Hailey Bieber’s Next Move – The hard luxury resale race heats up – Fashion’s Weirdest Year? Why 2022 Saw Paint Cans as Handbags, and Worse

Hailey Bieber’s Next Move – The hard luxury resale race heats up – Fashion’s Weirdest Year? Why 2022 Saw Paint Cans as Handbags, and Worse

 

Dear Reader,

Firstly, we wish to let you know that we changed the way of our summary during the time when we did not publish and had a brake. You will find the daily news published and we will no longer provide the detailed list and parts. You will find all news items during January 16 – 20, 2023. Thanks for your understanding.

Today, the Newsletter of TextileFuture is proposing to you for reading three items, they have been selected by our editorial team particularly for you!

The first feature is all about Hailey Bieber, the spouse of Justin Bieber, but also has become one of the most recognisable models of her generation thanks to her social-media savvy; her often-imitated street style, which she describes as “tomboy, but chic”.

The second item is all about “The hard luxury resale race heats up” and what role is playing the Swiss Bucherer Group in Lucerne.

The third Feature is entitled Fashion’s Weirdest Year? Why 2022 Saw Paint Cans as Handbags, and Worse”, an gives you the worst items of the fashion industry has produced as examples.

We hope you will like all items proposed. The first and last feature was firstly published by the Wall Street Journal, and the one about Bucherer in Lucerne by Vogue Business.

We wish you a good week and lots of success.

Don’t forget to return next Tuesday to read the next issue. Should you prefer to have it directly dispatched to your mailbox, then please subscribe free of charge.

The Editorial Team of TextileFuture’s Newsletter.

 

Here starts the first feature:

 

 

 

By Lane Florsheim from the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

The established model and YouTube host—who is married to one of the world’s most famous singers—is gearing up to launch her own skin-care brand.

“My role in the brand is the Creative of Everything,” Hailey Bieber says of Rhode, her new skin-care brand. Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello catsuit, USD1,790, and shoes, USD995, Saint Laurent, 3 East 57th Street, New York.

Model Hailey Bieber in Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello catsuit, USD 1790, and shoes, USD 995, Saint Laurent, 3 East 57th Street, New York.

Even though she’s sitting in a nondescript room where the lights appear to be off, Hailey Bieber somehow glows. The 25-year-old model, who’s at home in Beverly Hills, has said that a goal of her beauty routine is to achieve “glazed donut” skin and, well, mission accomplished—even via video. She’s dressed in loungewear—a marled sweater with a black long-sleeved shirt underneath—paired with minimalist jewelry and makeup. But her face is dewy, cheekbones flush with a swipe of something shimmery.

You might be thinking, A model has good skin? Stop the presses! But Bieber’s skin care has become something of a phenomenon—one that she’s betting she can leverage into a successful brand that’s set to launch later this year.

Take, for example, the two skin-care-routine videos she’s posted on her YouTube channel, which have been collectively viewed more than six million times. And when something called the “clean look” recently went viral on TikTok—basically no-makeup makeup paired with a bright complexion and slick, shiny hair—multiple editors chose Bieber’s image to headline their explainer articles. A lot of people, it turns out, want to have skin that glistens like hers.

“She has that perfect mix of California-meets-New York edge,” says ‘Vogue Australia’ fashion director Christine Centenera. Balenciaga jacket, USD 3350, Balenciaga, 620 Madison Avenue, New York, Hermès shirt, USD 480, Hermes.com, Levi’s jeans, USD 60, Levi.com, vintage belt, USD 500, LeVifParis.com, J.M. Weston shoes, USD 760, EU.JMWeston.com.

This year, Bieber is launching her skin-care brand, Rhode (which is also her middle name), with them in mind. She’s not just the founder. “My role in the brand is the Creative of Everything, putting together the packaging and the colors and the aesthetic,” she says. Though she’s been working on Rhode for two and a half years, Bieber says she doesn’t know its launch date yet, and she won’t say what the products are. The @rhode Instagram, which has almost 40,000 followers, is similarly mysterious: There are no posts, just an avatar with the company’s name in a black sans serif font on an alabaster background.

