Weekly Link Roundup

KFC’s US offerings are limited and lacking in imagination, but I will stop in whenever they roll out new products, to show support for investment in new menu items. And while the KFC Wraps are fine (though they are very tortilla forward and light on fillings), they are the size of the old McDonald’s $1 snack wraps but at 3x the price (or 2.5x if you buy two). If you prize satiety over novelty, just get the $4.99 KFC Chicken Sandwich.

+ KFC® Takes New Kentucky Fried Chicken Wraps Nationwide (KFC): “After a successful test in Atlanta in 2022, the new KFC Wraps will finally be available to everyone … The new KFC Wraps are more craveable than ever before, with two new mouthwatering options: The Classic Chicken Wrap, a hand-breaded Extra Crispy™ Tender, crunchy pickles and creamy mayo, wrapped up in a warm tortilla … The Spicy Slaw Chicken Wrap covers an Extra Crispy™ Tender in a flavorful mix of KFC coleslaw, spicy sauce and crispy pickles”

+ Why Is Everyone Wearing These Cartoonish Red Boots? (Vogue): “MSCHF’s big red boots, aptly named the Big Red Boot … loves to push the boundaries of fashion, and more importantly, to make headlines. Their latest release … retail for $350, are made of TPU rubber and an EVA mid-outsole, and take design cues from a video game.”

+ A New York Fashion Week Mystery: What Happened to All the Plus-Size Models? (The Business of Fashion): “After a half decade where plus-size models, typically defined as size 14 and above, were an increasingly common sight on the runway, their relative absence in New York this past week was a source of conversation on the sidelines of shows and on social media. Some see it as a symptom of a broader cultural pivot, where celebrities bragging about their skinnier frames, and the sudden ubiquity of diet drugs can make it feel like the past decade-plus of messaging on body positivity never happened. Others point to more industry-specific causes, including an uptick in casting of mid-sized (size 8-10) models that may have come at the expense of slots once reserved for their plus-size peers … size inclusivity advocates say there’s been a noticeable trend away from casting curve models, beginning last season and accelerating in the recent round of shows.”

+ Here’s Why Everything at Walgreens Is Suddenly Behind Plastic (Curbed): “The NYPD says that retail-theft complaints have gone up 66 percent since 2019, and the problem isn’t confined to New York: 54 percent of small-business owners polled in a recent survey reported a rise in shoplifting with 23 percent claiming their stores were robbed on a daily basis … Most of the boosters … were addicts, and they stole to feed their habits … Rubinov’s payouts would usually afford a lucky booster a few bundles — enough to keep them high for 24 hours — which they could sometimes score right outside the pawnshop. But the clock is always ticking for heroin users, and the fear of dope sickness kept them boosting all day every day.”

+ The Beginning of the End of Millennial Discourse (The Cut): “Some millennial trends, once markers of youth and trendiness, are no longer cool. Instead of aging gracefully and accepting the loss of access to the very cool that once made them the center of attention, some millennials resort to Gen-Z cosplay. All it takes is a buzzy think piece about the differences between the generations to send millennials into yet another existential tizzy.”

+ The End of Blanding (The Business of Fashion): “Brand after brand, including Balenciaga, Berluti, Balmain and Saint Laurent, rolled out logos featuring thick, unembellished typefaces. Each company made its case for why its sanded-down lettering represented a unique creative choice, and the easily readable, bold typefaces were fitting for an era of sales bumps for logoed products. But the undeniable similarity prompted a backlash … now, the pendulum may be swinging back … It remains to be seen, however, if the warm response will continue if other brands introduce busier logos. They appear more traditional and heritage-driven, an approach that is resonating with luxury consumers — the post-pandemic winners in the sector are brands that lean heavily on their histories, such as Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton. As well, Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga all have recently discussed a desire to recalibrate their focus on the brand’s history.”

+ Why Is Everything So Ugly? (n+1): “A lot of ugliness accretes privately, in the form of household goods, which can make it hard to see — except on the first of the month. Today’s perma-class of renters moves more frequently than ever before … and on moving day the sidewalks are transformed into a rich bazaar of objects significant for ugliness studies. We stroll past discarded pottery from wild sip ’n’ spin nights; heaps of shrunken fast fashion from Shein; dead Strategist-approved houseplants; broken Wirecutter-approved humidifiers; an ergonomic gaming chair; endless Ikea BILLYs, MALMs, LACKs, SKUBBs, BARENs, SLOGGs, JUNQQs, and FGHSKISs. Perhaps this shelf is salvageable — ? No, just another mass of peeling veneer and squishy particleboard.”

+ Movie Trailers Keep Tweaking Well-Known Songs. The Tactic Is Working. (The New York Times): “As a composer, Rosen is at the forefront of the trailerization movement: He’s in demand for his ability to rework existing songs to maximize their impact in trailers for films and TV shows … In the past, trailers often relied on the scores of previously released films, but that practice has basically become verboten. Starting in the late 1970s, the composer John Beal pioneered original scores for trailers, but that required a recording studio full of musicians, making it a costly, resource-heavy endeavor. Today, with developments in software, it’s easier than ever to simulate those sounds … Many high profile trailerizations are applied to songs that are decades old: Remixes and overlays allow the trailers to tap into the nostalgia evoked by the original.”

