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TT Vol. 10
Clockwise from Top.
Last week, we got to see the impact COVID-19 has had on the retail industry with a little more clarity. A number of retail companies filed for bankruptcy protection, and the Treasury Department publicized the recipients of its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, which provided capital to companies in exchange for avoiding layoffs. With the unemployment rate high, evictions set to resume in most states, and federal unemployment stimulus set to expire, the summer has been difficult for businesses that aren’t selling essential goods and services. Just this week alone, Brooks Brothers, Sur La Table, Totokaelo/Need Supply and Muji filed for bankruptcy. To weather the downturn, some fashion brands applied for and received PPP funds including Comme des Garçons, Dover Street Market, Mansur Gavriel, Moda Operandi, Noah, The Row, Valentino, and Yeezy. Meanwhile, Macy’s announced it was eliminating almost 4,000 corporate jobs, and Nordstrom announced it was combining its digital and brick-and-mortar merchandising groups into one omni channel team. With all this change, there will definitely be space for new voices post-pandemic. Raquel and I are hopeful it will bring a new wave of creativity and diversity.
In 2012, Dr. Sarah Villafranco left her career as an ER doctor to found Osmia, a line of organic skin care products. Although she makes an array of beauty products, Dr. Villafranco is best known for her organic bar soaps. She takes the time to explain in detail chemicals to avoid that are commonly found in many beauty products. Raquel has been using Osmia products since last year thanks to a recommendation from her sister. As she is ever the student in researching products and diet benefits for skin health, she has found that it has helped to minimize breakouts and gives her more even, hydrated skin. The two products that she recommends and uses nightly are the Purely Simple Face Cream and the Black Clay Face Soap. She loves the face soap in particular as it looks beautiful on our bathroom counter in our Merci soap dish.
Last week was when the couture shows would have been in Paris. With the pandemic on going, they were moved from the runways to digital presentations. While some didn’t like the new digital format (see Vanessa Friedman / WWD), we really enjoyed how accessible everything was. Not quite the elitism a luxury house wants, however great since we are stuck at home. Compilations here and here. Some highlights:
Usually Raquel and I are avid movie goers year round. This isn’t your typical summer obviously - it will be the first since 1975 (when Jaws was released) without a summer blockbuster! We’ve gone the VOD route and saw The High Note at home, but we want to try a drive-in movie at some point soon. Tribeca Film Festival is organizing showings in a few big parking lots around the country: the Rose Bowl in LA, the Dallas Cowboys stadium, and here in NYC at Orchard Beach and Jones Beach. In NYC, they are playing a well-rounded mix of comedies (Superbad), new releases (Palm Springs) and blockbusters (Wonder Woman). I’ve never been to a drive-in, but Raquel has fond memories of going with her family when she was little. The kids would wear pajamas and her mom would bring tasty snacks to enjoy during the movie. This seems like the safest way to watch a movie on a really big screen right now, so we’re planning on renting a car and bringing some herb butter popcorn before the summer is over.
It’s important for Raquel and I to keep our daily rituals. Right now, for us, that means at 6PM we stop working, put a bottle of Cullerot on ice, and turn on the Khruangbin. Their music is a very relaxed psychedelic funk with almost no lyrics. They are a three piece band from Houston who just released their new album Mordechai. I started listening to them back in 2015 when they released The Universe Smiles Upon You, and at the time, I assumed they were a Thai surf rock band (Khruangbin means airplane in Thai). Raquel especially likes their music to help bring a sense calmness and soothe the stress of the day away (along with a cold glass of white wine or a Campari soda in her hand). We highly recommend adding Khruangbin to your nightly routine.
Chris & Raquel