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Fashion/Beauty

More Online Fashion Brands Eyeing Retail Stores as Core to their Business Models

Warby Parker Store UES Window Final“We’re trying to blend both worlds so they complement each other”, said Tim Riley, director of online experience at eyewear brand Warby Parker. He spoke on a panel recently about web-based fashion companies at FIAF (French Institute/Alliance Francaise). Warby Parker is one of a number of fashion brands in the post-startup phase that’s ventured into retail space. Another panelist, Mollie Chen, editorial director of Birchbox, said the beauty products packager is planning to open its first store in SoHo.

Digital-only brands have long been perceived as more cost-effective since they don’t need to pay steep expenses for designing and maintaining posh locales and sales staff. But internet-based companies have found that online-only doesn’t work for all categories. The in-person experience also adds a valuable dimension, forming a holistic customer relationship.

These two brands tested the waters first before investing in retail locations.

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Putting ‘Real Women’ In Marketing Campaigns Is Quickly Becoming A Gimmick

betabrandTrend alert! Lots of brands are using “real women” (and “real people” in general) to sell their product.

Recently, it was Betabrand, an online retailer of crowdsourced clothing based in San Francisco, that got a lot of buzz for the campaign it launched for its latest collection. Rather than using models, the company outfitted PhDs with the new clothes.

“Our designers cooked up a collection of smart fashions for spring, so why not display them on the bodies of women with really big brains?” founder Chris Lindland told AdWeek. Sigh… sure, why not.

This isn’t the first time the brand has done this sort of thing, so the company and its founder are committed to the idea. And we’re in favor of brands using images that reflect and celebrate all the wonderful and beautiful things that women are. But what started as a cool way to showcase a product and the women who would be using it has turned into the bland and somewhat offensive thing that Lindland describes in that quote.

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Vanessa Freidman Is Your New York Times Fashion Critic

vanessa-friedman-225The search is over: The New York Times has named Vanessa Freidman, currently chief fashion critic at Financial Times, as its new arbiter of all things style.

This announcement, of course, follows the January resignation of longtime fashion chief Cathy Horyn, who left the paper for personal reasons, and the more recent departure of fellow critic Suzy Menkes, who departed the recently rebranded International New York Times for a a spot at Vogue.

Times executive editor Jill Abramson says:

“I’m thrilled to welcome Vanessa to the Times.  She is the perfect journalist to be our leading voice on global fashion.”

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Real-Life Barbie Doll Wants to Become Living Blonde Stereotype

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Please send your hate mail to this bimbo … if she can read it.

Meet Blondie Bennett.

Certainly, that’s her legal name, or at least one that she can spell without phoning a friend. This 38-year-old nimrod has one idol that challenges her to reach for goals, climb to new heights, and become a better person. That idol is Barbie.

Yes, as in the plastic doll that recently posed on the cover of Sports Illustrated and known for having an unrealistic body. So, other than the alterations that you can see has already taken place, she plans on doing this — Blondie Bennett wants to become “totally brainless through the practice of hypnotherapy.”

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‘Unapologetic’ Barbie to Appear in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Embargoed_Barbie_2014_Actual_SI_Spread_Image_2.11.14In a world in which ad campaigns are making headlines for saying “no” to Photoshop and some brands are committing to embracing broader, more realistic standards of beauty, others make no apologies in the face of many years of criticism for promoting unattainable, unrealistic ideals. So, we guess it’s about time two of those brands team up and defiantly, proudly, (bravely!) refuse to change. Or apologize. Together.

Aw, solidarity. How sweet.

A new campaign for Barbie will find the doll posing for her very own spread in the upcoming 50th installment of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, along with the tagline “Unapologetic.” The magazine will also be bringing back other Swimsuit “legends” to celebrate its 50th issue.

Now check out what a Mattel spokeswoman said about the campaign:

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WWD Keeps It Glassy for New York Fashion Week

You know, we really doubted Google Glass there for a minute.

