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Urban Outfitters CEO Says Messy Stores Are Costing the Company

urban outfitters1For a minute there, it seemed like Urban Outfitters was making headlines regularly for putting one controversial item or another on its shelves. So when the company comes out and says that it has experienced a seven percent decline in profits for the third quarter, you’d think it’s because all the bad publicity finally caught up with them.

You’d be wrong.

The CEO of Urban Outfitters, Richard Hayne, says the issue is with how messy the stores are. The stores are “needlessly overassorted and piecey, which made the shopping experience more difficult and less appealing,” he said on a call with analysts. He compares the results to those of the company’s other businesses to show where Urban Outfitters went wrong.

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Old Navy: Your Favorite Sexist, Sizeist Retail Store?

oldnavycombinedPic via Consumerist

Does it shock you that plus size shoppers at Old Navy pay more for a pair of jeans than their leaner counterparts? Some might say “meh” and chalk it up to the reasonable assumption that more fabric fairly equals higher costs.

But what if we were to say that Old Navy charges $12-$15 more for plus-sized jeans? And that “Women’s Plus” clothing are relegated to a separate section of the website? And that plus-sized men pay the same price for their plus-sized jeans, which are listed alongside goods fitting their skinnier brethren?

Shocking it may not be (after all, those of the zaftig persuasion are used to this kind of treatment), but shameful, sexist and sizeist do come to mind… at least they do to the minds of Renee Posey and 20,000 others at, who are petitioning Old Navy “to stop their discriminatory pricing practices and offer products at a fair cost to ALL people of size, not just men.”

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Calvin Klein’s ‘Plus-Size Model’ Plays Defense

Calvin Klein model Myla Dalbesio‘s appearance on TODAY this morning was quite interesting. You’ve almost certainly heard of the story: the fashion giant has earned bad press for calling her “plus-size” when she is anything but to the average person…”average” meaning “anyone who is not so deeply embedded in the fashion industry that he or she loses all sense of perspective.”

The first thing we learned: neither Dalbesio nor her employer ever used the phrase “plus-size” to describe her.

Her interview with Savannah Guthrie starts around the two minute mark:

Yesterday Veronique Hyland of New York magazine’s The Cut blog wrote, “Far better to have sidestepped the size question, and just presented Dalbesio as the new spokesmodel.” This was our initial reaction as well, but it seems like that’s exactly what Calvin Klein wanted to do.

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Madison Avenue Retailers Turn Over Their Shop Windows for Fashion Heritage Week

pucci windowIf you’re bored on a Sunday afternoon and it’s nice outside, one option is taking a scenic walk through the city. You can choose Central Park for a bit of nature. Maybe dip in and out of museums as you make your way up Museum Mile. Or your can go window shopping on Madison Avenue. If that last option is what you prefer, now’s the time.

The Madison Avenue Business Development District has partnered with 16 retailers for Madison Avenue Fashion Heritage Week. Shops including Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Missoni have agreed to make special exhibitions, many of them in store windows, to showcase the history of these brands.

The windows on Madison Avenue are usually pretty dazzling, especially for those who enjoy a good fashion show but don’t have the thousands of dollars to drop on the clothing. For us, the best part of the exhibit might be the mobile website, which provides a further explanation of some of the retailers’ histories, care of Dr. Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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This Video of Sarah Jessica Parker & Her Shoe Line Is Cute, But It Made The Neighbors Mad

I dreamed this. X, Sj @sjpcollection

A video posted by SJP (@sarahjessicaparker) on

Sarah Jessica Parker, a fashion icon because of her star turn as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex & the City, returned to the show’s now famous brownstone to shoot a video introducing us to her new SJP Collection, available at Nordstrom. Just look. She’s wearing a cute dress, the shoes are colorful and bright. And the throwback reference is pitch perfect.

Unfortunately, the neighbors at this Manhattan address are still coping with the swarms of SATC fans who come to the building to snap a photo and otherwise annoy the people who live there. So they’re not happy that SJP ignored signs asking people to keep their distance. But come on… the shoes!

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Fashion and PR Celebrate the Life of Oscar de la Renta

oscar d pic

Last night, the fashion world suffered a major blow with the death of Oscar de la Renta, legendary designer turned celebrity in his own right, who lost his longtime battle with cancer at the age of 82.

While every major media outlet has run retrospectives on the man and his career, his company’s communications team has been quietly respectful. This morning Erika Bearman (aka OscarPRGirl) posted the above photo on Instagram and linked to the company’s home page, which featured a handwritten note from his stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband, Alex Bolen (who serve as the company’s executive VP and CEO).

Full letter after the jump.

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Every Lifestyle Pub Scored ‘Exclusive’ Pics of Amal Alamuddin’s Wedding Dress

What does the word “exclusive” mean, again?

We ask because we got a little dizzy this morning trying to track the number of “exclusive” photos of the Oscar de la Renta dress worn by George Clooney’s wife Amal Alamuddin at their wedding. The dress made its public debut in pretty much every lifestyle publication (and The New York Post) this morning.

In this case, the word seems to mean “picture of the same dress from a different angle.”

From Erika Bearman, aka Oscar PR Girl:

Are these really the first photos, though?

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Kelly Cutrone Dishes on PR Nightmares

Kelly Cutrone againOn Tuesday, the folks at Racked scored a Q&A with the current face of fashion PR: Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution and America’s Next Top Model.

It’s worth a read as Cutrone pieces tend to be; here are some of her best quotes.

On winning clients:

“I’ve never chased a client ever, I’ve never solicited—I’m not really good at that. I’m not a pitcher. I just started working and people started calling me.”

On working for herself:

“I’ve been offered tons of director of communications jobs over the years. It’s like the difference between being a cop and a bounty hunter: I still like being a bounty hunter.”

On the good, the bad, and the horror stories…

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Urban Outfitters Semi-Apologizes for Kent State Sweatshirt with Blood-Red Stains

The latest installment of the “Urban Outfitters hocks yet another terribly-offensive clothing item” saga centers around this Kent State shirt, complete with what looks rather unmistakeably like blood stains. enhanced-16199-1410759430-11

What was listed as a $129 “vintage” shirt struck most people who saw it as a tasteless, insensitive reminder of the Kent State Massacre that left four people dead in 1970. As the image swirled around the internet and outrage mounted, even Kent State itself made its disgust known, saying in a statement:

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit…This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”

In response to the flood of complaints, Urban Outfitters issued a semi-apology for the product on Monday morning, saying “We deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively.”

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Designer Veggie Couture Spices up the Runway at Project SUBWAY’s Fashion Show

2014 Onion Runway FinalWhen an onion graced the runway at Nolcha Fashion Week in New York on Tuesday, those in the front row weren’t crying. Instead they broke into peals of laughter, since the onion was a novel dress and hat ensemble designed for the second Project SUBWAY contest.

This year ten up-and-coming designers and FIT students were challenged to create unique dresses inspired by vegetables found at SUBWAY® restaurants. Among the healthy fashion creations: spinach, banana pepper, tomato, jalapeno, lettuce, carrot, cucumber and green pepper. At last year’s show, designers created dresses made of non-edible materials from SUBWAY®, like sandwich wrappers, napkins and salad bowls.

Judging the contest was a tall order, and the panel included Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Russell Westbrook, Olympic gymnastic champion Nastia Liukin, TV personality Bella Thorne and celebrity stylist Johnny Wujek. They critiqued the designs based on creativity, originality, beauty, fit and best representation of the vegetables, and remarked about the green pepper’s ‘aggressive’ shoulders and hourglass shape, the lettuce’s see-through design and the red tomato’s sparkle.

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