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The Department: a podcast about trends.
114 minutes | 4 days ago
2000’s Trends: Hipster Scams of JT Leroy & Mast Brothers, The New Sincerity, Fauxrony & Ironic History
This week we continue a bit more into some 2000’s trends that not just defined that decade but offered some insight into our today. This week is a deeper look at IRONY (and misunderstandings) and some additional Scammers in the Hipster culture: JT LeRoy and The Mast Brothers.Visit thedepartment.world for detailed show notes!
121 minutes | 11 days ago
2000’s Trends: The Seedy Underbelly of the Hipsters: Scammers and Misogynists, The Betrayal of the Hipster Grifter, Suicide Girls + The Encyclopedia of Hipster Abusers
Kim + Amanda dig into the seedy underbelly of the hipster culture of the 2000's, discussing The Hipster Grifter, "Ironic Sexism," Suicide Girls, and The Encyclopedia of Hipster Abusers. TW: This episode includes a lot of frank conversation about physical/sexual abuse and bullying. Due to the sensitive nature of this episode, visit our website to see the full show notes.
123 minutes | 18 days ago
2000’s Trends: Signature Hipster Stuff - Nerd Elitism, "Ironic" Racism, PBR, Skinny Jeans, Scarf Scandals and the Origins of FOMO
Amanda: So we have some hotline messages to share with you today that are specifically related to our recent episodes about the 2000s/hipsters. We are sitting on some other messages that are unrelated and I promise we haven’t forgotten you! Our first message today is from Janelle, who is here to remind us of some denim brands that I had forgotten about Our next message is from Natalie and she’s going to tell us about pizza, hipsters, and being a hipster parent. Our last message is from Rebecca…. Ironic Racism: Amanda: So let’s start with Stuff White People Like. It began as a blog, which you can still visit (although it hasn’t been updated since 2010)According to Wikipedia:The blog was created in January 2008 by a white Canadian, Christian Lander, a Los Angeles copywriter who grew up in Toronto. Lander co-authored the site with his Filipino Canadian friend Myles Valentin after Valentin teased Lander for watching the HBO television series The Wire. Lander's blog became popular very quickly, registering over 300,000 daily hits and over 40 million total hits by the end of September 2008. Although the blog "has spurred an outpouring from those who view it as offensive and racist", it is not about the interests of all white people, but rather a stereotype of affluent, environmentally and socially conscious, anti-corporate white North Americans, who typically hold a degree in the liberal arts.The book, Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions, was published in 2008 and it was on the NYT bestsellers list for months, thanks in part to the gazillions of books sold at Urban Outfitters. The kinds of things white people like include sushi, yoga, Mos Def, shorts, coffee, farmer’s markets...things, that to be honest, seem as if they could be oh I don’t know, liked by people of all races? So basically we’re already so narcissistic that we’re like “hey, we are just going to totally co-opt everything for ourselves and gatekeep it from people of color.” I do not like this, obviouslI also just don’t think it’s funny. It’s along the lines of “you know you’re a redneck when…” I found a 2008 New Republic article called “Why White People Like 'Stuff White People Like' and it broke down why white people really responded to this blog/book so much. The writer Adam Sternbergh said, “with this brand of comedy, the goal is to comfort, rather than challenge or disturb, the audience”. He went on to break it all down” In fact, all the site’s entries, while superficially chiding, can actually be divided into three very comforting categories: 1) Entries that don’t reflect your lifestyle choices like going nuts on St. Patrick’s Day, running marathons, and therefore make you feel superior. 2) Entries that do reflect your lifestyle choices (Apple products, recycling), and therefore make you feel like you’re in on the joke, and that you’re good-humored enough to laugh at yourself (you know--like Gene Simmons!), and therefore make you feel superior. 3) Entries that nod to commonly held comic stereotypes (white people like assists in basketball and standing still at concerts), and therefore, because you recognize them, make you feel superior. He summarizes it by saying, “Because if there’s one thing white people really like, it’s pretending to poke fun at themselves while actually being allowed to feel superior.” Someone left a comment on the Stuff White People Like Blog in 2008 that also gets to the core of it: “white people also enjoy being critical, but not necessarily in a constructive way.”And I do think this really gets to the core of why the (primarily white) hipsters loved themselves some ironic racism that wasn’t actually ironic and was in fact, racist and damaging. This goes back to all of the faux ironic racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic stuff in Vice. The hipsters felt that they were SUPERIOR to the mainstream culture (which maybe wasn’t hard to feel when you take a look at how messy the mainstream culture was at the time with Rock of Love, celebutantes, Perez Hilton, and so on)...and ironically participating in just about everything was a way that the hipsters could maintain that oh-so-rewarding feeling of superiority. Today Kim and I are going to be talking about some of the “hipster signature stuff” and I would say irony belongs on the list. But like, irony to a sad, disgusting fault. Like, “ironically” enjoying various types of media (which is just sad because why would you waste your time on anything you don’t “actually” like), to “ironically” appropriating Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous cultures...really all the cultures that aren’t intrinsically white...but also “ironically” co-opting the cultures of poor white Americans too (throwing white trash parties, using the #trailertrash)...this was the disgusting end of the spectrum.Now when we talk about of the hipsters’ love of “ironic” racism, it’s really based in this idea of feeling superior to “actual racists.” I read a great 2012 Jezebel article by Lindy West called “A Complete Guide to Hipster Racism” . And she says, “It's the gentler, more clueless, and more insidious cousin of a hick in a hood; the domain of educated, middle-class white people (like me—to be clear, I am one of those) who believe that not wanting to be racist makes it okay for them to be totally racist. "But I went to college — I can't be racist!" Turns out, you can.” Later she says, “Sure, you can't say racist things anymore, but you can pretend to say them! Which, it turns out, is pretty much the exact same thing.”West goes on to unpack some of the most common versions of hipster racism: The first one she calls "Tee-Hee, Aren't I Adorable?" She says, “This category includes things like wide-eyed acoustic covers of hip-hop songs, suburban white girls flashing gang signs, and this Tweet from Zooey Deschanel: "Haha. :) RT @Sarabareilles: Home from tour and first things first: New Girl episodes I missed. #thuglife." See, it's hilarious, because we aren't thugs—we are darling girls, and real thugs are black people who do crime!” We saw a lot of this in Portland, girls covering Dr. Dre using a ukelele and TOTALLY including the n-word, lots of #thuglife hashtagging, even white people who we’re really talking about craft beer or collecting wine saying like “oh, we’re a gang” that kind of stuff Next on West’s list is "Recreational Slumming: Wherein privileged people descend for a visit inside the strange, foreign spaces of othered groups. Like, I don't know, IHOP. Or that "scary" bar in the south end. Then they go home again. Catchphrase: "It's soooooo ghetto, but I actually totally like it!"” Can we just cancel white people saying ghetto? Or “ghetto fabulous.” Or “baby mama/baby daddy?” And I’ll just add here that this is also a VERY COMMON form of “Hipster Classism,” too. Like #trailertrash, trucker hats, tubing in the river, drinking shitty beer, buying shotguns...I mean some people genuinely love these things but plenty of people were putting on super short denim cut-offs and hanging out in a kiddie pool in the yard and throwing out #trailerpark, #whitetrash #3 on West’s List is “Ummm, I'm a writer and I'm Trying to Write in Here!" which includes the incredibly flawed argument “white kids whining that it's "unfair" that black people "get" to use "it".” And “It's all tied up with the deliberately obtuse people who conflate "freedom of speech" with "immunity from criticism." And lastly--we’re kind of going full circle here, “God, Don't White People Suck?" which is really saying “Isn't it great that we can make fun of ourselves while still reminding you that we're better than you?” Because the conceit of that humor is “well, non-white people are too stupid to enjoy all of the highfalutin things white people love.” And ultimately the idea of all of this “ironic racism” was that it was funny somehow? Or hipsters were showing that they were actually like “down” with a specific minority group because they could joke about it? I mean, that makes no sense to me and as West says, “You cannot unlock some secret double-not-racist achievement by just being regular racist. Otherwise, Bill O'Reilly would be president of the NAACP.”Example here: Ghettopoly. “The four railroad properties are replaced by liquor stores. Other properties include a massage parlor, a peep show and a pawn shop. The Community Chest and Chance squares become Ghetto Stash and Hustle squares, while taxation squares are replaced by police-shakedown and carjacking squares.Instead of building houses and hotels, property owners can build crack houses and projects. The seven game pieces include a pimp, a ho, a 40 oz, a machine gun, a marijuana leaf, a