Hailey Bieber Related Video

Bieber says her products won’t come with an extreme price tag. “I know what I want to give to people,” she says. “The whole ethos of my brand is access to really good quality products that are really affordable. I just don’t see why a USD 200 cream has to be the answer to good skin.” She mentions Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, whose respective Skims and Kylie Cosmetics brands have affordable prices, as female founders she looks up to, as well as Jen Atkin, who founded the hair-care company Ouai.

“As she’s been working on the brand, what’s been really exciting is to see her do so much due diligence,” says Atkin of Bieber. “She is very confident in her decisions.… And also, who better than her with that skin?”

Bieber has become one of the most recognisable models of her generation thanks to her social-media savvy; her often-imitated street style, which she describes as “tomboy, but chic”; and, of course, her marriage to Justin Bieber. For years—when she was the face of H&M’s Coachella campaign and Guess Jeans—her aesthetic was more bombshell. These days her brand deals reflect the high-low, everyday dressing she’s become known for: Saint Laurent and Tiffany & Co., as well as Levi’s and the sneaker brand Superga. She’s also one of the members of the new Victoria’s Secret VS Collective, the initiative replacing the lingerie brand’s famous Angels that aims to show a more diverse group of women.

Today Bieber is recently back from a whirlwind trip around the world with her husband: Qatar, then Saudi Arabia for one of his concerts, then the Maldives for a vacation together followed by London, where she had her shoot for WSJ. But she doesn’t really want to talk about her marriage or personal life.

“It doesn’t feel worth it to me anymore when I try to have an open conversation with someone like you and then it gets taken out of context,” she says, explaining that she told her team she’s not doing any more interviews focused on those things in 2022. “The media loves to take a tiny little blurb of something for clickbait. The media has always been a disgusting thing.”

“There is a lot of similar taste there but there is also a lot of opposite,” says Bieber (pictured with her husband) of her marriage, which she describes as collaborative. “I don’t think you can be the exact same as your partner.”Photo: From left: Alessio Botticelli/GC Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue; Pierre Suu/GC Images

“There is a lot of similar taste there but there is also a lot of opposite,” says Bieber (pictured with her husband) of her marriage, which she describes as collaborative. “I don’t think you can be the exact same as your partner.” Photo: From left: Alessio Botticelli/GC Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue; Pierre Suu/GC Images

Bieber has said before that one of the reasons she started her YouTube channel—current subscriber count: 1.46 million, a fraction of her 40 million Instagram followers—in March 2021 was to give people the chance to get to know the real her, since she feels that she’s often misrepresented or misperceived. “There are always things that have circulated around, [for example,] that I wasn’t very nice,” she says. “I wanted people to feel like, Oh, you know what? If I sat down and had coffee with her, we’d probably be friends.”

So who is the real Hailey Rhode Baldwin Bieber? On the channel—where she hosts series like Get Ready With Me, which is self-explanatory, and Who’s in My Bathroom?, in which she invites friends and other celebrities to sit in her bathroom and do various activities while chatting—she’s perky and warm, sometimes goofy, always on. She’s a natural as a host, having had the gig before, on the TV show Drop the Mic (based on a popular recurring segment of The Late Late Show With James Corden), which she co-hosted with the rapper Method Man from 2017 to 2019.

   “I’m a girl from New York who happened to get to this place,” says Bieber. Gucci jacket, USD 3600, vest, USD 1300, shirt, USD 850, and hat, USD 950, Gucci.com.

 

Bieber in Gucci jacket, USD 3600, vest, USD 1300, shirt, USD 850, pants, USD 1300, and hat, USD 950, Gucci.com, J.M. Weston shoes, USD 760, EU.JMWeston.com.

She says she grew up admiring the comedian Chelsea Handler, whom she describes as a “bad bitch,” and watching her late-night talk show Chelsea Lately: “You have the icon that is Oprah, the icon that is Ellen. But there was nobody like [Chelsea].” Does Bieber want to be the next Chelsea? She says she’s open to the possibility but that hosting on that level isn’t her main goal.

