Weekly Link Roundup

+ For REI members (lifetime membership is $30), the Stanley 40oz Quencher Travel Tumbler (reviewed here), is 10-20% off with code ANNIV23, until 05/29/2023. Shipping is free on orders over $50.

+ How to Launch Handbags (The Business of Fashion): “… the average designer bag in the US cost $2,475 in 2022, up from $1,944 in 2019. Over that period, Chanel increased the price of its classic flap bag by 60 percent to $8,200 .. there’s still a big market for comparatively affordable accessories: the same survey found 78 percent of respondents reported their typical budget for designer handbags is under $1,000. Labels that have launched handbags in the past year include Swedish brand Toteme, Nili Lotan and shoe brand Aquazzura.”

+ Out of Fashion: Apparel Manufacturing Needs a Tech Update (Retail Dive): “Apparel development has three stages: pattern making, cutting and sewing. The industry has made great strides in automating cutting and using software to develop patterns … While cutting technology is available, the automated machine isn’t widely used due to its high cost, which … is upwards of $500,000. The machine doesn’t completely eliminate human labor either. A worker must place the fabric in the machine, which rolls it out and cuts, and someone has to come pick up the stack and deliver it to the sewers. On the other hand, the sewing process is almost impossible to automate and most manufacturers still use conventional methods like hand stitching or sewing machines. The cut and sew process is one of the top expenses in apparel manufacturing due to its reliance on manual human labor, representing about 35% to 40% of the total cost … Fabric is malleable and creating clothing requires layering fabrics of different weights and stretches.”

+ (Video) Social-Media Shopping Scams Target Young People (The Wall Street Journal): “A lot of the online scams that start on social media begin with an ad on, say, TikTok or Instagram, often for a product that is very low-priced and promising that low price for a limited time. So people will try to order clothes or home goods, and often what they get is not what they ordered, if they get anything at all … The reported monetary losses while on an individual level aren’t that high, in aggregate, they’ve grown to more than $1.2 billion last year. And that is a huge increase from 2017, when the reported losses from these social media scams amounted to $42 million. So it’s gotten to a sizable enough amount for the Federal Trade Commission to take notice. And the FTC recently issued orders to all of the major social media companies asking for information on how they vet the advertisers on their sites.”

+ Reformation Eyes Going Public in Testing the Limits of Eco-Friendly Fashion (Bloomberg): “The company, started in 2009 as a vintage boutique in Los Angeles, doubled sales over the past four years, with revenue topping $300 million. Majority owned by private equity firm Permira, Reformation touts its green cred with offerings such as $200 pants made from eucalyptus trees. The company says it’s profitable and is now eying an initial public offering … The company declined to give timing on when it might sell shares to the public, but said it was confident about delivering value for stakeholders through a transaction such as an IPO … The next phase of growth will include adding stores in international markets such as the UK. (The company generates 20% of revenue outside the US.) The brand is also entering new categories, including handbags … Environmentalists also question whether a brand that’s producing new garments at a large scale can really bill itself as sustainable. Reformation still curates and sells vintage clothing, but those items account for only a small portion of sales.”

+ Until 05/22/2023, take an extra 50% off sale styles at J.Crew with code SHOPEARLY. Shipping is free on all orders for J.Crew Passport members (membership is free). My picks:

+ Adidas Outlines Plan to Sell Remaining Yeezy Inventory (The Business of Fashion): “They’ll go on sale exclusively through the Adidas website and its Confirmed app. The release will be Adidas’ first of Yeezy merchandise since the company ended its partnership with Ye last October … The German sneaker giant first announced its decision to sell its remaining Yeezy stock at the company’s annual meeting earlier this month after considering a variety of options for how to dispose of its €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) pile of unsold Yeezy items.”

