The three-year-old startup has developed a front-end interface for helping web shoppers find the perfect fit.
A woman shopping for summer clothes spots a dress on Pinterest and clicks through to the retailer’s product page. She zooms in on the pattern, selects the coral version, and decides the price is within her budget—but then, she hesitates.
For most online shoppers, that moment of hesitation is the result of inconsistent sizing, a problem costing the fashion industry over $3 billion per year.
Banana Republic, for its fall fashion line, has put together a “Startup Guy” look, which reads more “Brooklyn Guy on the L train” than hoodie-wearing tech dork. But no matter: Fashion is aspirational. “The Startup Guy” outfit isn’t what dudes working in tech today actually wear, it is what they may want to look like after they see BR’s latest catalog.
But what exactly makes this man in khakis and a blue button-down—pretty standard fare for business casual—the prototypical “startup guy”? Fast Company tried discern what about this getup Banana Republic thinks screams “startup guy.”
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 Timesreported 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.”
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 announcedThreads, a “Project Runway”-inspired fashion competition reality show for teenage designers.