Bieber describes herself as a people pleaser and perfectionist but adds that she’s working on being less of each. Another label she gives herself is style-obsessive. Working with the stylist Maeve Reilly from age 19 until last summer, Bieber became known for signature looks like oversize blazers and suits paired with crop tops, elevated athleisure and sweatsuits, monochrome outfits, cozy knits and lots of leather and denim. (She’s now with Justin’s longtime stylist Karla Welch.) “She has that perfect mix of California-meets–New York edge,” says Christine Centenera, the fashion director of Vogue Australia and co-founder of the luxury basics label Wardrobe.NYC. Centenera first met Bieber on a cover shoot in 2019, and the two are currently working on a fashion-related project together that will launch later this year.

Michael Kors Collection top, USD 690, and briefs, USD 390, MichaelKors.com, Lizzie Fortunato belt, USD 320, LizzieFortunato.com, Gucci shoes, USD 1100, Gucci.com.

Bieber is guided by her Christian faith, which she says has enlarged her capacity to be compassionate and empathetic. “I know that you don’t find the things that fill the voids in your life or your heart through money or fame or this industry or cool parties or what rooms you’re in with people,” she says, “because I’ve been there and I’ve seen it and I’m also married to somebody who’s seen it on even a bigger scale than I have.”

People who are close with Bieber say she possesses a genuineness that’s rare. “It’s really nice to have a best friend who also understands the industry,” says Kendall Jenner, a fellow model and one of Bieber’s closest friends. “I think that people don’t know just how kind she is. When people try and live private lives, it doesn’t always totally show.”

Bieber herself knows the archetype she’s tended to inhabit throughout the different stages of her life and career. “I want to make people feel like I’m another gal next door,” she says. “I’m a girl from New York who happened to get to this place.”

“I’ve taken that same kind of regimented discipline into adulthood,” says Bieber of practicing ballet as a child. Alexandre Vauthier jacket, USD 3198, and pants, USD 1443, AlexandreVauthier.com, ATM Collection tank, USD 98, ATMCollection.com, J.M. Weston shoes, USD 760, EU.JMWeston.com.

Yes, she lives in an 11,145-square-foot house in Beverly Hills with one of the world’s most famous pop stars. But Bieber says their life together is the same as that of most married couples. “Behind closed doors, we’re two really normal people that just have not-normal lifestyles and careers,” she says. “I think given the magnitude of Justin’s career, he’s a very normal person, and I don’t think that always happens.”

Born in Tucson, Arizona, and raised in the New York suburbs, Bieber characterizes herself as a “very all-over-the-place child” with a lot of energy who found an outlet in ballet. “I’ve taken that same kind of regimented discipline into adulthood,” she says. Her father, Stephen Baldwin, is an actor, and her mother, Kennya Baldwin, is an artist and graphic designer, herself the daughter of Brazilian musician Eumir Deodato. When she was 16, Bieber had the opportunity to go to a dance school in Florida, but leaving New York and her family and committing to ballet didn’t feel right. Simultaneously, she’d started modeling and says she was making good money for a teenager. She wasn’t interested in going to college and didn’t end up finishing high school either, which she says she hates: “I feel like that’s a terrible example, and I should find the time to go back and finish. I was like six months away from being done. It’s so silly.”

Chanel cardigan, USD 5300, and shorts, USD 2900, select Chanel boutiques, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello shoes, USD 995, Saint Laurent, 3 East 57th Street, New York.

Instead, she moved to New York City and signed with Ford Models. (She’s now with IMG Models.) Some of her first shoots were for brands like Ralph Lauren and Gen Z mainstay Brandy Melville. For a while, Bieber thought she’d always be confined to e-commerce and more commercial work. “I felt so out of place on runways because I felt like nobody took me seriously and I wasn’t as tall as everybody else,” she says (she’s 5 foot 8), adding that she feels grateful for the designers who put her in their shows anyway.

She made her New York Fashion Week debut in 2015 during the Tommy Hilfiger spring 2016 show, walking alongside her friends Gigi and Bella Hadid, and has since walked for numerous designers, including Versace, Bottega Veneta and Dolce & Gabbana. In addition to the brands she promotes, she’s starred in campaigns for labels such as Calvin Klein and Jimmy Choo. In 2019, she landed her first U.S. Vogue cover alongside Justin and has been the cover star of 11 editions of Vogue in total.

