Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! (I feel It’s important to note that National Chocolate Chip Day is celebrated separately on May 15.)
I normally bake my own cookies to mark the occasion, but, as I still have dozens of chocolate chip walnut cookies from Levain–sent by friends as birthday presents a few weeks ago–in my freezer, I will simply reheat those instead. If you don’t have emergency cookies at the ready, you can order your own Levain cookies online (use code COOKIEDAY22 to get free shipping today). And Whole Foods also sells a smaller, blander version of these cookies in its freezer section.
+ Can’t Talk, I’m Busy Being Hot (The New York Times): “These days, being hot no longer pertains only to your physical appearance, but includes how you move through the world and how you see yourself. Many of those pushing for a broader understanding of the term are also pushing back against the idea that you need to wait for confirmation from someone else before feeling justified in calling yourself hot. To them, hotness is a self-declaration, and that’s that. Hotness is no longer just in the eye of the beholder. It’s a mood. It’s a vibe.”
+ Core Is the New Chic (Vogue): “I’ve been guilty of using the word core in place of style, and the phrase that has become common parlance almost overnight … The digital obsession with cores—used as a suffix that basically denotes a kind of style—began back in 2013, when the term normcore was first coined by trend forecasters K-Hole as a philosophy of fashion. They posited that the chronically online were competing for virality and uniqueness, and as a result, both were harder to come by. Enter normcore. It was a look for people who didn’t want to stand out but saw the social power of fitting in.”
+ Brad Pitt’s Skirt Has a Business Agenda (The Wall Street Journal): “After he wore the linen ensemble, the term ‘Brad Pitt skirt’ hit 100, the highest possible score on Google Trends, the search engine’s measurement of interest. According to Twitter, following the Berlin red carpet, tweets mentioning Brad Pitt increased 63% compared with the week prior, as users both lauded … and pilloried him … And publicity is a key result. By wearing a skirt, 58-year-old Mr. Pitt successfully got the phrase ‘Bullet Train’ premiere’ into publications that otherwise likely wouldn’t have covered the shoot-’em-up action film.”
+ Yeezy Gap Brings a Dystopian Retail Experience to Stores (The Business of Fashion): “Instead of hanging on racks or neatly folded on tables, the eight styles on sale from the ‘Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga’ collection were piled into overflowing black plastic bags. Shoppers, some of whom waited for hours to enter, were sifting through the T-shirts and hoodies to find sizes and get a better look at the clothes … Bringing Yeezy Gap to Gap stores is the biggest step so far in integrating the two brands more closely, though the physical space mostly seemed a reminder of how far apart they are. In the press materials sent out, it was described as ‘utilitarian,’ though it could easily veer into dystopian.”
+ Chaos and Creation: Inside the Making of Yeezy Gap (The New York Times): “… Gap [announced] … in June 2020, a 10-year deal with the undeniably cool Ye and his fashion line Yeezy, with the option to renew at the five-year mark, at which point Gap hoped Yeezy Gap would be generating $1 billion in annual sales … Except that in its first 18 months, the partnership yielded just two products, both sold only online … Gap’s preferred word to explain the unconventional production timeline of Yeezy Gap is ‘fluid’ … The discussion around Yeezy Gap has largely morphed from focusing on sales to focusing on buzz. And Gap is investing considerably in that buzz: in addition to fees Ye has already been or will be paid for the collection — and the costs of maintaining the innovation studio, as well as its sampling and production — Gap also provides support for music videos and concerts that feature Yeezy Gap products.”
+ J.Crew’s and Gap’s Comeback Playbooks Couldn’t Be More Different. Only One Is Working (The Business of Fashion): “For a retailer of its size, the arrival of a creative force as high-profile as Ye should have been felt throughout the company. Instead, Yeezy Gap has operated as an almost independent entity within Gap Inc. No mainline Gap product available today appears to have been influenced by Ye. The Yeezy collection exists on a different website from Gap.com … Under chief executive officer Libby Wadle at J.Crew, on the other hand, the turnaround strategy from day one was rooted in the nuts and bolts of retail. Today, the entire offering feels unified in its vision. J.Crew was able to achieve this by hiring creative leaders who could tap into the current fashion moment and had a history of collaboration, rather than banking on the vision of one iconoclastic superstar. In its first quarter of 2022, J.Crew sales grew 25 percent.”
