Weekly Link Roundup

One of my favorite jackets for fall, the BLANKNYC Faux Leather Jacket, is 40% off in two colorways at Nordstrom. (Outfit details: left, center, right)

Nordstrom’s Black Friday “season” has started. Until 11/26/2021, take up to 40% off thousands of items, prices as marked. Shipping and returns are free on all orders. My picks:

Is Denim in an Identity Crisis? (The New York Times): “These days, new styles emerge and recycle at dizzying speed. So fast … that sometimes they seem not to move at all, like a colorful spinning wheel transformed into a blur of brown: everything relevant at the same time … Despite lofty pronouncements about sweatpants overtaking ‘hard pants,’ the worldwide denim market is only getting bigger … it was worth more than $60 billion in 2020, and it’s projected to grow another $20 billion by 2026. That leaves us where we are now: every style of jeans we could possibly dream of, available effective immediately.”

What Gen-Z Investors Mean for Fashion (The Business of Fashion): “A survey from Charles Schwab found that 16 percent of new retail investors during the pandemic were Gen-Z … There’s also a push among Gen-Z investors from diverse backgrounds: Charles Schwab found that three times as many Black investors entered the market compared to white investors for the first time in 2020 … As funds increasingly look to invest in Gen-Z-founded companies, having young venture capitalists on their teams has become an asset for companies.”

The Great Organic-Food Fraud (The New Yorker): “… the organic consumer is buying both a thing and an assurance about a thing. Organic crops are those which … have been grown without the application of certain herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers … an organic product can become accidentally tainted if proscribed chemicals carry across from a neighboring crop. The rules forgive such contamination—to a point. Testing for residues is not common in American organic regulation. The real difference, then, between a ton of organic soybeans and a ton of conventional soybeans is the story you can tell about them.”

When a Track Suit Embodies a Nation (The New York Times): “Track suits have become a mark of social status in contemporary Korean culture … ‘When I saw the green track suits, the first thing that came to mind was this notion of ‘baeksu,’’ … common slang for someone who is out of work … In K-dramas, seeing someone head to the corner store during the workday, dressed in training-bok — as track suits are called — has become visual shorthand for ‘characters who are branded as losers, who haven’t gained financial independence from their parents or family or are somehow neglected by the dominant social group or discriminated against in society because of their failures,’ “

St. Jude Hoards Billions While Many of Its Families Drain Their Savings (ProPublica): “Only about half of the $7.3 billion St. Jude has received in contributions in the past five fiscal years went to the hospital’s research and caring for patients … About 30% covered the cost of its fundraising operations, and the remaining 20% … increased its reserve fund … a substantial portion of the cost for treatment is paid not by St. Jude but by families’ private insurance or by Medicaid … About 90% of patients are insured, bringing in more than $100 million in reimbursements for treatment a year. If a family shows up at St. Jude without insurance, a company hired by the charity helps them find it. St. Jude does cover copays and deductibles, an unusual benefit. St. Jude spends about $500 million a year on patient services — a figure that includes all medical care and other assistance. Very little of what St. Jude raises from the public goes to pay for food, travel and housing for families, the investigation found. Last year, it was 2% of the money raised, or nearly $40 million.”

Math Is Personal (The Atlantic): “Mathematics as an academic field is notoriously homogenous—mostly White or Asian and male—and though mathematicians are not seen as the epitome of masculinity, the culture is macho and aggressive … Much research suggests that feeling accepted and having a sense of belonging—the hallmarks of inclusion—helps people persist through difficulty and boosts their achievement. It also helps them stay motivated to remain in their field.”

The Paradox of Alimony for Men (The New York Times): “According to a 2019 study of census data by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group, half of United States households are headed by women, on average. While national statistics on alimony aren’t tracked … despite an increase in stay-at-home husbands, far more women than men seek and receive spousal support.”

♥ Through 11/15/2021, join J. Crew Rewards (which is free), and take 40% off your purchase at J. Crew with code FAMILY. Shipping is free on all orders. My picks:

Tiffany & Co. and Supreme Collaboration Confirmed (The Business of Fashion): “The centrepiece of the collection is a version of the brand’s signature heart-shaped pendant, inscribed with the phrase ‘please return to Supreme.’ Inspired by pieces the jeweller originally designed in the 1960s, the collection also features heart tag stud earrings, a heart knife key ring and a minimalist T-shirt bearing the Supreme logo. Though the streetwear brand is no stranger to collaborations, partnering with a luxury jeweller was a bit of an unexpected move. Supreme’s past team-ups have primarily been across the activewear and streetwear spaces.”