Bieber in a 2022 MiuMiu campaign. Photo: Courtesy of Miu Miu, Image shot by Tyrone Lebon

 

 

Bieber in a 2021 Saint Laurent campaign. Photo: Courtesy of Saint Laurent

A year later, they had a lavish wedding celebration with their family and friends in Bluffton, South Carolina. For the ceremony, Bieber wore an off-the-shoulder lace dress designed by her friend Off-White designer Virgil Abloh, the hem embroidered with Abloh’s signature quotation marks: “Till Death Do Us Part.” Today, she tears up talking about Abloh, who died last November after a two-year battle with cancer. “He was somebody I felt was really rooting for me in an industry where that’s really rare to find,” she says. “The legacy that he’s leaving behind, it speaks for itself in terms of the way he made people feel…. And I think that showed in his clothing, in all of his work and his creativity.”

Bieber in Ralph Lauren Collection shirt, USD 790, and T-shirt, USD 150, RalphLauren.com, Levi’s jeans, USD 70, Levi.com, Celine by Hedi Slimane scarf, USD 195, Celine.com, Tiffany & Co. necklace, USD 17900, Tiffany.com.

 

“I would not want to be with the exact male version of me,” Bieber says of her relationship. Ralph Lauren Collection shirt, USD 790, RalphLauren.com, Celine by Hedi Slimane scarf, USD 195, Celine.com, Tiffany & Co. necklace, USD 17900, Tiffany.com, Levi’s jeans, USD 70, Levi.com, vintage belt, USD 250, and boots, USD 400, LeVifParis.com.

The Biebers have been open about how challenging marriage can be. Last fall, when they went on their Churchome pastors Judah and Chelsea Smith’s podcast In Good Faith, Bieber revealed she’d called her mother when she was near a breaking point trying to help Justin deal with his mental-health struggles, including depression: “I remember I called her a few different times; one particular time…I was crying and I was like, ‘I just can’t do it. There’s no way that I’m going to be able to do this if it’s going to be like this forever.’ ”

One of the reasons Bieber says she felt comfortable opening up to the Smiths was that, unlike others in the church community, they continued to be welcoming to her after she and Justin broke up the first time they dated. “There were a lot of people in the church world that made me feel very outcast,” she says of that period. “When did church become a social club? That was such a bad feeling.”

 

Valentino dress, USD 4200, Valentino boutiques.

These days, Bieber describes her marriage as collaborative, saying that she and Justin riff off of each other’s pursuits. “When it comes to style and taste in music, there is a lot of similar taste there but there is also a lot of opposite…which I think is cool, because then you get to show each other new things that maybe we wouldn’t have heard before,” she says. “I don’t think you can be the exact same as your partner…. I would not want to be with the exact male version of me.”

This year she’s most excited for the Rhode launch, as well as going on tour with Justin for the first time, for his Justice world tour, which begins in February and continues through March 2023. She says she’s not ready for kids yet: “I think ideally in the next couple of years we would try. But there’s a reason they call it try, right? You don’t know how long that process is ever going to take. Definitely no kids this year; that would be a little bit hectic, I think.”

“Behind closed doors, we’re two really normal people that just have not-normal lifestyles and careers,” Bieber says of her marriage. Opposite: Burberry coat, price upon request, US.Burberry.com, Gucci shirt, USD 850, and pants, USD 1300, Gucci.com, J.M. Weston shoes, USD 760, EU.JMWeston.com, vintage Polo Ralph Lauren hat, price upon request, LeVifVintage.com. Model, Hailey Bieber at IMG Models; hair, Syd Hayes; makeup, Lauren Parsons; manicure, Saffron Goddard; set design, Max Bellhouse

She continues, “There’s this thing that happens for women when you get married. Everybody always assumes it’s: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby. Well, what about all the things I want to accomplish in my business? I think I had it ingrained in my head that I was going to want to have kids right away and I was going to want to have kids super, super young. Then I turned 25 and I’m like, I’m still super, super young!”

www.wsj.com

 

Here is the start of the second item:

The hard luxury resale race heats up

Retailers and brands of all sizes and specialisms are vying for the EUR 38 billion hard luxury resale market. But authentication costs are onerous, and opinion is divided over which business model will be the key to long-term success.

