Weekly Link Roundup

Chanel Raises Bag Prices By Up to 15 Percent (The Business of Fashion): “The French luxury house has upped prices for some of its most iconic bag models by 10 to 15 percent in its third round of price adjustments since the pandemic began. The price increases, which took effect on July 1, boosted price tags on models like Chanel’s Classic Maxi Flap by 15 percent.”

The Imperial Editor Goes the Way of the Dodo (The New York Times): “The mold of the imperial editor, established in the early part of the 20th century when Edna Woolman Chase of American Vogue and Carmel Snow of Harper’s Bazaar first claimed their fiefs, has been broken, probably irrevocably … The new guard of editors (many chosen by Ms. Wintour) is younger and less familiar, but significantly more diverse, possessed of a very different aura and set of priorities … the editors are sharing content, too — cover shoots and interviews — a strategy that has been underway since 2018 and that was also employed at Hearst … this has meant a marriage of the previously separate sister companies of Condé Nast and Condé Nast International, centralizing power in New York and creating redundancies … The cost savings are obvious, but … critics of the decision charge that the planned consolidation risks the opposite: that by centralizing power in the hands of a few, it devalues local voices, cultures and nuance, and turns the editors into figureheads, often with big followings on social platforms but little actual decision-making power.”

Mutiny at Great Jones: How a Cofounder War Led Every Employee to Quit Instagram’s Trendiest Cookware Company (Business Insider): “A year after everything first imploded, Great Jones said it’s doing better than ever. People close to the company paint what happened as an unfortunate but common startup growing pain — about 45% of startup founders break up within four years of launch. A spokesperson for the company said the fourth quarter of 2020 was its best quarter to date … Tishgart raised $1.75 million last fall, with investments from founders and owners of prominent restaurants … Tishgart’s family and in-laws also invested about $400,000 … While Moelis is still a board member and major equity holder in Great Jones, several of the employees are still adrift, without full-time work a year later … For them, Tishgart’s victory seemed to point to something inherently toxic in the startup world, another example of venture capitalists siding with the flashy rainmaker over the stable hand and leaving the employees out to dry.”

The Internet Is Rotting (The Atlantic): “… 50 percent of the links embedded in Court opinions since 1996, when the first hyperlink was used, no longer worked. And 75 percent of the links in the Harvard Law Review no longer worked. People tend to overlook the decay of the modern web, when in fact these numbers are extraordinary—they represent a comprehensive breakdown in the chain of custody for facts.”

The Plus-Size Company That Became a Billion-Dollar Brand (The Business of Fashion): “Torrid, the retailer that launched in 2001 as the “Goth Barbie” sister brand to Hot Topic now has over 600 stores of its own, which along with its website generated net sales of $974 million last year. On Thursday, the company’s shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CURV … 70 percent of American women wear a size 14 or larger … and plus-size apparel will generate $32 billion in sales in 2021.”

The New Tween Status Look: LoveShackFancy Dresses and Golden Goose Sneakers (The Wall Street Journal): “A LoveShackFancy minidress or skirt is the lynchpin of the tween and teen status look of the moment, which also includes bare legs, sneakers (often shabby-chic Golden Gooses or white Nike Air Force Ones) and sometimes hoodies by streetwear brands like Off White. The look’s Ground Zero is the area around the LoveShackFancy boutique in the Upper East Side, a privileged enclave where packs of private-school tweens parade down the streets in near-identical outfits. Thanks, however, to the democratizing effects of social media and rampant dupes, clones of those real-life Gossip Girls can also be found everywhere from Gothenburg to Grosse Pointe.”

What Won’t the Nelk Boys Do? (The New York Times): “… they have sold their 6.6 million fans on the Nelk lifestyle, which is both a state of mind and a growing suite of subscriptions and products, all summed up by the cryptic-to-anyone-but-a-bro catchphrase ‘full send.’ ‘It started out meaning party hard, but now it’s evolved into, ‘Any activity you do, give it your absolute best … If you’re in the gym, you got to full send in the gym.’ “

LVMH’s Billion Dollar Retail Bet (The Business of Fashion): “The French luxury group has spent 15 years and nearly $1 billion to resurrect the iconic art deco and art nouveau retail space [La Samaritaine] sandwiched between Notre Dame and the Louvre, which was forced to close in 2005 over safety concerns … the store’s reopening this week … launched the retail playground to a Paris largely devoid of a key target demographic: high-spending tourists.”

