And what will bubblegum princesses wear on flights from L.A. to Puerto Vallarta now that the velour tracksuit brand is gone?
Last week, Juicy Couture announced it will be closing all U.S. stores by the end of June, Racked reported.
For those for whom a little silver J on a zipper symbolized bitchy popular-girl oppression in middle school—a sign to run as fast as your dorky Keds could carry you—the announcement might bring a kind of vindication, a sweet relief. The reign of the velour tracksuit has ended. The brand’s downfall is a cautionary tale to businesses and fashion designers: creating one year’s hottest trend doesn’t necessarily guarantee a brand’s longevity.
Ten years ago, Juicy was the unofficial sponsor of the Mystic-tanned Hollywood set and their plasticky emulators in high schools around the country (as 2004’s Mean Girls satirized). The brand was best known for velour tracksuits in cotton candy pinks and blues with “JUICY” stamped in rhinestones on the backside (especially troubling when worn by 11-year-olds). Paired with Uggs and Northface jackets, these sweats became a lazy-chic celebutante uniform, beloved by the likes of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, and Eva Longoria (in real life and in character on Desperate Housewives). In 2003, the New York Times reported that Juicy had been “built from a $200 start-up to a $51 million concern.”
He homogenized the hipster look, popularized porny ads, and championed local manufacturing.
With its pop-sleaze aesthetic, American Apparel has helped shape (and ironically undercut) the standard tropes of fashion culture. As chairman and CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney embraced taboo subjects, traded in nostalgia, and pumped out designs using skin-tight spandex and plenty of sheer fabric. He played with perversity in the brand’s clothes and advertising. He took the hipster look mainstream and homogenized it.
Charney was canned this week from the company he founded in 1998. The decision grew out of an “ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct,” the brand said in a statement. Charney, who held the position for 25 years, sold sleaze—in ways both savvy and ugly. Savvy was how he let the suggestion of impropriety pervade the company’s designs, and then amped it up while throwing in plenty of nostalgia. There’s little in those stores that doesn’t speak to teenage hormones fully raging, figuring out what to wear to the pool party and what will enable a hook-up. It’s Fast Times At Ridgemont High come to life.
… Even if you never set foot in an American Apparel store, you’re probably familiar with its soft-core ads plastered on billboards and buses. This sexual libertarianism came from the top down. Charney embraced the fact that sex sells in a more explicitly frank (and provocative) way than other major retailers. One ad, which featured Charney posing with employees, was captioned “in bed with the boss.”
Perhaps consider quitting your day job to write about shoes.
"Bloggers are becoming brands in themselves, turning their musings on fashion into businesses."
Exposed: A History of Lingerie charts how designers responded to feminist demands for better underwear over 300 years of ill-fitting, freeform, and racy lingerie.
“Burn up the corsets!” clothing reform activist Elizabeth Stuart Phelps wrote in 1873. “Make a bonfire of the cruel steel that has lorded it over the contents of the abdomen and thorax for so many years and heave a sigh of relief: for your ‘emancipation,’ I assure you, has from this moment begun.”
We have feminism to thank for making our underwear more comfortable, a truth that’s clearly reflected in Exposed: A History of Lingerie, now on view at the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). The more than 70 pieces on view, from the 18th century to today—from girdles to the “no-bra” bras of the ‘60s—track the social and sexual mores of different eras through the lingerie that women wore. The show also reveals how designers (thank goodness) responded in very tactile ways to feminist demands for less oppressive underwear.
If you thought “Project Runway” was juicy and addictive, with its fashion drama queens, speed-design challenges, and icy judges, imagine injecting it with the raging hormones of adolescence. There you have the premise of Lifetime’s newly announced Threads, a “Project Runway”-inspired fashion competition reality show for teenage designers.
What does the future of fashion look like?
Your pocket is now a total dead zone.
Dress for both the job you want and the job you have with these apps for refreshing your spring wardrobe.
New gear to keep you safe riding your bike at night, and looking badass while you’re at it.
“As long as the driver has his headlights on, the biker will be visible for as far as the eyes can see.”
“We do as much as possible to clear the noise.”
Betabrand, San Francisco-based e-commerce company, is showcasing a group of smart women in it’s newest assortment of spring clothing. But you won’t see just any smarties are appearing in Betabrand’s pants. “We sought out women with doctorates,” cofounder Chris Lindland tells CoCreate. You’ll see them reading or riding on the back of a motorbike, sporting stretch selvedge denim or shirtwaist dresses that range in price from $80 to $178. “Is it an industry first to focus on only the brainiest women? My guess: Yes.”
Everyone from Bette Davis to Jennifer Lawrence, from Irene to Armani, is represented. It’s a palette of glamorous dresses from some of the 20th and 21st century’s most famous designers.
- Council of Fashion Designers of America—For giving the fashion industry a conscience.
- Refinery29—For publishing fashion coverage that everyone wants to read.
- Editd—For using big data to analyze the whims of fashion trends.
- Farfetch—For creating a one-stop shop for browsing high-end boutiques around the globe.
- H&M—For branching out of the crowded chic-for-cheap space.