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Fashion

Zara Acts Fast to Pull Shirt That Resembles Concentration Camp Uniform

 

Zara has been trending all day for all the wrong reasons.

The retailer faced swift backlash to a striped children’s shirt decorated with a yellow star that looks like the uniforms worn in concentration camps during the Holocaust.

The company quickly took to Twitter to apologize individually to users who criticized the company for the item. The tweet above is repeated over and over and in a number of languages on its timeline right now.
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‘High Tech Women’ in Underwear Promo: #PRWin?

In case you’re the one person on Earth who missed it, the technology industry faces some demographic challenges: recent reports from top tech names like Facebook, Apple and Twitter revealed an overwhelmingly white and even more overwhelmingly male industry.

The ensuing conversation is already old hat to many who work in the field, but it still presents both big names like Google (which recently named Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Clinton to promote its “girls who code” initiative) and clients that go against this trend with a way to make themselves stand out to journalists, consumers and investors.

The latest company to win media attention is the bold underwear brand Dear Kate. Its latest “look book”, released online last Friday, starred a group of female entrepreneurs who work in the field.

Dear Kate

Two basic facts about this look book: 1) it has attracted a lot of attention for an unpaid promotion and 2) responses have been somewhat mixed.

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One J.Crew Shirt is So Ubiquitous It Has Its Own Instagram Account

gingham shirtLots of people wear lots of J. Crew. In the past few years, it has become a go-to for staples the same way The Gap or Banana Republic are. But there’s one item in particular that has caught the eye of a number of men walking around New York City: a blue gingham button-down shirt.

So ubiquitous is the shirt that it has inspired an Instagram account, aptly called ThatJCrewGinghamShirt. It’s actually kind of insane how many men bought this item of clothing.

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When It Comes to Shopping at Aeropostale, Teens Would Rather Not

AEROPOTALE2

Earlier this week, Aeropostale fired CEO Thomas Johnson and announced his replacement: former CEO Julian Geiger, who ran the chain from 1996 to 2010 before leaving to lead Crumbs Bake Shop from 2011 through 2013.

You might be scratching your head at this one: it was Geiger at the helm when the cupcake chain went bust this summer.

But perhaps that little SNAFU can be explained away by the Peter Principle. At least that’s what this PRNewser reads between the lines in Chairman Karin Hirtler-Garvey’s description of Geiger as “an ideal choice” and her reminder that “Julian was the leader of Aeropostale’s strategic direction during a period of significant growth.”

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The Gap Faces Unreasonable Backlash for Featuring a Thin Model in a Tweet

Fashion’s body image issue is back in the news.

The Gap faced a barrage of criticism for the tweet above featuring what People magazine is calling an “ultra-thin model.” In response, people posted things like, “In what world do people look like this? Perhaps you could select models who represent regular gals & not a skeletor ghost” and “Looks like she needs a hamburger and some sunlight.”

The Gap immediately issued a statement via Edie Kissko, a company spokesperson: “Our intentions have always been to celebrate diversity in our marketing and champion people for who they are. Upon reflection, we understand the sensitivity surround this photograph. Customer feedback is important to us and we think this is a valuable conversation to learn from.”

The statement doesn’t really say anything; it’s not an apology and doesn’t dig too deeply to explain the photo. And that’s fine. In this case, the backlash was unreasonable.

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Kelly Cutrone Says Fashion People Don’t Care About KimYe

Kelly CutroneKelly Cutrone has never been one to mince words. You wanna cry? Take that elsewhere. If your body is disturbing, she’s gonna let you know. Certainly she’s not going to tone it down for Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

Speaking with the New York Daily News, Cutrone says point blank, “I don’t think there’s one person who really works in the fashion industry who gives a flying f— about Kanye West.”

There’s more!

“I think they have no influence in the fashion world whatsoever,” she continued.

Boom!

Notice, however, how specific Cutrone is about her comments.

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Levi’s Kicks Rock Fans Out of Free Show for Not Wearing Its Jeans

asses

Some chose to make asses out of themselves

If we had to choose a worst possible scenario for a corporate-sponsored indie rock show, we would lean heavily toward “brand forbids entry to fans not wearing its product.”

Yet that is, apparently, exactly what Levi’s told security guards to do at last week’s Haim/Sleigh Bells show in Brooklyn Bridge Park. While the company did apparently request that attendees wear Levi’s on its website, “concert industry observers” cited by the New York Daily News say they’ve never heard of a company going to such extremes to ensure what we’ll call “product placement.”

One attendee claimed that he “saw couples being turned away because the guy wore Levis but the woman had a skirt.”

The event did earn Levi’s some bad press, though the company has yet to issue an official response. Note to whoever manages events for this client: these sponsored shows are annoying enough without a Project Runway-ready jury at the gate. And how many people at any rock show pay attention to which jeans fellow attendees are wearing?

This is not what comes to mind when we hear the phrase “free concert.”

Nine West Clearly Doesn’t Know the Definition of a ‘Modern Woman’

Every woman owns a pair of Nine West shoes. I would bet a whole dollar on that. So you would think the company would know a thing or two about this demographic. Or at least what they do in their shoes. Their latest marketing campaign indicates they do not.

For their latest, they’ve accompanied some glamour shots of their shoes with phrases like the one above. Or a picture of flips flops in a handbag with the phrase “Anticipatory Walk of Shame.” Not cool.

Of course, the ads are sparking backlash. Ad Age editor Abbey Klaassen says here that she thinks the campaign could help the company because at least people are talking about them; basically the “there’s no such thing as bad PR” argument. But generally, when a company’s ads or social media activity goes viral, they don’t want it to be because people are calling the company “offensive” or “stupid.” The fact that Nine West hasn’t commented on the criticism indicates either they want to wait for it to simply die down or they actually do regret the decision to go forward with this mush.

The bigger issue is that the ads are tone deaf in a way that indicates they may not be fully aware of who the “modern woman” they’re targeting really is.

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To Turn Things Around, Maybe Crocs Should Just Admit Their Shoes Are Ugly

crocsAfter a boom in which it seemed everyone and their grandmother owned a pair of the wide, colorful Croslite Crocs, the company is in trouble. To turn things around, the company introduced different styles, including ballet flats and heels. Still, the company reports that net income fell 44 percent for the second quarter, it’s going to need to close as many as 100 of its 624 stores around the world and 183 people will have to be laid off.

“The company is now planning to cut back on its range of styles by 30% to 40%, as a result,” says Business Insider.

Now might be the time for Crocs to take a lesson from Birkenstocks: You can’t be successful if you can’t face the cold hard truth that the shoes you sell are ugly.

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TOMS’ Chief Digital Officer Outlines Brand’s ‘Giving’ Formula

Toms Shoes Periodic TablesArgentina’s loss in the World Cup final may have hit one company personally. A 2006 group trip giving shoes to Argentine children inspired Blake Mycoskie to launch TOMS, or “tomorrow’s shoes”. For the brand’s logo, he borrowed light blue and white stripes from the Argentine flag.

“TOMS is based on giving shoes in a sustainable way, on a one-to-one basis”, said its chief digital officer, Zita Cassizzi. She was referring to their M.O. – for every pair of TOMS shoes a customer buys, the company gives a pair to a child in need. While presenting at ANA’s Digital & Social Media Conference, she also discussed TOMS’ expansion to eyewear and coffee.

Cassizzi outlined TOMS’ omni channel marketing strategy, with 5 online and offline elements:

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