Untangling the complexities of Farfetch’s business

This week Farfetch, the luxury platform that connects customers, brands and retailers around the world, filed its initial form to go public. The company is one of the few fashion/luxury technology companies to reach a large scale—second only to…


The Grinds: Escape rooms blossom, PepsiCo acquires SodaStream, “Game of Thrones” fans take Croatia, Taubman Centers invests in mall of the future

Escape rooms blossom, but need to evolve beyond a fad to stay alive. What happened Escape rooms—curated sets where visitors are trapped and must solve puzzles to chart their “escape”—grew from about 24 locations in the U.S. in 2014 to more than…


The Grinds: IKEA downsizes and digitizes, The RealReal raises $115 million, Disney and 21st Century Fox strike merger, A Ma Maniére fuses streetwear with hospitality

IKEA downsizes and digitizes to retain its hold on young clientele. What happened Since 2015, IKEA has opened 24 small format stores—an average of 9,700 square feet, compared to its traditional 82,000 square foot warehouses. Customers aren’t able…


Grab Bag — with Melissa Mash of Dagne Dover

#81. Dagne Dover creates bags and accessories that stand the test of morning commutes, happy hours and overseas flights. We talk with co-founder and CEO Melissa Mash about building a brand—and a mentality—that doesn't compromise on performance or…


Business of Fashion: 6 Reasons Luxury Brands Should Embrace the Resale Market

Press commentary on the relationship between luxury brands and the secondary market and the benefits resellers can provide heritage companies.


The Grinds: Lady Gaga adds to celebrity beauty boom, Emirates Airline goes luxe, Casper tests out nap store, Walmart opens ecommerce center

Lady Gaga adds Haus Beauty to the celebrity beauty boom. What happened Lady Gaga’s Haus Beauty has raised money from Lightspeed Venture Partners, the same investment firm that backed Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, Stitch Fix and Snap, Inc. The…


The Grinds: Nike debuts training pop-up, Rimowa tries out direct-to-consumer, YouTube reacts to IGTV, SoulCycle embraces media

Nike’s training pop-up gives customers the tools to “Just Do It.” What happened Nike Plus members and those with the Nike Training Club app can now visit a training pop-up in Los Angeles until mid-August and workout with professional athletes.…


Soft and Soulful — with Michelle Toney and Stephanie Cleary of Morrow Soft Goods

#77. Morrow Soft Goods makes luxury textiles and soft products for the home. We talk with co-founders Michelle Toney and Stephanie Cleary about building a brand that marries high-end materials with design that has a soul. The Loose Threads Podcast…


Trading up or down: Ulta Beauty and Stitch Fix appeal to ever-growing consumer markets by giving customers a choice

Though the number of brands has mushroomed since the digital boom, the vast majority of new brands are founded in coastal urban areas like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The specificity of their geography and the values and ideas that…


The many sides to plus-size: Good American, Reformation and Dia & Co.’s attempts to reach an underserved market

Though the number of brands has mushroomed since the digital boom, the vast majority of new brands are founded in coastal urban areas like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The specificity of their geography and the values and ideas that…


Dear The RealReal: One Thing I Would Do

With The RealReal’s network of more than 8 million members, shoppers increasingly go to you to purchase high-end consignment items. Driving your mission to extend the lifeline of luxury clothes and accessories, you connect customers with…


Agency — with Tony King of King and Partners

#71. King & Partners is a creative and technology agency that works with leading brands. We talk with founder Tony King about his long career in helping brands embrace ecommerce and what it’s like working with a new crop of brands while maintaining…


Remixed: Hip hop creates culture you can wear, from streetwear to sneakerheads

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


Popped Collars: Ralph Lauren popularized an aspirational, preppy style, but falls short of representing a way of life

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


All-Inclusive — with Fran Dunaway of TomboyX

#70. TomboyX makes underwear and other essential products for everyone, regardless of gender, size, geography or economic status. We talk with Fran Dunaway, who founded the company with her partner Naomi after struggling to find a brand that spoke…


The Grinds: Instacart may suffer from Walmart-Amazon food wars, Meghan Markle takes influencer marketing offline, Brookfield Ventures invests in tech-driven startups, Kering adapts to a changing luxury industry

In Walmart and Amazon’s food wars, Instacart may be the collateral damage. What happened Walmart continues to rev up its grocery operations at home and abroad. This week, the company announced that it will merge its grocery chain Asda with…


Should brands leave money on the table—or on the shelf?

