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The DMA Digest is an edited gathering of information relative to DMA United's business model. With the goal of propelling deal flow and internal awareness, the criteria we use in selecting these topics is reflective of our company philosophy: innovation is born from a polycultural and multi-disciplinarian environment.

Macy’s Offers Immersive Fragrance Experience at Herald Square

In collaboration with the Fragrance Foundation, Macy’s first pop-up Scent Event installation at its Herald Square flagship is designed to give customers a 3-D immersive experience, thanks to six perfumed pods representing different moods, interactive graphics and videos. The event is held in conjunction with the retailer’s annual Flower Show, where the installations are placed at the center of the cosmetics departments’ floral decorations.

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Talking Tech: Barneys CEO on Getting Data-Driven and Digital Growth

There’s a culture shift occurring at Barneys New York.

For a retailer steeped in luxury, designer firsts and sophisticated store decor, Barneys is getting “data-driven” and, in a clear sign of a serious technology play, has hired its first chief information officer, Martin Gilliard, WWD has learned.

Gilliard starts his new job on April 3 and takes on a broad role overseeing all technological aspects of the retailer, including the digital, e-commerce and information technology teams. He will report to Daniella Vitale, president and chief executive officer.

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Matchesfashion.com Revenue Climbs 61% in 2016

Speedy deliveries, growth inside and outside the U.K., and an uptick in the average order value bolstered revenue at Matchesfashion.com 61 percent to 204 million pounds, or $280 million, in fiscal 2016.

The privately owned company — which last year offered the industry’s first, on-demand 90-minute delivery service in London, launched a customized French language site, and delivered 165 tech products aimed at improving the online shopping experience — said EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, increased nearly sixfold to 19 million pounds, or $26 million in the year.

Average order value increased by 14 percent to 511 pounds, or $700, while international sales grew 80 percent and domestic ones were up 45 percent.

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Anya Hindmarch Launches Build a Bag Collection

Indulging an obsession with customization, Anya Hindmarch is offering customers the chance to build their own bags with a collection set to launch exclusively at Barneys New York on Madison Avenue in May, WWD has learned.

Clients start with a bucket bag — a new style for fall that comes in large or small, leather, shearling or python — and can add a variety of handles and shoulder straps. Last come the charms, leather ruffs, key fobs, tassels — detachable and interchangeable — making for hundreds of combinations.

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Triggering Article 50: What Brexit Means for Fashion

Britain is leaving the European Union. Today, Britain’s permanent representative to the EU Tim Barrow will personally deliver a letter from its government to European Council president Donald Tusk notifying him of Britain’s decision to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, ending more than four decades of membership and trade with the European Union.

Britain is now entering a prolonged period of uncertainty as prime minister Theresa May negotiates the terms of the country's departure from the EU in what is likely to be a tenuous and drawn-out process. Her government has two years to negotiate an exit deal, which may include leaving the single market, brokering a new customs agreement, tightening control on immigration and striking new trade deals. And while the interim uncertainty does not bode well for business, the long-term impact on the fashion industry remains far from clear.

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Instagram Killed the Retail Store

One Sunday in November 2015, Alexandre Daillance (known by his nickname, Millinsky, which he made up), woke up slightly hung over in his Wesleyan University dorm room. Then 18 years old, the Paris-born upstart fashion designer did what any teenager would do first thing in the morning: He grabbed his phone. He had dozens of notifications from Instagram, all showing he’d been tagged in a photograph of Rihanna. Still bleary-eyed, he realized she was wearing one of his hats—a simple baseball cap fronting his slogan “I Came to Break Hearts.” Within days he’d sold more than 500 of them. “So many were ordered so quickly that we had to shut down the web store,” Millinsky says. Soon celebrities such as rapper Wiz Khalifa and millennial icon Zendaya were wearing his designs. He was overwhelmed.

He also wasn’t alone: Millinsky is among a growing horde of superyoung designers using Instagram as their home base. For members of Generation Z—kids who got phones at birth, to whom social media is as important as oxygen—the photo-sharing site is the core of an instinctive methodology for building a brand, garnering a following, and generating sales.

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A Rare Venture Capitalist — Female and Retail-Focused

Kirsten Green had only dabbled in investing in start-ups before she began a venture capital fund in 2012. What she had instead was years of experience covering the retail business as an analyst on Wall Street.

So Ms. Green, 45, parlayed that retail knowledge into her venture capital endeavors and used it to bring specialized advice to her companies. In one of her first moves as a venture capitalist, she was part of a $1 million investment into Dollar Shave Club, then a tiny company, which sells razors to consumers online. Later, she invested in Jet.com, an e-commerce start-up that was vocal about wanting to take on Amazon.

Last year, both those start-ups hit the jackpot: Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion, while Walmart purchased Jet.com for $3.3 billion. For Ms. Green, that translated into a bonanza of returns.

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Designer Tom Dixon Unveils His ‘Secret’ Project With Ikea

As snow swirled through Manhattan earlier this month, the British designer Tom Dixon found himself in a cozy spot above it all, standing atop a twin-size bed with a dozen nervous students at the Parsons School of Design in Greenwich Village.

Dressed in a charcoal suit, Mr. Dixon was trying to make a radical point: that Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant known for beds and dressers that are so inexpensive they are often perceived as being disposable, could manufacture a collection of affordable, heirloom-quality pieces to last a lifetime.

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Three Big Questions on the NFL and Las Vegas

The Raiders stiff Oakland for Nevada’s money and a new home. Is it a gamble—or a clever entryway for sports gaming?

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J.W.Anderson Is Uniqlo’s Next Big-Name Collaborator

Uniqlo has assembled an impressive roster of collaborators over the years, from Carine Roitfeld to Jil Sander to Christophe Lemaire. The latest fashion figure to sign on is Jonathan Anderson, the designer of J.W.Anderson and Loewe. The project was announced this morning in New York, at Uniqlo’s global press preview.

