♥ Currently shopping: Shopbop‘s sale section, which was refreshed late last week, reflecting both new and further-discounted styles. My picks: The North Face Cragmont Fleece Jacket (70% off; more TNF sale styles here), Madewell Belfiore Ribbed Pullover Sweater, Sam Edelman Lulia Boots (more Sam Edelman sale styles here), Sokie Collective Cable Turtleneck Crop Sweater, Sister Jane Milky Way Tweed Cardigan, Lioness Main Squeeze Midi Dress, and GANNI Cable Knit Sweater. Shipping is free on all orders.
♥ Chanel Tests Purse Lovers With $3,000 Price Hikes (The Wall Street Journal): “Chanel SA’s small Classic Flap bag was always a luxury item, but after three price hikes last year, it is selling for $8,200. That is up from the $5,200 it cost in 2019 … Chanel’s price increases stand out for their size and frequency … It raised prices on its Classic Flap bags three times in 2021. It made another price increase in January on different styles, including Coco Handle and Business Affinity bags, which now cost 8% to 12% more.”
♥ Streetwear Is Dead (The New York Times): “… hoodies and sneakers and T-shirts have become so fully absorbed by the high fashion establishment that the line between streetwear and fashion has effectively disappeared. Streetwear has become fashion — or fashion has become streetwear, depending on how you want to look at it … The people who buy one are buying the other; the designers of one have become the designers of the other; the values of each — cool, comfort, community — merged into one. The basics of streetwear are the basics of every fashion line, as much as jackets and ball gowns.”
♥ (Video) Line Goes Up – The Problem With NFTs (Folding Ideas on YouTube)
♥ The Crypto Backlash Is Booming (The Atlantic): “A few years ago, when Donald Trump was in office and the Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was awaiting trial, grifting seemed to be the default mode of conduct in a society built on self-interest … We were tickled by scams, found ourselves begrudgingly awed by them, and indulged a morbid curiosity in their inner workings. But somehow, the relentless misery and staggeringly unequal outcomes of the past two years have brought an unexpected correction to this mindset. A new exasperation has taken hold around the billionaires, out-of-touch celebrities, and dubiously talented influencers who couldn’t find it in themselves to act in good taste while others were suffering, and who were insulated from the worst of the pandemic by the money that kept rolling in. Calls rang out for crackdowns on all the liars, hypocrites, and opportunists exploiting desperation … with Web3, the anger seems to come from the knowledge that regular people may be unable to excuse themselves from the possibly tragic ramifications of a movement they neither pursued nor supported.”
♥ The Right’s Would-Be Kingmaker (The New York Times): “Mr. Thiel … is backing 16 Senate and House candidates, many of whom have embraced the lie that Mr. Trump won the election. To get these candidates into office, Mr. Thiel has given more than $20.4 million. That essentially puts him and Kenneth Griffin, the chief executive of the hedge fund Citadel, in a tie as the largest individual donors to Republican politics this election cycle … What sets Mr. Thiel’s spending apart, though, is its focus on hard-right candidates who traffic in the conspiracy theories espoused by Mr. Trump and who cast themselves as rebels determined to overthrow the Republican establishment and even the broader American political order … The candidates Mr. Thiel has funded offer a window into his ideology. While the investor has been something of a cipher, he is currently driven by a worldview that the establishment and globalization have failed, that current immigration policy pillages the middle class and that the country must dismantle federal institutions … Mr. Thiel, a naturalized American … have also obtained citizenship in New Zealand.”
♥ Why Hermès Probably Can’t Stop the MetaBirkin (The Business of Fashion): “In its lawsuit filed Jan. 14, Hermès argued that Mason Rothschild misused the Birkin name by selling a collection of 100 MetaBirkin NFTs in December … the label claims Rothschild infringed on and diluted Hermès’ trademark, and that consumers might be confused into thinking Hermès has some association with the MetaBirkins. The technological underpinnings of NFTs turn what might have been an open-and-shut case into something far more complex … An NFT is a blockchain entry pointing to a digital asset such as an image, which itself resides on a separate server. It’s effectively a receipt proving ownership, rather than the image itself … It leaves Hermès having to lean into other arguments. Even if it ultimately prevails in court, it would find it difficult to take the existing NFTs out of circulation: those MetaBirkins will continue to exist on the blockchain. If anything, a drawn-out legal drama could drive up their value with collectors.”
♥ Teen Lives, Interrupted by COVID (The New Yorker): “Even before the coronavirus was first detected in the U.S., in January, 2020, more than one in three high-school students in the country reported persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. The rate of suicide among those from the ages of ten to twenty-four had increased nearly sixty per cent in little more than a decade. These trends have only worsened during the pandemic, the stresses of which have added to preëxisting structural inequities. Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association together declared a national emergency in the area of child and adolescent mental health.”
