Weekend Link Roundup

Select full-price styles are 60% off at Ann Taylor with code SUNSHINE until 07/28/19. In my closet: Linen Blend Button Down Shirt, Liv Leather Block Heel Sandals, Pleated Maxi Skirt, Jogger Pants, Wide Leather Trouser Belt, and Tulip Belted Maxi Dress.

Smash the Wellness Industry (The New York Times): “… at its core, ‘wellness’ is about weight loss. It demonizes calorically dense and delicious foods, preserving a vicious fallacy: Thin is healthy and healthy is thin … The diet industry is a virus, and viruses are smart. It has survived all these decades by adapting, but it’s as dangerous as ever. In 2019, dieting presents itself as wellness and clean eating, duping modern feminists to participate under the guise of health.”

Rent the Runway Is Growing Fast, and Struggling to Keep Up (The Wall Street Journal): “Higher-than-expected customer growth has led to longer customer-service wait times … employees and executives have become more focused on getting new customers to stick with the service longer, a shift that began last year and intensified in recent months … A central challenge for the company is navigating the tenuous early months of a membership, when customers are still getting accustomed to renting rather than owning clothes … overall churn … is at the lowest point in years … At the heart of Rent the Runway’s growing pains is a debate among top executives about how much to spend to improve each customer’s experience at the expense of profits.”

Ted Baker Shares Soar on Reports of Private Equity Buyout (The Business of Fashion): “Shares in Ted Baker rose more than 15 percent … after a newspaper reported that its founder Ray Kelvin could back a private equity buyout of the high street retailer … Ted Baker also reported its first drop in annual profit since 2008 in March … Kelvin resigned as boss of the firm in March to allow the fashion brand he founded to move on from misconduct allegations stemming from his habit of hugging colleagues. He has denied all allegations of misconduct.”

Sale styles are an extra 60% off at J. Crew with code LASTCHANCE for a limited time. My picks:

With So Many Vacant Stores, E-Commerce Is Only Part of the Problem (The Wall Street Journal): “Although commercial retail rents are down from recent peaks, they haven’t fallen as fast as sales at struggling chains. The rents remain higher than prerecession levels in many prime shopping areas such as Manhattan, Los Angeles and Dallas … Landlords … argue retailers fueled demand with a flood of store openings coming out of the 2008 recession. And even when the landlords dangle lower rents, it is hard to tempt retailers to open stores when they are retrenching … landlords have an incentive to leave space vacant because slashing rents would violate their loan agreements … Moreover, any devaluation of the property would make it harder for them to borrow in the future.”

Sonia Rykiel to Liquidate After Judge Rejects Sale (The Business of Fashion): “Sonia Rykiel … will liquidate operations effective immediately … a Paris commercial court judge rejected the lone remaining bidder for the company … Sonia Rykiel has 134 employees. The brand’s six stores in France and Monaco, as well as its intellectual property and archives, will be sold … Sonia Rykiel filed for bankruptcy protection in France in April and liquidated in the US.”

A Louisiana Republican Reckons with Climate Change (The New Yorker): “In the months since Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, there have been signs of a shift in their view of the environmental crisis, changes which may turn out to be meaningful, or may prove to be as ephemeral as a branding campaign … Republicans were still boxed in by their alignment with the oil-and-gas industry … This isn’t climate denial so much as resignation.”

A Wikipedia for Generation Z (The Atlantic): “Despite its name, [Famous Birthdays] contains more than just birthdays—it’s more like a constantly updated, highly detailed map of who matters to the teen internet, featuring a mix of biographical information, photos, videos, rankings, and detailed statistics on every social-media star you could think of. And to teenagers, it’s a bible …. Part of Famous Birthdays’ appeal, aside from the reliable biographical information it provides, is its sophisticated ranking system. Users can contribute to trending or most popular rankings by hitting a ‘boost’ button on their favorite star’s profile, or they can see how their favorite stars stack up in various categories.”