Anderson, who is originally from Northern Ireland, will present a line inspired by the British-heritage motifs that have shaped his work. The collection will include clothing for both men and women and is set to launch this coming fall.

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The social power of branded holidays like Nike’s Air Max Day

Glomming on to dubious holidays is by no means a new marketing move for brands — especially those in the food industry — but creating their own and omitting any non-commercial pretense is a relatively fresh move, and one that seems primed for growth in the fashion industry.

Since launching in 2014, Nike’s Air Max Day has expanded to outsize proportions for a branded holiday, with countless activations taking place across the U.S. and Canada during the weeks leading up to and on the day of the event. The sneaker brand has created a blueprint for other fashion brands to follow, though only one has taken the bait so far: J.Crew will celebrate its first National Stripes Day on March 31 to celebrate — you guessed it — all manner of its brand-created stripes.

This year’s Air Max Day, which took place on Sunday, also happened to mark the 30th anniversary of the iconic Air technology used in the Air Max shoe, so Nike pulled out all the stops.

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The Iconic Ikea Bag Is About To Look SO Different

You know the big blue Ikea bag. You've likely schlepped more than those new Jubla candles and Hjälmaren towel racks in it. It's so sturdy that maybe you've used it to carry your laundry or move stuff to a new apartment. (Just us? Mmmkay.)

Well, your trusty, 99-cent, 19-gallon polypropylene workhorse is abandoning the depths of your storage closet and fleeing to Paris.

Apartment Therapy reports that Ikea has announced a partnership with Colette — yes, the carefully curated Colette — featuring a bag with the French retailer's signature blue dots on one side, and polka dots on the other. Swedish minimalism meets French chic here — and the result is cute.

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The Galaxy S8 will be Samsung's biggest test ever

You know what's coming tomorrow, you've known and waited for it for months now. Samsung's 2017 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, will be officially announced, and one of the most critical periods in the company's history will begin. The phone Samsung launches on Wednesday will carry greater expectations and have to prove a lot more than usual. Even as the world's biggest smartphone maker, Samsung's mobile credibility was deeply shaken by the Galaxy Note 7 snafu, so it now needs to reassert its reliability while also rebooting its technological advantage. Here's a rundown of the biggest challenges facing Samsung as it prepares to take the wraps off the Galaxy S8.

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Airlines warn of disruption if no quick Brexit aviation deal

Britain must prioritize aviation in Brexit negotiations if it is to avoid major disruption to air travel, budget carrier Ryanair (RYA.I) warned on Wednesday, echoing growing concerns across the sector as Britain triggers its exit from the European Union.

Airlines based in the EU have the right to fly to, from and within any country in the bloc thanks to the single aviation market created in the 1990s, but Britain now has just two years to renegotiate access or come up with an alternative system.

"There is a distinct possibility that there may be no flights between the UK and Europe for a period of time after March 2019," Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said on Wednesday.

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Recent headlining issues have been putting the fashion industry under a much-needed microscope. The lights have been turned on. Not surprisingly: It’s an industry with an attitude problem, and still holding onto regressive habits contrary to its role as a trendsetting Magic 8-ball. Regardless of who’s on the right side, the sad truth is models, more than others, censor themselves in fear of losing critical jobs. As a result social media has become their soapbox, but many are still reluctant to voice their own frustrations. So Models.com asked a simple question to advance the conversation on the issues needing to be addressed, “How do you, the model, want to be treated?”

The fact is there is not a monolithic model experience–but there are unequivocal blemishes in an industry based on beauty: diversity or the lack thereof and the impact of racism, working conditions specifically related to pay or lack of it, sexual abuse, body image and mental health issues especially the impact on young impressionable and eager minds trying to fit in to an ever demanding industry. How does fashion begin to reconcile with its models?

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The standard hip-hop wardrobe hasn't changed much over the years. While FUBU and Phat Farm may have faded into irrelevance, most elements have largely stayed the same, to the point that even your grandma could probably reel off a list of things that an archetypical rapper wears.

Not among them: obscure Italian yachting labels like Stone Island. No one would namecheck that one, really, because that's simply not what rappers wear.

Or at least it wasn't until recently. But then, in the summer of 2015, pictures of Drake wearing Stone Island at Wimbledon, not to mention various other places, flashed all over world media.

His repeated endorsements of the brand, which he'd been wearing since 2010, inspired a wave of imitators who have helped proliferate Stone Island throughout the hip-hop scene and contributed to its rapidly growing profile in the U.S., which is just one of the places where this storied yet niche label is experiencing a surge in cultural relevance.

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Kate Spade, Coach and Kors Shares Rise on Final Bidding Speculation

Shares of Kate Spade & Co., Coach Inc. and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. all saw gains Monday following speculation that a decision might be made soon in the sale of Kate Spade.

Financial sources said final bids were due Monday, and the expectation is that Kate Spade will receive at least one bid, from Coach. While Kors is still rumored to be interested, at least one investment banker indicated that Kors might no longer be in the process, although that could change at the last minute.

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José Manuel Albesa to Succeed Ralph Toledano, Helm Puig Fashion

Puig is shaking up its upper management ranks and has promoted José Manuel Albesa to steer its fashion houses, including Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier, WWD has learned.

The executive adds the responsibility to his current role as chief brand officer at family-owned Puig.

Ralph Toledano, who joined as president of Puig fashion five years ago, has exited the Spanish company after five years.

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Furla Promotes Alberto Camerlengo as CEO

Furla’s board has unanimously appointed Alberto Camerlengo as its new chief executive officer. Camerlengo, 52, was previously general director of the Italian accessories company. He succeeds Eraldo Poletto, who last August became ceo of the Salvatore Ferragamo group.