By guest author Milena Lazazzera from Vogue Business

January 4, 2023

The hard luxury resale market is booming. Specialists with a focus on watches, jewellery and handbags are competing with larger secondhand platforms such as Vestiaire Collective and The RealReal, generalist behemoths like Ebay, auction houses including Sotheby’s, and brands themselves. In this growing yet fragmented and intensely competitive market, who will win the resale race?

The appetite for pre-loved hard luxury was brought into sharp relief at the end of 2022. In November, Fabienne Lupo, the former head of Geneva’s hard luxury trade show Watches & Wonders, launched a new event dedicated to secondhand luxury goods called ReLuxury. Luxury is “meant to last forever”, Lupo said during the opening ceremony. “We need to raise awareness about a new way of consuming. Buying new has lost its shine.” At the fair, pre-loved hard luxury ventures such as Castafiore, 58 Facettes, Watchbox and the new vintage offer by watchmaker Zenith were showcased next to ateliers dedicated to repairing leather goods and watches. November is also when Geneva is awash with high-end vintage handbags, jewellery and watches, as Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips take to the Swiss city to auction off some of their most valuable wares in plush hotels.

In many ways, hard luxury is behaving like art: at the highest end of the primary market, watches, jewellery and handbags are created with the intention to convey a message, not only simply to accessorise. One-off pieces become part of cultural conversations, and their price is increasingly detached from material costs and margin formulas. This is filtering down to the secondary market, where these items maintain their value as collectibles. In both markets, consumers are buying as an investment.

And the luxury resale industry is growing. The global market for pre-owned luxury goods isforecast to be worth EUR 43 billion in 2022, according to the 21st edition of the Bain and Altagamma luxury study — double its size in 2017. Watches and jewellery make up the lion’s share — EUR 25-27 billion and about EUR 11 billion, respectively — according to Claudia D’Arpizio, a partner at Bain.

As a result, more companies are entering the hard luxury resale race. Better known for grabbing headlines with its eye-watering auction prices, Sotheby’s launched a Buy Now offer in 2020 where customers can purchase anything from a Rolex Daytona to a Hermès Himalaya bag at a fixed price. Besides connecting vetted dealers to clients, Sotheby’s also offers pieces on consignment, as it would in an auction. According to Josh Pullan, managing director of Sotheby’s global luxury division, the marketplace answered clients’ desire for buying luxury goods all year round: “The business has already more than doubled since last year,” he says. Originally US-focused, today, Sotheby’s Buy Now ships to over 70 countries.

Farfetch added pre-owned luxury in 2010, including offers from Pragnell and Rewind Vintage Affairs. Thomas Berry, senior director of sustainable business at Farfetch, says the pre-owned offer attracts private and platinum-tier clients, as well as new clients. “Data from our Conscious Luxury 22 Report shows that demand for pre-owned is growing and increasingly attracting high-value customers looking for an element of rarity, often from iconic brands. Spending on pre-owned is expected to continue to rise,” he adds.

The authenticity challenge

Hard luxury resale is an appealing proposition, but one that is difficult to crack. This is mainly down to low levels of consumer trust, as counterfeiting is rife.

Secondhand luxury platforms such as The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective have made a point of investing in authentication to combat counterfeits. Vestiaire, for example, hires specialists from auction houses to authenticate hard luxury items and has signed a charter pledging to share information about suspicious activities to combat online counterfeiting. In 2021, Vestiaire launched its “Brand Approved” initiative, through which it partners with brands to authenticate certain pieces. That same year, luxury conglomerate Kering invested in the resale platform.

In 2021, Ebay launched an “authenticity guarantee” for sneakers and high-end watches. Photo: Ebay

In an effort to build trust, in 2021, Ebay launched an “authenticity guarantee” for sneakers and high-end watches. It led to a multi-million-pound uplift in sales, according to the company, and the guarantee was rolled out to luxury handbags in May 2022 and fine jewellery a few months later. Goods priced above USD 500 are checked by a team of experts before being sent to the buyer. Watches are inspected by US watch repair company Stoll & Co, and jewellery by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

“In the last two and a half years, we have authenticated over 2 million pieces through our authenticity guarantee service. All this data helps Ebay, and our collaborators, build better processes,” says Tirath Kamdar, general manager of global luxury at Ebay.

