Weekly Link Roundup

+ The low-maintenance Lacoste watch (find more colorways and sizes on sale here) that I wore most days this summer is currently 38% off at Amazon. For those looking for a relatively inexpensive accessory that’s equal parts preppy and sporty for the warmer months, this is a good option to consider. Shipping is free on orders over $25 (or free on all orders for Prime members).

+ Linda Evangelista and the Fantasies Fashion Sells (The New York Times): “Fashion has always defined itself as a purveyor of dreams … That is part of its promise and its allure. It offers escapism into gorgeousness, into a world where clothes can, like a fairy godmother, wave their wands and transform; where women are taller, thinner, fitter, more poreless and peerless than even seems possible … Whenever fashion is challenged for serving up an unrealistic, unachievable, unaffordable image of women, that’s the answer: Beauty is its own justification. It’s a human imperative, and we need it to survive.”

+ Handbag Prices Are Skyrocketing. Who’s Buying Them? (The Business of Fashion): “The average price for a women’s designer bag in the US has risen around 27 percent since 2019 … The average price of $2,475 for a designer bag is almost 2.5 times higher than the amount US general consumers say their budgets will allow, but is still within budget for approximately 60 percent of the US high-net-worth individuals polled.”

+ In Sotheby’s New Luxury Strategy, Pateks Could Catch Up With Picassos (Bloomberg): “The luxury goods market … is scalable in a way that art isn’t … Stewart, brought to Sotheby’s in 2020 by telecom billionaire Patrick Drahi soon after he took the auction house private, sees an opportunity … Stewart … does have a straightforward plan. It entails holding more luxury auctions, along boosting their size and the range of objects they sell … and reframing Sotheby’s for a younger generation by shifting it to a glamorous, all-around marketplace. To get this message across, the house has ramped up the ways it blends categories … it held concurrent whisky, jewelry, and handbag auctions, figuring correctly that buyers for one would be interested in the other … The strategy is paying off. In the first half of 2022, the company’s total luxury sales were up 20% from the same period in 2021; 49% of luxury goods bidders were new to Sotheby’s. The number of auctions in that period rose 20%; the number of lots sold were up 24% … But a large market isn’t the same thing as an underserved one, and Stewart isn’t alone in recognizing luxury resale’s potential. Forget rival Christie’s, whose $980 million in luxury sales last year almost matched Sotheby’s $1 billion. There are dozens of watch resale sites alone, RealReal Inc. dominates apparel and handbags, and all such platforms are vying for market share, even as prices have begun to fall.”

+ Why Bespoke Streetwear Is Thriving—Even on Savile Row (The Wall Street Journal): “Clothsurgeon, which opened in August, is the first bespoke streetwear brand on Savile Row. Each of its custom pieces, whether bomber jacket or tracksuit, is built to satisfy a client’s vision … Tailors have been making custom clothing for centuries, but the process is most associated with form-tracing suits. Men seeking streetwear, which is often cut generously, can overlook fit’s importance. But well-fitting needn’t mean form-fitting … How a garment, however casual and slouchy, should drape is an art.”

+ Is This the Least Cringe Option to Get People to Your Party? (The New York Times): “… Partiful … a new event-invitation service that allows hosts to create mobile-friendly event pages and guests to receive reminders via text. In the year since it became available for use, it has already become ubiquitous … The service, which is free to use, is gaining popularity among people in their 20s who live in big cities and who say it is more streamlined than group texts or Instagram stories, more casual than Paperless Post and less embarrassing than Facebook, which has lost its grip on people under 30.”

+ Shein’s New Rival, Explained (The Business of Fashion): “Temu, a sister company to … Pinduoduo, that sells everything from distressed denim to AirPod cases, has ranked in the top 10 most-downloaded shopping apps in Apple’s app store less than a month after its US launch … It’s a story familiar to both fashion insiders and consumers: a previously unknown retailer with close ties to Chinese garment manufacturers explodes onto the US market with a seemingly limitless selection and astonishingly low prices. Shein rode this formula to become the most downloaded fast fashion shopping app in the US in the first half of this year, and a host of other upstarts have found success mimicking aspects of that business model … Temu’s rapid rise is also a sign of how Shein has changed the fast fashion market. New retailers can make a big splash without first priming consumers with carefully plotted marketing campaigns, celebrity endorsements or promotions. At the same time, success is more ephemeral: there’s always another faster, cheaper seller looking to grab its slice of the market.”

+ Noughties Indie Sleaze Shoe Returns – Ballet Flats Are Back on Point (The Guardian): “This is the first time ballet flats have been fashionable since the Noughties … Gen Z have rediscovered this indie sleaze era. Think messy eyeliner, distressed leather jackets, grubby miniskirts and of course the flat feet-destroying ballet pumps. This season’s iterations are a much more literal interpretation of the traditional ballet pointe shoe, with MatchesFashion reporting strong sales of Miu Miu’s pale pink version. Featuring a logo embossed elastic tie, they were styled on the autumn/winter 2022 runway with chunky knee high socks and miniskirts whereas the street style set favour low-slung jeans. This sleek slipper revival is part of a wider dance trend making leaps in the fashion world.”