+ The Devil Wears Shein (Business Insider): “Three-quarters of Gen Zers say that sustainability is more important to them than brand name … But despite their stated preferences, the actual buying habits of young shoppers are fueling a planetary crisis … As Gen Zers get older, richer, and make up more of the fashion industry’s market share, their habits have the potential to affect the industry for good — or ill. And pushing the fashion industry to be more sustainable is key in the fight against climate change: At our current rate, the fashion industry is on track to consume 26% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. And clothing production contributes 20% of all global wastewater, with an anticipated 50% increase in greenhouse-gas emissions from the industry by 2030 … the reason for the discrepancy between Gen Z’s preference for sustainable fashion and their behavior was mainly because of cost.”

+ Bye, Stilettos. Farewell, Flats! Kitten Heels Are the Shoes of the Summer. (The Wall Street Journal): “Unlike shoes with cognitive dissonance issues—mules, clogs, pumps—kitten heels are exactly what they sound like: ladylike, decorous, quietly flirtatious … Kitten heels wouldn’t have come into existence were it not for the post-World War II invention of the stiletto … Though stilettos presented walking challenges and damaged floors—some public buildings banned them—they proved hugely popular. Their ‘hyper sexuality,’ however, was considered unseemly for teenage girls … From the same decade that gave us the training bra: the training heel. Although it’s tempting to surmise that the shoes got their moniker because they were worn by ‘kittens,’ a wholly plausible pre-second wave feminism name for adolescent girls, the term ‘kitten heels’ didn’t come into widespread use until the late 1990s. In the 1950s, they were more often known as Sabrina heels, a homage to the 1954 Audrey Hepburn film of the same name, in which her character returns from Paris as a low-heeled paragon of high style.”

+ You Can Buy Chloë Sevigny’s Clothes—But Can You Buy Her Cool? (Vogue): “Taste has been a defining characteristic of Chloë Sevigny’s persona on and off the screen. For over three decades now, the actor has been admired and praised for the cult-beloved films she’s starred in but also, overwhelmingly, for what she’s worn … Sevigny’s eclectic, experimental style came through on the clothing racks. Some standout selects included archived pieces from Sevigny’s collaborations with Opening Ceremony over the years, a Supreme patchwork coat, a $1,100 suede Hermès trench, a metallic full-length evening gown, a $100 peach-and-orange crochet bucket hat, a Vivienne Westwood diaper bag, a Chanel chess set, and a cut-out Telfar sweater vest.”

+ Until the end of today, take 50% off one full-price item at Ann Taylor with code STYLE25. Shipping is free on orders over $150.

+ Why Are There So Many Asian American Women Named Connie? (The New York Times): “Unlike most people, I was able to pick my own name … my parents decided to raise me in the United States, and we all had a chance to choose a new identity. They asked for my 3-year-old’s opinion: What would I like to be called in this new place? I answered, the story goes, with Connie, after that pretty ‘ayi,’ or auntie, we watched on TV. That ayi was … Connie Chung … she would eventually become the first Asian and second woman to be an anchor of a major weekday news program … Asian American families from the late 1970s through the mid-’90s — mostly Chinese, all new immigrants — had considered the futures of their newborn daughters and, inspired by one of the few familiar faces on their TVs, signed their own wishes, hopes and ambitions onto countless birth certificates in the form of a single name: Connie.”

+ How Sézane Turned French Girl Fashion Into a DTC Success Story (The Business of Fashion): “Thanks to its sweet-spot pricing, strong brand identity and close connection with its customers, Sézane has managed to grow consistently — and profitably — since it launchedSales rose 30 percent year-on-year in 2022, she added … Sézane was reportedly on track to hit €250 million last year. In September, the company sold a minority stake to Tethys, the family office of L’Oréal heirs, the Bettencourt-Meyers.”

