Capsule Wardrobes and Bundles

The concept of the capsule wardrobe is nothing new. For years women have been told to simplify their lives and build a closet around a few staple pieces. However, the concept is hard to buy into simply because it seems boring. Imagine only owning a few pieces and wearing a variation of the same outfit every day?

Christine Centenera and Josh Goot, the Australian stylist/designer duo and couple who are most known for their association with Kanye West, have come up with a new take on the concept. They have launched a clothing line called Wardrobe.NYC, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce site which sells four or eight piece capsule collections for both men and women.

The concept is great. Basically, you choose between the four piece option which includes a blazer, shirt, t-shirt, and skirt (for women’s) or the eight piece option which includes the aforementioned pieces plus a coat, a knit, a blouse, and a pair of leggings. The items are cute, all work perfectly together, but could also be worn separately and mixed with other items in your wardrobe. The four piece retails for $1500 whereas the eight piece retails for $3000. The men’s versions retail for the same price. Interestingly enough, they claim that there is no retail markup on the products meaning they are selling them at wholesale cost. None of the items can be purchased individually, meaning you have to buy the entire bundle.

Another instance where the bundle model was in place was for the newest drop of Kanye West’s Yeezy shoe. It was touted as a way to beat the resale market, forcing people to buy an entire tracksuit instead of just the sneakers. The price point was around $760, with the sneakers themselves only having a $200 value. The first resellers to buy the bundle and list the sneakers online didn’t know how to price them. Initially they priced too high and the sneakers didn’t move, unlike in every other previous Yeezy drop where they have sold out instantly and then sell online on the resale market straight afterwards.

It is telling that Wardrobe.NYC and Yeezy chose to follow a similar model as Christine Centenera is long-rumored to be the woman behind Kim Kardashian’s minimalist makeover. She is a long-time collaborator of Kanye West, often serving as a consultant for his Yeezy shows. It makes me wonder if the two of them discuss the business strategy too and came up with this idea together. Kanye is supposed to work with a lot of Australians on his brand, according to an article from The Sydney Morning Herald. I hope to hear a lot more about this brand and wish it all the success in the world because I think it’s a really fun concept and if you have the money to spend on luxe staples, why not get it all in one place?

Further reading

Kanye West May Have Finally Outsmarted the Resale Market – GQ

Christine Centenera and Josh Goot Get Into the Direct-to-consumer Retail Game With Wardrobe.NYC – Fashionista

Aussies: the Secret to Kanye West’s Success – The Sydney Morning Herald

Wardrobe.NYC Capsule Collections

The Précis: 13th January 2018

New year, new title! As I mentioned in last Saturday’s post, my blog is in a slightly transitional phase and the renaming of the weekly words series is just one of the many changes that I am making: enter, the précis. Précis, meaning summary or synopsis, is the new name of my weekly series as I figured it was really a roundup of some of the newsworthy stories of the week and précis sounds a little more elegant. I hope you enjoy the new name.

Victoria’s Secret Sales Declined Every Single Month Last Year – Fashionista.com


In an unsurprising announcement, L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret reported declining sales of 5% to 14% each month compared to 2016. It may seem that Victoria’s Secret is the go-to stop for lingerie but much of their hype comes from their annual fashion show, which was largely considered disastrous last year, and from their models’, angels’, own social media followings. The online attention doesn’t always translate into sales and the newly released figures proves this. VS changed their product offerings a couple of years ago, cutting the hugely popular swimwear division and focusing on activewear instead. The move away from swim was met with much disappointment from consumers and VS’ sales have been declining since.

Personally, I can’t imagine things getting any better for Victoria’s Secret unless they vastly change their products. Their brand of sexy is just not cool anymore. As a company that is trying to capture the wallets of young girls (as young as tweens, with the PINK division), they are out of touch with what young girls want. Young people do not wear lingerie and padded bras anymore; they wear bralets, which VS does sell but at higher prices than competitors in that area. The women of the age who would be interested in buying the kind of underwear sold by Victoria’s Secret is often sized out of the store due to the miniscule size range normally available in stores – if you have very small or very large boobs, try somewhere else – plus the fact that the underwear only goes up to size XL and definitely runs small (according to their size chart an XL is a US 16, average women’s size is 16-18 across the country). It will be interesting to monitor VS’ performance over the course of 2018 to see if they make any noticeable changes to their branding or how they market their products as I also feel like this could change their fate long term.