+ The End of the $25000 N.F.L. Rookie Dinner? (The New York Times): “The N.F.L. is the highest-grossing professional sports league in the United States, with estimated revenues of $11 billion in 2021. Yet its players — who enter the league in their early 20s and become six- or seven-figure earners overnight — make less than many professional male athletes in other sports. They are not guaranteed contracts, and the average length of their careers is just short of three years … A 2015 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that more than 15 percent of N.F.L. players had declared bankruptcy within 12 years of leaving the profession … For many teams, these meals have morphed into shows of excess. They often take place at high-end steakhouses before the season starts. Veteran players intentionally order the most expensive items in multiples: lobster, steak, top-shelf Cognac.”

+ Inside the Texas Spending Blitz that Hooked Arch Manning and a No. 2 Recruiting Class (The Athletic): “Nine recruits, including Manning, received first-class treatment throughout their 48 hours in Austin, all paid for out of the school’s substantial recruiting budget … Texas spent nearly $280,000 for the mid-June weekend.”

+ The RealReal Is a Total Mess (The Cut): “Over the past year, items were taking longer to be listed, prices were too low when they were, and items were frequently mislabeled on the site. Employeeswere leaving frequently … the RealReal always had growing pains typical to a start-up, but things got messier after its IPO in 2019 It signed leases on two huge e-commerce spaces in New Jersey and Arizonaand opened 13 more stores with 16 retail spaces in total: ‘It was more about quantity of product, rather than the value of the product’ … Resale is a tough business. Since 2011, the market that the RealReal helped create has boomed, but neither the RealReal nor a number of its competitors, including Poshmark and ThreadUp, are profitable. (The RealReal reported a net loss of over $50 million in a recent quarter.)”

+ Riding Hermès to Record Revenue (The Wall Street Journal): “In 2013, revenue was $5.2 billion; in 2021, it had nearly doubled to $10.2 billion. Shares, which now trade at around $1,400, have quintupled in value … Leather is still king, and given the enduring passion for Birkins and Kellys, Hermès works at capacity. Waiting lists for the products are not a function of artificial scarcity, but actual scarcity, given that each bag is made start to finish by the same artisan, and skins of the appropriate quality are in short supply. Between now and 2026, Hermès will have opened five new leather production facilities in France, for a total of 24.”

+ The Tipping Point of Stupid (The Atlantic): “Candidates are well accustomed to playing to the base for the primary and then pivoting to the center for the midterms. Savvy voters understand and tolerate this to a degree. But Trump has made finessing the gap far more complicated.”

+ Clearance styles (ones that end in .97) are an extra 50% off online at Banana Republic Factory. No code needed, discount taken in cart. Shipping is free on orders over $50. The High-Rise Crop Chinos that I own in multiple colorways are on sale for $24.48 (with the extra 50% off).

+ Talking Jewelry on TikTok (The New York Times): “… sifting through information and pictures to decide ‘what will perform well and what information people want or need to know’ is more difficult than it might seem … And monetizing posts can be difficult. Ms. Dang, for example, said she had earned only a total of $420 from the TikTok Creator Fund, available to influencers with at least 10,000 followers. ‘That’s not a significant income’ … noting that she has 37,600 followers and ‘videos that went viral,’ with hundreds of thousands of views.”

+ What Nordstrom’s ‘Poison Pill’ Says About the State of US Department Stores (The Business of Fashion): “Nordstrom adopted a ‘poison pill’ measure … The Seattle-based chain had a reason to be paranoid: the move came just days after the Mexican department store chain Liverpool acquired a 9.9 percent stake — valued at about $294 million — in the retailer, effectively becoming its second largest shareholder behind the Nordstrom family … The poison pill shareholder plan allows Nordstrom to issue new shares at a 50 percent discount to other major shareholders if an outside party were to acquire 10 percent or more of Nordstrom’s stock without board approval.”

+ (Video Link) How to Feed NYC’s Largest Middle School (NYT Cooking on YouTube)

+ Underwire and Push-Up Bra Sales Signal a ‘Return to Sexy’ (The Wall Street Journal): “Underwire styles, including bras with push-up padding, are selling better than they have in years. Lingerie makers and market analysts say it’s a sign that customers aren’t just looking for support but a certain va-va-voom factor … sales of push-up bras across the industry are up 9 percent compared with last year.”

+ Inside Telfar’s Rainbow Bag Drop (The New York Times): “… the latest Telfar bag drop, at a Rainbow fashion store on Fulton Street … was the first time the brand had a physical bag drop; all the previous ones were online, and can sell out in seconds … Christened the ‘Bushwick Birkin,’ the coveted vegan-leather Shopping Bag created by Telfar Clemens, a 37-year-old Liberian American designer, costs $150 to $257 and has been carried by celebrities including Beyoncé and Dua Lipa … From the start of his brand in 2005, Mr. Clemens has focused on a kind of inclusivity — in terms of financial means and racial and gender identities — that is often not a priority for big brands. Many shoppers said that the decision to hold the event in a branch of Rainbow was a testament to Telfar’s emphasis on inclusivity.”

+ Recently purchased: J. Crew Cashmere Bouclé Cropped Cardigan Sweater, Gap Rib Cropped Cold Shoulder Top, Gap CashSoft Puff Sleeve Cardigan, Ann Taylor Mixed Cable Stitch Sweater, Banana Republic Lorca Leather Boot, REISS Amelia Rib Mock Neck Sweater Dress, English Factory Stripe Short Puff Sleeve Sweater, and Sézane Michele Jacket.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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