Daily Links

1. The Take-No-Prisoners Rivalries in Online Luxury Fashion: In the increasingly competitive realm, high-end fashion retailers, like Moda Operandi, are trying to distinguish themselves by promoting exclusive merchandise and being the first to offer it to customers online. They are also aiming to specialize. “Having a distinct point of view is something that can create a unique customer base.” – Read More on WSJ 

2. Harvey Weinstein Is Found Guilty on Two Counts: Harvey Weinstein, the powerhouse film producer whose dramatic downfall over sexual misconduct ignited a global movement, was found guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. – Read More on the New York Times

3. The Guilt-Free Engagement Ring Is Here: The toll that producing sparkly gems takes on the environment often goes largely unnoticed, but customers are waking up to the reality that beautiful jewelry often has an ugly side. Each metric ton of gold produced last year was responsible for 32,689 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. – Read More on Bloomberg 

4. RETRO READ: With a Rise in Lab-Grown Diamonds, Disclosure and Questions of Value Become Hot Topics. “Not even perfect replicas, however, will extinguish strong preferences for mined diamonds.” In the short terms, experts suspect that nothing will change, including prices. – Read More on TFL

5. Fast fashion sellers are stealing influencers’ faces: For now, platforms are not proactively dealing with image theft on behalf of influencers. It’s up to the individual to report it. But fortunately for them, they have legions of fans watching feeds on their behalf, and can publicize the misuse of their images when it happens. – Read More on Wired 

6. Millennial Women Made LuLaRoe Billions. Then They Paid The Price: A handful of multi-million dollar lawsuits, mountains of unsold leggings, and families drowning in debt: the tumultuous story behind a multilevel marketing brand that promised millennial women a pathway to financial freedom. – Read More on Buzzfeed 

1. The Mystery of the $2,000 Ikea Shopping Bag: We tend to think of status symbols starting at the top tiers of society (among the glitterati and trend setters of high society) and then trickling down to the rest of society. But a new trend seems to contradict this pattern. – Read More on HBR

2. How the resale revolution is reshaping fashion: We’re buying more clothes than ever, but it’s not all fast fashion. More than half of 25- to 34-year-olds buy secondhand or vintage clothes, and resale apps such as Depop, Stock X and Vestiaire Collective are tapping into the millennial and generation Z market. But if people are buying secondhand they’re not buying new. – See More on the Guardian

3. How Rolex Became its Own Currency: In January, Rolex quietly raised the prices of their timepieces between 3-6%. The brand produces more individual pieces per year than any other Swiss watch manufacturer (800,000+ as of 2016, with more recent numbers hard to confirm, as Rolex is highly secretive), but carefully controls the supply of their most popular steel models. – Read More on SSENSE

4. Fashionphile Is Turning Luxury Authentication Into a Science: There’s a device that can precisely identify Pantone shades, which is especially useful in authenticating Hermès; equipment that can detect lab-grown diamonds, which can sometimes (but not always!) signal counterfeit jewelry; a machine that can X-ray a bag to reveal the hardware within — another giveaway in particularly well-done fakes. – Read More on Fashionista

5. Sustainable, Slow Fashion Startup ADAY Raises $8.5 Million To Simplify Your Wardrobe: “A lot of VCs are scared or nervous about investing in fashion because it’s capital intensive and super crowded. We’re bombarded with new brands launching on Instagram all the time … What we liked about ADAY is that they genuinely have a cult-like following.” – Read More on Forbes

1. After acquiring Shopbop in 2006, Amazon is pushing its big-name brands onto the platform to build its fashion credibility: “There are some brands that create restrictions. It’s almost a negotiating point; you can negotiate to not let them [sell your brand on Amazon], but we didn’t see anything wrong with being on Amazon.” – Read More on Glossy

2. Gucci’s creative director: “Fashion is not only about garments.” Michele has been an industry sensation since 2015, when he radically transformed Gucci, then a fading icon of glossy noughties glamour, into a purveyor of quirky, eccentric maximalist chic. – Read More on the Guardian