♥ Until 07/28, take 50% off full-price styles at LOFT with code SUMMER4EVER. My picks:

Instagram Is Great for Models. It’s Also Good for Predators. (The New York Times): “Instagram is unavoidable for would-be models and a key part of building a career. It has also long been a venue for predatory behavior … scouts … regularly posts warnings to aspiring models such as ‘Don’t Talk to Strangers’ … Models’ reliance on the platform makes them particularly vulnerable to scammers posing as casting agents, model agents or photographers willing to shoot portraits for lookbooks. Even the obvious clues, such as verification or number of followers, are not reliable indicators of professional behavior.”

The Boutique Chain Defying America’s Retail Slump (The Business of Fashion): “As competitors shut down locations and slash costs, [Aritzia] is pursuing an alternate strategy. It involves opening stores and staffing them with thousands of style advisers. The plan is working, and Aritzia’s six straight quarters of double-digit revenue growth show … how physical stores can drive web traffic — and vice versa.”

How Jeffrey Epstein Used the Billionaire Behind Victoria’s Secret for Wealth and Women (The New York Times): “The clearest sign of Mr. Wexner’s nearly limitless comfort with Mr. Epstein came in July 1991. Mr. Wexner signed … a power of attorney, that enabled Mr. Epstein to hire people, sign checks, buy and sell properties and borrow money — all on Mr. Wexner’s behalf … For the next 16 years, that document gave Mr. Epstein unmatched authority over Mr. Wexner’s financial affairs — and it corresponded to a period in which Mr. Epstein came to control or own valuable assets that previously belonged to Mr. Wexner or his companies.”

♥ Take 20% off all sale styles at H&M with code 3395. Shipping is free on orders over $40. There are lots of great basics on sale so I’d definitely recommend taking a look. My picks:

Teen Love for Snapchat Is Keeping Snap Afloat (Wired): “Written off by many after a disappointing stock-market debut and Facebook mimicry of its popular features, Snapchat remains a mainstay among youth … A Pew Research poll from 2018 found that 69 percent of American teens aged 13 to 17 reported using the platform, trailing only YouTube and Instagram, and ahead of Facebook. More than one-third of respondents—35 percent—said they use Snapchat most often … Snap shares have more than doubled this year, though they remain below the $17 price of the company’s 2017 IPO.”

The Hottest Phones for the Next Billion Users Aren’t Smartphones (The Wall Street Journal): “Millions of first-time internet consumers … are connecting to the web on a new breed of device that only costs about $25. The gadgets look like the inexpensive Nokia Corp. phones that were big about two decades ago … Smart feature phones, as they are known, are one of the mobile-phone industry’s fastest-growing and least-known segments, providing a simple way for some of the world’s poorest people to enter the internet economy. While global smartphone sales began sliding last year … smart feature phone shipments tripled to around 75 million from 2017 … Some 84 million are likely to be shipped this year … Smart feature phones aren’t only inexpensive, but they also have physical keypads that are less intimidating than touch screens for those new to the technology. Meanwhile, their batteries last for days, a bonus in places where electricity is unreliable … The devices typically have slower and less powerful components, only basic cameras and their screens are usually just a few inches in size, factors that contribute to their longer battery life. There also are fewer apps available for smart feature phones.”

Is Beauty Forever 21’s Lifeline? (The Business of Fashion): “Riley Rose … which opened its first store in Los Angeles in 2017 and has since expanded to 15 locations in 11 states, was once seen as [Forever 21’s] potential saviour … supplying 10 percent of Forever 21’s sales within five years. Instead, five locations have closed and three more opened … Riley Rose’s strength — its popularity with Gen Z shoppers — is also limiting its growth. The chain carries 200 to 300 brands, almost exclusively targeting customers in their teens and early 20s, the same people who shop at Forever 21. But though young consumers are highly coveted by retailers, they also have less money to spend.”

♥ Recently purchased: Banana Republic Floral Ruffle-Wrap Maxi Dress, Free People Nicole Cotton Denim Shirtdress, OPT Vimmy Dress, Free People Can’t Help It Minidress, and Topshop Polka Dot Tiered Midi Skirt.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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