The Weeknd Cuts Ties With H&M Over ‘Deeply Offensive’ Photo – Rolling Stone

from The Weeknd’s official Twitter account

If you didn’t already hear about it, H&M posted a product on their site that received hefty (and deserved) criticism online. The product in question was a kids hoodie with “coolest monkey in the jungle” printed on it. The hoodie in question was worn by a black child, prompting outcries of racism. I struggle to understand how this product got through so many stages of development without anybody flagging it as a potential issue. It takes many people to make a product live on a website and I can’t believe that nobody raised this as an issue. The Weeknd has a clothing collaboration with the fast-fashion retailer but after seeing the news online, he announced that he would not be working with the store any longer. G-Eazy, who has a similar deal, said the same thing. Pressure has been building for Nicki Minaj to make a similar statement, but as of now she has remained quiet.

I was glad to see people quickly condemning H&M over this product and it was nice to see celebrities putting their money where their mouth is and actually pull out of partnerships that no longer align with their values. It means forfeiting a paycheck for them, but in the long run what even is that to people who are making multi-millions annually? People have called for a boycott of the Swedish retailer but that will likely not happen. People tend to be all talk and no action when it comes to things like that. H&M released a statement earlier this week apologizing for their actions. I just really don’t understand how things like this continue to happen: it’s 2018.

Golden Globes 2018

The Golden Globes red carpet experienced a blackout this year, and in the best way possible. Stars joined together in solidarity for women who have been sexually assaulted, a topic that has been in the news almost daily since last fall when the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. Many have shushed the celebrities, saying that wearing black is really the least they can do, but if you’re going to minimize every action that a person takes then how are you contributing positively to the conversation? The point of everyone wearing black was to continue the conversation on sexual assault and inequality and that was definitely achieved.

From a sartorial standpoint, I love black. It is the most chic color and really looks good on everybody. As a New York resident (but not yet a New Yorker, I hear there’s a date requirement on that…), black is practically my daily uniform and I never tire of the color. I often look at red carpet looks and say “oh, it would be nicer in black”. The Golden Globes then provided me with my dream red carpet, where everyone was dressed exactly as I’d desire. I’m just going to ignore the two actresses who chose not to wear black because their reasons for doing so can be roughly conflated with wanting attention all in the name of “female empowerment”. Instead, let me focus on the positives and all of the amazingly dressed stars. What a way to kick off award season!

Catherine Zeta Jones in Zuhair Murad
Tracee Ellis Ross in Marc Jacobs (side note: I want to see her in one of his colorful turbans at some point too)
Issa Rae in Prabal Gurung
Zoe Kravitz in Saint Laurent
Mariah Carey in Dolce & Gabbana
Angelina Jolie in Versace
Geena Davis in Monique Lhuillier

Weekly Words: 6th January 2018

Welcome to the first post that I’ve actually written in 2018!

You may have noticed that I have made some changes on the blog. First of all, and most noticeable, is that I have changed the url from katemossforpresident.wordpress.com to evegardiner.com. I figured that instead of just paying for a url and not using it, I should make the switch to something a little more permanent and polished than a regular WordPress domain. Thus, evegardiner.com was born.

Since I am now self-hosted, I have a lot more options in terms of customizing the site and I plan to utilize these extra options available to me over the next few weeks when I’m going to work on making some changes. It is taking me forever and a day to work out how to do this because my coding skills have definitely dropped off in the past few years, but I am hoping that by the end of January things look a little cleaner. I have already added a new about and contact page, plus changed the theme so feel free to check that out if you’re interested.