3. Forever 21’s New Owners in Talks to Keep Most U.S. Stores Open: The company is planning to launch or expand wholesale lines in jewelry, footwear and handbags. It’s also planning to expand the Riley Rose beauty brand. Authentic Brands’ owner envisions “multiple” collaborations with other brands, both his own (Juicy couture, anyone?) and outside ABG. – Read More on Bloomberg

4. Amazon Will Be a Pale Imitator of Alibaba’s Luxury Look: The U.S. tech giant is readying a new fashion site to rival Tmall Luxury Pavilion. But it will have a harder time luring important brands than its Chinese rival because outside of their non-native China, many brands prefer to do the work themselves. – Read More on WSJ

5. Why the Solution to Fast Fashion Might Be Luxury Goods: Despite the massive success of fast fashion brands across Southeast Asia and the world, consumer sentiment is gradually shifting as companies become more conscious. – Read More on Entrepreneur

6. How Victoria’s Secret Lost Its Grip: Victoria’s Secret became a powerhouse lingerie retailer thanks to the vision of executives at its parent company. But amid changing consumer tastes, harassment accusations and ties to Jeffrey Epstein now under scrutiny, the once iconic brand’s stock has been tumbling and it has signaled it may be looking for a buyer. – Watch More on WSJ

1. Consumers are now viewing cell phones as a luxury item: Today, smartphones can last considerably longer and have infiltrated nearly every waking second of our lives, making it seem reasonable to invest as much in a phone as you might for a high-end suit. – Read More on WSJ

2. Are We in the Golden Age of the ‘Influencer Brand’? A crop of these OG bloggers (made up in large part by millennial women who have spent the greater part of the last decade hawking products on social media) have started to pivot away from pure influencer marketing to start their own fashion, beauty and wellness brands. – Read More on Fashionista 

3. RETRO READ: Influencers Are Launching Businesses of Their Own, But How Will They Fare Compared to Established Fashion Brands? As part of a larger trend, fashion bloggers-turned-Instagram figures have placed their bets on their own lines, hedging their bets as the notion of influencer fatigue continues to loom. – Read More on TFL 

4. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wants to crack the code on apparel and home goods: “These aren’t just private label brands,” he said of Walmart’s fashion/apparel-centric acquisitions. “They have a soul, a social media following. They give us the DNA to create these digital native brands in-house.” – Read More on CNBC

5. Speaking of Walmart, here’s how Walmart will take on Amazon in 2020: Sales growth for its e-commerce site is up and the number of unique job listings at Walmart’s recruiting websites is down suggesting that the world’s largest retailer has its future pinned on digital as opposed to brick-and-mortar retail. – Read More on Thinknum

1. The shelf life of creative is getting shorter for DTC brands: Now, less than two years after Great Jones officially launched, its founders already feel like the maximalist approach that was once unique to Great Jones is back in fashion again among startups. – Read More on Modern Retail 

2. What Brandless’ downfall says about brand building in the digital era: “To me, it highlights the importance of having a strong brand … Brandless was almost trying to do a double-step there, which was to introduce a new direct, digitally led brand and to do so with a relatively novel marketing technique of low touch and low information.” – Read More on Marketing Dive 

3. Victoria’s Secret dumped hundreds of bras outside a recently closed store, and it reveals a dark truth about the fashion industry: Throwing or incinerating inventory that can’t be sold but could be donated is a big issue in the retail sector and stores often resort to extremes measures such as these to protect their brand image. – Read More on Business Insider 

4. RETRO READ: Burned Bags, Destroyed Watches … There is More to the Alleged Destruction of Luxury Goods Than You Think. By destroying unused products, brands that import goods into the U.S. stand to benefit from the “drawback” or the return of certain duties, internal and revenue taxes and certain fees collected upon the importation of products into the U.S., for instance, from France. – Read More on TFL 

5. The decline of the basketball shoe: Basketball shoe sales are down for the fourth consecutive year, and the industry is being crushed by the athleisure wave. Basketball shoe sales currently represent less than 5% of the athletic shoe market, a huge drop from their 13% market share in 2014. – Read More on Axios (via Redef) 

6. Global fashion industry facing a “nightmare.”  Chinese consumers make up 80% of growth in the market. “We’ve never seen a situation like this, where sales go to zero. And it affects everybody, whether you’re a big or small brand.” – Read More on BBC