Despite its envious position, Supreme is in an interesting conundrum: to keep growing, it either has to keep making more products or raise the prices of existing ones, but doing so will change the sellout characteristics for the brand. This is…


Upgrades, Not Concessions: Inside the movie theaters rebranding their real estate and cinema experiences

Paradoxically, and despite the increasing relevance of experience-based consumerism, movie theaters are struggling in the face of the rising video streaming economy. Between 2016 and 2017, gross box office revenue declined from $11.38 billion to $11…


Globetrotting — with Sarah Nakintu of Kintu

#67. Kintu is an internationally inspired and produced handbag brand that works with artisans in Uganda and Kenya. We talk with Founder Sarah Nakintu about her impulse to create high-quality but aspirationally priced bags with a global image—a brand…


The Grinds: Nordstrom opens first standalone men’s store, LVMH launches luxury startup accelerator, Warby Parker must meet investors’ expectations, USV invests in livestream marketplace ShopShops

Nordstrom opens its first standalone men’s store, relying on data to cultivate its foray into New York City. What happened Nordstrom’s first standalone men’s store—and first store in New York—will open this Thursday in Manhattan. The store enters…


The Grinds: Build-A-Bear thrives—Toys R Us dies, Adore Me to open stores near Victoria’s Secret, New York City devises retail vacancy tax for landlords, Goop raises $50 million

Build-A-Bear thrives —Toys R Us dies. To-the-point analysis about one of the four important stories from the week.   What happened Build-A-Bear has posted four consecutive years of profitability and remains debt free in an era when…


Liveable Brands: Inside the companies that are entering the hospitality industry

Though many brands boast to be “lifestyle brands,” few are accomplishing the feat as successfully as the those taking on the hospitality industry. With their strong brand identities, West Elm, a furniture and home goods brand, and Equinox, a luxury…


Captive Retail: Inside the cruises and theme parks that are evolving retail to drive sales

As both destinations and experiences, Disney’s theme parks and cruise companies such as Starboard Cruise Services are focusing on experience-oriented retail. These companies often utilize radio-frequency identification (RFID) wristbands, which house…


Baggage Claim: Inside the airports and private aviation companies making air travel a shoppable and personalized event

Airports boast some of the most high density foot traffic each day—in 2017, an average of 213,668 flyers passed through London Heathrow each day, totalling 78 million over the course of the year. As mall foot traffic decreases, brands and retailers…


In Transit(ion): Inside the consumer brands that are capitalizing on the travel industry

As the experience economy grows—the travel and tourism industry now comprises one-tenth of global GDP—brands that sell travel-specific products are re-orienting themselves to be more than just consumer goods vendors. Whether a brand is building a…


The Grinds: Ulta Beauty will begin selling Chanel Beauté, Nordstrom family ends buyout effort, ThredUp wants to create a consignment ecosystem, Google launches new advertising program online with its AI assistant

Ulta Beauty will begin selling Chanel Beauté—a coveted and surprising addition to the beauty retailer that mixes high and low. To-the-point analysis about one of the four important stories from the week.   What happened Ulta Beauty,…


Virgil’s Ladder: From Vision to Vuitton

This week, after months of rumors, LVMH named Virgil Abloh—Kanye West’s life-long creative director, founder of Off-White, endless brand collaborator, DJ and former Fendi intern—as the new menswear director for Louis Vuitton. The appointment propels…


The Grinds: Best Buy, other retailers crack down on returns, Duty-free airport retail thrives, ASOS stands out with its product descriptions, West Elm sells experiences with local artists

Best Buy and other retailers are cracking down on the number and frequency of returns, but are risking their customer relationships. To-the-point analysis about one of the four important stories from the week.   What happened Best…


FaceTime — with Michael Pollak of Heyday

#60. Heyday unbundles the facial from the spa, opening it up to a whole new audience. We talk with Co-Founder Michael Pollak, about the company’s origins, the excitement of being a retail-first business, and how highly-trained and qualified…


Dear Rimowa: One Thing I Would Do

Rimowa is the most recognizable luggage brand on the planet, which makes it an incredibly exciting company to lead. However, it is also a heritage brand, and while it has both decades of legacy and excellence, it must also work to attract a new…


Tactical and Timeless — with Luc Lesénécal of Saint James

#58. Saint James is the French heritage brand known for its sweaters and stripes—and, the oldest brand we've had on the podcast. We talk with President Luc Lesénécal about the power of heritage brands, the opportunities and challenges of evolving…