Some other things that I want to do are:
Make a consistent posting schedule. Currently, I post on Wednesdays & Saturdays. I think that works for me in terms of how much content I can produce (that I’m actually happy to post) and keeps things fresh. On Saturdays, it will be a weekly words post just like the regular ones (featuring news from the week, sort of like a newsletter almost) but I am currently in the process of thinking of a new name for the series. I will add a new category for the site once I rename it. The mid-week post will be a longer post most likely, but may be image-heavy if there is an editorial that I’d like to feature. Also, as I’ve done for the past couple of years, I will continue to post a fashion flashback on the 1st of the month (even if that clashes with another post).

Revamp the categories and make them less specific. A lot of my posts fall under the same category and some categories are under-utilized. I think it would be better if I kept things broader and cross-tagged posts so they fall into multiple places.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and are feeling positive about the year ahead! I am excited to see what 2018 brings.

Best Looks of 2017

I don’t think 2017 has been a very “look”-filled year. I have been compiling this post for the duration of the year and upon looking back, only a few of the looks that I initially selected stood out to me. In terms of the more recent ones, I love Kim Kardashian’s Tom Ford suit. I wish she wore things like this more often. The oversized style suits her well and I love a woman in a suit. I also loved the little matching two piece worn by Elsa Hosk at the VSFS After Party. A lot of the girls in attendance wore cute outfits there actually. I look forward to seeing how the red carpet evolves in 2018. There are already talks of all of the female actors wearing black to the Golden Globes in a form of protest so I am curious as to whether or not that happens. What was your favorite look in 2017?

Kendall Jenner in Paule Ka – January 2017
Tracee Ellis Ross in Zuhair Murad – January 2017
Jennifer Lopez in Reem Acra – January 2017
Kim Kardashian in Rick Owens – March 2017
Grace Elizabeth in Roberto Cavalli – April 2017
Bella Hadid in Alexander Wang – May 2017
Donald Glover in Gucci – May 2017
Emily Ratajkowski – August 2017
Selena Gomez in Valentino – September 2017
Kendall Jenner in Dolce & Gabbana – September 2017
Leslie Jones in Christian Siriano – September 2017
Jessica Biel in Ralph & Russo – September 2017
Giovanna Battaglia at Paris Fashion Week – October 2017
Sofia Richie in Giorgio Armani at a Bulgari event – October 2017
Beyoncé in Walter Mendez at a Tidal event – October 2017
Selena Gomez in Jacquemus at the Instyle Awards – October 2017
Elsa Hosk in Fannie Schiavoni at the VSFS afterparty – November 2017
Gal Gadot in Givenchy – November 2017
Kim Kardashian in Tom Ford – November 2017
Margot Robbie in Versace – December 2017

Fashion Flashback: Versace FW91

Versace is the buzzy brand of the moment. Donatella Versace’s SS18 show was a tribute to her brother Gianni, marking the 20th anniversary of his 1997 death. At the end of the show, which was filled with archival prints and homages to his most popular pieces, a group of the original supermodels took to the runway and did one turn down the catwalk in head-to-toe sparkling gowns. They marched to George Michael’s Freedom, bringing the audience back to the Fall 1991 show when the moment originally happened. Most of us on social media weren’t even alive when the original show occurred, but any fashion fanatic knows it was a moment for life. The show that I am featuring today is the original, and here are the original looks with, you guessed it, the original supermodels. Divine!

This collection is simply iconic. There’s no other word to describe it. I challenge you to spot the pieces which Donatella reimagined for the new season in this show. See the full collection here.

Also, I recommend reading this article about how 2017 was the year of Donatella Versace from the beginning of December. As a bonus, there are a few great photos of the early 90s supermodels thrown in.

Weekly Words: 30th December 2017

The week between Christmas and New Year is always a slow one, like drifting down a lazy river. It is a time to relax, unwind, and reflect on the past year. I have spent a lot of time doing that, and also thinking about what I want in the year ahead. Every year people make resolutions to lose weight, work out, and be entirely different people than they currently are. I don’t think that’s a good approach. Instead make manageable and achievable goals that you won’t beat yourself up over if you don’t achieve. I’m making more of a bucket list of things I want to do, places I want to visit, and things I want to buy – I might do a post on this at some point.

