That Cuddly Teddy Bear Coat Is a Monster (The New York Times): “Within a year of its appearance on the 2017 runway, sales of the Teddy Bear coat had ballooned past 15,000 and dozens of copycat coats had appeared in versions both high and low … at its fall 2019 show in Milan, the label upcycled … the Teddy Bear … Asked to explain the decision to bypass the novelty that fashion relies on for something tried and true, Mr. Griffiths said the reason was anything but complex. ‘It’s a big scary world, and nobody’s grown-up enough not to need something to cling to … We’re all looking for a little comfort and security.'”

L.K. Bennett’s Bankruptcy News Shows the Danger of a Powerful Celebrity Endorsement (Adweek): “L.K. Bennett was the prime example of the ‘Kate Effect’ … and on a larger scale, what a truly powerful celebrity endorsement could do for a brand … But part of the reason for L.K. Bennett’s initial post-Middleton success was because the brand isn’t Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo. It was a high street label … Though undoubtedly a cut above the H&Ms of the world, L.K. Bennett was still an accessible brand … But changing brand perception can be a tricky business … The real risk comes when change arrives too quickly … But while L.K. Bennett was able to capitalize on the moment, it couldn’t make it last … Perhaps L.K. Bennett wasn’t able to educate consumers about its brand values because it wasn’t sure of them itself.”

Instagram Will Now Let You Buy Things Directly Through the App (Bloomberg): “On Checkout, people will be able to buy directly within Instagram, rather than being directed to a retailer’s website … With advertising growth in Facebook’s news feed slowing, the company is seeking new lines of business and will become more dependent on other properties it owns, like Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.”

Tom Ford on Melania Trump (and the Future of American Fashion) (The New York Times) “… on Tuesday Mr. Ford … became chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America … He succeeds Diane von Furstenberg, who held the post for 13 years … The lack of racial diversity at many fashion brands is still very much an issue; Calvin Klein … just announced it was closing its designer-led Collection line; there’s a general sense of an identity crisis at New York Fashion Week as young designers jump ship for other cities or decide to sit seasons out; and everyone is worried about the future of department stores, once the style conduits to the country. Not to mention the fact that fashion still has a somewhat fractious relationship with the current presidential administration.”

Spring Essentials (including many new arrivals) are 50% off at Ann Taylor with code SPRINGTHINGS until the end of today (03/20/19). Recently ordered: Short Trench Coat, Floral Border Sleeveless Dress, Stripe Tie Neck Shell, Pleated Skirt, Floral Tie Sleeve Shift Dress, Flutter Sleeve Wrap Jumpsuit, and Bolero Open Jacket.

Americans Are Going Bankrupt From Getting Sick (The Atlantic): “Medical debt is a uniquely American phenomenon, a burden that would be unfathomable in many other developed countries. According to a survey published this month in the American Journal of Public Health, nearly 60 percent of people who have filed for bankruptcy said a medical expense ‘very much’ or ‘somewhat’ contributed to their bankruptcy. That was more than the percentage who cited home foreclosure or student loans … Emergency-room visits and planned surgical procedures are the most common causes of large medical bills that patients simply can’t afford to pay … Often, a hospital might be covered by a person’s insurance network, but the individual doctors who work there and the ambulance company that services it aren’t, a situation that can lead to something called balance billing. Sometimes, bizarre loopholes kick in at the darkest moments, like the fact that a baby would be covered upon birth under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the government insurance program for children, but a stillbirth might not be covered.”

A Young Designer Gets His Dream Job, Then Faces a Tough Choice (The New York Times): “Paul Andrew … was promoted from women’s wear and accessories design director at … Salvatore Ferragamo to be creative director across all collections for the luxury house. His purview will extend to men’s wear and brand image strategy at a critical juncture for the business … The demands of the new job will require Mr. Andrew to effectively relocate to Italy from New York, his long time home base and the headquarters of Paul Andrew, the namesake footwear line he started in 2012.”

Would You Buy a Luxury Watch Online? (The Wall Street Journal): “In the era of Amazon Prime, buying a luxury ticker with just a few clicks may feel like no big deal. Yet while other luxury-goods segments have adapted to the growing ease customers have with e-commerce, until recently the $21-billion Swiss watch industry was lagging well behind. Brands like Omega, Tag Heuer and Cartier began selling watches online just a few years ago, and it’s still impossible to buy one of Rolex or Tudor’s drool-worthy dive watches online from an authorized dealer.”