crack rock, and a basketball.”Also, unless your humor is punching up, it’s just plain racism/sexism/homophobia etceteraIt’s not funny and it’s not cool. We’ll be talking in the next episode about how “hipster sexism” was really just rancid misogyny, but I think you’re all really picking up on a trend here. And I guess the moral of the story is that while hipsters thought they were superior to mainstream culture (and really everyone), they were actually just fucking assholes. Anyway, thank you to everyone who called in! Keep it coming because Kim and I are really committed to DOING THE AUGHTS TO DEATH, so please remind us of the things we are missing. Plus, taking a critical view of the hipster culture has actually been so cathartic for me, as a person who was part of that culture, but also experienced a lot of trauma and “otherness” while in it.Underground Hipster Eye-dentityKim: Hipsters were synonymous with the chunky glasses also called horned-rimmed glasses - it permeated so many different parts and subsets of the counterculture that if you look at many variou archetypes they almost always come with a pair - and this was pre Warby Parker (which launched in 2010). It was considered a rather polarizing accessory in the aughts. One that - if you listened to our other episodes - eventually found its footing in mainstream culture so we barely stop to think about it. Now they are accessible and cool for both corrective and fashion reasons. But it didn’t always use to be that way. So where or where did the trend of horn-rimmed eyeglasses come from? There used to a big old lame label attached to people that wore glasses. They came with a real stigma because of nerd symbolism and stereotypes perpetuated by the media in the 70’s and 80’s - think Revenge of the Nerds in the 1980’s. I wore glasses from the 2nd grade on (this is the 1980’s mind you) and i was a total nerd. I mean I had to deflect the name four eyes for years until I got contacts. But “four eyes” didn’t bother me because it was kinda a stupid insult and never really was humiliating since the person saying it just looked stupid when they used such an archaic slur. When we got into the 90’s something magical happened. Cool “alternative” people started wearing glasses - the underground music scene particularly perpetuated this new embracement of something deemed so dorky for so long. In the 1990’s alternative rock was sorta the precursor to today’s indie rock. American indie and punk movements, which had in general been underground since the early 1980s, actually became part of mainstream culture during the mid-1990s. Nirvana really is to credit for the mainstreamification of alternative music and of course, major record labels and MTV capitalized on the popularity of alternative rock and other underground music by signing and promoting independent bands. When this all started to happen - the shyer and more moody Emo retreated more underground to build a subculture away from the limelight - According to Andy Greenwald in his 2003 book Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and EMO "this was the period when emo earned many, if not all, of the stereotypes that have lasted to this day: boy-driven, glasses-wearing, overly sensitive, overly brainy, chiming-guitar-driven college music." Doesn’t that just take you back!! Emo culture of 90’s and the aughts had a love affair with subversive, counterculture and punk fashion styles. Within that literal frame - we got the return of the iconic Buddy Holly style glasses that they called “nerd glasses” that we now call, well, glasses as well as the thick black Wayfarers. Emo bands embraced this trend with their vintage tees and argyle vests. Some even called it “geek chick” which romanticized intellectuals as outsiders. Weezer’s frontman River’s Cuomo was a particular example of this punk, counterculture Geek Chic happening in the Emo scene. Weezer held a lot of sway and their album Pinkerton was actually considered one of the most influential emo albums of the decade. I am sure this is arguable but this is just what I read. I mean it was a bit too mainstream for me - But his style was ICONIC and propelled this look as the bands fame grew. Now, as you remember hipsters evolved from the underground music scenes particularly 90’s emo so it makes sense that we see that trend keep growing larger and larger into the aughts. Another thing that was happening was a shift in how the “nerd” was perceived by society. By the end of the 1990s, people who were well-versed in technology and computers were becoming not only accepted by the mainstream but idealized. Those who were among the first to adopt new technologies and gadgets became the trendsetters, blurring the line between geeky and hip. So there was a shift as well in the trendy scene - the cool kids embraced being smart and intellectual, essentially something like Nerd Elitism. Hipster clothing styles became similar to the British intellectuals of the 60s and 70s (think of Wes Anderson’s signature style!) and as a result, I would even argue that intellectualism and intelligence became a foundational hipster trait - whether it was real or just implied for the drama since hipsters often had a superiority complex. I mean if hipsters had superior taste then they must have superior intelligence right? And as a highly consumerist counterculture, they were able to buy a presumed nerdiness with a simple yet distinct pair of nerdy looking glasses. Creating a ripple effect trend in the demand for glasses! I am sure this was also the case for ownership of a library of books which also indicated intelligence. I remember - before kindles and ipads - owning a larger and curated library of books was very important to your personal brand identity as well as which books you had - bonus points if you actually read them! Glasses still to this day evoke a level of intellectual superiority according to an endless number of studies. The popularity of the nerd look has gone as far as the criminal defense system, where defense lawyers have been known to offer thick-framed glasses to their clients in order to make them look less intimidating. It actually is called the Nerd Defense. I mean this concept makes sense of seeing all the “Me Too” assholes going to court with walkers and canes - props to adjust perceptions and marketing these men to look weak and create empathy. So in the mid-1990’s and early aughts, we saw some really iconic characters - take Daria which came out in 1997 - i think it is interesting to note that Sex in the City came out in 1998 a year afterword. Who resonated more with you, Amanda - Carrie or Daria? MTV or HBO?Daria was the embodiment of the grungy, alt-rock chick - Highly intelligent, disillusioned with mass culture and embracing an emo and counterculture sensibility. How about Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore? There is an article by Jesse Hassenger from the AV Club from 2018 that explores how Wes Anderson walks the line between nerd and hipster in his films using Schartzman’s characters. “But 20 years ago, when Wes Anderson’s second film, Rushmore, was released to critical acclaim, nerdiness was still a simpler notion—one that Anderson’s films have complicated, often with the help of Rushmore’s star, Jason Schwartzman” the article even talks about this transition of the perception of nerds saying “In 1998, nerds were well on their way from genuine outcasts to more socially acceptable, often romanticized underdog figures who might say, get zany revenge over the jocks.”2001’s Ghost World was an amazing symbol of the disenfranchised hipsters in their infancy. Embracing what she calls “authentic 1977 punk” fashion - the main character Enid flaunts the thick-rimmed Geek Chick glasses and vintage tees. This is based on a comic book with the same thick eyeglasses character from the mid-’90s taking cues for typical alternative and counterculture style.Cool, influential celebrities and musicians caught onto the glasses trend as well as fashion influencers of the time like Chloë Sevigny and Mary-Kate Olsen. This trend of the glasses really blew up and kinda hasn't died down. I was reading articles that ironically enough people were clamoring for them as they became trendy and acceptable to wear - because ultimately glasses project authority and bestow confidence. What is particularly an interesting part of this is when they were so popular that people were wearing them as a fashion accessory without lenses - not even just clear lenses! Do you remember that?Out of this came Warby Parker - a game-changer - democratizing glasses and making those thick frames or really any frames with a slight retro edge available to all. And turning everyone into a bespectacled hipster. This nerd trend can also be seen in meda - and two rather popular shows started in the 2000’s. The IT crowd launched in 2006 and Amanda your favorite TV - The Big Bang Theory came out in 2019. The Skinny on Skinnys Kim: Another post-punk trend that was synonymous with the hipster was the rise of the skinny jean on men and women. The emo and alternative scene from the 90’s also made it acceptable for everyone to wear the skinniest jeans imaginable. In fact they were really the only option if you were cool in the Aughts. What is also interesting to note is that with the resurgence of the skinny jean plucked from 70’s glam rock and punk movements the denim industry worked on innovating their stretch technology and by the mid-2000’s we had some seriously stretchy denim that could fit like leggings. Which is why they were able to scale and grow so much - they were actually comfortable. The 1980’s denim had stretch but was no match to the materials of the aughts - gone are the days of having to lay down to zip them up! By 2006 the stretch was so insane that it was kinda gross and getting cheap - you could add super aggressive abrasions and finishes and still be some alien denim with a