hilary milnes

  • The winners and losers in a Coach-Kate Spade acquisition

    With reports swirling that Coach’s acquisition of Kate Spade is imminent, what would a merger of two of the leading American handbag brands look like? “Coach has viability again,” said Jessica Ramirez, retail analyst at boutique firm Jane Halli & Associates. “Now, they’re targeting millennials and looking to further elevate the brand.

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  • The myth of the ‘store of the future’

    In February, Target abruptly shut down its “store of the future” project, a major innovation initiative that was testing out automatic checkout capabilities (à la Amazon Go), robot-driven order fulfillments and other e-commerce integrations at a store prototype in San Francisco. The futuristic store was set to open to the public later this year, but after holiday sales perfo ...

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  • Why former Wall Streeters find new careers as fashion founders

    For financial analysts slogging away for long hours, an escape plan becomes enticing; entrepreneurship looks like a seductive dive into uncertainty after endless scrolls of spreadsheets. Often, these unfulfilled financiers find their ways to careers in fashion. “If you spend a lot of time in finance, you eventually want something radically different,” said Diana Melencio, co- ...

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  • The see-now-buy-now revolution is fizzling

    Fashion’s great see-now-buy-now experiment is beginning to fray. This week, two designers who had been bullish about the promise of a new in-season fashion calendar have pulled back. On Monday, Thakoon, a small label based in New York and led by designer Thakoon Panichgul, announced that its business was on “pause,” seven months after moving to a direct-to ...

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  • Sephora is betting big on augmented reality for beauty

    Bridget Dolan and her team at Sephora’s Innovation Lab, based in San Francisco, were a year into developing a new virtual reality tool for the retailer’s mobile app when the technology used to power the experience saw a breakthrough. “When it comes to augmented and virtual reality, it can only be successful if it’s truly useful,” said Dolan, Sephora’s head of innovation.

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  • Thakoon’s business restructuring is a blow to see-now-buy-now

    Thakoon Panichgul, designer of his eponymous line Thakoon, made the leap to a direct-to-consumer business model in September. The bet aligning his collections with an in-season schedule would mean to get new items to customers faster. As soon as they ...

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  • Why Yoox Net-a-Porter wants to sell through WhatsApp

    The Yoox Net-a-Porter Group is interested in more than having a conversation with customers on WhatsApp. On Thursday, CEO Federico Marchetti announced the company’s plans to sell luxury goods on the platform, which has a reported 1 billion active users. Through its Fash ...

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  • Move over, boy beauty: Makeup is going genderless

    “Boy beauty,” as it has been represented so far by mass-market brands like CoverGirl and Maybelline, is a well-intentioned step toward democratizing the use of makeup. But it can actually end up feeling limiting. “It’s a positive thing, but I just worry people think there’s only one way men can wear makeup,” said Georgie Greville, creative director at Milk Makeup.

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  • See-now-buy-now’s cultural divide

    As fashion week moved from New York to London, then to Milan, and finally to Paris, the frantic talk of see-now-buy-now and the future of the fashion calendar got noticeably quieter. “It’s very much a cultural difference,” said Rony Zeidan, founder of ...

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  • Unboxing the boys’ club of streetwear

    Sophie Osella, who goes by the username “albatrawesome” on Reddit, decided that women in the streetwear industry needed their own space on the platform after she posted a photo of herself to the Supreme subreddit r/SupremeClothing. “I immediately got a lot of comments from ...

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  • Converse wants Chuck Taylor to be a fashion shoe

    Converse is hoping a focus on fashion can push its iconic, but aging, Chuck Taylor sneaker to its next phase. “Forever Chuck” is the first campaign under the guidance of CMO Julien Cahn, who joined the Boston-based brand last summer from parent company Nike. The three-part video series centers around what Converse considers to be the three cultural movements that established t ...

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  • Can see-now-buy-now save department stores?

    There is a seemingly never-ending stream of bad news for America’s department stores, facing declining foot traffic, declining shopping mall environments, and competition from Amazon to Zara. But there is, perhaps, one trend working in their favor: the ongoing shift in fashion to new see-now-buy-now business m ...

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  • Startup spotlight: Garmentory wants to bring independent boutiques online

    Independently owned boutiques, with small teams and limited technology resources, have largely been left behind in the age of e-commerce. While Farfetch caters to the affluent online luxury boutique shopper, and has raised $300 million dollars in funding to do so, the younger, entry-level luxury shopper is largely left out of Farfetch’s exclusive price points.

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  • The future of AI in fashion

    Like many one-note fashion brands before it, luxury lingerie brand Cosabella wants to become a lifestyle brand. Choosing to branch out into a lifestyle brand is not a new strategy. The more products you offer customers, the more potential sales are on the table. But as Cosabella moves into categories like swimwear, sleepwear, ready-to-wear ...

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  • This NYFW season, designers embraced fashion show freedom

    Fashion designers have never had more freedom when deciding how to format their collection presentations. The traditional fashion week format — a runway show at a main fashion week venue — is still the most common. Designers who hold a runway presentation at a sponsored venue, like the Skylight Clarkson Square, are often doing so out of necessity.

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  • How Vans’ vp of design put the aging brand on every cool kid’s radar

    When Vans collaborated with Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami for a line of sneakers and apparel in 2015, the world’s cool kids took notice. The patterns — Murakami’s signature psychedelic designs in a bold rainbow of colors — debuted at a celebration in Downtown Manhattan, at Soho’s Opening Ceremony store.

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  • The fashion show production process goes digital

    The fashion show production process, which traditionally happens by way of email chains, Microsoft Office, in-person meetings and printouts of Powerpoint decks, is transitioning to the digital world — albeit slowly. At LDJ Productions, a fashion production agency that worked with ...

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