Weekend Link Roundup

The Madewell Small Transport Crossbody Bag, one of my favorite crossbody bags, is currently 40% off in “English Saddle” (pictured above) and “True Black.” While there, you might also browse Nordstrom’s “Better Together Sale,” (ends Monday at 9AM EST). My picks:

For the First Time in Decades, This Recession Is a ‘Shecession’ (The New York Times): “Women accounted for 55 percent of the 20.5 million jobs lost in April … raising the unemployment rate for adult women to about 15 percent from 3.1 percent in February. In comparison, the unemployment rate for adult men was 13 percent. Women of color fared worse, with unemployment rates for black women at 16.4 percent and Hispanic women at 20.2 percent … this is the first time since 1948 that the female unemployment rate has reached double digits.”

Gap to Reopen Stores, Selling Face Masks Along With Jeans (The Wall Street Journal): “Gap Inc. … plans to reopen roughly 800 North American stores this month, beginning … with a handful of locations in Texas. Along with T-shirts and jeans, it will be selling fabric face masks … Gap, which operates more than 3,300 stores globally with most of them in North America, was struggling with weak sales before the pandemic … Many of the stores it reopens first will be in outlet centers … The company has reopened 200 stores in China, and noticed that outlet centers recovered first.”

How Covid-19 Changed the Resale Market (The Business of Fashion): “Resale sites are coming out big winners as the pandemic plunges the economy into a deep recession. They will have their pick of inventory, as brands look to shift clothes that went unsold during lockdowns. Soaring unemployment is good for the secondhand market too: analysts predict the newly jobless will turn to sites like Thredup and Rebag to clean out their closets for extra cash. And consumers … may have stopped buying new clothes, but they’re still hunting for bargains online … Shoppers aren’t quite as eager to splurge on used luxury goods, even at a discount. The RealReal … saw sales plunge 40 percent the week of April 8 … The company’s stock is down 22 percent since late February.”

J. Crew Didn’t Need to Live Forever (The New York Times): “… there is another, more essential reason for [J.Crew’s] failure: a loss of aesthetic identity; an inability to give urgent, desirable expression to who we are now. Or any discernible form at all, really … what does J. Crew stand for today? Nothing much. It began losing currency about five years ago and, by 2017, was in a steep downward slide, accused of becoming self-satisfied and self-referential, and missing the importance of inclusivity … the idea that brands deserve to be preserved, invented and reinvented ad infinitum is a late 20th-century creation … It is not, however, an American tradition. Maybe it doesn’t need to be. Traditionally, the United States has been happy to let brands live out in their natural life span — to believe they should not, necessarily, be seen as immortal — and be replaced by the new, the young, the of-their-time. Fashion history is rife with memories of bygone names: Bonnie Cashin, Claire McCardell, Willi Smith, Stephen Sprouse, Patrick Kelly. Donna Karan. Maybe J. Crew is ready to join them.”

Why the Restoration Hardware Catalog Won’t Die (The Atlantic): “As retailers become ever more desperate to find ways to sell their stuff without tithing to the tech behemoths, America might be entering a golden age of the catalog … Catalog-mailers can ‘prospect’ by sending their books to whomever they choose, but most email-marketing services require retailers to gain consent from recipients … Although the average catalog costs about a dollar per copy to produce and ship, compared with pennies per email … they’re particularly effective at prompting large purchases (up to twice as expensive as those made by noncatalog shoppers) and luring back customers after first purchases.”

Retailers Canceling Apparel Orders Amid Coronavirus Torments Clothes Makers (The Wall Street Journal): “Retailers have moved away from letters of credit, opting instead for an open-account system … where factories trust retailers to pay after shipment … Apparel factories often pay for labor and material costs out of pocket or with debt.”

When Mom’s Zoom Meeting Is the One That Has to Wait (The New York Times): “Even before the coronavirus crisis, women spent about four hours a day on unpaid work … compared with about 2.5 hours for men … That labor has expanded exponentially in recent weeks, as Americans home-school their children and help older family members and friends more vulnerable to the virus.”

The Future of Travel in the Covid Era (Bloomberg): “The shock from the stagnant travel industry, which accounts for 10% of the global economy, can ripple to the remotest corners of the world. Each time a person takes a trip, it sets off a domino effect of consumption that directs dollars to airlines, hoteliers, restaurateurs, taxi drivers, artisans, tour guides, and shopkeepers, to name a few. In all, the tourism industry employs 300 million people; especially in developing countries, these jobs can represent pathways out of poverty and opportunities for cultural preservation. Now a third of all tourism jobs are at risk, airlines around the world say they need as much as $200 billion in bailouts, and reduced travel expenditures both business and leisure puts the $1.7 trillion industry at risk … travel will be fundamentally different on the other side.”