+ The Latest Beauty Trend Is…Looking Sweaty? (The Wall Street Journal): “To look soakingly in vogue, start with clean, sweat-free skin and hair. Towel dry your locks post-shower, and apply exfoliating toner to your face. Follow with moisturizer but not too much: Excess hydration will cause a makeup landslide … To build a solid base, apply primer and liquid highlighter or luminous SPF all over skin. Follow with concealer or foundation only where needed … Then, tap a clear gel or cream across brow bones, cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the cupid’s bow … After dusting translucent powder under eyes and around the corners of the nose and mouth to create contrast, swipe on a lip gloss and brush up brows with a balm-coated spoolie … For a subtle sweat effect … liberally mist the crown of the head with a styling primer and scrape hair back with fingers to add texture … Then, lock in the shape by wrapping a triangular hair-setting net around the head, blow-drying with a diffuser and spritzing a high-shine hair spray. Rake a leave-in conditioner through hair to finish.”
+ As Consumers Return to Stores, Why Would Amazon Shut the Door? (Retail Dive): Amazon’s business is centered around logistics, technology and, increasingly, advertising, and not retail, some experts say. For years now, its third-party marketplace sellers have been responsible for the bulk of the merchandise sold on its site … ‘Warehouse fulfillment is a lot easier than running a retail store because, in retail, you’ve got to be good at the logistics and technology — plus 10 other things … They haven’t proven they know how to merchandise, they haven’t proven they know how to operate, they haven’t proven they know how to brand, they haven’t proven they know how to assort. It’s a lot of ‘not provens’ ‘ … Amazon said by email that physical retail remains an important part of its business … and that it will continue to open new stores. However, its experiment with brick and mortar is largely over, at least when it comes to most non-grocery goods, because the company sees little reason for it “
+ The Crypto Collapse Has Flooded the Market With Rolex and Patek (Bloomberg): “The price decline for the most sought after models is the latest indication that the once soaring second-hand luxury watch market is starting to lose pace. Surging valuations for crypto currencies had minted a new class of luxury buyers, leading to an unprecedented price increase for models particularly from brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek. Now that many digital tokens have been hammered, these consumers are going into reverse.”
+ Sorry, Skirts. Fancy Shorts Are This Summer’s Surprising Essential. (The Wall Street Journal): “Shorts are finally shaking off their associations with park rangers and lost tourists. Women … are reconsidering the garment, and realizing that some iterations can confer a certain defiant confidence when styled with creativity and grace … Though packed with utility—shorts are comfortable, breezy and often amply pocketed—smart, tailored cuts telegraph a modern self-assuredness … According to global shopping platform Lyst, searches for shorts including the words ‘linen,’ ‘suit’ or ‘formal’ have leapt 49% this year over 2021, with a major uptick during the last two months … But in professional settings, some fashion insiders consider even upscale shorts untenable.”
+ Why Fashion’s Inventory Problem Is Back (And How to Solve It) (The Business of Fashion): “On average, large publicly traded apparel retailers’ inventory levels were 27 percent higher in June than a year prior … For some, the situation is even more extreme. In its most recent earnings report, women’s apparel retailer Aritzia said inventories were more than 80 percent higher than last year. Discounting has returned with a vengeance. Across men’s, women’s and children’s apparel in the UK, more than 71 percent of products were marked down as of July 17 … That’s compared to 22 percent last year and 47 percent in 2019. In the US, 60 percent of products were marked down, versus 48 percent in 2019 … Some retailers have already cut their orders for the future quarters. American Eagle Outfitters as well as Abercrombie & Fitch have reduced fourth-quarter order sizes by 10 percent or more.”