Why Urban Millennials Love Uniqlo (The Atlantic): “Uniqlo … will have to convince shoppers across the country of a proposition that’s radical for the industry: Fashion can be affordable without being disposable … Uniqlo has profited from changes in American society, some of which might seem at first glance to be unrelated to fashion. Millennial shoppers entered a job market with fewer jobs … That austerity contributed to a cultural shift, in which conspicuously expensive clothing fell out of favor … This isn’t to say that people who shop at Uniqlo don’t care about how they look. The company realized that its customers might not want to pay top dollar for pants, but they do want them to fit … Quality isn’t an attribute typically associated with fast fashion, but Uniqlo has also managed to build a reputation for durability.”

♥ “New-season essentials” at Madewell are now 25% off with code HEYBUDS until 03/25/19. My picks: The Harper Mule (own and love), Surplus Jacket, Gladwell Balloon-Sleeve Pullover Sweater, Smocked-Waist Mini Dress in Inkspot Dots, Novel Tie-Front Top in Hillside Daisies, Eyelet Keyhole Peplum Top, Shimmer Plaid Mini Dress, and The Abroad Tote Bag.

She Takes What You’ve Told Facebook and Sells It to a Luxury Brand (The New York Times): “… profiles — compiled from user information, like date of birth, ZIP code, education and work history, favorite music, pages followed — [are used] to pinpoint ad targets for brands. For several years, Facebook and Instagram … has built a business, and a lucrative one, on capturing user information and exploiting it to the profit of Facebook, Instagram and their luxury partners.”

Fashion People Eat? the Rise of Edible Merchandise (The Guardian): “So called ‘foodstagram’ used to be a foodie haven, but such posts have become a signifier of style, propagated by fashion influencers and accounts. Branded foodstuffs may seem like a temporary purchase, but such items are far more affordable than anything else in most fashion outlets … It’s a cheap, if not particularly discreet, way of showing that you were in store; the instant gratification of sweet treats made digital … On the high street, the allure of eating where one shops is part of the wider trend for labels selling a lifestyle concept, rather than purely clothes.”

The Heavily Armed Millennials of Instagram (The Washington Post): “In liberal circles, there is a baked-in assumption that the problem of gun violence is political. That the forces standing in the way of ‘responsible gun ownership’ are the National Rifle Association and the reactionary fanatics in its thrall. But this doesn’t account for the earnest positivity of people who view assault weapons as pleasure machines rather than killing machines — men and women whose self-conception is intimately and gleefully wrapped up in their gun ownership.”

♥ Shop H&M‘s spring sale and take up to 60% off thousands of styles; prices as marked. Shipping is free on orders over $40. My picks: Wool-blend Coat, Block-heeled Pumps, Long Cardigan, Wide-leg Cashmere Pants, Modal-blend Trenchcoat, Cashmere Scarf, Hooded Sweatshirt Cardigan, Off-the-shoulder Sweater, Double-breasted Jacket, and Jersey Leggings.

‘We Know Them. We Trust Them.’ Uber and Airbnb Alumni Fuel Tech’s Next Wave. (The New York Times):“It’s part of Silicon Valley’s often-incestuous circle of life. The start-up world projects a meritocratic image, but in reality, it is a small, tightknit club where success typically hinges on whom you know. In this model, employees of tech start-ups frequently leave the companies once they have been enriched by their firms’ initial public offerings. Then networks of alumni from these companies — called mafias — support their peers’ new businesses with hiring, advice and money.”

Every Move You Make, WeWork Will Be Watching You (Bloomberg): “In February, WeWork bought Euclid, a service that tracks smartphones in retail spaces. WeWork also is testing several types of sensors, including thermal and motion detectors and Bluetooth check-ins. The tools help analyze how workers intend to use a space vs. how they actually use it … WeWork is testing the tools not in its co-working locations but with its own employees in San Francisco and New York … It also has run a pilot for several big clients, using the data gleaned to help them make decisions about redesign, building projects, and how to better manage existing offices … The office space data collection and analysis is part of an effort to expand … consulting services.”

How Parents Are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood (The New York Times): “Helicopter parenting, the practice of hovering anxiously near one’s children, monitoring their every activity, is so 20th century. Some affluent mothers and fathers now are more like snowplows: machines chugging ahead, clearing any obstacles in their child’s path to success, so they don’t have to encounter failure, frustration or lost opportunities … Many snowplow parents know it’s problematic … But because of privilege or peer pressure or anxiety about their children’s futures, they do it anyway.”

♥ Recently purchased: Time and Tru Fallon Wallet with a Strap, Boden Maisie Jersey Maxi Dress, Whistles Lara Button Jumpsuit, No Boundaries Rib Knit Button Tie Front Blouse, Time and Tru Wide Leg Casual Pant, Abercrombie & Fitch Tie-Front Halter Jumpsuit, No Boundaries Mini Backpack, Banana Republic Italian Leather Saddle Bag, and Time and True Floral Headband.

Have a great week, everyone!

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