Camerlengo, who studied economy at the Bocconi University in Milan, joined Furla in 2011. Before that, in 1999, he became chief operating officer of Fossil Italia, a role he held until 2004. From that date until 2011, he was ceo of Brooks Brothers Europa.

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Amazon to Acquire Souq.com

Amazon said on Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase Souq.com, the largest e-tailer in the Middle East.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The news came one day after state-backed construction concern Emaar Malls PJSC, of the United Arab Emirates, made public its $800 million offer for Souq.com on the Dubai Financial Market, according to media reports.

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Who’s Driving Japanese Style?

At the close of Tokyo Fashion Week, BoF shines a light on the enigmatic stylists shaping how the world sees Japanese fashion.

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Everyone from Muji to Zara wants a piece of India but there aren’t enough shopping malls to hold them all

India is on track to become the world’s third-largest consumer economy by 2025 but its shopping malls are falling behind.

In 2016, demand for mall spaces outstripped availability, and for the first time ever in India, new malls were not able to replace the ones withdrawn, according to a note by real estate consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

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Will Unisex Collections Ever Become Mainstream?

This month, H&M added its name to a growing list of fashion heavyweights abandoning the idea of gender-specific clothing and marketing. It’s a change that’s been happening on the catwalk for a number of years, with designers such as J.W.Anderson, Wales Bonner, Rick Owens and Craig Green presenting collections that aren't limited by traditional gender constraints and silhouettes. More recently, many of the industry's biggest luxury brands, including Gucci, Burberry, Tom Ford, Paul Smith, Margiela and Vivienne Westwood, started combining men's and women's collections – essentially moving away from the long-established binary blueprint of ‘menswear’ and ‘womenswear’ shows. Today’s young tastemakers are also sparking conversation by disrupting ideas of what we ‘should’ all be wearing. Young Thug, for example, was heavily praised for wearing a dress on the cover of mixtape ‘Jeffery’, while Jaden Smith made headlines last year for starring in Louis Vuitton’s SS16 womenswear campaign.

The strict parameters between the traditional notions of women's and men's clothing have been challenged for a number of years, but Selfridges became a high-profile pioneer of genderless dressing back in 2015 when it introduced its Agender initiative.

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It looks like trafficking in nostalgia works: A recent report from Cambridge Analytica highlights Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic among the most popular retailers for millennial shoppers. The data analysis firm compiled responses from an internal survey of 220 million consumers, first reported by WWD, on where they have shopped over the past six months. Among the respondents' recent purchases, around 23 percent of those who shopped at Urban Oufitters were within the millennial age range, while Hot Topic is close behind with around 17 percent. Charlotte Russe, a trend-focused retail chain that likely rivals with Forever 21, is also another top choice among millennials, according to Cambridge Analytica's data.

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New Chairman at Paramount Pictures Faces an Arduous Task

Viacom has turned to one of Hollywood’s most seasoned and respected executives, James N. Gianopulos, to revive its faded Paramount Pictures operation.

But some analysts worry that Paramount is already too far gone.

Mr. Gianopulos, who turns 65 in April, will take over as chairman of Paramount on April 3, Viacom said on Monday. Mr. Gianopulos, the consummate Hollywood insider who is treasurer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, previously ran 20th Century Fox.

Viacom is counting on him to bring immediate stability to Paramount, which has been in free-fall. The studio, which lost $445 million in its last fiscal year, found modest Oscar-season hits in “Fences” and “Arrival.” But it has mostly become a bomb factory, releasing unpopular films like “Silence,” “Allied,” “Ben-Hur,” “Zoolander 2,” “Monster Trucks” and “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.”

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Bustle Turns Political in Latest $12 Million Funding Round

In digital media nowadays, politics is money.

Bustle, a site targeted at young female readers, has raised $12 million to help hire a raft of political writers to capitalize on the passions surrounding the election of President Donald Trump and to finance a deeper push into medium-length and long-form video reporting.

The Series D funding round was led by prior investor GGV Capital and brings the total amount of money raised by the site to $50.5 million over the past 3½ years. The latest investment lifted the company to a post-money valuation of just under $200 million, a person familiar with the matter said.

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TV Networks See an Opportunity in Google Ad Backlash

When Hallmark Channel makes its annual pitch to advertisers Wednesday at New York’s Rainbow Room, the network plans to emphasize how it offers brands safe, high-quality content compared to the unknown risks of the web.

The sell just got a bit easier.

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Auctions for Prince’s Music Rights Had Some Bidders Feeling Left Out

Universal Music Group in January won the licensing rights to Prince’s “vault,” a trove of the late pop star’s unreleased music, but people familiar with the matter say there wasn’t much of a bidding war.

The auction process is raising questions among people close to Prince’s estate about whether the estate could have earned more for the rights than the $30 million that they said Universal ended up agreeing to pay.

The deal for the rights to Prince’s independently recorded music was sealed less than a year after the artist died in April of an opioid overdose without leaving a will. All three major record labels—Vivendi SA’s Universal, Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment and Access Industries’ Warner Music Group—had voiced interest in the rights, but his estate’s interim administrator submitted only a proposed deal with Universal to the court overseeing the Prince estate, people familiar with the matter said.

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NFL Owners Approve Oakland Raiders Plan to Move to Las Vegas

In a startling move for a league long opposed to gambling, the National Football League’s owners voted Monday to allow the Oakland Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas, a city that just a few years ago was considered off limits and now can claim one of the game’s coveted 32 teams.

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For music fans, the recent flood of celebrity deaths has been overwhelming: David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael and Chuck Berry seem like a disproportionate number of superstars to lose in a short time span.

But with many of rock’s founding fathers and mothers reaching their 70s, the end of the age of rock ’n’ roll is just beginning. While every generation bemoans the passing of its great artists, the outsize influence of rock promises to have a profound impact on popular culture and overall music-industry sales.

