♥ A travel favorite, the Express Mid Rise Jersey Sash Pant, which I featured in my “ultimate travel wardrobe,” is now 40% off online in six colors, along with everything else at Express, prices as marked. More sale picks: Soft Drape Trench Coat, Button Skirt Belted Sheath Dress, High Waisted Plaid Culotte Pant, Surplice Jumpsuit, High Waisted Sash Waist Ankle Pant, Hi-Lo Maxi Dress, and Zip Pocket Soft Trench Coat. Shipping is free on orders over $50.
♥ Mall Brands Are Entering the Rental Market. Can the Model Work? (Business of Fashion): “Express Inc. … unveiled a monthly subscription rental service dubbed “Style Trial.” For $69.95, shoppers can rent three pieces at a time, delivered to their doors, for up to 12 total garments … the question of whether women will rent clothes they already view as affordable — or whether apparel made from cheaper fabric can withstand the wear-and-tear of repeat shipping and frequent washing … Rental makes more sense for ‘higher-end, more quality merchandising … With Express, the quality isn’t there, the fabric isn’t there.’”
♥ The Future of War Will Be ‘Liked’ (Foreign Policy): “Social media has emerged as an arena in which virality—how far and wide a message spreads—trumps veracity. In this domain, attention is power. Win enough of it and you can reshape the very fabric of reality.”
♥ He Got Schizophrenia. He Got Cancer. And Then He Got Cured. (The New York Times): “… a growing body of literature suggesting that the immune system is involved in psychiatric disorders from depression to bipolar disorder … In the late 19th century, physicians noticed that when infections tore through psychiatric wards, the resulting fevers seemed to cause an improvement in some mentally ill and even catatonic patients … Watershed moments occasionally come along in medical history when previously intractable or even deadly conditions suddenly become treatable or preventable … We now seem to have reached such a threshold with certain rare autoimmune diseases of the brain. Not long ago, they could be a death sentence or warrant institutionalization. Now, with aggressive treatment directed at the immune system, patients can recover. Does this group encompass a larger chunk of psychiatric disorders? No one knows the answer yet, but it’s an exciting time to watch the question play out.”
♥ Employers Are Looking for ‘Influencers’ Within Their Own Ranks (The Atlantic): “Macy’s is bringing the exposure economy in-house. Dissolve the haze of marketing lingo, though, and the company is inviting a group of mostly low-paid employees, who normally are compensated for selling merchandise, to spend more of their time—possibly uncompensated—selling that same merchandise to their families and friends. It’s a high-tech Tupperware party.”
♥ What the Airline Knows About the Guy in Seat 14C (The Wall Street Journal): “… the latest generation of hand-held devices used by flight crews has an overhead bin full of information about each passenger. Carriers are using it in an effort to improve customer service.”
♥ (A bone-chilling story that I couldn’t finish without taking several breaks to dry-heave, though I admittedly have a low tolerance for gore.) A Surgeon So Bad It Was Criminal (ProPublica): “Multiple layers of safeguards are supposed to protect patients from doctors who are incompetent or dangerous, or to provide them with redress if they are harmed. Duntsch illustrates how easily these defenses can fail, even in egregious cases … According to doctors who reviewed the case, Duntsch mistook part of his neck muscle for a tumor and abandoned the operation midway through — after cutting into Glidewell’s vocal cords, puncturing an artery, slicing a hole in his esophagus, stuffing a sponge into the wound and then sewing Glidewell up, sponge and all … the National Practitioner Data Bank … which was established in 1990, tracks malpractice payouts and adverse actions taken against doctors, such as being fired, barred from Medicare, handed a long suspension, or having a license suspended or revoked. The information isn’t available to the public or other doctors, but hospital administrators have access to the databank and are supposed to use it to make sure problem doctors can’t shed their pasts by moving from state to state or hospital to hospital … half the hospitals in the country had never reported a doctor to the databank by 2009.”
♥ How Eloquii Fits Into Walmart’s Quest for Upscale Growth (Retail Dive): “… the largest company in the world, Walmart is still hungry for growth … the retail powerhouse announced its latest acquisition of a digitally native millennial brand — four-year-old women’s plus-size apparel brand Eloquii … Walmart will pay $100 million, roughly two and a half to three times Eloquii’s annual revenue … In general, Walmart does well with plus-size clothing in its sprawling big-box stores, but Eloquii may provide new synergies and the ability to identify trends online … For Walmart, Eloquii presents another opportunity to tap into a different, and higher-end customer. For Eloquii, it’s a great exit.”
♥ Revolve, Online Clothing Retailer, Prepares IPO for Late 2018 (The Wall Street Journal): “The deal is expected to value Revolve well in excess of $1 billion … Retail and e-commerce IPOs have been relatively rare in recent years. The brick-and-mortar retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club publicly filed for an IPO last month.”