Thinking Hard About Their Hair (The New York Times): “… a hairstyle that’s become prominent among Gen Z: soft, fluffy waves or curls that dust the tops of their eyebrows and eyelashes, brushed forward toward the face and voluminous at the top … the style reigns supreme among a younger demographic … the ancient Greeks and Romans wore a nearly identical hairdo. The current trend in question … follows two important cardinal rules of hair for men during those ancient times: first, that the hair is brushed forward from the crown toward the forehead … and second, and perhaps most important, the tresses are visibly textured.”

The Year America’s Hair Fell Out (The Atlantic): “The pandemic was a near-perfect mass hair-loss event, and anyone with the most basic understanding of why people lose their hair could have spotted it from a mile away … Hair loss … can be temporary or permanent, and it has many causes—heredity, chronic illness, nutritional deficiency, daily too-tight ponytails. But one type of loss is responsible for the pandemic hair-loss spike: telogen effluvium. TE … is sudden and can be dramatic. It’s caused by the ordinary traumas of human existence in all of their hideous variety. Any kind of intense physical or emotional stress can push as much as 70 percent of your hair into the ‘telogen’ phase of its growth cycle, which halts those strands’ growth and disconnects them from their blood supply in order to conserve resources for more essential bodily processes. That, in time, knocks them straight off your head.”

The Manny Diaries (The New York Times): “To them, I was no longer just a nanny; I was family … This was a problem, though, because the closer we got to me moving on from Lucas, the harder it would be for me to leave. I was waiting for an opportunity to get out, a moment I knew would never come, so I had to take the leap.”

Japan’s Princess Mako Is Finally Married. Will the Controversy End There? (Vogue): “Since meeting Komuro … in the early 2010s, Mako’s choice of suitor has been roundly criticized by much of the country’s tabloid media for his humble origins, highlighting the disproportionate pressure placed on women in the imperial family … The heightened level of interest in Princess Mako’s wedding arrangements is partly the result of the imperial family’s declining numbers and looming succession crisis, a problem exacerbated by the 1,500-year-old institution’s refusal to allow women to inherit the throne.”

Are You Missing Out on the Metaverse? (The New York Times): “Leaders in technology, entertainment and fashion have rushed to stake their claim in it, though few seem to agree about what exactly it is. The important thing is that it’s coming … ‘Metaverse’ … was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel, ‘Snow Crash,’ and has recently been hurled into such wide and varied use that it has come to mean something no more specific than the future. Who wants to miss out on that? … For now, talk of the metaverse is mainly a branding exercise: an attempt to unify, under one conceptual banner, a bunch of things that are already taking shape online … The metaverse describes the way in which several emerging technologies — cryptocurrencies, NFTs, online game platforms like Roblox, and mixed and virtual reality hardware, including Facebook’s Oculus, for example — may grow and overlap.”

Inside Neiman Marcus’ Post-Bankruptcy Playbook (The Business of Fashion): “The idea behind the Neiman Marcus strategy is to invest as much as possible into its existing luxury customer base by offering perks like faster shipping, digitised personal shopping and premium retail spaces so that high spenders develop a long-term relationship with the brand … Neiman Marcus is spending about $200 million on store renovations to build out lounges, coffee bars and alteration services. In a post-Covid world, the company is betting that in-store services and amenities will further foster customer loyalty.”

How Does This End? (The New York Times): “The bottom line is that Covid now presents the sort of risk to most vaccinated people that we unthinkingly accept in other parts of life. And there is not going to be a day when we wake up to headlines proclaiming that Covid is defeated. In many ways, the future of the virus has arrived.”

♥ Recently purchased: UGG Diara Slipper, Uniqlo +J Down Long Coat, Jonathan Simkhai Andi Cardigan, LOFT Bobble Poncho Sweater, Ann Taylor Bow Blouse, and By Far Sofia Leather Ankle Boots.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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