As a result of the week-long holiday taken by nearly everybody in fashion, the news cycle has been rather slow so I’m adding something from last week which I forgot to mention: the departure of Phoebe Philo from Céline. I’m hoping that the designers who have all left houses (such as Philo and, my favorite, Riccardo Tisci) find a new brand to call home in 2018.

Phoebe Philo Is Exiting Céline” – Fashionista

In a surprising twist, Phoebe Philo has stepped down from her position at Céline. Rumors of her impending departure began swirling back in 2015 when Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times mentioned them in an article about Alber Elbaz being fired from Lanvin. However, in fashion’s game of musical chairs it began to appear that Philo was staying put. Alas, on December 22nd it was confirmed that she was leaving the brand after the Fall 2018 show in March. Philo is best known for her minimalist style which is oft-copied by other luxury brands and fast-fashion stores alike. Her contribution to fashion is huge and the loss surrounding her departure will definitely be felt in the coming seasons.

Reselling Gifts

Famous people get free shit. It has been that way for a long time. Nowadays, it has evolved from merely gifting (e.g. swag bags at events) to paying them to promote the product. The notion of fame has expanded too. Anyone with internet access can be famous now, which means that regular people with followers online are being paid large sums of money to talk about things. It seems that we all have a price and, in fact, are all just walking billboards. People are now more aware of this than before and take what they see and read online with a pinch of salt, so perhaps paid promotions will be less effective for brands than before (although I did read that FashionNova was one of the top Google searches of the year and they are known for paying influencers and celebrities to promote the brand).

Obsessed with my @fashionnova dress 💎 Get it at FashionNova.com ✨ #ad @fashionnova

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

The lesser discussed side of things is what happens to pieces that people are gifted. As an influencer, you receive PR packages from brands on a daily basis. I used to watch a Beauty YouTuber who would receive an entire collection from a brand and only actually like say 2 out of 30 shades of lipstick sent. The rest of the collection would either be hoarded or donated to women’s shelters. With beauty products, the resale market is small. Only the most collectible items can be sold, and only if they are unopened for sanitary reasons. If a YouTuber opens a product to swatch it, the value is gone. Fashion, on the other hand, is a booming resale market and shows no sign of slowing down.

Influencers are donated pieces, or buy them at a super steep discount (80-90% off), and sell them after they’ve worn them once or twice. After all, once they’ve posted it on their Instagram they have to get rid of it (or not rewear it publicly…). The same thing happens at fashion magazines: editors are gifted pieces for promotional consideration, whether they choose to write about them or not is up to them, and they can do whatever they want with the pieces afterwards. The sheer volume of stuff is why people sell it on and make some money in the process. I have sold items on Depop in the past. The app tends to focus on items with a lower price point, mainly vintage pieces that you could find in a thrift store (often what Depop sellers do, hauling items from Goodwill and comparable stores and selling them for a small profit) or gently worn fast-fashion pieces. You don’t tend to see too many brands on there. The sites that are used for selling designer pieces are TheRealReal, Tradesy, Vestiaire Collective, and sometimes eBay.

The ethics of selling things that you didn’t actually pay for are a little bit murky. On one hand, it is how many young editors in fashion sustain their lifestyles. On the other, you are profiting 100% off of things you did not purchase and are likely not declaring that income on your tax forms so it is pretty shady. Fashion editors tend to be on a very low salary yet seem to all be wearing designer pieces and living in New York City. Something’s gotta give.

Racked did a wonderful project, called The Swag Project, where they kept all of the pieces that the editors were given over a 6 month period and totaled its value, plus added a few articles digging deeper into the ethics behind it all. In the 6 months, the site received close to $100k worth of items for free yet only wrote about 3% of the products sent to them. The best article to come out of this project is an article entitled “The Secret Swag Resale Economy” which delves into the rife reselling that goes on at magazines. For example, a Conde Nast staffer initially felt guilty after selling a laser hair removal package that she was gifted and keeping the proceeds then quickly realized that that is just how things operate there. Much of the fashion industry runs on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, in all facets of the industry. I follow a YouTuber who was involved in a mini-scandal when a follower on Depop called her out for reselling an item gifted to her that was an exclusive piece not originally for sale. This happens all the time so it was interesting to see her response which was, of course, very defensive. Also interesting was the fact that fashion editors do this all the time and get no response. Perhaps it is just because it is less known or less public.

