Image: Jessica Simpson

1. Boards Face Rising Complexity of ESG Oversight Role: Over and over again, in virtually all sectors, we’re seeing a lack of ESG credentials. It isn’t that somebody on the board needs to be a climate change scientist, but board members need to understand the material issues for their company, the questions they need to ask, and where they can get expertise. – Read More on the WSJ

2. The Renaissance of Coded Luxury: “Part of the allure attached to coded luxury brands is that knowing about them, (and owning them), enters you into a sort of elite club. Of course, it’s human nature to want what we can’t have, or seek out what we’re told we cannot know.” – Read More on W

3. How Jessica Simpson Almost Lost Her Name: Simpson’s formula not only worked, it outlasted the fashion lines started by many other celebrities. Eventually, the brand did $1 billion at retail, with Simpson appearing on the cover of New York magazine as “The $1 Billion Girl.” – Read More on Bloomberg

Note: This is an interesting article, but it is worth noting that selling an eponymous label (and the corresponding assets) or licensing the trademarks for an eponymous label is not the same as “losing” your name. Speaking of eponymous labels … Thinking About Naming Your Brand After Yourself? Think Again

4. Retailers’ Many Unhappy Returns: Products and gifts valued at $112 billion to $114 billion could be returned to U.S. retailers after the holiday season, up from $100 billion in 2020 and $95 billion in 2019. The percentage of merchandise returned has edged higher during the Covid-19 pandemic. – Read More on the WSJ

5. No Slowdown in Sight for Surging BNPL as Consumers Want it, Retailers Need It: While the budding BNPL business is only starting to get on the regulatory radar, its path forward looks otherwise unimpeded, with plenty of headroom to grow amongst payment methods, and the twin tailwinds of consumer demand and retail need also helping to get it there. – Read More on PYMNTS