Somehow, the world’s nerdiest eyewear continues to score media wins: the latest is the news, announced this morning, that WWD will include a “Glass Menagerie” in its New York Fashion Week coverage. What does that mean? Here’s your answer:

WWD isn’t just highlighting Glass, either.

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Aerie Commits to Photoshop-Free Lingerie Ads, Draws Mixed Reactions

aerie-0Every time I scroll through the Victoria’s Secret website on the hunt for a new bra or a pair of yoga pants, I feel a wider range of mixed emotions than should ever accompany the purchase of anything but a pregnancy test.

After somewhat unwillingly feasting my eyes on the ridiculously retouched images that were once, presumably, pictures of human beings, I feel disgusted by a culture that so drastically alters women’s bodies to sell fashion; I feel ashamed that I am supporting this concept by buying the damn yoga pants; and I feel a certain maniacal glee that results in out-loud laughter at how absurd some of the particularly horrendous botch jobs are–clearly-missing ribs, grotesquely-stretched legs and necks, and, sometimes, body parts that don’t even seem to connect to each other.

By the end of my transaction, however, I sigh with a sense of heavy acceptance that this is “just how it is,” and then feel a bit angry and guilty about that acceptance.

All just to buy some underwear.

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Pretty Little Liars Actress Publicly Blasts Overly-Airbrushed Promotional Image of Herself

article-2522370-1A0CA5E700000578-187_638x628You will be shocked, gentle readers, to learn that Kim Kardashian‘s latest “my body is back” bikini pic campaign was airbrushed into oblivion after “taken in secret by a friendly agency photographer.”

The over-altering of women’s bodies in magazine and advertisement images is an issue that’s been raging for years; papers, documentaries and conferences have been based on the subject, and we’re all aware of the unattainable ideal such blending and stretching and trimming creates. No one, not even the celebs and models in the photos, look like the glossy, pore-less, gravity-defying humanoids constantly bombarding our eyeballs.

Yet, while we laypeople all complain about it, it’s fairly rare (and particularly awesome) when a celebrity becomes majorly and publicly outraged by their own bodies being altered beyond reason. (Kate Winslet is still my hero for shaming Cosmo when it plastered a super-slimmed-down version of her on its cover –  “I don’t look like that,” she famously said, “and I don’t desire to look like that.”)

Now, Ashley Benson, star of ABC Family’s hit show Pretty Little Liars, who took to Twitter earlier this week to publicly bash a heavily Photoshopped image of her and her co-stars, is sending a similarly powerful and honest message to her young fans.

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Panty Raid on North Korea by Swedish Lingerie Company

panty raidAh, remember the days, fellas? You go to camp, sneak out of the cabin and find that one unsuspecting cabin off in the distance. The next morning, there they are — bloomers hanging on the flagpole rippling in the wind. God bless America, indeed.

Well, thanks to a story in Time magazine, this stunt of prepubescent immaturity could start World War III.

Ripped from the press release: A Swedish underwear company announced Tuesday that it recently “love bombed” North Korea with “weapons of mass seduction” in the form of 450 pairs of hot pink underwear, a move that is ever-so-slightly tone deaf given the country’s escalating issues with sex trafficking.

Yes, kids. That’s real.

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Top Fashion Journalist Says the Hack/Flack Game Has Changed

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“Whenever John Fairchild, the legendary god of Fairchild Publications, was asked for his own job description, his answer proved quick and succinct: ‘I’m a reporter.’”

It’s not like that anymore, though—at least not according to this WWD report on publicists behaving…differently.

Fashion journalist Bridget Foley writes that brands in her space have increased their efforts to actively control the narrative, becoming a little less human in the process.

Foley’s biggest irritation came from an encounter with a rep who insisted that a writerly icon take his seat (before being directed to do so) at an awards show rather than spend a minute speaking to another WWD reporter covering the event.

But she has several other key points:

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