👽

A post shared by Julia Hobbs (@juliahobbs_) on

With the rise of social media, fashion editors have fast become celebrities with followings in their own right. It used to be that only the top tier of magazine editors were known, but now even a fashion assistant at a publication can garner a following in the tens of thousands. Of course, once you hit around 5000 followers on Instagram, the paid promotions come-a-knocking. The FTC has cracked down on paid promotions online though, releasing guidelines that say you must clearly state at the beginning of the caption that it is an ad. They have also been investigating people and issuing fines for influencers and celebrities who do not abide by the guidelines. Paid promotions in the fashion industry, however, are not as clear as #ad. Editors get free clothes, discounts, attend parties, get sent on trips, and have dinners. They often attend the same events as influencers who are vocal about their payment / partnership, but don’t post about them in the same way: Fashionista did a good post about the “tricky ethical territory” that editors verge into as a result of this. The discussion on this topic is promising because it means that consumer awareness is high. I don’t have a problem with people attending the events or reselling their free stuff, as long as people know that it is happening. Instagram tends to portray a false reality and people are often fooled into seeing the world in a way that simply does not exist. I would like to see that change and people be a lot more transparent about things.

Recommended reading:

The Secret Swag Resale Economy” – Racked

Arguably the most interesting article in The Swag Project, this article delves deep into the practice of gifting at magazines and the ethical guidelines in which staff are told to follow.

“We Received $95,000 Worth of Free Stuff in 6 Months” – Racked

The first article in The Swag Project with a lot of information on what was received and what happened to it all. Amazing infographics!

“As Editors Transition to Influencers, They Enter Tricky Ethical Territory” – Fashionista

Further delves into the discussion started by Racked and mentions some key items that were suspected to be gifted to editors and influencers alike. 

Weekly Words: 23rd December 2017

Khloe Kardashian’s Pregnancy 

My greatest dream realized! We are having a baby! I had been waiting and wondering but God had a plan all along. He knew what He was doing. I simply had to trust in Him and be patient. I still at times can't believe that our love created life! Tristan, thank you for loving me the way that you do! Thank you for treating me like a Queen! Thank you for making me feel beautiful at all stages! Tristan, most of all, Thank you for making me a MOMMY!!! You have made this experience even more magical than I could have envisioned! I will never forget how wonderful you've been to me during this time! Thank you for making me so happy my love! Thank you to everyone for the love and positive vibes! I know we've been keeping this quiet but we wanted to enjoy this between our family and close friends as long as we could privately. To enjoy our first precious moments just us ❤️ Thank you all for understanding. I am so thankful, excited, nervous, eager, overjoyed and scared all in one! But it's the best bundle of feelings I've ever felt in my life! ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

After months of speculation, Khloe Kardashian has finally confirmed that she is pregnant with her first baby. In sharing the happy news, she has reignited the debate over whether her younger sister Kylie Jenner is pregnant or not. Fans have thought that neither of the sisters were pregnant and that Kris Jenner was just leading everyone on a wild goose chase. Khloe’s confirmation now has us all waiting for Kylie’s. Here’s to hoping it comes by Christmas!

“Would You Take Out a Loan for a Pair of Jeans?” – Racked

graphic from Racked article

Payday loans are a major financial problem for millions of people. Debt is scary. Money management is not the easiest thing in the world. Why is it, then, that Affirm loans exist and are used to purchase the most trivial things such as a pair of jeans? This Racked article explores the topic, detailing the use of Affirm loans (which have an APR of 10-30%) for smaller purchases like clothing and plane tickets. It allows the customer to pay for the product in whole straight away using a loan, and then pay back the loan in installments over a set period of time. The article is really interesting and helps you understand the reasoning that people may use when they opt to try this service, but, as with any information from a financial provider, take it all with a grain of salt. Is it really worth potentially ruining your credit score for a pair of jeans / making a $200 pair of jeans cost way more after you’ve actually paid them off? Please read this article because Racked have produced an amazing piece that really opens your eyes!!