four-way stretch.Speaking of Leggings - Actually, leggings had a renaissance as well in the mid-aughts. They started shyly sneaking onto celebrities - often as capris and under dresses and denim skirts at first. But soon people were wearing them as pants which was super polarizing. I mean today we have the yoga pants look that generally is a more athletic thicker knit. Leggings were rather thin so it was a rather bold statement. American Apparel really pushed the leggings and most hipsters got their legging from there - otherwise, you had to go to what Macy’s or Kohl’s or something lame to get some Hue brand. Essentially American Apperal was a trendsetter in its day and whatever they deemed cool - was usually picked up by the trendsetters as well. Around 2008 the legging got edgy - liquid leggings were being seen by all the celebs. Eventually, American Apparel introduced the Disco Legging which was seen shot by all the big party photographers. I mean the trend likely had particular velocity because it aligned with the raunch and scnatily clad trends of the time. So it makes sense that women and men were really into wearing bottoms that leave little to the imagination. Pouring One Out for PBR Kim: I think before I get into talking about PBR it’s worth a mention that there were endless trends in the drinking culture during the 2000’s because hipsters embraced a more party and social lifestyle - that was at the core of their activities. I also would arge that FOMO originated with the hipster - it was a time to see and be seen. The party culture was so pervasive and being a scenester was a an achievement. There was an elitism as to which parties you were invented to and could get into, even who you knew - at least this was the case in New York - all of this along with the party photography and feeling like you were missing out in all the fun was the perfect recipe for FOMO. That being said - I know there was a significant trend in alcoholism in hipsters - I think the lack of good role models and the endlessly increasing opportunities to drink, schmooze, get your photo taken by a party photographer and live it up - often times for free booze from a liquor sponsor - made it a really easy slippery slope - which is still disrupting people to this day. I remember I was on dating apps last year and i would say like 50% of the people were sober because you had to claim how much you drank in the profile. How many people do you know are now sober? So in the early 2000s Pabst was in the throes of a real slump in sales. In the 1990’s they were closing breweries and in financial trouble. They didn’t really have their finger on the pulse of culture and were targeting their demographic of 45-60 yo men with no indication of trying anything new. There was a young, hungry divisional marketing manager named Neal Stewart who had heard word on the street that “alternative people” in Portland were actually drinking significant amounts of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Which was really the brightest spot in the national sales report besides a few other whispers of some “alternative people” in other cities. So Neal jumped on a plane and went and talked to them! They shared a very distinct reason and insight: They hated marketing. Which was really eye-opening and foreign to the marketing landscape at the time. So Pabst took a rather unconventional approach to build on this trend that appealed to the new wave of trendsetters. Essentially a form of anti-marketing. Neal would go to bars - and unlike his competitors - wear basic street clothes and sit in a booth. Word would get out that the Pabst rep was there and hipsters would go to him and ask him for swag - the brand was considered authentic, cool, kitchy - so swag was actually considered treasure for hipsters. Kinda unheard of back then - the intangible brand value was gaining credibility and well gaining more value in these really important trendsetting circes. Turns out that within this group of “alternative people” there was a large population of bike messengers that had embraced the beer they so fondly called PBR and Pabst actually underwrote cycling contests organized by the bike messenger community. Instead of taking the mainstream approach of drenching the event in advertising with some dressed up reps hustling at the event to hand out product...Pabst did the exact opposite. They put up no banners or any other messaging and sent no one to be their advocate. The bike messengers loved the considerate anti-agenda angle and in turn drank more PBR. The appeal kinda blossomed overnight. Additionally, “Alternative people” of course are Hipsters and Hipsters fetishized authentic lowbrow and blue-collar culture of the 70’s and 80’s which was epitomized by PBR- it also didn’t hurt that it was cheap! With so much FOMO and social events it got really expensive to go out and PBR offered a much cheaper, yet still cool alternative. Thus - Appealing to the young kids in basements and skate parks everywhere - P.B.R.'s scarcity, and its cheapness, also helped make it an ''underground darling.''Lo and behold in 2002, sales of the beer, which had been sinking steadily since the 1970's, actually rose 5.3 percent and that was only the start - the upward trajectory kept growing and PBR was even endorsed in the 2003 seminal work of Hipster Culture called “The Hipster Handbook.” Subtly yet ubiquity became their specialty - I mean every party I went to had Pabst - it was so easy to get sponsorship! So, as not to alienate their growing and loyal fan base, Pabst had to try new ways of marketing that also didn’t look like they were marketing at all. They needed to be perceived as an underdog and stay untarnished and authentic as a blue-collar beer who could care less- not a large corporate entity trying to manipulate the situation. They turned down tons of opportunities - even some big, pricey deal with Kid Rock - which honestly could have been a nail in the coffin since hipsters didnn’t associate themselves with Kid Rock and I am sure was hard to turn away. They stayed micro and supported small communities of hipsters - without asking for anything in return - but what they got was continued loyalty. So each small event - art gallery, skateboard movie screening, music show - opened the brand up to more trendsetters. They started an Ambassador program as well in all the small cool cities with kids in the know that could hook them up with more local events and continue to expand their underground network. 2003 was the peak of these grassroots marketing efforts and nearly half of their workforce was involved in these efforts including reps that would go and convince local bars to carry the beer that their young, hip clientele was actually demanding. The brand became a part of the subculture- a political statement and drink of choice for the disenfranchised. Ultimately playing an important role in the hipster party and drinking culture. But, like most hipster stuff, PBR eventually went mainstream in 2013-2014 - as did the hipsters themself come to think of it. I think an interesting reference point and onion peel to consider was that because of Sex in the City cocktail culture was thriving - like the Cosmo that literally blew a whole industry open and created not just trends in the cocktail industry but like everyone was doing a cosmo something - like Cheesecake Factory did the cosmo cheesecake. I remember that these kinda boujee bars started opening up in Madison. Same sticker shock that came with the price of a Starbuck Coffee. “Did you hear that a cocktail bar opened and each cocktail is $12?!!!” So like the raging popularization of these high-priced cocktails - the counter-culture countered with the cheapest beer in the supermarket. AND another thing to note is that the Ye Oldes kinda created their own version of the high ticket cosmo - with mixologists and hipster cocktail bars popping up - you couldn’t get a cosmo but you could get a $16 Old Fashion with some super old-timey cocktail sorcery. Micro brews and Craft Beer also grew during the aughts. Growlers were available to refil in brooklyn and breweries popped up everywhere. Scarf ScandalsWhy do hipsters wear scarves in the summer?They want to wear them before its cool.Look up an article about hipster style, or even take a quiz like “how to tell if you are a hipster,” and they all include one key accessory: the scarf!!!I can’t figure out where this began, we actually called the Dandy Warhols/rock and roll hipsters in Portland “the scarves,” and I guess I was part of that to a certain extent but I always preferred a nice vintage neck scarf/neck kerchief because I have longer hair (and it’s much more mod, which was my thing). For several years in the aughts--in peak scarf era--I managed the scarf business as Urban Outfitters and IT WAS ON FIRE. Like I could make any kind of scarf, any kind of print and it would just BLOW OUT! Eternity scarves Snoods Skinny scarves The “striped nubby” scarf, $14, stripes of lurex, we sold thousands of these every month for years Even pashminas had a moment The “desert scarf” aka The keffiyeh or shemagh was like the signature scarf of the white, urban hipster dude. It “is a traditional Arabian headdress, or what is sometimes called a habit, that originated in the Arabian Peninsula, and is now worn throughout the Middle East region.” You know it when you see it: a geometric pattern, two colors, a square, the pattern is woven into the fabric (rather than printed). The white hipster appropriation of this style in the aughts was incredibly controversial...and it was made worse when places like Urban Outfitters started selling it under a hot new name “The Anti War Scarf.” This is especially “ironic” because outside of white hipster culture, this scarf is actually seen as a symbol of Palestine solidarity. Other hot accessories of that era: fascinators, arm warmers, berets, and dum dum dum...eventually fedoras!
