Image: The Row

1. The curious appeal of Birkenstocks: These proudly orthopaedic sandals (and a recently-announced buyout by LVMH-affiliated L Catterton, which reportedly put a $4 billion-plus valuation on Birkenstock) have demonstrated that anything — anything — can become chic under the right circumstances. – Read More on the FT

2. How Supreme-Style Merch Drops Took Over Corporate America: Merch isn’t new. What’s changed is the brashness with which companies are evolving their swag game into a merch play, embracing the hype model of limited drops, big-name collabs, and higher price tags, as everyone from giant consumer brands to up-and-coming TikTokers tries to mimic Supreme, the upscale streetwear brand acquired in November by VF Corporation for $2.1 billion. – Read More on Marker

3. Can Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row survive the pandemic? The problems started with Barneys going bust in the summer of 2019. At the time, The Row was Barneys’ single-largest vendor creditor, to the tune of $3.7 million, a sum eclipsed only by some of its landlords. In the wake of that debacle, The Row’s then president, David Schulte, left the company that fall. (He is now suing the company, its parent company, and the Olsens, in their personal capacities.) – Read More on The Cut

4. Off-Price Retail Is Fully Priced: The long-term picture for off-price retailers undoubtedly looks good; they have a track record of performing well during and after economic downturns. And TJX and Ross Stores have been steadily gaining market share from department stores. – Read More on the WSJ

5. Can fashion be sustainable? Yes, says Gabriela Hearst at Chloé: Hearst’s arrival at Chloé, where she will work in partnership with sustainably minded new CEO, Riccardo Bellini, points to a radical shift in strategy among mainstream luxury brands who believe that values, rather than aesthetics, are the key to an aspirational image which, in turn, will drive customer loyalty. – Read More on the Guardian

6. RETRO READ: Can the Fashion Industry Ever Really Be Sustainable? An alternative, radical approach may be to recognize that humans have always used fashion to satisfy emotional, egoistical desires. So, the challenge should be shifted from trying to control these primeval, irrational behaviors to finding a systemic and ethical approach to embrace them. – Read More on TFL