 

Spend More, Buy Less – over one year later

Last summer I found myself falling down the sustainability rabbit hole. I vowed to change my ways of consumption and be a more respectful consumer. I can 100% admit that I have failed. Here I will tell you exactly why. I know these are excuses (literally exactly what they are) but I know that there are other people in the same situation as me who came in with good intentions and have strayed.

1 – Sustainability can be expensive

The first thing that I thought I would do would be cut out fast fashion. I wouldn’t shop at Zara. I wouldn’t shop at H&M. I wouldn’t shop online in e-stores like Missguided and Pretty Little Thing. This lasted for about 6-8 weeks then I crumbled. Terrible, I know, but it’s really hard to not buy anything when you constantly want something new. The sustainability principle of buying less is very hard when you’re into fashion and want to keep up with the latest trends or even start your own. Quite often the only way to execute certain looks is by buying cheap pieces to get the aesthetic we desire. I want Gucci but I can’t afford it, so I buy the Zara alternative. Most of the time, the people who I have seen online preaching about sustainability and not shopping fast fashion are wealthy. Like go into Gucci and buy the fur slides for the hell of it wealthy. They aren’t living like regular college students are living.

2 – I suck at thrifting

On the other end of the spectrum, the people who talk about sustainability thrift exclusively. They buy used, secondhand clothes, shoes, accessories, regardless of the condition. They manage to find things that fit. I never do. In fact, I am perhaps the world’s worst thrifter. I rarely find anything that I find semi-passable. I’ve been to Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange, Housing Works, Beacon’s Closet (I do like that place), and 9 times out of 10 I leave empty-handed. Thrifting in New York is not what I expected it to be. I thought that it would be so easy and that I’d find cool things ever single weekend. What I have come to learn is that in order to get cool things you need to spend a lot of money. For example, I was at a store on Saint Marks a couple of weeks ago and I tried on the coolest hat you have ever seen. When I looked at the price tag it was $75. That’s insane for a secondhand, non-designer item. I have had similar experiences in other thrift stores where I have spotted cool items then been taken aback by the price. I’m not willing to spend more on an old, used, slightly roughed up item than I would on something new.

3 – I’m a college student

Living in New York is hard. Everything here is so damn expensive. When I began writing the Spend More, Buy Less posts I was working full-time. I had an income which meant I was able to buy more expensive clothes but now I can’t.

I do fully agree with a lot of the principles I spoke about in these posts and after going back and reading them again I want to start making a more conscious decision to keep an eye on my consumption again. In the meantime, here are some suggestions which I think could help towards reducing your individual footprint.

 – Donate or recycle old clothes

Whether it be by literally taking the clothes to be recycled for textiles or recycling by someone else wearing them, don’t put your clothes in the trash and send them to a landfill because that is simply a waste. Not all clothing is biodegradable so it can sit in the landfill and pollute for years to come. Either donate clothes to a charity (in the US I’ve donated to Goodwill but in the UK there’s more of a selection), sell it back to a store in exchange for cash or store credit (either Beacon’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange would work), or give it to a friend. You could also try selling on Depop. It looks like Instagram but it’s shoppable.

 – Build a capsule wardrobe

I know a capsule wardrobe sounds so dated but bear with me. Build up a collection of basics which you can mix and match on a daily basis and splurge on fun, trendy items every once in a while. If you have good jeans (black, grey, and maybe blue if you’re into that), various t-shirts in different cuts, silky cami tops, button downs, a couple of cute skirts, and a pair of black pants you can build lots of different outfits. Try making the look more exciting via your choice of outerwear or by adding accessories. I know that throughout the winter I dress boring as hell underneath my coat but because I always wear interesting outerwear or furry accessories I look pulled together.

I know that my current rate of consumption is unnecessary and I know that purchasing from fast fashion stores on the regular is not admirable so I would like to reign in my spending. However, I don’t like it when people are extremely judgmental of others for their consumption because you don’t know their personal circumstances. Also, lots of people remain ignorant of the issues at hand, often through no fault of their own. It’s definitely a personal journey and I think one that we have to make the decision to make on our own.