Weekly Link Roundup

One of my favorite tank tops: the Free People Solid Rib Brami; see on me here

+ Reinventing the Humble Tank Top (The New York Times): “For such a simple piece of clothing — startlingly elementary in its design, merely a fabric tube with three holes — the ribbed tank has accrued myriad cultural associations. Worn in a straightforward, unironic fashion, it can read as either masculine and feminine — easily evoking the hackneyed image of the swaggering brute or a vixen eagerly courting the male gaze. Yet it can also be worn in a way that slyly undermines traditional gender roles, as demonstrated by its popularity among L.G.B.T.Q. people.”

+ Can Nike Turn the Forgotten Jordan 2 Into the Next Hype Sneaker? (The Business of Fashion): “Designed as a follow up to the groundbreaking Air Jordan 1, the shoe’s understated, white appearance and lack of the trademark Swoosh logo caused a stir on its release in 1986 … Nike itself is wading into this long-running debate as it banks on the Jordan 2 (also known as the AJ2) to be its next big style. The activewear giant regularly mines its archives for sneakers it can revive through collaborations and limited drops. It’s a wildly successful strategy: Jordan brand sales have more than doubled since 2015, topping $5 billion in the fiscal year ending in May. While that’s just over 10 percent of Nike’s overall revenue, the boost to the brand’s cultural cachet is much bigger.”

+This Is How You Keep a Fashion Brand Alive for 25 Years (Harper’s Bazaar): “Unlike … brands, who kept more or less the same aesthetic since their founding, Tibi took a hard pivot and evolved with the times. That move may have been its saving grace … while Tibi might have been chugging along successfully as a brand, its core aesthetic of bright, colorful prints never felt quite right to Smilovic. She’d chosen it, but she soon began to feel pigeonholed … It took a chance meeting at Net-a-Porter to push her to make a change. ‘I was wearing a gray top that we had dropped from the line and a black full skirt, another piece we did not produce,’ she recalls … The buyer remarked how chic the ensemble was and how confusing it was for Smilovic to be peddling a line that had little to do with her personal style. That’s when she knew it was time for a drastic shift.”

+ How to Afford The Row: A Guide (The Cut): “Start a wish list … Prioritize accessories … A pair of sunglasses, an oversize bag, and shoes that make a statement without being loud … Don’t sleep on sale season … shop secondhand … Be patient and be persistent. In other words, if you want something, sometimes you have to play the long game.”

+ Is Dillard’s Setting the Pace for Mid-tier Department Stores? (Retail Dive): “… despite being a public company, Dillard’s in many ways remains a family-run business … The department store boasts 52 owned brands or exclusive brand partnerships in women’s, men’s, children’s and home; its largest private women’s apparel, footwear and accessories label, Antonio Melani, has its own Instagram page and regularly releases its own designer collaborations and capsule collections … The retailer over a decade ago decided to move upmarket and focus on fashion; last year, its private labels accounted for 23% of its sales … The retailer works with outside and in-house designers and more recently with social media influencers to develop and market these items … If they continue to resonate with customers, Dillard’s private labels have the potential to help it take market share, and their higher margins would help offset what promises to be a promotional environment into next year.”

+ Plenty of Barefoot Dreams styles have been added to Nordstrom Rack‘s selection, including the CozyChic Rib Trim Throw, the CozyChic™ Throw Blanket, and the Cozychic® Waffle Cocoon Cardigan. Standard shipping is free on orders over $89. More picks:

+ Nordstrom Plunges as ‘Vulnerable’ Middle-Class Shoppers Tighten Belt (Bloomberg): “Nordstrom Inc. tumbled 20% Wednesday in its biggest drop since November after slashing its full-year outlook, citing slowing customer traffic and demand at its off-price Rack stores. The slump brings the stock’s year-to-date decline to 18% … Until now, Nordstrom’s shares had largely traded higher for the year, with management touting the resiliency of its higher-income customer base. The retailer’s fiscal second-quarter report debunked the magnitude of that advantage as weakness at its Rack stores, which made up about 30% of revenue in the quarter, outweighed strength in its higher-end business.”