99 minutes | a month ago
2000’s Trends: The Terrible 2000’s - Reign of Raunch, Tacky, Trashy & Tattooed, Blue Collar Irony, Relentless Rhinestone, + Von Dutch, Ed Hardy, Affliction, Swarovski & Rock of Love
We are going back in time to the 2000s again this week as the second episode in the series featuring what we like to consider The Terrible 2000’s. Last week we reminisced about the Celebutantes, rise of Reality TV and gross gossip blogs and the trends around Juicy Couture and Uggs. This week we are going to uncover some slightly different but vaguely overlapping territory and discuss Blue Collar to Bling and Raunch Culture. Blue Collar to Bling CultureChristian Audigier was a legend. He is essentially the man behind two of the trendiest, tackiest brands of the Aughts - Von Dutch and Ed Hardy. He figured out early on how to play the game with celebrities and knew that the American consumer at this time liked it maximal and ironic. So Audigier was a french-born designer and mega marketer. His first hit was Von Dutch which he was hired to join a few years into the brand….. I assume you all remember Von Dutch - it was adorned by all the glitterati back in the early aughts - it really ignited in 2003 and hit max velocity over 10 months and flamed out in 2004. Which goes to show how quickly trends were moving then - all through these gossip and celebrity magazines, reality tv and online blogs. Von Dutch’s Von DominanceSo a bit of back story on Von Dutch for some context - Kenneth Hughes is considered the father of the 1960’s Kustom Kar craze and set up his first pinstriping studio in 1951 - he developed this technique called pinstriping which is the freehand painting of fine lines in symmetrical motifs. Hughes painted flames that became the signature of the uniquely Southern California car subculture. These “pinstripes” were a distinctive decorative feature of 1950s bodywork in the USA, and over time have become a traditional ingredient of Kustom Kulture. Tall, blond and headstrong, he gave himself the moniker “Von Dutch” in reference to the expression “stubborn as a Dutchman”.He met with immediate success. Von Dutch became the go-to guy for customizing motorbikes and automobiles. Some clients even shipped vehicles from New York City to be Kustomised. It is to be noted that Hughes is a known racist and neo-nazi. He was apparently a real piece of work. After his death in the 1990’s his daughters sold the "Von Dutch" name to two LA entrepreneurs hoping to open a business for hot rod enthusiasts. Von Dutch embraced this Kustom Kulture rockabilly trend and in 1999 launched with greaser style jeans, tees and motorcycle jackets as well as the infamous “Trucker Hat” that was inspired by the car and auto shops. In 2000 they opened their first store on Melrose - but it wasn’t until 2002 when they hired designer Christian Audigier - who had a background working at Diesel and American Eagle - did the brand take off. Audegier is quoted in 2008 saying "I met Britney Spears in the street, she wore the first (Von Dutch) baseball cap. Three days later, I met Justin Timberlake in a nightclub and gave him a cap to wear too," Audigier recalls."Three weeks later they split up and were featured on the cover of People magazine wearing those two hats." They were essentially walking billboards getting chased by paparazzi and the brand blew up quiet immediately after that. In 2003 Justin Timberlake wore the Von Dutch Trucker to Grammy night parties. Fred Durst, Ashton Kutcher and other Hollywood types followed suit, and pretty soon the trucker hat had become a kind of anti-status status symbol. Or, at prices that go from $42 to $125, maybe a faux anti-status symbol. By 2014 and after being paraded around on all the celebrities in paparazzi shots and on Paris in the Simple life the brand hit the mainstream. It took roughly 10 months for that to happen - with archaic cell phones, glossy mags and Friendster. The LA Times reported back in 2004: Each design is limited to a run of 1,000, which helps fuel demand (the Beanie Baby factor). On EBay last year (aka 2003), more than 20 Von Dutch hats sold for $900-plus.LA Times reported that - Although the truckers’ hats are the most visible of Von Dutch’s products, the company does more sales volume in jeans, which cost $145 to $320. The company’s sales have risen from $1 million in 2001 to roughly $33 million in 2003. I think it essentially was derived from the 1990’s insane swing dance craze that evolved into a rockabilly and then the massive embracement of blue-collar iconography and essentially Class Appropriation like PBR (I am going to get into PBR in the next episode) - The white tank top or “wife-beater”, Tattoos, and the Trucker Hat. Now the trucker hat was pulled from rural and mechanic shops - They were originally given away at truck stops or feed shops to farmers and mechanics to advertise their products - John Deer put a lot of marketing dollars towards these guys back in the day but other brands like Coca-cola and feed companies also used the hats as a marketing vehicle . They were picked up by the American youth subcultures around the 2000s - those details are rather vague really - but the cool hip-hop and skater crowd started sporting them as an ironic statement because of the blue collar association and generally older “dad” demographic. And really irony is the key word here - because as we get into hipsters - the trend was all based on irony. Lo-fashion is hi-fashion - poor is rich - which is something that was trendy to this day - the cult of ugly shoes and normcore are all subversions of this ironic style. Market Watch explains ironic consumption as “using a product while attempting to signal an identity, trait, or belief that is opposite from the perceived conventional meaning of the product.” So Paris Hilton, one of the richest women in the world wearing a trucker hat (albeit a designer one) is still a socialite wearing truckstop paraphernalia. Ed Hardy Hard OnAudegier went out on his own in 2004 and started his own California tattoo artist inspired line call Ed Hardy licencing the famous tattoo art- Learning from the Spears-Timberlake episode and embracing one of the first forms of influencer marketing he sent out clothes to all the stars and used the paparazzi, hotel and restaurant staff to spread the word. And it hit like wildfire. Take a look at some looks at the height of the Ed Hardy Hard on: https://www.ranker.com/list/ed-hardy-pictures/samantha-dillingerInterestingly 70% of the Ed Hardy line was made in Los Angeles - so he can guarantee quality for the price and lower production time if something sold out. T-shirts were running at $180 - which was basically designer price point at the time. Ed Hardy was a student of Sailor Jerry - the Honolulu based tattoo artist known for synthesizing classic American imagery with the larger scale, finer detail, and greater complexity of Japanese tattooing. He was one of the most important and influential tattoo artists at the time. Might I also add that in the early aughts we were going through a serious Tattoo renaissance. In the 1960’s there were 500 professional tattoo artists in the US by 1995 there were over 10,000 of them and growing. The beginning of the 21st century saw lower back tattoos increase in popularity. The so-called “tramp stamp” became one of the most fashionable places for women to get tattoos. Butterfly and Yin-Yang symbols also gained traction. Hipsters got tattoos in obvious spots like arms and the full sleeve started to trend. Tattoos had that element of blue collar fascination, rock and roll renaissance and throw caution to the wind attitude that was crushing down so it makes sense they were so popular. Celebrities like Rhinana and Britney were showcasing them in the tabloids...So tattoos were super cool...and mix that with the Bling and Rhinestones that were in high demand as a reaction against 90’s grunge, minimalism and anti-fashion and Logomania - You got a hot trend in the form of a $180 blinged out tattoo tee. By 2009 the brand was pulling in over $700M - Amanda do you remember seeing them at the Trade Shows? Like Magic in Vegas - their booth was the biggest and loudest - it took up like half the show with the millions of licensed everything. They had the tallest booths too - so you could see them from every point in the trade show. But that all changed…. Reality TV really took the brand down! Rumor has it that the affiliation with John Gosselin who was part of John and Kate plus 8 - was part of the demise. He LOVED Ed Hardy. There was a point when TLC even blurred out the Ed Hardy logos because they were sick of giving them free publicity. Well - John and Kate went through a very public divorce that featured her raising the kids while he partied - wearing - you guessed it - Ed Hardy. The paparazzi followed them everywhere shooting him in his favorite fashion. By 2011 John was considered the most