Of the 25 artists with the highest record sales in the U.S. since 1991, when reliable data first became available, just one—Britney Spears—is under 40, Nielsen data show. Nineteen of the 25 are over 50 years old.

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After 141 Years, Baseball Finally Chooses an Official Hot Dog

Even vegetarians know that hot dogs are the official food of baseball. And yet, while Major League Baseball has a pizza sponsorship and a taco deal, it has never had an official hot dog.

Until now. MLB announced today that Nathan’s Famous Inc., the fast-food chain that started as a Coney Island stand in 1916, will be the league’s official hot dog, putting the wiener alongside other sponsorship categories including lawn care, cloud storage and insurance.

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Americans Are Obsessed With Eating Healthy—and With Twinkies

Healthy eating has become an obsession. Soft-drink sales are slumping, salt is getting tossed from food, and kale is on the menu at McDonald’s.

And yet the Twinkie, that icon of indulgence, is on a tear.

For many otherwise healthy-eating American millennials, Twinkies have become food nostalgia. Nine months of forced disappearance from store shelves sharpened appetites for the golden sponge cake filled with fluffy cream, and after two bankruptcies, the 2013 acquisition of the Hostess Brands Inc. snack-cake business by a pair of private equity firms put the company back on the road to solvency.

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#eatclean: How Instagram is fueling the healthy-living brand boom

Planning to try that hot new aqua-yoga class or eyeing a subscription to that organic food delivery service? Chances are you first discovered it on Instagram, just like Melody Lowe, an Austin-based copywriter, who learned about the Whole30 diet on the platform.

“One of the hardest things is planning your meals,” said Lowe. “But Whole30 is great, the community is so engaged, and you never run out of ideas.”

The rise of Instagram has prompted some of the biggest shifts in the health and fitness industry in recent years, fueling a legion of new brands from meal plans like Whole30 and delivery services like Sakara Life to fitness programs like Bikini Body Guide and boutique fitness brands like ModelFIT. These brands have managed to elbow their way into the mainstream by catering to evolving priorities in health and fitness, as well as by employing an unconventional approach to digital marketing focused on user-generated content, a grassroots influencer approach and by cultivating dedicated communities on platforms like Instagram.

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How Instagram beat out Snapchat as fashion’s ‘social darling’

Snapchat wants to rival Facebook, but it should worry first about Instagram.

Although Instagram and Snapchat were launched within just a year of each other — in October 2010 and September 2011, respectively — fashion brands have made Instagram a cornerstone to their strategies while Snapchat remains, in most cases, firmly in the experimental bucket.

Most designers were hesitant to join Snapchat. They weren’t sold on its unfiltered nature that was inherently antithetical to the fashion industry’s pristine aesthetic.

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Spotify has acquired video discovery startup MightyTV — a sign it's about to go big on ad tech

Spotify has acquired video discovery startup MightyTV for an undisclosed price, the music streaming company announced on Monday.

The MightyTV app acts a bit like a Tinder for video content. Users swipe through a list of movies or TV shows from video services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, and the app then suggests which new ones to watch based on your choices. The company had raised $4.25 million in funding, according to CrunchBase.

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How Marcelo Burlon Went From DJ to Designer Co-Signed by The Weeknd

Italian designer Marcelo Burlon of County Milan considers himself part of a new era in fashion. In a recent interview with Complex Hustle, Burlon spoke on how he and other designers, like Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston, are helping create a culture far beyond just clothing. "It’s not just about clothes. It’s a lifestyle actually," he said.

In the interview, Burlon also touched on his humble beginnings in Italy, his involvement with the local club scene, working with former Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, and funding his brand County of Milan, which has been co-signed by everyone from The Weeknd to Russell Westbrook, by DJ’ing around the world.

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Nike Collaborates With Emerging Designers on Elements of Style Project

NikeLab is turning its attention to up-and-coming designers.

The brand tasked Stavros Karelis, the founder of Machine-A, a boutique in London, with selecting five new designers to create looks based on the Air VaporMax sneaker, a new style that will be released on March 26, which is Air Max Day.

He chose Azar Rajabi, a Canadian designer who has interned for Damir Doma and Prabal Gurung; Shizhe He, a Chinese designer based in New York, and Central Saint Martins graduates Liam Johnson, Paula Canovas and Wanbing Huang.

Each of these designers used the VaporMax as a starting point for their creations.

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Snap Links With Caruso to Bring Snapbot Back to The Grove

Snap Inc.’s cartoon-like Snapbot is back at The Grove.

The Spectacles-dispensing vending machine made an appearance at Caruso’s The Grove shopping center in December and marked a return for a longer-term stay Friday. The bot will sit next to the center’s fountain, where it will remain for what a Caruso spokeswoman said would be the “foreseeable future.”

The concierge at the Grove, beginning Monday, will have Spectacles for visitors to check out and use during their visit to the center. That service will remain at the Grove for the same run as the Snapbot.

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Color Dip: The Newest At-Home Manicure Trend

As the nail color industry looks for the next big trend, Red Carpet Manicure is rolling out its at-home Color Dip Collection.

Red Carpet brought the concept of salon-quality gel to home use six years ago with the launch of the first-ever at-home LED Gel System and provided an instant sales spurt at retail doors. The company hopes to duplicate that with Color Dip. This “user-friendly” application is a powder dip nail color application. The company said it is the first to bring the newest salon service for home use.

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Stone Island Opens Pop-up at Kinfolk

Stone Island has established a presence in Brooklyn.

The Italian men’s wear brand, which has been trending with the streetwear community in the U.S. for the past couple of years, has set up a pop-up within Kinfolk, a men’s wear store in Williamsburg that’s sold Stone Island’s Shadow Project since it opened in 2014.