+ The Queen of Slow Fashion on the Art of a Slow Exit (The New York Times): “Eileen Fisher … the queen of slow fashion is ready to give up that role (albeit slowly), part of what she described as a ‘responsible transition’ away from the helm. This latest step in stepping back would … allow her to concentrate on formalizing her design philosophy so the brand might eventually exist without her … After searching for more than a year … she was delighted to have found a successor. As of early September, Eileen Fisher’s new chief executive will be Lisa Williams, the current chief product officer at Patagonia … Part of getting things back on track involved cutting out some of the bolder colors and prints that had begun creeping into collections, instead re-emphasizing the hallmarks for which Ms. Fisher is known. The latest clothes on her website come in a muted color paletteThe shapes are uncomplicated and designed to flatter. The key now is to find a way to serve those looks to the next generation.”

+ A Mom’s Campaign to Ban Library Books Divided a Texas Town — and Her Own Family (ProPublica): “Of the nearly 80 library books Monica and her supporters want removed, 3 out of 5 feature LGBTQ characters or themes … In addition to sexually explicit content, the site calls for books to be removed for ‘normalizing lesbianism,’ focusing on ‘sexual orientation’ and promoting ‘alternate gender ideologies’ … when he was 20 and still living with his parents, he returned home late one evening after ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ a PG-13 superhero movie that his mother disapproved of. When he walked into his kitchen, he said, he found two pans of brownies waiting for him, along with a stack of articles printed off the internet about the corrosive influence of Marvel comics and films. One pan of brownies was normal. The other had a label that warned it had been baked with a small amount of dog poop mixed in. ‘Poo anyone? Just a little?’ Monica wrote later, when she posted an image of the brownies on Facebook. “How much yuck is too much?” The moral of the illustration, which is popular among some evangelical Christians: If you wouldn’t eat brownies that might harm your body, then why would you expose yourself to movies, books or music that might harm your soul? Her son was disgusted, but he didn’t push back on the lesson … Weston said … He’d spent years struggling to reconcile his desires with the religious values his parents had instilled in him ... It didn’t help, he said, that he’d had no meaningful sex education as a teenager — just a blanket instruction to abstain until marriage — and no understanding of LGBTQ identities or what those letters even meant.”

+ BJ’s Offering $10 Pizookie Pass Good For One Free Pizookie Every Day Throughout September 2022 (Chew Boom): “Passes go on sale at noon (12:00 pm) PT on Monday, August 29 at PizookiePass.com, and will stop being sold at 11:59 pm PT on Wednesday, August 31, or when the first 200 Pizookie Passes have been sold, whichever comes first.”

+ The Return of Aviator Joe (The New York Times): “… ever since Mr. Biden emerged from his Covid isolation into the sunshine earlier this month, the aviators have been front and center on his face … It’s the attitude as much as anything (even taking into account the glare of summer). He’s not just wearing sunglasses now. He’s wearing shades. ‘You know Joe Biden is having a good day when he wears his aviators.’ “

+ Have Outdoor Voices’ Turnaround Efforts Worked? (The Business of Fashion): “Projected sales for 2022 are $90 million, up from $40 million pre-pandemic, with a 30 percent compound annual growth rate since 2017. Add to that a repeat purchase rate of more than 75 percent and a projected gross margin of about 45 percent this year — projected to be 50 percent next year — and the pitch deck indicates that the company … is in a good place … But peel back one layer, and there’s a more nuanced story to tell the company was not profitable on an EBITDA … basis in 2021.”