♥ The Celine Box Bag (or Medium Classic Bag) is on sale (for $2799, compared to a retail price of $3950) in close to a dozen colorways at Gilt. Shipping is $9.99. Please note that Celine styles are final sale at Gilt.

The Coronavirus Generation Will Use Language Differently (The Atlantic): “If this kind of lockdown becomes necessary in waves until there is a vaccine … the ever-increasing oralization of American language use will be entrenched even more deeply than before … for most kids, the idea that online teaching is a less-than-ideal but workable substitute is a fiction. Exercises presented on a screen, little buttons to push, ‘writing’ on a keyboard rather than with the hand at an early age, no one directing students from one activity to another in person, no questions addressed directly by a living person—all of this engages most young people too little to instruct them in any real way. Online teaching as a norm is a crisis. Or at least, a crisis in inculcating the formal level of language, which is considered one of school’s main functions.”

In Sewage, Scientists Find Not Just Waste, But Coronavirus Clues (The Wall Street Journal): “… Covid-19 … is excreted in large enough amounts … wastewater samples can provide information on hundreds of thousands of people or more in one hit … the coronavirus had shown up in feces around three days after infection. That is shorter than it typically takes a person to display symptoms, which can be five days or more.”

The Pandemic May Mean the End of the Open-Floor Office (The New York Times): “… disease experts say that a virus-free office environment is a pipe dream … Some companies have begun mentioning a return to one of history’s more derided office-design concepts: the cubicle. There is talk also of the … sneeze guard … [which] already have a home in banks and grocery stores, but they are getting a new push into the corporate office space.”

Americans Are Starting to Venture Out to Dine at Restaurants (Bloomberg): “OpenTable … says that bookings — a number that’s been down 100% year-on-year almost every day since March 21 — had eased to down 98% … These numbers are being driven by states that have moved to reopen their economies … The quickest recovery has been in Texas and Oklahoma. Both states saw restaurant foot traffic down 87% year-on-year May 7 from the same day in 2019.”

In a Pandemic, Is ‘Wellness’ Just Being Well-off? (The Cut): “As the hospitals filled up, and so many people began to die, the notion that superior health has anything to do with … all the consumer-truther truths of wellness — seemed to not make much sense anymore. Or did it? The drastic inequities in who was and was not surviving this illness grew more and more stark … as the death toll mounted and more data began to appear, it became clear that if you had the time and money to do many of the sorts of things that Gwyneth Paltrow recommends so that you could be a little bit like her, you were privileged enough to have a degree of control over your life, and your health care, already. You are, statistically, less likely to get sick, and if you did get sick, you’d be more likely to fare a bit better. One of the lessons of wellness is that good health has become a premium luxury product.”

A Bleak Landscape for Lowest Paid Workers (The Wall Street Journal): “Of the 20.5 million jobs lost in April, the hardest hit occupations and sectors … pay less than average. Leisure and hospitality, where the hourly wage averages $18, lost 7.7 million jobs. Retail trade, which pays $21.20, lost 2.1 million. Because the losses were concentrated in the lowest-paying occupations, average hourly earnings got an artificial boost: up 4.7% from March to $30.01 for all private-sector employees … If the economic shock from Covid-19 is brief, like previous natural disasters, many of these sectors and companies will bounce back and the jobs they offer will be much the same. But the longer it lasts, the more likely low-wage workers will suffer from permanent shifts in consumer preferences.”

What if You Don’t Want to Go Back to the Office? (The New York Times): “… workers will be looking for the ‘happy medium,’ splitting time between remote work and showing up at the office. The hope is that the pandemic will have shown managers that workers can be trusted to do their jobs without constant supervision … Gallup found that almost 60 percent of Americans working from home would prefer to work remotely ‘as much as possible’ after restrictions are lifted, with 40 percent saying they preferred to return to the workplace.”

♥ Recently purchased: Cole Haan Maikki Pump (I am thisclose to ordering a second pair in red), Club Monaco Strawberta Shirtdress, Agua Bendita Herbarium Printed Dress, FRAME Toile Mix Dress, and Anthropologie Carla Embroidered Maxi Dress.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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