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Fashion’s Musical Crush Black Atlass Is Alexander Wang’s Latest Poster Boy

Los Angeles’ newest artistic transplant couldn’t be arriving at a better time. Canadian R&B artist Alex Fleming, who records under the name Black Atlass, has already managed to collaborate with Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent on tracks, sat front row at a Dior show and, now, appears in Alexander Wang’s latest ad campaign, all at the tender age of 22.

Fleming, a Montreal native who’s in the process of moving from Toronto to the City of Angels, has just wrapped the West Coast leg of his North American tour to promote his debut LP “Haunted Paradise,” which was inspired by his first trip to L.A.

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Macy’s, G-III Sign Exclusive Agreement for DKNY Apparel, Accessories

It’s a new day for DKNY.

Macy’s has forged a partnership with DKNY parent G-III Apparel Corp. under which the retailer will serve as the exclusive U.S. department store for sales of the brand’s women’s apparel and accessories beginning in February 2018.

In addition to women’s apparel, handbags and shoes, the agreement gives Macy’s exclusivity on women’s and men’s outerwear, and swim, available at all of its stores in the U.S. and macys.com. Macy’s and G-III will collaborate on brand extensions and exclusive products that build upon the DKNY heritage. The deal also includes increased and enhanced DKNY shops-in-shop in Macy’s stores.

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Coach Said to Be Readying Kate Spade Buy

In December 2016, Coach chief executive Victor Luis told BoF that the American-based accessible luxury goods company, which bought like-minded shoemaker Stuart Weitzman in January 2015 for more than $500 million in cash, is ready to open the gates of its stables to more brands.

“We believe that Coach Inc. can be bigger than the Coach brand,” he said. “The priority, we’ve said clearly, is terrific brands where we can leverage the Coach know-how, which is especially strong in our ability to develop brands both internationally and domestically. We’ve done quite well in growing the Coach business across the world, especially Asia.”

It seems that, after months of speculation, that time has come. According to sources inside both companies, Coach’s acquisition of Kate Spade may be announced in a matter of weeks, if not days. “Coach has a long-standing policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation,” a Coach representative told BoF. Kate Spade also declined to comment.

The price of acquisition is not yet known, although analysts suggest it could be north of $2 billion.

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Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle started Sakara Life, a plant-based healthy food delivery service, in 2012, after becoming fed up with the culture and their own experiences surrounding healthy eating as young women living in New York City. "I had been thinking of food as the enemy for so long," says DuBoise, who was working as a model at the time, which meant she'd tried every form of restrictive diet imaginable. "For me, the transformation was really around thinking of food as nourishment, so you have to start worrying if you're getting enough every day, rather than that you're eating too much. It was a complete 180-degree change once I realized that, and it changed my body and my entire relationship to food."

DuBoise and Tingle grew up together in Sedona, Arizona, which Tingle describes as a "small, New-Agey hippie town in the desert; it's really beautiful, with big red rocks — and it's very spiritual." The pair then moved to New York City for college and began careers after graduation (DuBoise in modeling and acting; Tingle on Wall Street). They were busy young women who prioritized healthy eating, but weren't totally sure how to go about doing it, especially given the time constraints of their schedules. DuBoise had a historically complicated personal relationship with food and dieting, and Tingle had struggled with years of cystic acne. So the duo decided to change things and put the focus on nourishing, hydrating, nutrient-rich, plant-based foods — and then, not long after, Sakara was born.

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Final Four Illustrates N.C.A.A. Tournament’s Constant: Unpredictability

The 79th Final Four has been set. The national semifinals, in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday, will feature South Carolina versus Gonzaga and Oregon versus North Carolina. The winners will play for the N.C.A.A. championship the following Monday night.

It is an unusual field. The tournament had a dearth of upsets in the first weekend — the final group of 16 teams comprised 12 of the top 16 seeds. But there are two programs, seventh-seeded South Carolina and top-seeded Gonzaga, in their first Final Four, a dual debut of a type that last happened in 1996. And Oregon, a No. 3 seed, had advanced this far only once before — in the first tournament, in 1939, which the Ducks won.

In a sport dominated by marquee programs, there is just one blue blood, North Carolina, which will make its 20th trip to the Final Four.

This year’s Final Four, which will be played farther west than it has been in more than 20 years, will feature two teams from west of the Mississippi River for the first time since 2008, and two teams from the Pacific time zone for the first time ever.

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Uber Suspends Tests of Self-Driving Vehicles After Arizona Crash

Uber said on Saturday that it was suspending the testing of its self-driving vehicles, a day after one of the vehicles was involved in a collision in Tempe, Ariz.

The Uber vehicle, which had a person in the driver’s seat but was in self-driving mode, was not at fault in the accident, according to Josie Montenegro, a Tempe Police Department spokeswoman. Uber’s Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle was hit when the driver of another car failed to yield, she said. The collision caused Uber’s vehicle to roll over onto its side.

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More Chinese Consumers Say No to Fake Goods

The world’s workshop for counterfeit goods is getting a taste for the real McCoy.

Fueled by their rising spending power and familiarity with Western film and TV characters, Chinese shoppers are stocking up on licensed entertainment merchandise such as “Minions” school bags, Mickey Mouse sweatshirts and Bart Simpson baseball caps.

The fakes haven’t gone away by any means. But there’s a growing number of Chinese consumers who are willing to pay more for authentic goods.

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From Multiplex to Living Room, in 45 Days or Less

Hollywood studios are preparing to upend decades of tradition by releasing movies at home less than 45 days after they debut on the big screen, according to people with knowledge of their plans, a goal they have pursued unsuccessfully for years.

The studios and theater owners have long been at loggerheads over the issue, which Hollywood executives consider vital to their long-term survival and cinemas consider a threat to theirs. But now, faced with changing consumer habits fueled by proliferating on-demand entertainment options, the two sides are finally discussing a compromise, people with knowledge of the talks said.