Still, for those eyeing opportunities in the hard luxury resale market, Bain’s D’Arpizio points to the high costs of authenticating goods, which necessitates hiring and training people with specific skill sets, or relying on third parties. She also notes the importance of “selecting pieces that do not require too much work to be sold in mint condition, as repair and restoration costs are onerous”.

Specialists try different models

Jostling for space with the larger, generalist marketplaces and secondhand sites are specialist platforms such as Collector Square, Watchbox and Auverture. Many build trust by buying and holding at least some of their stock, which means items can be authenticated before going on sale.

Collector Square, a pre-loved luxury bag, watch and jewellery site, was co-founded by Nicolas Orlowski, CEO of Paris-headquartered auction house Artcurial, and his wife Osanna Orlowski in 2013. Osanna Orlowski argues that the marketplace model does not suit hard luxury clients. “At this price point, clients need the advice and service of experts they can trust,” she says. Collector Square buys and holds the stock, and accepts consignments, providing buyers with the guarantee that all goods available online have already been thoroughly examined, which means quick delivery times and low return rates. Sellers have the option to get their cash immediately or to consign and wait in the hopes of achieving a higher price. Mixing consignment and ownership allows the platform to have a wide sourcing pool, build trust with sellers and mitigate the risks of full ownership of stock, says Orlowski.

Netherlands-based jewellery specialist Auverture also uses a mixed consignment and ownership model and offers travelling trunk shows and try-at-home jewellery boxes handpicked by an artificial intelligence algorithm. The latter concept was introduced during the pandemic and has proven successful because when clients try pieces on at home, their desire to own them increases, the company says.

Netherlands-based jewellery specialist Auverture also uses a mixed consignment and ownership model and offers travelling trunk shows and try-at-home jewellery boxes handpicked by an artificial intelligence algorithm. The latter concept was introduced during the pandemic and has proven successful because when clients try pieces on at home, their desire to own them increases, the company says.

Conversely, US-headquartered WatchBox buys all of the watches it sells, despite the higher risk of holding stock. “It is in our interest that the watches are repaired to the highest level and authenticated, and that is a statement of trust,” explains Patrik Hoffmann, executive vice president of Watchbox in Switzerland.

Brands get in on the action

D’Arpizio says hard luxury specialists are well positioned to serve collectors and connoisseurs — an audience brands are increasingly eager to serve directly, too.

Brands such as Zenith, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Buccellati are tapping into their archives and buying back special pieces for resale. In 2021, LVMH-owned watchmaker Zenith launched its “Icons” range, a tightly curated collection of some of its most iconic vintage pieces, aimed at collectors. The watches are authenticated, restored and certified by the Manufacture in Le Locle in Switzerland. During the Reluxury event in Geneva in November, Zenith unveiled the second Icons collection, with a focus on designs from the 1970s.

Cartier Tradition was created in 1997-1998 to sell Cartier creations that are no longer being produced to collectors and connoisseurs. Photo: Cartier

We launched Zenith Icons with the objective to highlight our patrimony and help build our brand equity and reinforce our value in the secondary market,” says Romain Marietta, product development and heritage director at Zenith. “We wanted to offer a trusted channel to our clients where they can be 100 per cent sure of what they are buying. Today, Zenith Icons are offered exclusively in our boutiques (physical and online). It has shown to be very successful and well perceived by both clients and watch enthusiasts.”

Brands may face the dilemma of correctly pricing and presenting old and new, says D’Arpizio. The restoration process can also be arduous, as some materials have become harder to source over time, which can make it more challenging to accurately price vintage pieces. The “artistic and historical value of the piece” are all factored in, says Luca Buccellati, VIP client director of the eponymous jeweller.

