♥ Today is the last day of Ann Taylor’s “spring style event” during which you can take 50% off your purchase with code HOPTOIT (tops and sweaters are an extra 10% off). This offer currently stacks with code THANKS7 which takes $50 off orders over $100 (sale styles are excluded from the total, but promotional styles are not). Shipping is free on orders over $125; or pick up in store for free. My picks: The Wide Leg Marina Pant, Tweed Cascade Jacket, Margot Suede Heeled Sandals, The Cotton Crop Pant In Gingham, and Button Knot Front Top.

J. Crew Weighs Madewell IPO in Potentially Crowded Jeans Market (Bloomberg): “Madewell, the denim focused starlet of the J. Crew family, could go public as soon as the second half of this year … Struggling parent company J. Crew also named Michael Nicholson as interim chief executive officer … The question executives at both J. Crew and Madewell need to ask themselves now is how will this possible spinoff affect their back-end functions.”

Mom Jeans Made Women Love Denim Again (The Washington Post): “In all, shoppers bought 364 million pairs of women’s jeans last year, a 5 percent increase … between February 2018 and February 2019 … More than half of the jeans bought last year had been marked down … American Eagle alone sold more than $1 billion worth of jeans in 2018, making it the country’s top brand for women’s jeans.”

Can the Birkin Bag Survive the Resale Market? (The New York Times): “… there are now more than a million Birkins in the market … Scarcity … is achieved only when ‘goods that are highly desirable are not broadly available’ … As of now, demand for Birkins actually seems to be rising with supply. The RealReal said that consumer searches on its site for Birkin bags have increased more than 7.5 times over the last three years with sales nearly tripling.”

What Chanel Can Learn from Nike About the Resale Market (The Business of Fashion): “Chanel, like many of the world’s top luxury mega-brands, is something of a paradox. It is highly exclusive and highly accessible at the same time … the brand is a master of perceived exclusivity, confining core products like its couture, ready-to-wear and handbags to high price ranges to conjure a halo of desirability over lower-priced product categories like fragrance, where it moves units by the millions … The fact is that most luxury goods are not scarce. They are produced in large volumes and rely heavily on high prices and branding to generate the perception of exclusivity. But when the interplay between supply and demand on resale sites reveals these products to be more ubiquitous and less valuable than expected, the illusion starts to break down … the bottom line is this: luxury brands lean too heavily on price to maintain a perception of exclusivity. Meanwhile, Nike uses a far more powerful lever: supply.”

Can’t Afford Surgery? In China, Millions Chip In Half a Penny to Cover You (The Wall Street Journal): “The fintech companies stress their crowdsourced aid programs aren’t insurance … The general idea is that small amounts of money can be pooled into large sums. China’s giant population means the cost of coverage can theoretically be spread across hundreds of millions of people at negligible cost to each individual.”

ASOS ‘Upweights’ Digital Marketing Spend as It Puts Focus on Customer Acquisition (Marketing Week): “Overall sales were up 14% year on year and 16% in the UK as conversion among loyal customers increased. But discounting and investment in areas such as automation hit profit levels, with pre-tax profits falling 87% in the six months to 28 February to £4m.”

♥ I quite liked Uniqlo‘s first collaboration with Alexander Wang, so ordered a few pieces from the spring release to try with the free shipping offer (all orders ship free today). The pastel palette is pretty but the range of styles is limited. Also, until 04/25/19, bra tops are buy 2, get $5 off.

Amy Schumer, Ali Wong and the Rise of Pregnant Stand-Up (The New York Times): “No longer seen as something vaguely unhip that gets in the way of the act and the microphone stand, a baby on the way is now a rich source of stand-up material: stretch marks, placentas and all … As fun as it can be to play with expectations about maternal behavior and delicate pregnant ladies, many comics look forward to the day that an expectant mom on stage is not unusual at all.”

Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same (Bloomberg): “In 2017, 187,000 new housing units were completed in buildings of 50 units or more in the U.S., the most since the Census Bureau started keeping track in 1972 … In the U.S., stick framing appears to have become the default construction method for apartment complexes … The big reason is that it costs much less … from 20 percent to 40 percent less … than building with concrete, steel, or masonry … Stick construction allows builders to use cheaper casual labor rather than often-unionized skilled tradespeople. And it makes life easier for electricians, plumbers, and the like because it leaves open spaces through which wires, pipes, and ducts can run. Still, there’s a reason why stick wasn’t the default for big apartment buildings until recently, and why these buildings are limited in height: Sticks burn.”

Why Do Fashion Brands Still Advertise in Print? (The Business of Fashion): “… print magazine advertising fell by $400 million from 2016 to 2017 … LVMH cut its print spend by $15.2 million while rival Kering slashed its print budgets by $7.5 million. Calvin Klein … is doing away with print advertising altogether … In 2017, Americans spent only 3.3 percent of their daily media consumption time with print products, versus 44.4 percent with digital media … digital platforms have failed to provide a suitable enough alternative for fashion brands to abandon print altogether, publishers have historically undervalued their digital media products, and the fashion system of the 90s still holds power in today’s digital age … while print may be a vehicle for ‘brand awareness’ more so than actual sales these days, online marketing doesn’t always have a guaranteed sales impact either.”

♥ Until the end of the weekend, take an extra 50% off sale styles at Anthropologie, no code needed; discount taken in cart. My picks:

Learning to Love Bitter Tastes (The Wall Street Journal): “One of the most pervasive changes to food over the past 50 years has been the rise of sweetness and the fall of bitterness. No less than 68% of packaged foods and drinks for sale in the U.S. contain sweeteners of one kind or another … Bitterness brings depth to sweetness … and it wakes up dishes that might otherwise be too rich or too bland.”

This Genetic Mutation Makes People Feel Full — All the Time (The New York Times): “There are biological reasons that some struggle mightily with their weight and others do not, and the biological impacts often are seen on appetite, not metabolism … People with MC4R mutations tend to be obese … The mutations destroy satiety, the feeling of fullness after a meal … in some thin people, the MC4R gene is always turned on, instead of always off, because of different mutations involving a previously unknown metabolic pathway. These people continually feel satiated. About 6 percent of the population carries such protective mutations.”

4 Reasons Why Luxury Rentals Could be a Hit with Chinese Millennials (Jing Daily): “… the fashion rental scene in China is already fairly crowded with local companies … But they don’t appear to have a lock on the market, as consumers have many complaints with these companies, particularly that there is a lot of false advertising and that garments are out of date or even sent to customers dirty … Multiple reports have shown that most Chinese millennials are deep in debt, but that they’d still be willing to splurge on luxury items … Chinese millennials consume luxury with a different motivation than their predecessors: one that eschews flaunting wealth for self-fulfillment.”

How to Make Sustainable Fashion People Will Actually Buy (The Business of Fashion): “Sustainable fashion has to ‘work’ by first delivering on style or comfort, and at a price point that’s competitive with rival brands that aren’t experimenting with recycled plastic or environmentally friendly wool … If you can appeal on both [good looks and sustainability] then you’ve got something that is quite compelling. Then you get this viral word of mouth thing happening.”

Venture Capital Is Putting Its Money Into Astrology (The New York Times): “Astrology is having a cultural moment, and for investors, that translates to dollar signs … In recent years astrology traded its psychedelic new-wave stigma for modern Instagrammy witch vibes, and those vibes are very popular with millennial women … the major turning point for Big Zodiac: The election of Donald Trump … Watching The New York Times’s forecast needle tip from Hillary Clinton to Mr. Trump raised people’s doubts about certain scientifically proven systems.”

Recently purchased: J. Crew Résumé Jumpsuit, A&F Button-Up Cami Dress, Coach Parker Top Handle Bag, Banana Republic Stripe Linen-Cotton Cropped Jumpsuit, Ann Taylor Linen Wrap Skirt, and Madewell Stampede-Strap Boater Hat.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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