The only question that remains for so-called premium video-on-demand is when and on what terms it starts, not whether it does, the people said.

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Mattel Is Teaming Up With ABC for a New Competition Series to Find Its Next Big Toy

Over the decades, TV shows have inspired plenty of toys, but nothing quite like this before. Mattel and ABC have teamed up to launch a new, Shark Tank-like reality competition series, The Toy Box, in which toy inventors vie for approval from a group of toy experts, followed by a precocious panel of kid judges. At the season’s end, Mattel will manufacture the winning toy, which will be sold exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores and on the retailer’s website right after the finale airs.

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This Jewelry Store’s Billboard Is Proving Controversial

It’s been a big year for controversial billboards in the state of North Carolina. A month after a mysterious billboard that read, “real men provide, real women appreciate it,” inspired protests, another piece of highway signage is in the news.

This time, it’s a Spicer Greene Jewelers ad near Asheville that features a variety of jewels with the words “sometimes it’s okay to throw rocks at girls.” Critics have since said that it’s misogynistic and promotes violence against women.

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United Airlines Takes Flak Over 'Leggings-Gate'

United Airlines is the latest company to learn that nothing noticed goes untweeted and anything tweeted can blow up into a major controversy within hours even if — or, maybe, particularly if — your social media team is standing by in rapid-response mode with a canned answer.

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'Fearless Girl' statue will stay face to face with Charging Bull through February 2018

Fearless Girl isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

The statue, depicting a young ponytailed girl staring down the Financial District’s famous Charging Bull, will remain in place through February 2018, Mayor de Blasio's office told the Daily News on Sunday.

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Nike’s multi-billion-dollar empire is built on air

One of the main pillars propping up the nearly $100 billion business of Nike—the world’s largest sneaker company and arguably its most valuable footwear and apparel brand—is air.

Encapsulated, pressurized, and housed in the sole of a shoe, Nike’s Air—which is really nitrogen, to be specific—creates a cushion that gives runners a soft, bouncy footfall. Since Nike’s first shoe with an air-sole unit, the Tailwind, went on sale in 1979, the Air platform has supported generations of different sneakers and billions in sales. But the most ingenious thing Nike ever did with it was 30 years ago this year, in 1987, when Nike first made its Air technology visible in the sole of a new running style, the Air Max 1.

As Nike releases the latest version of Air Max, the much-anticipated Air VaporMax, that simple idea to show the technology remains powerful, even as the technology itself—essentially a polyurethane bubble inflated with gas—has lost its novelty. In its 30 years, the Air Max franchise has been one of the most successful in sneaker history, and helped propel running shoes into the realm of fashion.

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2017 CFDA Fashion Awards Nominees Named

The American fashion award season is upon us. The CFDA revealed the nominees Thursday night for the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards, which are set for June 5 at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

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Experience Matters: Food Becomes Retailers’ Latest Fashion

If you feed them, they will come.

That appears to be the hope of retailers and mall operators throughout the U.S. as they rush to install a plethora of food formats to lure finicky and tight-fisted consumers to shop.

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NYCEDC and CFDA to Invest $51.3M in City’s Garment Industry

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Garment District Alliance, will reveal Friday that it will invest a package worth $51.3 million to “help stabilize and strengthen the garment manufacturing industry in New York City.”

The investment covers technology, business technical assistance and workforce development that will be made available to factories in the five boroughs. Additionally, relocation and expansion support will be available for companies interested in moving out of the Garment District.

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The Eight Brands Amazon Wants to Build Its Own Fashion Empire On

Amazon is many things — restless tech giant, consumer-obsessed disruptor and e-commerce innovator.

It is one of the top companies to watch in fashion, setting the tone for how to serve shoppers online, experimenting with how to sell to them in a physical environment through its new book stores and beckoning brands with billions of consumer clicks on its marketplace.

But will it grow into a fashion powerhouse under its own brands?

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Robert Pattinson Smolders in Night-Themed Dior Homme Campaign

Robert Pattinson’s brooding presence is played off against scenes of Paris by night in the new Dior Homme campaign, which breaks on the brand’s social media today and in print next week.

The fall pre-collection ads are set to appear in Italian daily La Reppublica’s Album Uomo supplement on March 30 and in the French edition of GQ magazine on March 31.

For his third ready-to-wear campaign for the brand, the “Twilight” star again posed for Karl Lagerfeld, who captures the same intensity already evident in his night-themed spring campaign for Dior Homme featuring Pattinson on a Paris street after dark.

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Dunkin’ Donuts ditches signature drink just before summer

If you’re a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee drinker, prepare to say goodbye to one of the chain’s signature drinks.

According to Business Insider, the coffee chain will cut its popular Coffee Coolatta beverage this summer. In its place, Dunkin’ will start serving a new “Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee,” a drink made with coffee extract, sugar and milk.

The move highlights the chain’s push to promote different coffee-related drinks as new brews become more and more popular. To that effect, the chain started serving cold brew coffee last summer and is currently serving nitro cold brew in five locations with plans to roll it out in more stores soon.

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Here’s what happens to the athletic wear industry when China starts going to the gym

If the world’s big sportswear brands could invent a country with just the right mix of ingredients to fuel their businesses for years to come, it would look a lot like present-day China.

To athletic wear companies including Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and Under Armour, as well as activewear brands such as Lululemon, what China offers is a perfect mix of factors: 415 million millennials; a booming middle class getting interested in health and fitness; government investment in sports; and a rapidly growing consumer appetite for sportswear—especially foreign brands.

The US is still unrivaled as the biggest market for sportswear, and won’t cede the title anytime soon. But it’s a mature and fiercely competitive market, much like Western Europe. In China, the rising tide is lifting all boats, even with increasing competition in the country’s sportswear sector. And brands have been cashing in. Nike, for instance, recorded growth of about 9.5% last quarter in China. Adidas saw its sales jump 22% in the country through 2016.