hated man alive. Not exactly great for brand image. I want to note also that the cast of Jersey Shore was practically bathed in Ed Hardy - which just further destroyed their reputation as being “bridge and tunnel” and kinda trashy. Venues even went so far as to ban the brands with dress code signs that read - "If it's on the Jersey Shore, it's not coming through the door." Now I would be remiss to mention that this was also the era of the Affliction tee craze that was also a fan favorite of John and the Jersey Shore boys. It was this Cyber Goth movement - when Chris Angel was big and it was acceptable in some circles for men to have a t-shirt with rhinestones and angel wings printed on them. They also came out of California in 2005 and rode that Ed Hardy train - But it was like Ed Hardy on crack. They originally targeted the tattoo and rock and roll demographics but then they started to align and became extremely popular amongst MMA fighters. At one point they were promoting and sponsoring fights. Wikipedia explains: its "Live Fast" motto represents and appeals to audiences who appreciate a variety of disciplines and eras such as Rock & Roll, Moto Culture, Tattoo, Vintage Americana, Mixed Martial Arts and Impact Sports. These guys were also doing over 100M a year in their prime. I tried doing research to understand this brand more and there is very little out there. Well there are entire blog posts and subreddits that speak to asking the age old question of why are all men who were Affliction douchebags. And I think my mini explanation kinda describes the audience and therefore an implied reason. So Amanda, There is a subreddit Askwomen where a guy asks a bunch of women “Is Affliction a turnoff” and gets an earful! He even went back and amended his comment to say “after seeing all the replies tonight I'm very hurt and sad. I had no idea this was the actual general opinion of women. It's been a very emotional night for me because of the responses, but thank you for being truthful with me”. There are some great responses: “ My brother used to wear solely ed hardy, flashy flashy true religion jeans, affliction, and he would complain nonstop about the types of women who were interested in him. I told him one day "If you're going to wear Ed Hardy, you're going to attract women who like Ed Hardy."As this woman mentioned - These paired great with some bedazzled true religion bootcuts for the ultimate maximal experience. This was maximal bling - like these brands carried cache as in conspicuous consumption for the rock and roll type. The tees and jeans were considered expensive for their time - but this is certainly different from bling in the form of rhinestone encrusted sunglasses and cell phones or the original 2000s bling. Rhinestone CircusBling bling or “bling” for short was mostly in the form of ostentatious jewelry that was popular amongst the hip hop artists of the 90s - Puff Daddy, Biggie Smalls and Tupac all referenced and wore some real jewels. By the aughts jewels and rhinestones - particularly Swarovski Crystals were everywhere and on everything. Swarovski has been around for over 120 years and specialized in glass rhinestones. They are the only company that is non precious that has been able to align their brand as a luxury company. They are considered high quality for the glass rhinestone market - using chemistry and cut to achieve incredible and sparkle. Before the aughts they provided a lot of fashionable “costume jewelry”. Swarovski had partnered with some other designers like Armani for couture dresses but we really have the late, great Alexander McQueen to thank for the explosion in the luxury market - In 1999 they partnered with McQueen for an for his Spring/Summer 1999 collection. The collection was late 1990s and early 2000s at its best. Super gaudy and obnoxious with 1,000s of Swarovski Crystals. We are talking about headdresses and exposed nipples. It brought Swarovski to the attention of Hollywood and New York: here were affordable, but wildly ostentatious gems that are somehow approved by the fashion cool kids. For the first time in centuries, it was cool to wear what is, in effect, costume jewelry. They have partnered with endless cool and luxury brands over the years including Bently. Every major designer jumped into the rhinestone circus—Chanel, Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, hell, Ray-Ban even got in the mix. This spun off into a rhinestone trend that coated every flat surface and not so flat surface : cell phones, tshirts, jeans, sunglasses, faces…. Swarovski has worked with Victoria's Secret and their Fashion Show for 15 years. For the 2018 Fashion Show, Victoria Secret model Elsa Hosk wore a Fantasy Bra featuring over one million dollars' worth of Swarovski crystal.Reign of RaunchWhat is this raunch culture? It’s multi-faceted. It’s super sexy dressing. It’s Girls Gone Wild (literally and figuratively). It’s the mainstream-ification of porn. It’s the Man show and the Juggies that danced periodically. It’s the rise of the Hustler store as well as literally wearing Hustler shirts). It’s Maxim magazine. It’s Hugh Hefner as a kindly--but horny--grandpa. It’s the era of the Brazilian (wax, not person). It’s stripper poles in your living room and buying your going out outfit at the sex shop or lingerie store. *We want to make something very clear. Our criticism of this trend is not out of disrespect for sex workers. Sex work is real work. It is hard work. And sex workers deserve benefits, respect, and protection by the law. Sex work is essential work. Amanda cites a book called Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy for much of this trend. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch CultureLevy noticed this was going on...her most hardcore, politically radical friends were hanging out at strip clubs. Everyone was switching to thong underwear. Hustler, Playboy, and Pornstar shirts walked down the street. (Side note: Amanda tried to track down the Porn Star brand and its story, but it has disappeared from the internet, other than a few nostalgic posts on Reddit and this person asking on yahoo more than a decade ago, where they can find Porn Star and Hustler tees to give as Christmas gifts)As Levy asked around she got this answer: “This new raunch culture didn't mark the death of feminism, they told me; it was evidence that the feminist project had already been achieved. We'd earned the right to look at Playboy; we were empowered enough to get Brazilian bikini waxes. Women had come so far, I learned, we no longer needed to worry about objectification or misogyny. Instead, it was time for us to join the frat party of pop culture, where men had been enjoying themselves all along. If Male Chauvinist Pigs were men who regarded women as pieces of meat, we would outdo them and be Female Chauvinist Pigs: women who make sex objects of other women and of ourselves.”And well, that’s exactly what we did! Women worked on the Man show, they worked as editors, photographers, and writers at the Lad magazines like Maxim and FHM. They were part of perpetuating this culture as much as the men were. In fact, we would almost argue that women were really the force behind the rise of raunch culture. When Levy asked her friends--specifically women--why they were getting Brazilians and flashing their boobs and going on dates to strip clubs, they all had similar responses:“They wanted to be "one of the guys"; they hoped to be experienced "like a man." Going to strip clubs or talking about porn stars was a way of showing themselves and the men around them that they weren't "prissy little women" or "girly-girls." In fact, I would say that this is also the rise of the “cool girl” stereotype: the girl that is too cool to hang out with other women, the girl that “isn’t like the other girls.” Which we hate.And when we see other women objectifying other women, of still pushing this agenda of super-thin, perfect, young bodies...It doesn’t feel very feminist! In fact, it’s the opposite of empowering. Levy puts it a lot more eloquently than me, “How is resurrecting every stereotype of female sexuality that feminism endeavored to banish good for women?”2001 was also the first-ever televised Victoria’s Secret Fashion show! And reality TV was finding great success with what Levy calls the “harem themed reality shows.” Meaning a bunch of women competing for the attention of a man. Um...The Bachelor anyone? There was also Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, Joe Millionaire, and a few special ones that I’m going to discuss later. Furthermore, between 1992 and 2004, the number of breast augmentation surgeries in the US went from just over 32,000 each year to more than 260,00o per year. The concept of vaginoplasty and vaginal rejuvenation surgeries went mainstream. The aughts were also the era of strippers, of aspiring to be a stripper, of taking pole dancing