“Rachel Cusk and Zadie Smith have become, in effect, literary brands — once their names are removed from the context of a book’s cover and placed on a hat or a tote bag.” Terry Nguyen, New York Times.
The merch machine refuses to die. In fact, I would argue it’s only just getting started. The New York Times recently published this article on literary merch, explaining the relatively new popularity of #litcore caps (and totes and tees) that show allegiance to revered writers while telegraphing the wearer’s (perceived) intellectual superiority. The Guardian calls this “consuming culture as a performative act”, while comedian Dan Rosen simply calls it “liberal cringe” (ouch #guilty).
It’s also rampant in media, with mainstream and niche publications going all out on taste signallers. (more…)
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…)