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TT Vol. 33
Gift Guide Clockwise from Top.
After last week’s Women’s Gift Guide, we’re wrapping up with some food gift ideas. We’ve been debating whether to have some caviar with dinner on Christmas Eve. CaviAIR has been advertising heavily to us, while Thomas Keller also started his own caviar company called Regiis Ova. The caviar scene from On The Rocks has stuck with us, so it’s probably only a matter of time until we order up some fresh roe. Every December, Raquel talks about how she used to love getting Harry & David catalogs, and occasionally the actual basket that would be gifted to her family. They have some smaller, cheaper options, and range all the way up to $200! They also offer full holiday meals, like a surf & turf dinner or a roast pork. Raquel was missing her See’s Chocolate this year, as we weren’t able to travel to California. She sent me to the West Village outpost with directions to buy one pound of the “nuts and chews.” Once we’re able to host a holiday party again, we will likely be ordering from the Cake Bake Shop which ships nationally and has beautiful, festive cakes. NYC fave Levain Bakery is also now shipping nationally, and selling frozen cookies in select grocery stores. No longer do I need to bike up to the UWS for chocolate chip cookies! Christmas Eve is the perfect time to break out some bubbly; the Queen prefers Bollinger, and Winston Churchill was a Pol Roger man, and either of those would work well.
Last week’s blizzard that hit NYC made me feel wistful for snowstorms of yore. Growing up in the hinterlands of Dutchess County in the 80’s/90’s, it always felt that inclement weather was right around the corner. I’d wake up at 6AM in the dark, and listen on my white Sony alarm clock to the local alt rock radio station rattling off the names of school districts that had closed for the day. As a student at Wappingers Central School District, I had to listen to the entire alphabet until I would know if a snow day had been called. When I was younger, a snow day usually meant going over to the neighbor’s house for grilled cheese, video games and sledding at the nearby golf course. When I was older, it meant going snowboarding in the Catskills. With the recent rise in remote schooling, combined with climate change induced warmer winters, I feel sorry for kids in school who won’t get to experience the joy of a blank slate day, the unexpected day off from structure, home work and teachers. It brings to mind this final Calvin & Hobbes cartoon, and removing that from childhood is a real loss.
A few more luxury brands showed their new wares last week; Givenchy and Dior both showed PF21, while Bottega Veneta showed “Salon 01” which is their SS21 collection. Givenchy showed off men’s and women’s looks, with plenty of expensive looking hardware. These spiked slides are trying hard to be the next Crocs:
Meanwhile, Dior released 125 (!) polaroids for their PF21 presentation. Lots of leopard, fishnet, Oblique (and a vinyl Oblique rain coat), berets and some freshly spritzed sunnies:
Finally, white hot Bottega Veneta released their SS21 collection (dubbed “Salon 01”) with a small private show in London. With plenty of knits, oversized bags, and some hip pad dresses.
I’m still trying to figure out what the deal is with these sneakers. Are they Vibram? Keens? Neither? Haven’t been able to track down any info on them yet.
We’ve written about SSENSE a few times recently (here and here). This past week, they launched a new private label line they are calling SSENSE WORKS. This label will consist of rolling collaborations with creative individuals who have a strong sartorial bent but lack a proper fashion design background. As described in its brand bio, SSENSE WORKS:
unites the SSENSE brand with cross-disciplinary creatives to design and develop collaborative products, content, and new narratives. As part of the SSENSE platform, SSENSE WORKS is a standalone product assortment and content extension that creates and builds a tangible legacy of creative collaboration—an active dialogue between SSENSE and its collaborators.
This first collection was designed by playwright Jeremy O. Harris and consists of lots of fun prints and a plaid skirt. We see this as a smart way for SSENSE to develop their own private label collection and its branding. Creative celebrities will lend their aura to SSENSE in exchange for royalties (and not a flat licensing fee, already a win for SSENSE) and will help drive visibility and sales as individuals like Harris point their acolytes to the capsule collection. Meanwhile, SSENSE is able to help their margin by creating the product rather than buying wholesale from an existing brand. This initial collection doesn’t look like a huge investment (most tops only have 4 units depth in size XLs) but has a lot of potential to scale. More background on this: here and here.
Raf Simons has jumped on the home goods train, launching a new e-commerce site History of My World:
this new multidisciplinary platform offers a curation of pieces selected by Raf Simons. They reflect the designer’s point of view, aesthetic and philosophy. These items span home, literature, clothing and will include unique pieces, limited edition items and special collaborations.
Currently, I am seeing blankets (each about $2,000, and largely sold out), apothecary candle sets (all sold out), and books (not sold out). Customers who purchase a book can ask for a custom hand written message from Raf to be included. The candle sets, modeled after vintage apothecary bottles, do seem to be the best items for sale and we’re not surprised they sold out at “only” $500:
Raf Simons doesn’t sell any of its menswear directly to customers, only through its wholesale channel, and we’re intrigued to see how he expands this direct option. We’d love to see a re-stock of the candles and some archive pieces available for sale! We like seeing more and more luxury brands expanding their home assortments (Loewe, Dior, Gucci) at a time when we’re all sheltering in place.
Raquel & Chris
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