The Left’s War on Gifted Kids (The Atlantic): “… across the U.S., blue-state educational authorities have turned hostile to academic testing in almost all of its forms. In recent months, honors programs have been eliminate … curricula are being rethought to eliminate tracking that separates more- and less-adept student populations … At least a thousand colleges and universities have halted use of the SAT, either permanently or as an experiment … SAT subject tests have been junked altogether. Special programs don’t poll as well when the questions stipulate that many Black and Hispanic students would not qualify for admittance. But the programs’ numbers rebound if respondents are assured that students will have equal access to test prep … almost 80 percent of New Yorkers would want to preserve selective testing at the city’s elite high schools if it were combined with free access to test-preparation coaching for disadvantaged groups … But rather than expanding gifted programs, many self-proclaimed reformers are moving to shut them down, public opinion be damned. The intention behind the changes is equity. The result is to ignite a thousand local battles over race, class, and opportunity … It’s often observed that the Republican Party has lost touch with 21st-century America. But Democrats, too, need to absorb that the country has changed in ways inhospitable to some of their long-established commitments and priorities.”

Robbing the Xbox Vault: Inside a $10 Million Gift Card Cheat (Bloomberg): “… in 2017 … Kvashuk had recently begun a full-time job at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., testing the company’s e-commerce infrastructure … Then Kvashuk found a bug that would change his life … He noticed that whenever he tested purchases of gift cards, the Microsoft Store dispensed real 5×5 codes. It dawned on him: He could generate virtually unlimited codes, all for free … By the time federal agents caught up with him almost two years later, he had stolen more than 152,000 Xbox gift cards, worth $10.1 million, and was living off the proceeds in a seven-figure lakefront home with plans to buy a ski chalet, yacht, and seaplane. This past November, a judge sentenced him to nine years in prison.”

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Letter of Recommendation: Gossip (The New York Times): “The anthropologist Robin Dunbar has proposed that humans developed spoken language not to more effectively hunt or build or conquer but to gossip. If we’re going to maintain our position within a group, we need to learn what personal behavior could jeopardize our standing there.”

Why Does It Cost So Much to Build Things in America? (Vox): “The US is the sixth-most expensive country in the world to build rapid-rail transit infrastructure … And that’s with the nation often avoiding tunneling projects, which are often the most complicated and expensive parts of any new metro line. … the five countries with higher costs than the US ‘are building projects that are more than 80 percent tunneled … [whereas in the US] only 37 percent of the total track length is tunneled’ … In New York, the Second Avenue Subway cost $2.6 billion per mile, in San Francisco the Central Subway cost $920 million per mile, in Los Angeles the Purple Line cost $800 million per mile. In contrast, Copenhagen built a project at just $323 million per mile, and Paris and Madrid did their projects for $160 million and $320 million per mile, respectively. These are massive differences in cost … The problem is fundamentally that the US is getting very little for what it builds … Step one is more data … If a project is getting federal money, requiring that it provide an itemized list of costs to the federal government is a first step … cutting down on bureaucracy doesn’t mean slashing government budgets — while simplifying the rules and regulations that go into developing projects, American transit agencies need to be staffed up in-house to reduce reliance on expensive contractors and build up institutional knowledge.”

Jean Shorts—A Dad Style Staple—Are Suddenly in Fashion (The Wall Street Journal) “… jorts—those frumpy jean shorts worn by beer-clutching dads behind the barbecue—have wormed their way into style … Even committed jort enthusiasts are aware that jean shorts are still a bit of a gag.”

Skims Is the Official Underwear of the U.S. Olympic Team (The New York Times): “Kim Kardashian West’s shapewear brand, Skims, will provide the official underwear, loungewear and pajamas for female American athletes at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.”

What Now for Burberry’s Turnaround? (The Business of Fashion): “Burberry chief executive Marco Gobbetti is quitting for a new position at struggling luxury shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo … Gobbetti was brought in to turn around Burberry’s fortunes in 2017, but the company is still lagging peers. Sales have slightly declined year-on-year since Gobbetti joined the brand, as creative director Riccardo Tisci’s designs underwhelmed critics and consumers alike. Over the pandemic, sales continued to slide, dropping 10 percent for the year ending March 27, 2021 … Gobbetti will remain in his current role until the end of the year, Burberry said. Burberry is yet to find Gobbetti’s successor.”

♥ Recently purchased: J. Crew Smocked-Waist Pleated Dress, Isabel Marant Etoile Harveli Jacket, Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Broadcloth Shirtdress, Reformation Kassi Tie Shoulder Tank Top, Sézane Léontine Jumper, and Sweaty Betty All Day Ruched Hem 7/8 Leggings.

Have a great long weekend, everyone!

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