+ How Quitting a Job Changed My Personal Finances (The New York Times): “Last year, more than 40 million people left their jobs. The so-called Great Resignation has been fueled by people who were tired of unfulfilling work, burned out by demanding jobs and the struggle to make ends meet. While some people are now in a stronger financial place and earning a higher salary, others who quit have faced financial hurdles. They’ve made it work by picking up part-time gigs on the side, giving up certain luxuries or … relocating to someplace less expensive. And despite the added stress, many feel that the decision was worth it.”

+ The Surprise in a Faltering Economy: Laid-Off Workers Quickly Find Jobs (The Wall Street Journal): “… job cuts at small startups and large companies have yet to dent the overall labor market. Labor demand is still historically strong, offering only faint signs of cooling. There are nearly two job openings for every unemployed person seeking work. That means many workers who are losing their jobs are quickly landing jobs. Some are even weighing multiple offers and accepting positions that pay more and better align with their skills … The typical unemployed worker had been off the job for 8.5 weeks in July, down from 14.4 weeks a year earlier … The shorter duration of unemployment suggests many unemployed Americans are finding jobs fast as fewer leave the labor force.”

+ The Aging Student Debtors of America (The New Yorker): “In 1983, at the age of fifty-two, Betty Ann enrolled in New York University’s law school. As a middle-aged Black woman, she wasn’t exactly the typical N.Y.U. law student. Her white male classmates would slyly elbow her books off the long library tables, and once, while standing at her locker, a classmate waved a ten-thousand-dollar tuition check, signed by his father, in her face. Betty Ann had borrowed twenty-nine thousand dollars in federal loans. Today, she owes $329,309.69 in student debt. She is ninety-one years old. Americans aged sixty-two and older are the fastest-growing demographic of student borrowers. Of the forty-five million Americans who hold student debt, one in five are over fifty years old. Between 2004 and 2018, student-loan balances for borrowers over fifty increased by five hundred and twelve per cent. Perhaps because policymakers have considered student debt as the burden of upwardly mobile young people, inaction has seemed a reasonable response, as if time itself will solve the problem. But, in an era of declining wages and rising debt, Americans are not aging out of their student loans—they are aging into them.”

+ Don’t Succumb to MAGA Fatalism (The Atlantic): “None of us can change the entire world. But each of us can change for the better the world we inhabit. Each of us can ‘live within the truth’ rather than within the lie. We can lean into politics rather than withdraw from it. We can be agents of healing to people whose lives are broken. We can support the institutions that civilize our lives and make democracy possible. And we can speak up for veracity and decency when it matters, including challenging people within our political and cultural tribes, even as we listen well to others. These are not heroic requirements, but they are essential ones. Everything hinges on Americans sending forth ripples of hope.”

+ Social Media Was a C.E.O.’s Bullhorn, and How He Lured Women (The New York Times): ” … Mr. Price had propelled himself to an unlikely position for the head of a 110-person payment processing company when he told his employees that he was raising their minimum pay to $70,000. His announcement was covered by The New York Times and NBC News. Esquire did a photo shoot. He made appearances on ‘The Daily Show’ and at the Aspen Ideas Festival … Mr. Price’s internet fame has enabled a pattern of abuse in his personal life and hostile behavior at his company, interviews with more than 50 people, documents and police reports show. He has used his celebrity to pursue women online who say he hurt them, both physically and emotionally.”

+ The Trait That ‘Super Friends’ Have in Common (The Atlantic): “… the distinguishing quality of super friends … [is] secure attachment … one of the most important secrets to taking initiative in friendship: Assume that people like you.”

+ For a limited time, take an extra 40% off all sale styles at Urban Outfitters; discount taken at checkout, no code needed. Shipping is free on orders over $75.