classes, of installing a pole in your living room just for fun...even the Washington Post wrote an article about the phenomenon that declared “With stripper chic, as with so many advances in popular culture, the nation owes a great debt to Los Angeles.”And this touches on what Amanda said in the last episode...that so many elements of mainstream aughts culture are attributed to LA and the LA lifestyle...and I still think a lot of people think that’s what LA is like. One industry that really benefited from this raunch era was porn. People were still relying on DVDs and magazines for most of this decade, but by 2010, streaming porn would take over and change the industry forever. But the aughts made celebrities out of porn stars and brands. Jenna Jameson, the world’s highest-grossing adult film star at that time, wrote a memoir called How To Make Love Like a Portn Star, which was on the bestseller list for six weeks in 2004. Jamison’s publisher Judith Regan said (in 2005), “I believe that there is a porno-ization of the culture.” And it made sense...because Olympic athletes were posing nude (or damn near close) for Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Maxim, etc...in the past, this would have ended their athletic careers. Now it just made them household names!Also from Levy: “As former adult film star Traci Lords put it to a reporter a few days before her memoir hit the best-seller list in 2003, "When I was in porn, it was like a back-alley thing. Now it's everywhere." Spectacles of naked ladies have moved from seedy side streets to center stage, where everyone - men and women - can watch them in broad daylight. Playboy and its ilk are being "embraced by young women in a curious way in a postfeminist world," to borrow the words of Hugh Hefner.”Hugh’s CluesAnd speaking of Hugh Hefner, his reality show, The Girls Next Door, was about his relationship with his three girlfriends, Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson. This show somehow managed to be on the air for six seasons, on E! And it spawned four spinoffs: Kendra, Kendra on Top, Bridget's Sexiest Beaches, and Holly's World. The show was filmed in the famous Playboy Mansion and well, it was pretty boring. The girls are all nice, very sexy in that early aughts way with blonde hair, super tan and skinny bodies. But Hugh Hefner just seemed like a doddering, childish old man. And maybe that’s how it was successful in making Playboy a more mainstream commodity because Hefner was no longer some sinister pornographer who would come and turn your sisters and girlfriends into centerfolds. It certainly made Playboy a brand with mass appeal, leading to all kinds of apparel and licensed merchandise. This was also when Hustler--always the much more “lowbrow” competitor to Playboy--became another popular brand, selling lingerie, t-shirts, dildos of all varieties and much more out of its chain of stores. You know Amanda likes to go down some weird rabbit holes when I’m researching for The Department, and she found a funny 2004 article from the South Florida Sun Sentinel with the headline HUSTLER STORE IS NOTHING TO GET EXCITED ABOUT...essentially chastising all of the people who were upset about the opening of a new Hustler boutique in their town:“Many products will cause discomfort for the prudish, especially in the 18-and-over section that's walled off and guarded by a friendly sales clerk wearing a shirt that reads, "Relax ... it's only sex."But on the whole, except for the branding and the garish neon that was guaranteed to cause a ruckus on the edge of oh-so-tony Victoria Park, this place seems no worse than scores of other stores -- legitimate and lowbrow -- throughout South Florida. The only thing visible in the windows as you drive by on East Sunrise Boulevard is a row of boutique shopping bags. The clientele on Monday afternoon seemed more Yuppie scrubbed than peepshow scruffy, with a steady stream of single women, clean-cut professionals and couples young and old."We're not an adult store," Jimmy Flynt, Larry's brother, said Monday. "We're a specialty retail outlet."Rocking the BoatNo reality show--even the Pick Up Artist--captured the essence of raunch culture more than VH1’s Rock of Love, which I am not ashamed to say that I love. In fact, our mutual love of this show is something that brought Dustin and I even closer during the early days of our relationship and a few years ago when I was very sick with mono, we were able to stream the entire series and watch it together.Rock of Love starring Poison’s Bret Michael was created after producers saw the success of Flavor of Love, starring Flava Flav of Public Enemy. Now as I mentioned in the last episode, a lot of these reality shows would sort of begat other reality shows. So Flava Flav appeared on The Surreal Life, where he began (allegedly a relationship) with model Brigitte Nielsen. Now supposedly this relationship was real but doomed, and I don’t know, because reality television has always been filled with trickery, but even more so during this era...but their romance on The Surreal Life lead to spin-off call Strange Love, and when the couple broke up, this lead to Flavor of Love, where the spurned Flava Flav would maybe find true love.Rock of Love and Flavor of Love followed the same model, not unlike the Bachelor, but far more um chaotic. That “harem theme.” The female contestants would compete each week for the “love” of the male lead, while also taking part in various challenges to earn one on one dates and other rewards. Each week, one or two contestants would be eliminated in a wrenching ceremony. I remember on Rock of Love, Bret gave the contestants who were staying a backstage pass with their photo and he would say “would you stay and rock my world.”These shows were filled with stripper poles, lingerie worn as daywear, women fighting for no particular reason, and lots and lots of booze. Lacey Sculls was one of the celebrities to come out of Rock of Love, she reappeared in subsequent seasons and she was also on the spin-off, Rock of Love Charm School She was a villain on the show and she cites New York (one of the contestants on Flavor of Love) as her role model for getting into her role on Rock of Love. New York went on to have her own reality show called I Love New York. Anyway, I actually loved Lacey because she was really into animal rights and she was in the roller derby! “When we weren’t doing challenges or we weren’t on a date with Bret, there was so much downtime,” she said “I remember I brought a bunch of magazines and books and the producer was like, ‘No, you can’t have those because they don’t want to film you reading a magazine or reading a book.'” Contestants also weren’t allowed to bring phones, computers, really anything that would connect them to the outside world or keep them from interacting with the other contestants. They were essentially locked in this house for 30 days. So everyone just drank a ton of booze, hung out by the pool, and chit chatted….which would lead to drama. Lacey called it “a frat house that you never got to leave.” On Flavor of Love, someone got so drunk that they pooped on the floor. On Rock of Love, contestants were pushing one another into the pool, losing their bikini tops, talking shit about one another and doing a lot of drunk puking Bret Michaels himself (and I’m assuming Flava Flav, too) didn’t actually stay at the house with the contestants, even though they had “bedrooms.” To make it seem as if they stayed there, the producers would have him enter his bedroom through an external door and then film him coming out of his bedroom into the hallwayNeither of the men was actually looking for love (they were both in relationships) which is kinda of weird because there was a lot of making out, possibly even real sex, and definitely, oral sex, based on a fight I observed in front of two contestants on “family day”“Honestly, not really,” one producer said of Michaels’s interest in the women. “He was very good at pretending to be interested though!” They added how for most of the women, Michaels only felt a “physical connection.” There is a podcast hosted by Lacey and Heather called Talk of Love>>> One contestant Heather Chadwell, thought it was so real that she got Bret’s name tattooed on the back of her neck! And she later had a lot of anger towards him because even though he would say on the show that they were best friends, he never spoke to her outside of the showOn the podcast, Heather talks about this: “Right after [the show ended], we did some events together and we were kind of friends,” Chadwell said. “But I guess it was more work-related. Unless I had a meet and greet for $750, he wasn’t going to talk to me. So it was basically all business. So no, we don’t have a friendship.” “That’s not how I am. We’re not friends because we’re two totally different people. We just have different ways of treating people and morals and