Retail concepts

Is an edit of OG vintage pieces enough to make Banana Republic relevant again?



I’m slightly obsessed with all these MOR American companies trying to make themselves great relevant again. After J Crew’s appointment of Noah’s Brendon Babenzien and Gap’s new Yeezy Gap partnership, Banana Republic just launched its latest initiative, a delve into its heritage and a refresh of brand perception.

Last Thursday it launched BR Vintage, a 225 piece curation of original Banana Republic safari jackets, khakis, baggy military shorts and tees from the 80s to early 2000s. The vintage collection was available online, with the Flatiron flagship store selling an additional selection available in-store only. It sold out within days (more…)



What’s going on at Gap?



Yeezy Gap

Kanye’s first Yeezy Gap jacket drooped last week, but is it any cop?

The single nylon puffer was the first piece from the much hyped ten-year project to appear as a pre-order on the U.S Gap website (to be shipped in the autumn). In bright blue, the voluminous $200 jacket wasn’t your average Gap fare. (Some memes compared it to a Smurf-coloured bin bag.)

Early reactions on fashion forums were mixed – 65/35 against I’d say. The 35% were quite emphatic in their enthusiasm, applauding Gap for giving so much trust and control to Team Yeezy. Gap even temporarily erased its entire Instagram feed save for one picture of the polarising item. At this stage, one could concede, what exactly does Gap have to lose? (more…)



Business of beauty: who will be the next make-up mogul?



Violette beauty line

With a couple of recent beauty brand launches, it’s interesting to speculate who will be the next make-up-artist-turned-make-up-mogul after Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury. I’m currently enjoying watching the rise of Gucci Westman and Westman Atelier, but next in the running we have Violette Serrat and Lisa Eldridge.

Violette rose quickly from freelance MUA to Estee Lauder Global Beauty Director after growing a dedicated following of her beautifully shot (and very ‘French girl style’) YouTube videos. Her aspirational but relatable style now translates to Violette_FR, a capsule beauty line that includes Boum Boum Milk spray serum, liquid eye shadows and – already! – a unisex musk oil perfume (above). (more…)



Would you shop at a Sotheby’s ‘buy it now’ store?



Sotheby's retail store in New York

Gotta love the millennialisation of auction houses. From online speed auctions to hosting sales of rare Nikes to courting hype curators, the likes of Sotheby’s and Christies are pacing ahead in attracting younger demographics.

The latest initiative is a Sotheby’s boutique. Just opened at Sotheby’s‘ flagship on York Avenue in New York, the bricks-and-mortar store will rely on guest tastemakers to curate pop-up sales that hopefully mimic the adrenaline rush of scoring a hard-to-get grail item from one of its auctions. (more…)