+ The Dangerous Populist Science of Yuval Noah Harari (Current Affairs): “We have been seduced by Harari because of the power not of his truth or scholarship but of his storytelling … Science populists are gifted storytellers who weave sensationalist yarns around scientific ‘facts’ in simple, emotionally persuasive language. Their narratives are largely scrubbed clean of nuance or doubt, giving them a false air of authority—and making their message even more convincing. Like their political counterparts, science populists are sources of misinformation. They promote false crises, while presenting themselves as having the answers. They understand the seduction of a story well told—relentlessly seeking to expand their audience—never mind that the underlying science is warped in the pursuit of fame and influence … the factual validity of Yuval Harari’s work has received little evaluation from scholars or major publications.”

+ The Crypto Geniuses Who Vaporized a Trillion Dollars (New York Magazine): “Zhu started trying to get rid of at least one of his good-class bungalows; at the same time, the firm started moving its money around. On June 14, the same day Zhu posted his tweet, 3AC sent nearly $32 million in stablecoins to a crypto wallet belonging to an affiliated shell company in the Cayman Islands. ‘It was unclear where those funds subsequently went,’ the liquidators wrote in their affidavit. But there is a working theory. In Three Arrows’ final days, the partners reached out to every wealthy crypto whale they knew to borrow more bitcoin, and top crypto executives and investors … believe 3AC found willing lenders of last resort among organized-crime figures. Owing such characters large sums of money could explain why Zhu and Davies have gone into hiding. These are also the kinds of lenders you want to make whole before anyone else, but you may have to route the money through the Caymans.”

+ The Last, Lonely Days of Ivana Trump (New York Magazine): “The pandemic hit Ivana hard. No more red-carpet posing at premieres, one Blahniked foot forward and turned out, catalogue-model style; no more holding court at ‘her table’ at Upper East Side eateries. She was terrified of the coronavirus. She took seriously all the recommended precautions and isolated herself inside her Manhattan townhouse. She had always declined personal security, even after her ex was elected president. She ordered a lot of delivery from restaurants on her block between Fifth and Madison, takeout cacio e pepe or pappardelle pesto.”

+ America’s Fall Booster Plan Has a Fatal Paradox (The Atlantic): “Pfizer’s version of the shot, which combines the original recipe with ingredients targeting the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, may be available to people 12 and older as early as the week after Labor Day; Moderna’s adult-only brew seems to be on a similar track … the timing couldn’t be worse. Emergency pandemic funds have been drying up, imperiling already dwindling supplies of vaccines; with each passing week, more Americans are greeting the coronavirus with little more than a shrug … America is still stuck on the notion of what Popescu calls ‘vaccine absolutism.’ And it rests on two very shaky assumptions, perhaps both doomed to fail: that the shots can and should sustainably block infection, and that ‘people will actually go and get the vaccine.’ “

+ Your Doppelgänger Is Out There and You Probably Share DNA With Them (The New York Times): “In a study … Dr. Esteller and his team recruited 32 pairs of look-alikes … to take DNA tests and complete questionnaires about their lifestyles. The researchers used facial recognition software to quantify the similarities between the participants’ faces. Sixteen of those 32 pairs achieved similar overall scores to identical twins analyzed by the same software. The researchers then compared the DNA of these 16 pairs of doppelgängers to see if their DNA was as similar as their faces … the 16 pairs who were ‘true’ look-alikes shared significantly more of their genes than the other 16 pairs that the software deemed less similar … DNA alone doesn’t tell the whole story of our makeup … while the doppelgängers’ genomes were similar, their epigenomes and microbiomes were different … This discrepancy tells us that the pairs’ similar appearances have more to do with their DNA than with the environments they grew up in … there could be links between facial features and behavioral patterns … the study’s findings might one day aid forensic science by providing a glimpse of the faces of criminal suspects known only from DNA samples.”

+ Recently purchased: Mango High Waist Raw Hem Culotte Jeans, Converse Chuck Taylor® All Star® 70 Mule, Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid Sneaker, Aurate Vintage Emerald Cut Ring, Banana Republic Heritage Linen & Leather Belt, Sézane Max Shirt, and Moroccanoil Treatment Light.

Have a good week, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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