simmons collaboration to launch on Drest
Puma and Tabitha Simmons are capitalizing on gaming by launching their anticipated collaboration on Drest, a shopable and interactive styling game for luxury fashion. Three bespoke challenges will go live throughout the month to promote the collaboration, which drops on Feb. 1 and includes footwear, accessories and apparel. {Fashionista inbox} 

Behind the proliferation of guest designers 
A growing number of luxury brands are inviting guest designers for one-time collections (think the Dries Van Noten and Christian Lacroix mash-up for Spring 2020) or introducing serial collaborations, like Moncler's Genius project. According to a trend forecaster interviewed by WWD, the rise of peer-to-peer co-creation has been fueled by controversial cultural appropriation claims and the challenge of finding purpose and excitement in an era of over-information. {WWD

The issue with microplastics in fashion
Synthetic clothing releases microplastic fibers when it's washed and as it wears down over time. These tiny plastics — which environmental scientists are finding everywhere — contaminate waterways and the air. Some brands have started researching ways to mitigate the release of microplastics, but since they come in various sizes from numerous sources and have no identifying properties, they're hard to trace. {Vogue Business

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