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TT Vol. 30
Gift Guide Clockwise from Top.
After last week’s Home Gift Guide, we wanted to put together some baby and kids gift recommendations for all of our friends and family members with children, and for expectant parents of Gen C (see urban dictionary definition here). For toys, we have really liked shopping at Rose & Rex. They are a small business offering sustainable and ethical toys, and many of them are biodegradable. We like their wooden Rainbow Stacker. These Baby Jordan 1’s jumped out at us: great colors! We like the story behind The Collective Child, which is a Stitch Fix for kids clothes. They will send you boxes of clothes based on your preferences and the ages of your kids, and you can send back whatever you don’t like. They work with a lot of great brands like Bobo Choses. Banwood makes the cutest balance bikes; they help kids learn how to bike, and come with beautiful wicker baskets. Since Raquel and I live in Brooklyn, we see these Banwood bikes everywhere. Not only are they adorable, but they come in a lot of different colors and seem like a great way to nurture budding cyclists. It’s also a pragmatic way to travel with your child! We were on the hunt for a fair isle sweater, and we really liked this one from Boden. It has weiner dogs! For some value clothes, Mud Kingdom, Cat & Jack, Zara Kids, Baby Gap and Crew Cuts are all places we’ve gifted from for friends and nieces and nephews. For some upscale and designer options, we like Bonpoint, Chloé, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga and Gucci.
Of all the things to freak out about in 2020, Harry Styles in a dress is not high on the list. As we linked to last week, Harry Styles appeared on the cover of Vogue this month, the first male solo cover ever. He was photographed by Tyler Mitchell wearing a Gucci dress, and there was a corner of the internet that was not happy with his attire. Right wing commentators proclaimed “Bring back manly men” and “Boys are taught to be more masculine in virtually every human culture because the role of men is not always the same as the role of women.” Despite the outcry from conservatives, the issue has been incredibly popular with long waitlists for print copies.
Textile waste is a huge environmental issue in the fashion industry, and companies are beginning to tackle this in various ways. One company is The Big Favorite: they have added a really interesting “circular” component to their basics business. When you are finished using their underwear or undershirts, you can send the garments back to the company which will then recycle the yarns to be used in new pieces. When you send back your old t-shirts, for example, you’ll get a discount on your replacements. This is a great way to both encourage textile recycling, and incentivize customer loyalty. We would love to see a bigger company like Hanes create a similar program for their customers.
Balenciaga is releasing its FW21 collection next week via a video game entitled “Afterworld: Age Of Tomorrow.” It’s not really clear at this point what this will consist of. We’re guessing the game will be playable on the Balengiaga website, with avatars dressed in Balenciaga, but we will find out soon. This follows Gucci’s film series that was released last week in place of a runway collection. As we mentioned then, designers are now searching for alternative means to extend their brands beyond traditional fashion week presentations. Leaders like Gucci and Balenciaga now feel emboldened to release collections on their own schedule, rather than timed to match the fashion weeks in Paris, Milan and Tokyo. With less reliance on third party retailers, luxury brands are more free to speak directly to their customers via non-traditional mediums like film and video games. What brand is going to present their collection on Among Us?
Menswear retailer End Clothing, one of the bigger UK based e-commerce businesses, is looking to fetch a $900M valuation on the private markets. Founders Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker, who started the company with just $50K out of college 15 years ago, have hired Goldman Sachs to shop the company to private equity buyers. The valuation does seem high for a business that is focused almost exclusively on menswear. That said, adding a women’s department would be an easy way to juice sales, and we imagine this potential is adding to the price tag. Running an e-commerce site at the scale that End operates at is expensive, and we wonder how much of the need to raise capital is related to cash flow issues vs. a desire for the founders to cash out.
Chris & Raquel