Still, blue chip luxury players are learning they have an advantage over multi-brand platforms because they hold documents that can allow them to easily authenticate vintage pieces. Some already have trained experts in-house who look after their private collections for museum exhibitions. Indeed, brands’ perceptions of resale have changed “from threat to opportunity”, says D’Arpizio. “Brands can use the vintage market to grow through value rather than volume, as well as delivering on the sustainability front.”

www.voguebusiness.com

www.bucherer.com

 

Here is the beginning of feature number 3:

Fashion’s Weirdest Year? Why 2022 Saw Paint Cans as Handbags, and Worse

By guest author Jacob Gallagher from the Wall Street Journal

Dec. 20, 2022

In fashion, it was a year of bags shaped like paint cans, pigeons and potato-chip wrappers.

It was a year of R-rated skirts that barely covered your gluteus maximus; of shirts splayed, boorishly, from cuff to collar with fast-food logos. A year of shoes made from repurposed sex toys and sagging totes made from jeans.

It was a year, above all, of oddity.

In fashion, it was a year of bags shaped like paint cans, pigeons and potato-chip wrappers.

It was a year of R-rated skirts that barely covered your gluteus maximus; of shirts splayed, boorishly, from cuff to collar with fast-food logos. A year of shoes made from repurposed sex toys and sagging totes made from jeans.

It was a year, above all, of oddity.

“It’s definitely the year fashion got weird,” said Jian DeLeon, Nordstrom’s men’s fashion and editorial director. “It’s the year we embraced the weirdness in a bunch of ways,” he said, ranging from Louis Vuitton’s USD2,850 paint-can-shaped bag (which Mr. DeLeon happens to own) down to the kitschy, Granny-chic crocheted sweaters that became a surprise smash for small-scale men’s brands such as New York’s Corridor.

Fashion has been careening toward the kooky for years. Blame (thank?) Crocs. No brand has mastered the viral scheme quite like the purveyors of those squishy clogs. Since roughly the mid-aughts, Crocs’ manic models have included ones with faux grass on their tops, a fried-chicken print (plus a drumstick Jibbitz!) and an attached fanny pack that housed little more than a single ChapStick.

More, even, than moving units, these mules were perhaps designed to stoke maximum online virality. And they succeeded, spawning both aghast tweets and boastful Instagram posts from customers showing off just how deranged their shoes really are.

“Virality is basically free advertising,” said Jonah Berger, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On.” “In some sense,” he said, “today the currency isn’t just money, it’s attention.”

In June, Louis Vuitton showed paint can bags at their menswear show.Photo: Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

It’s an eyeball-attracting trick that’s trickled upward to the luxury fashion world this year, giving rise to such items as a handbag shaped like a common Manhattan pigeon by JW Anderson (USD890), a USD1,073 Diesel miniskirt that is hardly wider than an ankle brace and USD1,850 Balenciaga sneakers that (intentionally) look resurrected from a garbage dump.

“When we think about luxury, it is about aesthetics and beauty—and this [trend] is going against everything we thought a luxury brand should be,” said Ludovica Cesareo, an assistant professor of marketing at Lehigh University, who recently published a research paper titled “Hideous but worth it: Distinctive ugliness as a signal of luxury.”

Ugliness, is of course, in the eye of the beholder and Ms. Cesareo noted that distinction, more than disgust, is what many brands are aiming for. Items including Alexander Wang’s inverted jean tote bag or Loewe’s pumps with a faux crushed egg at the heel are more bizarre than grotesque. (The sex toy clogs by Los Angeles brand Rose in Good Faith, on the other hand, are minorly nauseating.)

For consumers, these items appeal in that they’re immediately legible as luxury. If you’re just wearing a solid black cashmere sweater, how will other people know you spent half a month’s rent on it? Items like a pair of Gucci sandals with a Gremlin’s face on them, however, or a woolly, nearly USD3,000 dachshund-shaped bag by Thom Browne, are a fuzzy beacon of luxury to everyone you see on the subway.

But the shock-your-way-into-the-conversation strategy can backfire. The French fashion house Balenciaga has made viral-stoking a business strategy under its creative director Demna, releasing bulbous sneakers, garbage-bag shaped bags and four-figure jeans that look like they were run over by a semi truck.