This is just the start, these brands say.

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Why Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein are thriving while other US brands are tanking

A US clothing retailer that’s actually doing well feels like an anomaly these days. Labels such as the Limited, American Apparel, and Abercrombie & Fitch are shuttering locations across the country, as are department stores such as Macy’s. “The retail apocalypse has officially descended on America,” Business Insider declared, pointing out that more than 3,500 retail stores, many of which sell clothes, are expected to close within the next few months.

But Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein are successfully weathering the storm, and even thriving. In 2016, Calvin Klein’s sales grew 7%, while Tommy Hilfiger’s rose 4%. The main reason is that, despite being quintessential American labels, many of their sales don’t come from any one US outlet, or the US at all.

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Can Jet.com Take a Bite Out of Amazon Fashion?

Jet.com is snapping up fashion businesses. Can the Walmart-owned e-commerce marketplace threaten Amazon’s online apparel supremacy?

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With Niche Sites, Wal-Mart Tries Selling to Hipsters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is rapidly buying up hip, small online retailers that appeal to wealthier shoppers in hopes of finally taking on Amazon.com Inc., but alienating some customers who favor the brands’ independence.

Last week Wal-Mart acquired hipster clothing website ModCloth. In February it bought outdoor specialty retailer Moosejaw and the month before, online shoe seller ShoeBuy.

The small deals give Wal-Mart access to new groups of shoppers and brands that have shied away from the retail giant, which has struggled with mostly sluggish online sales growth the past two years.

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Montblanc Launched a Smartwatch. Here’s Why It Matters

Last week, Montblanc became the first brand in the Richemont family of luxury companies to put out a smartwatch. The Montblanc Summit, based on Google's Android Wear 2 platform, aims to compete with, among others, the Apple Watch and rival Swiss brand TAG Heuer's Connected Watch (which was released last year and received a major update in the form of a modular version this month).

Like the TAG, which is also on the Android platform, the Montblanc watch is targeted to fans of the brand. By designing the case to look like a classic mechanical watch from its 1858 line, it hopes to attract a mix of loyalists and also millennials who aren't necessarily accustomed to wearing anything on their wrists but who might try out a unique-looking smartwatch.

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RuPaul on Moving to Mainstream Television and the ‘Political’ Nature of Drag Culture

RuPaul is, in a word, busy.

Between tonight’s return of Drag Race, the release of his 11th studio album, an upcoming autobiography and the third annual DragCon in a few weeks, there’s plenty on his proverbial plate.

An Emmy win and ratings success for Drag Race and its All Stars series prompted Viacom to move the show from its longtime home on Logo to VH1.

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Why streetwear publications want Instagram to ‘be your homie’

Streetwear has long been a reflection of individuality and the cultural zeitgeist, and the Instagram accounts of the publications that cover it are no different.

For major streetwear publishers, Instagram serves as less of a promotional tool for editorial content and more of an extension of brand voice and personality. Sites like Hypebeast, Highsnobiety and Complex not only post more frequently, but don’t hold back on wit, eschewing some of the rigidity of other publications in the style space. These accounts are laden with memes and nods to celebrity pop culture, the latter of which has long fueled streetwear culture.

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Disney Signs Iger For One More Sequel

As has been anticipated since his heir apparent, COO Thomas Staggs, resignedlast April, Disney Co. leading man Robert Iger yesterday agreed to extend his run as chairman and CEO for yet another year, and then serve as a consultant for three more after that.

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Russell Westbrook first to be perfect on FGs, FTs in triple-double

In a season full of history, Russell Westbrook made a little more Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, becoming the first player to record a triple-double while going perfect from the floor and the free throw line.

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Lost Luster: LVMH, De Beers Partnership Splinters

First the fanfare, then the fizzle. De Beers Group said Wednesday it had purchased its partner LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s 50 percent stake in their much-touted jewelry joint venture De Beers Diamond Jewellers.

While observers would argue the investment was a minor one for the French luxury giant — and that it was high time for LVMH to dispose of its stake — the partnership clearly never worked.

Bruce Cleaver, chief executive officer of De Beers, said by having full ownership, De Beers will be able to grow its offer and achieve further integration of operations across the retail network, which includes 32 stores in key markets such as London, Paris and a new location in New York’s Madison Avenue.

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Supreme Court Copyright Ruling Could Be a Coup for Fashion

The U.S. Supreme Court might have just thrown fashion designers a copyright lifeline.

In its first-ever ruling on apparel copyright, the court said certain artistic elements of apparel can be protected.

The high court found that cheerleading uniform-maker Varsity Brands can attempt to protect two-dimensional design elements — like stripes, chevron patterns and colorblocking allegedly being used by rival Star Athletica. Experts said the broad decision could aid designers looking for legal tools to protect their work.

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Tailored Brands Names Bruce Thorn President

Douglas Ewert has relinquished the president’s role at Tailored Brands Inc. to Bruce Thorn.

Thorn, formerly executive vice president and chief operating officer, will report to Ewert, who continues as chief executive officer.

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Bebe Stores to Explore Strategic Alternatives

Bebe Stores Inc. said it has hired B. Riley & Co. as its financial adviser and that its board is exploring strategic alternatives.

The women’s specialty chain also said “there is no assurance that this process will result in any specific transaction.” The company added that it “does not expect to disclose further developments during this process unless and until the board of directors has approved a specific transaction or otherwise determined that disclosure is appropriate.”

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Henkel Creates Chief Digital Officer Position

In a drive to accelerate digital activities, Henkel AG said on Thursday that it has appointed Rahmyn Kress as chief digital officer, a newly created position.

The executive will join the German consumer goods giant in the second quarter of this year and report to Henkel chief executive officer Hans Van Bylen. In the role, Kress is to oversee and coordinate the digital activities across all of Henkel’s business units, focusing on driving scale, building capabilities and leading projects company-wide, Henkel said.