+ The Ugly Truth Behind “We Buy Ugly Houses” (ProPublica): “Unlike real estate agents, house flippers operate in a largely unregulated space. Real estate agents have a fiduciary responsibility to represent a homeowner’s best interests in negotiations, which is defined in state laws, licensing requirements and an industry code of ethics. But in most states, flippers don’t need a license … a ProPublica investigation … found HomeVestors franchisees that used deception and targeted the elderly, infirm and those so close to poverty that they feared homelessness would be a consequence of selling.”

+ The Dawn of a New Century 21 (The New York Times): “About two hours after Century 21 reopened as Century 21 NYC in Lower Manhattan … the store’s point-of-sale system crashed … It was less than three years ago when the retailer, which was beloved for offering designer labels at a discount, declared bankruptcy and closed all of its stores … At the time, Century 21 had 13 locations in four states. But arguably, none was as popular as its flagship location on Cortlandt Street in the Financial District … After closing in September 2020, the flagship store sat empty because the company … still had a long-term lease on the space. Later in 2020, the Gindis bought Century 21’s intellectual property in a bankruptcy sale with hopes of eventually reviving the business … Longtime customers may find the new Cortlandt Street store, which occupies four floors, more intimate than its predecessor, which took up seven. They will also notice that with the new name has come a new logo. The store’s inventory has changed slightly, too: It now includes vintage bags sourced by Two Authenticators.”

+ Just for today, 05/21/2023, take an extra 50% off wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses, and other wedding related sale items at Anthropologie; no code needed, discount taken in cart.

+ Alo Yoga Expands Into Footwear With Unisex Lifestyle Sneaker (WWD): “The ALO x O1 Classic lifestyle sneaker is set to be released at the end of May 2023 and will retail for $180.”

+ KFC Has a Runaway Hit on Its Menu (The Takeout): “100 million nuggets sold in less than two months … over 50% of chicken nuggets are consumed by customers 25 and younger … an 8% rise in year-over-year foot traffic at KFC in the weeks immediately following the release of nuggets.”

+ What Shein’s Lower Valuations Means for the Future of Fast Fashion (The Business of Fashion): “Shein, the Chinese fast-fashion phenomenon that has rapidly emerged as a dominant force in the space, raised $2 billion at a $66 billion valuation, down one-third from its last funding round … Even at its reduced valuation, Shein is still one of the world’s biggest fashion companies; $66 billion is more than the market capitalisations of Adidas, H&M and Burberry — combined. Among fast-fashion retailers, only Zara-owner Inditex is bigger. And though Shein’s sales growth has slowed in the US, it’s projecting global revenue to rise 40 percent this year … Zara and H&M have weathered Shein’s rise thanks in part to their vast store networks … Post-pandemic, stores are once again a vital part of brand building and the customer experience. Physical retail provides an opportunity to build trust with consumers by showcasing a higher quality of product, allowing Zara to charge higher prices than Shein. H&M uses its stores to promote designer collaborations, most recently Mugler, and burnish its sustainability credentials.”

+ When Books Go Viral (The New York Times): “A not-yet-released book from Macmillan, titled ‘4C Untitled Flatiron Nonfiction Summer 2023,’ began climbing up Amazon’s pre-sale charts … thanks to … Swifties. The pop star’s fans convinced themselves that the book was by their beloved Taylor Swift. To be clear, it’s not. (It’s an oral history of the K-pop group BTS.) But Swifties somehow convinced themselves it was, through a combination of internet sleuthing and numerological backflips … The incident is goofy, but it had real consequences for booksellers, customers and the publisher.”

+ Recently purchased: Sensi Studio Bow Pouch, Beneunder UPF 50+ Cropped Sun Protection Jacket (love! Have already ordered more colorways for summer hikes), Free People Blakely Bodysuit, Wit & Wisdom Hooded Denim Jacket, House of CB Carmen Floral Bustier Sundress, Reformation Nadira Tie Strap Dress (such a pretty print! Reviewed here in another colorway), and Ulla Johnson Paloma Ruched Convertible Shoulder Bag.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone.

Hi, I am Elle!

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