Sarah Jessica Parker, on the set of HBO’s ‘And Just Like That…,’ holding one of the year’s most viral bags, JW Anderson’s pigeon clutch.Photo: James Devaney/Getty Images

In the final months of the year, when the brand released a marketing campaign that included child models clutching dolls in bondage gear, it drew widespread backlash, spurring the brand to release apologetic statements and commitments to support anti-child abuse causes.

Even this cautionary tale is unlikely to slow the meme-it-till-you-make-it marketing strategy, which has become so commonplace that even brands well outside the apparel industry are employing it.

For several years around Thanksgiving, Stove Top Stuffing has released Thanksgiving dinner pants with an elastic waistband in the pattern of stuffing. “Those are literally pregnancy pants,” said one dumbfounded local news anchor when covering these pants.

They promptly sold out on Amazon.

Mildly more upscale are the Guy Fieri–esque flame shirts that the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise released this year in partnership with streetwear imprint Dumbgood, as well as the logo-heavy merch that chicken-finger franchise Raising Cane’s released with Anti Social Social Club.

One theory for the onslaught of offball apparel is that a more reserved crop of shoppers is aging out of luxury spending; clothing companies are now courting the TikTok generation.

“When we think ‘luxury’ traditionally, we have this vision of this older, very wealthy consumer. That’s not the case anymore, right? Luxury consumers are more and more younger millennials and Gen Zs, and they live on social media,” said Ms. Cesareo.

True to form, although it appeared during a men’s runway presentation months earlier, J.W. Anderson’s pigeon bag didn’t take flight until a few customers made some campy TikToks.

“The rise of novelty items just really is more of an indictment of how far internet culture and social media has influenced not just the discourse around clothing but how we wear clothes,” said Mr. DeLeon.

This reorientation, from clothes that make critics coo from the sidelines of a catwalk, to clothes that make a 20-something go “that’s fire” when staring at Instagram, is one enduring effect of the pandemic. In times of isolation, shoppers began to prioritize buying items for the short-attention span internet—for a static Instagram fit pic or a brief TikTok fit check. (Recall the phenomenon of ‘Bama Rush TikTok.)

“People want to look cool in front of others,”

“People want to look cool in front of others,” said Ms. Cesareo. And at a moment when curious and cool have become synonymous, she said, “ugliness has kind of been unleashed.”

www.wsj.com

 

 

 

 

Newsletter before retreat

Michelle Obama’s Fashion Declaration of Independence – Lifesstyle: 12 Holiday Gifts Tailored to New Year’s Resolutions – Fashion: The Ultimate Guide to Menswear—for Women https://textile-future.com/archives/102186

 

News highlights before holidays and shut down of TextileFuture, for your convenience just click on the item.

 

Awards

Swiss Empa: Award at the «Swiss Innovation Challenge» 2nd place for Empa spin-off Perovskia Solar https://textile-future.com/archives/102434

The Best of 2022

The Best of 2022  https://textile-future.com/archives/102479

Cathedral

A Cathedral Tried to Approach Heaven, but the Earth Held a Deep Secret https://textile-future.com/archives/102568

Data

The McKinsey Week in Charts  https://textile-future.com/archives/102464

Digital Camera

AI image generators: everything you need to know  https://textile-future.com/archives/102483

The Future of Everything

The future of everything on future work  https://textile-future.com/archives/102516

IT Repair

Personal Technology: Slow Internet? Bluetooth Blues? These Tips Can Fix 99 % tings you need to know to become your own tech-support wizard https://textile-future.com/archives/102532

Personalities

Jenna Bush Hager, Progeny of Presidents, Is Now a Publishing Kingmaker https://textile-future.com/archives/102453

Reading

What you read https://textile-future.com/archives/102616

Retailing

Retail The Best of BoF: Retail Is Back on Track https://textile-future.com/archives/102427

Switzerland

November 2022: Chemicals and Pharmazeuticals diminish Swiss Foreign Trade https://textile-future.com/archives/102344

Office of the Swiss Attorney General files indictment against one person for support of terrorist groups and proscribed representations of acts of violence  https://textile-future.com/archives/102378

Ecological risks in Switzerland to be given more consideration in global financial flows https://textile-future.com/archives/102323

Last official visit as Federal Councillor: Ueli Maurer meets his UK counterpart   https://textile-future.com/archives/102461