♥ An Arnault, in Private and in Public (The New York Times): “Mr. Arnault is running Rimowa in a more start-up spirit than many of the company’s longer-ensconced maisons, with a nimble agility, an all-hands-on-deck ethos and a Supreme pinball machine. If his approach is successful, he hopes to extrapolate the lessons for the group at large.”
♥ Raised by YouTube (The Atlantic): “… whereas Disney has long mined cultures around the world for legends and myths—dropping them into consumerist, family-friendly American formats—ChuChu’s videos are a different kind of hybrid: The company ingests Anglo-American nursery rhymes and holidays, and produces new versions with subcontinental flair. The characters’ most prominent animal friend is a unicorn-elephant. Nursery rhymes become music videos, complete with Indian dances and iconography. Kids of all skin tones and hair types speak with an Indian accent … ChuChu does not employ the weird keyword-stuffed titles used by lower-rent YouTube channels. The company’s titles are simple, sunny, consistent. Its theory of media is that good stuff wins, which is why its videos have won … ChuChu says it adds roughly 40,000 subscribers a day … The new children’s media look nothing like what we adults would have expected. They are exuberant, cheap, weird, and multicultural.”
♥ (I can appreciate the enthusiasm, but this piece is mostly hot air and not much original thought.) Wanted: Fashion Designers Who Truly Respect Women. Now More Than Ever. (The Washington Post) “This season there’s little willingness on the part of casual observers or passionate fans to forgive designers who get lost in their own imagination. There’s no patience for trussed or hobbling clothes. No patience for shows that send a homogeneous parade of wasted-youth models down the runway … The anger that sprang up in fashion this season was sparked by something relatively trivial. Designers move on. Brands evolve. But it spoke to a much bigger issue, which is that women will be heard”
♥ (This is a fairly unchallenging piece, but did inspire me to write a 2000-word word vomit that I may share at some point.) The Power of Buying Less by Buying Better (The Atlantic): “American brands such as L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer have offered a lifetime guarantee for decades—but these labels tend to hold sway with older shoppers … The 30 Year Sweatshirt doubles as a way to educate younger consumers about chintzy fads “in a way that’s less preachy and more light-hearted.’”
♥ Stitch Fix Looks to U.K. As Active Client Growth Slows (The Wall Street Journal): “Online personal-shopping company Stitch Fix Inc. disclosed plans … to expand to the U.K. as customer growth slows down in its home U.S. market … the company reported 2.7 million active clients in the quarter ended July 28, up 25% from the year-ago period but roughly flat from the previous quarter.”
♥ Until the end of today, all panties regularly priced $10.50 or less are 10 for $35 at Victoria’s Secret. I recommend the following: Cool & Comfy Seamless Boyshort, No Show High-waist Brief Panty, Stretch Cotton Shortie Panty, and No Show Shortie Panty. I’d also recommend checking out the selection of $25 sleep top or bottom (use code SLEEP25). Shipping is free on orders over $50 with code SHIP50.
♥ Marks & Spencer Is Struggling. Can Knickers, Candy and Colin the Caterpillar Cakes Save It? (The New York Times): “M & S is under attack from all sides. Competitors sell cheaper, trendier clothes; supermarkets have raised the quality of their food; and online shopping has become the norm … The spread of Marks &Spencer’s shop-floor offerings … could be its Achilles’ heel. In May, the chain announced a 62 percent drop in pretax profit to less than 67 million pounds, or roughly $87 million, dragged down by restructuring costs alongside slumping sales in food and clothing … Despite Britain’s sentimental attachment, the chain’s all-in-one model, heavily weighted to a motley array of brick-and-mortar stores on High Streets, has not held up well in the era of e-commerce … There is the confusing mix of goods — a premium food business, midprice fashion and a smattering of housewares … chasing young consumers had hastened the recent downward spiral at M & S. The key to the golden gate … are women, who buy all the ladies’ wear, most of the children’s wear and half the men’s wear, as well as home goods.”
♥ The Coders Programming Themselves Out of a Job (The Atlantic): “… workplace automation can come in many forms and be led by people other than executives … Programmers … have been writing code that automates their work for decades. Programming generally involves utilizing tools that add automation at different levels, from code formatting to merging to different code bases—most just don’t take it to the extreme of fully or nearly fully automating their job … Even if a program impeccably performs their job, many feel that automation for one’s own benefit is wrong. That human labor is inherently virtuous—and that employees should always maximize productivity for their employers—is more deeply coded into American work culture than any automation script could be. And most employment contracts stipulate that intellectual property developed on company time belongs to the employer. So any efficiency hack or automation gain an employee might make is apt to be absorbed by the employer, the benefits rerouted upstream.”
♥ (There’s a lot going on with this piece, and I am still digesting it, but am already skeptical of the conclusions it drew.) Why Does So Much Ethical Fashion Look the Same? (Fashionista): “… if you’re trying to create a piece of clothing that’s timeless enough to be worn over and over rather than being destined for landfill after a few seasons, that’s easier to accomplish with a foolproof color like black or navy than with a trendy hue like millennial pink or slime green.”
Have a great weekend, everyone!