♥ Business Casual Evolves to Business Comfort Among Hybrid Workers (Bloomberg): “Based on data gleaned from its orders, [Stitch Fix] says trends include the category of ‘business comfort,’ featuring items such as stretchy blazers, knit and woven tops and elastic-waist bottoms. While demand for work outfits is rising, a majority of consumers are looking to balance style with comfort … Denim and dresses are making a comeback, while sales for larger sizes are also growing fast. The report found clients ditching the business suit in droves, with about half of millennials saying they’ll never wear one again.”
♥ One Major Reason the U.S. Hasn’t Stopped Syphilis From Killing Babies (ProPublica): “… countries including Belarus, Cuba, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have managed to wipe out congenital syphilis while the United States faces its highest incidence in nearly three decades: Last year, 2,022 cases were reported, including 139 deaths … Congress dictates to the CDC, in an uncommonly specific manner not seen with many other agencies, exactly how much money, by line item, it can spend to combat any single public health threat … public health in the U.S. is constantly in … ‘a deadly cycle of panic and neglect’ — scrambling to throw money at the latest emergency, then losing the attention and motivation to finish the task once fear ebbs … That’s effective in acute situations, like stopping a new outbreak from exploding, but it doesn’t address long-term structural issues like economic stability, safe housing and transportation, which are all key factors in chronic and preventive care. The last fraction of cases in any public health effort can be the hardest to solve because they often involve vulnerable populations experiencing these barriers to accessing care. They are also the easiest populations to ignore.”
♥ That Organic Cotton T-Shirt May Not Be as Organic as You Think (The New York Times): “The largest single producer of the world’s organic cotton supply is India, which accounts for half of the organic cotton sold globally … organic cotton production in India alone grew 48 percent in the last year … However, much of this growth is fake, say Indians who source, process and grow organic cotton. At the heart of the problem is an opaque certification system rife with opportunities for fraud … In November, the European Union voted to no longer accept Indian organic exports certified by the main companies responsible for organic cotton … growing without pesticides and fossil-fuel fertilizer produces on average 28 percent lower yields than conventional cotton farming … organic cotton seeds produce lower quality, shorter fibers … increasingly brands were using their market power to negotiate the price of organic cotton down to the same price as conventional cotton or even cheaper because of its lower quality.”
♥ Adidas Frees the Nipple With Its New Sports-Bra Campaign for Women (The Wall Street Journal): “Adidas launched its new sports-bra campaign … with an unusual image: a grid of 25 sets of bare breasts … This bra campaign comes when the marketing of lingerie is being completely rethought. Whereas once airbrushed, sexualized advertising from the likes of Victoria’s Secret was the norm, new, female-led brands … are creating ad campaigns that show more realistic bodies and situations. Instead of oversexualized images showing perfect bodies photographed by male photographers, these marketers offer unretouched images created by female teams depicting women of all ethnicities, ages and body types.”
♥ In New York, Are Good Dresses Enough? (The Business of Fashion): “People want everything from them: new ideas, but also clear accessibility. It’s an almost-impossible ask, and it was easy to call this derivative: a corseted waist felt too familiar, as did some of the suiting. And yet, there are no new ideas in fashion, only new interpretations. Perhaps they should be judged not on whether the proposition is entirely new, but whether they made it entirely their own.”
♥ Americans Are Frustrated With the Pandemic. These Polls Show How Much. (The New York Times): “A recent Yahoo News/YouGov survey found that 46 percent of respondents thought Americans should ‘learn to live with’ the pandemic ‘and get back to normal,’ while just 43 percent thought ‘we need to do more to vaccinate, wear masks and test.’ A Republican firm, Echelon Insights, had similar findings, reporting that 55 percent of voters thought Covid-19 should be ‘treated as an endemic disease that will never fully go away,’ like the flu, while 38 percent said it should be ‘treated as a public health emergency.’ … Fully 70 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that ‘it’s time we accept Covid is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives’ in a recent poll by Monmouth University. That survey found that support for vaccine mandates has dropped to just 43 percent from 53 percent in September, while support for masking and social distancing guidelines dropped to 52 percent from 63 percent over the same period.”
♥ Recently purchased: sandro Esperance Wool Cardigan, Nordstrom Holiday Long Sleeve Cable Sweater Dress, Ann Taylor Raglan Button Mock Neck Sweater, J. Crew Cecile Relaxed Sweater-blazer, and The Drop Side Button Cropped Turtleneck Sweater.
Have a great week, everyone!