whatever. So yeah, no, we’re not friends.” Most contestants were adult film stars, strippers, musicians, or aspiring actresses and models. Bret Michaels was fully clad in Affliction, Ed Hardy and True Religion...and in one episode he and some girls went on a group date to Ed Hardy on Melrose to get some custom clothes.Obviously, this show is gross and objectifying, and maybe the thing that I hate the most about it is that there’s supposed to be a joke there like you’re supposed to watch it ironically--which Amanda does not--and doesn’t feel like the contestants are in on the joke. In fact, they are all primarily independent, hard-working women, there are a lot of single mothers, which sort of perpetuated this myth that single mothers are trashy, blah blah blah. These shows--Flavor of Love and Rock of Love--sort of set the standard for raunch and drama on reality shows...really rolling out the red carpet for the debut of The Jersey Shore in 2009. We can see a direct line between Jersey Shore and these raunchy showsOf course, there were tons of spin-offs of Flavor of Love and Rock of Love: I Love New York, Charm School, I Love Money, Megan Wants a Millionaire, Daisy of Love, Real Chance of Love..all VH1 shows, produced by a company called 51 MInds EntertainmentVH1 continued to churn out these raunchy reality shows until the murder of Jasmine Fiore in 2009. You might remember this case from the news...She was found stuffed into a suitcase and identified by the serial numbers on her breast implants. It turned out that she had been murdered by her husband, Ryan Jenkins...a former contestant on Megan Wants a Millionaire and I Love Money. In fact, neither of the seasons he was on had aired yet. Although Jenkins was never violent on the sets of the reality shows, both the media and viewers couldn’t unlink his violent act from the reality genre. And when it came out that some other violent behavior from his past had been missed by his background check, well, it totally destroyed VH1’s relationship with 51 Minds Entertainment. I Love Money and Megan Wants a Millionaire was canceled. Planned spinoff shows starring Lacey and Heather of Rock of Love were cancelled.
111 minutes | a month ago
2000’s Trends: The Terrible 2000’s - Celebutante Culture, Rash of Reality TV, Juicy Couture, Uggs, Ghastly Gossip
So the 2000s or Early Aughts was a super defining time period - personal cell phones, texting, the internet - all were blowing up in the early Aughts - Friendster was at the beginning of the decade- Myspace was in the mid part and Facebook at the end - and fashion and trends were even more riveting.What is interesting to note is that the trends of the early 2000s are coming back for the younger generations and Gen Z is embracing this millennium - as comfort watching of old 2000 shows has been trending the likes of the OC, Gossip Girl, and Hannah Montana and being watched more than ever. Because of that - the kids are crushing on the fashion trends in those shows - That’s right Juicy Couture, Uggs, low rise jeans and even trucker hats are seen trending again as nostalgia continues to influence.Cult of Celebutantes2000 saw a huge, I might say, obsession for the Celebutante. The celebutante is essentially a celebrity who is just "famous for being famous" or often a " trust fund baby. ": Young and in their twenties, fashionable, and notorious party girls who are members of "high-class" society due to family fortunes. These females fall into the realm of 'celebrity-for-the-sake-of-celebrity" or "socialite-heiress-turned-celebrity". They are America’s princesses - with massive fortune’s behind them. So we are talking about Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, the Kardashians….then there are some Celebutantes that had some talent and were actresses or pop stars like Lindsay Lohan and Britany most notoriously. And what is most interesting is the amount of power they had to define trends and the American consumer behavior as well as lifestyles because of the sheer amount of press that came out about them. Often not for great things- Paris rose to mass popularity in 2003 after the release of her sex tape. Lohan for her antics. People loved them and loved to hate them. They had lavish lifestyles and partied constantly - the drama, the excitement and then the reality tv shows all fueled the demand.Rise and Rash of RealityNow the idea of reality television did not *begin* in the 2000s...we can all remember The Real World and Road Rules from MTV in the 90s...as well as all kinds of other spin offs that were less successful. The televised OJ Simpson trial (and all of the other media around it) could arguably be considered the first time “reality television” was being created for the masses….well not the FIRST.In the 1970s, PBS sort of launched the idea of ‘Reality Television’ with a show called An American Family. The show, or more specifically the twelve-hour documentary series, followed the lives of the Loud family of Santa Barbara, California for the span of seven months. Over the span of this twelve part series “viewers watched dramatic life events unfold, including Pat asking for a separation from her husband Bill, and the bohemian New York lifestyle of their gay son, Lance” The Loud family quickly captivated the hearts of America because it showed them a version of their own reality. The Splash of SurvivorSo by 2000, television producers saw that there was an appetite for reality shows. After all The Real World was still bringing in viewers, Cops and all the related “crime” shows were very popular, and game shows, when you think about it are also reality shows, and people loved those. And thus Survivor was born. Survivor was wildly successful. And it sort of legitimized this idea of reality television as mainstream, major network programming. Previously reality programming was reserved for cable (or PBS). But networks saw that millions of people would watch these shows. And they were so much cheaper to make than a regular scripted show! For example, a single episode of Lost (a major hit of the aughts) cost $14 million to make. Reality shows were significantly cheaper. From here entire cable networks grew based on reality TV: The Learning Channel became TLC, it spun off lots of other channels. VH1 and MTV shifted from you know, music videos, to reality shows all the time!How Reality Launched CelebrityObviously we have to start with the queens of the celebutantes, Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie, who became household names and fashion icons with their MTV reality show The Simple Life, which ran for five years. The BFFs holed up in small-town America, working a series of average-Joe jobs for five seasons. The key “comedy” of the show was watching these two spoiled rich girls doing a variety of extremely un-socialite-like tasks, from milking cows to working drive-thrus—it also birthed their iconic catchphrases “that’s hot” and Loves it.” Paris Hilton came from an extreme amount of generational wealth (as did Nicole Ritchie) so it’s hard to say what her life would have been like without The Simple Life, but it did make her a style icon of the aughts. You say 2000s, you see Paris. She found herself--a star of reality shows and a sex tape-- in Vogue and Vanity Fair. Her book, Confessions of an Heiress, was a bestseller in 2004. She even got into music, releasing an album called Pairs, and she to this day has made billions off of endorsements and her own product lines: Eighteen different perfumes have resulted in $2 billion in sales; she has 56 branded stores in the Middle East and Asia selling her line of handbags; and she’s got 16 licenses across the categories of clothing, accessories, beauty and watches. The Osbournes: While ostensibly Ozzy was the star of the show, it really made his wife Sharon and their kids Jack and Kelly. It’s important to call out that there is a third Osbourne kid, Aimee, who did not participate in the show and it’s almost like she doesn’t exist!Guy Fieri--you probably don’t think of him as a celebrity of the aughts, but he rose to fame in 2005 with his reality show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.How about Nick Lachey (of 98 degrees) and Jessica Simpson (her line of clothing and shoes is still going strong)? They started on Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica on MTV from 2003 and 2005. This show is most legendary for the scene where Jessica Simpson is confused about whether Chicken of the Sea is chicken or tuna. Fun fact: this show was originally conceived for Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Prestley The success of Newlyweds in terms of building Jessica’s career was so massive that it sort of set the precedent for using a reality show as a vehicle to fame...so it’s no surprise that Jessica’s sister Ashlee also had her own short-lived reality show that followed her as she recorded her first album. Laguna Beach