+ Let Them Have Couture (The New York Times): “Balenciaga, the disrupter of high fashion — now a conduit to pop culture with its cartoons and Crocs, led by creative director Demna — wanted to try something new. It wanted a store with walk-in hours, where garments from its couture shows could be tried on, altered and purchased on-site … As with any disruption, there were some hiccups to overcome. According to the brand, the store was open by appointment on Mondays and Saturdays, welcoming walk-in shoppers the rest of the week … I tried to walk in without an appointment on a late Thursday afternoon and was initially turned away, told the store wasn’t free at the time.”
+ I’ll Make You Copies. But I Have Dreams, Too. (The Atlantic): “Monotonous work is difficult to do well precisely because no one wants to do it. You need concentrated willpower to pay attention to small, repetitive tasks with at least a modicum of grace and accurate execution, and the ability to muster that grace under often unjustified pressure and intense boredom is the value that remains underestimated and usually undercompensated in America … Where professional development is concerned, we talk about ‘more.’ You are worth more; you could be doing more. This more is an odd concept because it suggests the attainment of a higher level, an increase in skill. If you are worth more, you must be doing more, and this becomes a tidy explanation of why a white-collar employee, such as a software engineer for Amazon, gets paid astronomically more than a blue-collar employee, such as a warehouse worker for Amazon. The engineers are doing more not in time or effort but in terms of perceived value, because we don’t appreciate that both the higher-tier and the lower-tier workers are equally necessary to ensure economic success.”
+ Our Condolences to the Birkin (The Cut): “Toward the end of ‘Summer Renaissance,’ Beyoncé pointedly mentioned that her Birkin bags … are … in storage?”
+ Terry Cloth: Is It High Fashion or Am I Just Wearing a Towel? (The Wall Street Journal): “Designers’ visions for terry—a fabric that, like so many fashionable things, was conceived in France in the mid-1800s—have this season evolved from pool coverups and loungewear to jumpsuits and retro-inspired sets … Ultimately, my resistance to terry comes down to the simple fact that, no matter what form it takes, it’s basically a towel. And a towel’s primary function is to absorb.”
+ Not Just Any Bag (The New York Times): “… last year Anybag collected 12,000 pounds of plastic, the equivalent of about 588,000 single-use plastic bags. The company strips everything down, cleans it and disinfects it … His staff can weave five to seven yards of plastic a day, which makes about 20 totes. Each bag is sturdy, with a crinkly texture that can hold up to 100 pounds. They’re trimmed in colorful canvas with straps in pink, fluorescent yellow, royal blue and black. The bags come with a lifetime guarantee — the plastic will outlive us, after all — and free repairs.”
+ Seriously, What Are You Supposed to Do With Old Clothes? (The Atlantic): “As Americans generate an ever-expanding sea of textile waste—most recently estimated at 11.3 million tons in 2018, up from 1.7 million tons in 1960, according to the EPA—we’ve also generated an ever-expanding number of services that promise to get rid of your old clothes without the guilt of buying so much in the first place. In addition to traditional routes such as charitable donations and consignment stores, you can turn over your textiles for recycling, to either a municipal program or a for-profit company, some of which will send you a postage-paid bag to fill at your leisure. Donation boxes, some legitimate and some owned by for-profit companies looking for free inventory to sell in bulk, now abound in cities and many suburbs. The resale economy, too, has boomed, and you can find new buyers for your old clothes on a slew of resale websites and apps, including eBay, Poshmark, Depop, and Facebook Marketplace. These services all make a lot of promises about sustainability and minimizing waste, but what they can’t promise is that your old clothes won’t end up in a landfill anyway. And in all likelihood, many—if not most—of them will.”
+ Recently purchased: Rebecca Taylor Pleated Romper, Free People The Romy Pointelle Stitch Crop Top, Ann Taylor Azra Suede Pumps (new colorways added), Everlane The Track Half-Zip, J. Crew Squareneck A-line Dress, Loeffler Randall Mallory Woven Crossbody Bag, Nike x Stussy Air Force 1 Mid Sneakers, and Air Jordan 1 Mid Sneaker.
Have a good week, all!