+ How Olympia Gayot Brought J.Crew Back (Harper’s Bazaar): “Olympia Gayot, womenswear director of the preppy stronghold J.Crew, is a prolific wearer of her own designs. Since taking the job in late 2020, she’s posted more than 240 mirror selfies to her Instagram account from her corner office at the brand’s headquarters … Her style is elegant, relaxed, and tomboyish, but with a strong sense of femininity—and gently incongruous with the maximalist Jenna Lyons era or the New England prep of the ’90s that longtime J.Crew customers know so well.”

+Sale styles are an extra 60% off at J.Crew until 02/21/2023 with code WEEKEND. Here are my picks:

+ How E-girl Influencers Are Trying to Get Gen Z Into the Military (Dazed): “We’ve entered an era of military-funded E-girl warfare. In what would’ve felt unimaginable only a few years back, influencers are the hottest new weapon in the government’s arsenal … Sanitising the harsh realities of US imperialism with cute E-girl-isms, it promotes the sort of hypersexualised militarism that reframes violence as something cute, goofy and unthreatening – a subversion of the beefy special forces stereotype in the mainstream.”

+ Why Is It So Hard for Men to Make Close Friends? (The New York Times): “… American men appear to be stuck in a ‘friendship recession’ … In a 2021 survey of more than 2,000 adults in the United States, less than half of the men said they were truly satisfied with how many friends they had, while 15 percent said they had no close friends at all — a fivefold increase since 1990. That same survey found that men were less likely than women to rely on their friends for emotional support or to share their personal feelings with them … The four strategies below won’t eliminate all of the obstacles that can stand in the way of deep male friendship, but they are a start … Practice vulnerability, even if it makes you uncomfortable … Don’t assume friendship happens organically … Use activities to your advantage … Harness the power of casual check-ins.”

+ Resale Value of Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton Handbags Is Falling (CNN): “Demand for secondhand goods remains red hot, with the resale market expected to reach $82 billion in sales by 2026, nearly doubling from $43 billion in 2022 … But, just as they are doing with their weekly groceries and purchases of new items such as clothes and shoes, consumers are looking for better value in the resale market … According to The RealReal’s Annual Luxury Consignment Report 2023 … handbag resale prices fell 20% for Louis Vuitton, 17% for Gucci, 10% for Hermès and 9% for Chanel over the past 90 days … As they embrace lower prices, resale shoppers have become less picky about the condition of the items they buy. Demand has nearly doubled for ‘fair condition’ items, such as those showing signs of heavy wear through worn corners and significant scratches.”

+ The Best Long Denim Skirts Are Ruling Street Style (Harper’s Bazaar): “All the best long denim skirts pair magically with a white T-shirt and your go-to shoes, whether they’re boots or cool sneakers. That’s the thing with a not-so-basic basic: It actually makes getting dressed more simple.”

+ These excellent Danskin High Waist Leggings with Zip Pockets are currently only $11.00 at Amazon in “Charcoal Grey.”

+ A Fake Death in Romancelandia (The New York Times): “Romance writers’ groups can be fizzy, exhilarating places. There is sexy cover art. There is snappy industry jargon … At their best, the groups are a fountain of support … At their worst, they can be ‘epicenters of nonstop drama’ … The post on Meachen’s page said she had died two days earlier … The news of Ms. Meachen’s death radiated out through the fan pages … The subject receded, replaced by other dramas, until Jan. 2, when Ms. Meachen reappeared on her fan page with the news that she was alive … Many authors who are angry say it is because they know so many people struggling with mental illness themselves, and that it is despicable to falsify suicide for any reason.”

+ The Weight-Loss-Drug Revolution Is a Miracle—And a Menace (The Atlantic): “In the past few years, use of new weight-loss medication has grown, putting the U.S. in the early stages of a drug boom. One story you could tell about these drugs is that they represent a watershed moment for scientific discovery. In a country where each generation has been more overweight than the one that came before it, a marvelous medication seemed to fall out of the sky … Ozempic and Wegovy can cost roughly $1,000 or more a month for people trying to lose weight. Most insurance companies do not cover weight-loss medication. In the U.S., racial and ethnic minorities and low-income Americans have higher rates of diabetes and obesity. But because they cost $12,000 a year or more without insurance coverage—and that’s not even counting higher prices on the black market—the drugs’ first clientele is likely to be the richest Americans, not the poorest.”

+ Recently purchased: The Drop Blake Long Blazer, Barbour® X J.Crew Eddleston Wax Jacket, J. Crew Pleated Mini Dress, Everlane The Felted Merino Half-Zip Sweater, and Mackage Calina Lustrous Water Repellent Down Coat.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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