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Terry J. Lundgren on Moving Aside and His New Role

Terry J. Lundgren may be stepping down today as Macy’s Inc.’s chief executive officer after a 14-year run, but he isn’t exactly going anywhere.

Among the nation’s highest-profile retail leaders and a figurehead for the industry, Lundgren is handing the ceo job to Jeff Gennette and takes on the newly created role of executive chairman, a position he describes as a full-time job “intended to be a transitional post for me to assist and advise Jeff in his new role. That’s my primary role, but additionally, I have direct responsibility for our international businesses and I am going to directly supervise all of the real estate activities for the company.”

He stressed that Gennette will be running the day-to-day business operations of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. “He will be in charge.”

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Moving Up: Jeff Gennette on His Plans for Macy’s

“The Macy’s brand — it’s bulletproof,” observed Jeff Gennette, who today takes the reins as Macy’s Inc.’s chief executive officer.

Others see department stores as broken-down business models, yet Gennette, during an exclusive interview, characterized them as “pillars of the community,” with market share opportunities to be as relevant as ever. His message is that this isn’t a rescue mission. It’s about accelerating change, “contemporizing” the shopping experience and regaining lost ground.

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What Kering's Cartier Deal Means for the Eyewear Market

On Tuesday, Kering Eyewear announced a strategic partnership with Richemont to handle the development, manufacturing and distribution of Cartier eyewear. The partnership is Kering Eyewear’s first external deal since setting up operations in 2014 to take more control over Kering brands’ eyewear.

The move represents another surprise shift in the rapidly changing luxury eyewear market.

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How United Arrows Became Huge in Japan (And Ready for Global Expansion)

United Arrows has 256 stores—but somehow each of them feels like a lovingly crafted high-end boutique. And now the CEO has his eyes on westward expansion. So we traveled to the company’s Tokyo HQ to experience firsthand what’s coming to America. (And yes, to shop up a storm.)

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John Mayer Knows He Messed Up. He Wants Another Chance.

John Mayer can explain where he’s been. In fact, once he gets going, he probably won’t stop, given the amount of time he has spent in private processing his recent self-imposed irrelevance — the “lean years,” as he calls them.

A generational guitar talent and reliable soft-rock hitmaker with seven Grammys, Mr. Mayer is also a master conversationalist prone to verbal solos, noodling in impressionistic bursts about his nature and career, weaving in therapy-speak, potential stand-up bits and a barrage of mixed metaphors as if he’s writing this story himself. That’s what got him into trouble in the first place.

“The elephant in the room is that we’re sort of talking about the double-headed dragon of the Rolling Stone interview and the Playboy interview,” Mr. Mayer said a half-hour into a monologue about why he left pop music’s A-list and how ready he is, emotionally and musically, to return.

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AT&T and Johnson & Johnson Pull Ads From YouTube

AT&T and Johnson & Johnson, among the biggest advertisers in the United States, were among several companies to say Wednesday that they would stop their ads from running on YouTube and other Google properties amid concern that Google is not doing enough to prevent brands from appearing next to offensive material, like hate speech.

The companies made the moves, which did not extend to Google’s search ads, amid boycotts of YouTube by several European advertisers that began in the last week.

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It’s Not Your Imagination: There are Loads of Jalens in College Basketball

On the road to March Madness this season, Kent State University basketball teammates Jalen Avery and Jaylin Walker faced Jalen Jenkins of George Mason University, Wofford College’s Jaylen Allen and, twice, Jaylen Key of Northern Illinois University.

“I always had another Jalen on my team,” said Mr. Walker, a 19-year-old freshman, “ever since, like, elementary school.”

The name Jalen is on the rise in college sports, particularly basketball. That is because thousands of babies born during the 1990s heyday of Jalen Rose, the “Fab Five” University of Michigan star and midtier NBA player, are reaching adulthood.

This year there are 65 Jalens, Jaylens, Jaylans and other versions of the name on Division I basketball teams, up from 58 last year. Six years ago, there were just four.

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Nike's business is 'going to get darker before the dawn'

Nike is facing a scary time in its history.

The sportswear giant announced earnings on March 21. The company's sales and profits were hit by a slowdown in the retail industry. Sales growth for next quarter is looking bad, too.

This has analysts seeing next fiscal year as a "rebase year." The company is now focusing on shifting away from wholesale, and to building its direct-to-consumer infrastructure. As Nike shifts to focus on both direct to consumer and online, there is some expectation that it will be a rough time.

As Nike shifts to focus on both direct to consumer and online, there is some expectation that it will be a rough time.

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Inside the Jewelry Startup that Wants to Reinvent Women’s Work

Stella & Dot says it empowers women by helping them sell jewelry to their friends — but don’t call it “direct sales.”

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Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t want to be a place where you’d ‘sit and write your screenplay’ — and that could be key in beating Starbucks

Dunkin' Donuts is doubling down on its "everyman" reputation.

"When we think about the sentiment of consumers in America right now, our brand stands for something that is all about hard work, transparency, values — that's our brand," Scott Hudler, Dunkin's chief digital officer, said on Tuesday at a media day.

"It's America runs on Dunkin', not Republicans run on Dunkin', Democrats run on Dunkin'," he continued. "It's America runs on Dunkin. When we think about elitism starting to fade away, this is our sweet spot."

Dunkin's self-presentation could be seen as a jab at the more expensive Starbucks, which has come under fire for CEO Howard Schultz's progressive stances. Or, it could simply be a vocalization of the fact that Dunkin' Donuts is trying to offer something completely different than its competitors.

"If you're going to sit somewhere and write your screenplay, a Dunkin' location probably isn't for you," Hudler said. "But if you're running the carpool in the morning, if you're running your kids to hockey or soccer… then we're your brand. We're for you."

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