launched the careers of Lauren “LC” Conrad, Stephen Coletti and Kristin Cavillari and all their high school rich kid dramas. This cast later migrated to The Hills.The Girls Next Door made celebrities out of Hugh Hefner’s three girlfriends, Kendra Wilkinson, Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt. The show made Playboy and Hugh Hefner more culturally wholesome to middle america and destigmatized Playboy...as well as dating multiple women.And while some shows would turn someone into a major celebrity overnight, others just sort of created I don’t know, E list reality guests? For example, Megan Hauserman made the rounds in the aughts. She began on Beauty and The Geek, then she was a popular villain on Rock of Love--which is my favorite reality show, and I’ll be talking about it a lot more on the next episode, next she was on I Love Money, Rock of Love Charm School, and then she finally “made it'' by having her own show, Megan Wants A Millionaire.My Fair Brady was almost like a mega reality show, in that it combined a star of previous era (Christopher Knight who played Bobby Brady on the Brady Bunch) and later appeared on the The Surreal Life (a VH1 joint about washed up celebrities living together) with another reality show winner, Adrianne Curry of America’s Next Top Model (she won the 2003 season). They met on The Surreal Life, fell in love, and went on to be on this show...where mostly Adrianne tried to convince Chris to get married, and later tried to convince him to have a baby. The couple later divorced--after being on Dr Phil--in 2013.Other shows...some you may remember, some you may have forgotten Date My Mom (MTV) Punk’d: Ashton Kutcher's prank show Pimp My Ride The Anna Nicole Show Dog The Bounty Hunter Fear Factor: Our friend Hyden was a winner and used the money to launch his business Hogan Knows Best LA Ink: launched Kat Von D’s fame Temptation Island: i loved this one Trading Spaces What Not To Wear Queer Eye For the Straight Guy Room Raiders: This show let one single guy or girl “meet” their prospective dates by poking around in their bedrooms unattended. Mr Personality (2003): A bachelorette would be able to choose suitors based on their personalities (though she could still see most of their faces and bodies, so it was kind of pointless). Monica Lewinsky hosted this hot mess, and it only lasted five episodes. The Salt N Pepa show: I loved this one The Swan: where women were given tons of plastic surgery, put on crash diets, got some veneers, etc….then participated in a beauty pageant with the other contestants. I actually read a really sad article a while back about how all of the former contestants struggled afterwards with chronic pain, anxiety, and rapidly deteriorating plastic surgery. Basically ruined their lives. Next, a 2005 speed dating show. Also MTV. The Pickup Artist Kitson’s KindlingWell, one of the most important parts of defining trends was the department store Kitston that was LA based even being called the Epicenter of Celebrity Culture in the 2000’s - Kitson was a hotspot for all the celebrities and the paparazzi that followed. It was a symbiotic relationship for everyone.Kitson was the go to shopping destination for the LA Glitterati that birthed this celebrity defined fashion culture and style. The Roberston flagship store was splashed across the pages of every single style blog and gossip rag with Paris, Nicole, Jessica, Lindsay or the Kardashians or the cast of the hills, etc... climbing out in heels carrying at least 5 bags. Kitson opened in 2000. What is interesting to note is that many of these women also had spin off fashion, fragrance and beauty lines that came out of this fashion trendsetter fame.The post 9/11 trend was ostentatious, loud, gaudy, kitschy and compatible with the logomania and conspicuous consumption we saw in the early 80’s. Denim and knitwear really blew up and casual chic was all over. Kiston became the go-to spot for the hottest new brands and trends - mind you the early 2000s were the start of the contemporary and indie brands explosion - before then the average consumer shopped at Gap, J.Crew, Urban, Deliahs or like Macy’s, Kohl and Penny’s. This all started to change in the new millenia and Kitson was always looking for the hottest newcomers and the next ‘it’ brand, helping to launch lots of young companies and trends from obscurity once the celebutantes started to wear them. These were the same people walking wearing statement outfits on the red carpet - and more notably the MTV movie awards where Celebrities bought their Lewks - because it got them featured. Interestingly these contemporary brands were - yes - expensive for what the consumer was used to - but ultimately affordable or a light splurge. Now you, yes YOU, could dress like your favorite celebrity - and a lot of the trends were a form of casual comfort wear - jeans, velour jumpsuits, tee shirts, and wool boots - which helped to fuel the sales. Comfort and accessibility.Kitson had all the hottest brands and merch - From ‘Team Aniston’ baseball caps to Beverly Hills Camp and most notably Juicy Couture which could be considered some real tinder to the start of athleisure. The Juice on JuicyPam & Gela launched Juicy Couture in 2001 - adding the “couture” at the end because as pam said in an interview with Paige Six “Everything had to be more luxe, more expensive,” which just shows what an age of excess we were in then - even though it was kinda an oxymoron since velour jumpsuits are anything but couture. Yet - they approached this outdated garment (remember the velour jumpsuit was favored amongst mobsters and was featured often as a costume on the set of the Sopranos) differently - which a lot of brands did - and focus and fit - mind you well-fitting product was not particularly common before the Aughts. Juicy featured a trendy lowrise but with accents and seaming that was meant to accentuate and flatter most everyone. They weren’t the first tho - Baby Phat Kimora Lee Simmons line actually did if first and feminized the velour tracksuit and started to popularize the trend of words emblazoned with rhinestones.J. Lo was given a pink set “lounge around in” and she loved them so much she wore them in a Music video with Ja Rule (that is right when music videos really meant something and could also drive trends).Paris Hilton essentially became the poster child for Juicy Couture and literally to this day has a closet full - owning a couple of hundred different sets. After being featured on Paris during her “Simple Life” reality show in 2003 - all the other Celebutantes started to wear them with the baby pink being the most iconic of all the colors….When the tracksuit debuted during the spring of 2001, the pants sold for roughly $80, and the top was about $75. The price point accomplished two things. It was expensive enough for people to show off a little wealth status but affordable enough for the working class to afford. Juicy Couture was a sign of status - that you were in with the “in crowd “ and a-listers.From the Page Six Article “Pam Nash-Taylor pointed to the constant trail of cameras that followed Juicy’s biggest celebrity fans as a major factor in the brand’s success. “Now, you look on your Instagram and you see what’s happening, but then, it was all about the paparazzi culture,” “We used to have a ‘Wall of Fame’ and a ‘Wall of Shame’ [in our office]. It was all the celebrities that were wearing Juicy, and then all the celebrities that were going to prison in Juicy.” They had interns pull all the rags every week and cut out pictures of the aspirational like Gwyneth going to Yoga with Starbucks as well as embarrassing like Mariah having a nervous breakdown. This brand blew up - they had so much product - from the notorious Juicy rhinestoned butts, skirts, those shirred dresses, they did cashmere sets and even denim.A combination of things caused this insane Juicy phenomena to decline. The 2008 recession and move away from the ostentatious fashion for one - then there was just general trend fatigue and over saturation - all took its toll on Juicy and they saw sales slow substantially - they sold the company and by 2014 the sets were sold at Kohls.But we have a resurgence - Vetements who loves to resuscitate old brands did a collab in 2018 with the Vetement Logo in Rhinestones on a black Juicy Couture set. Parade also just did a collab - so Gen Z is picking up the scent and the brand is making a comeback. The sets look like the smaller sizes are sold out even - with the really blingy versions selling out first. - hello maximal!A new brand Suzie Kondo is reinventing the velour jumpsuit for the Gen Z set.Page Six Reports - For the launch of her new Skims velour collection in October, Kim Kardashian tapped her friend and former boss, Paris Hilton, to pose for a series of paparazzi-style photos in the plush pieces, both of them even bringing back their old flip phones and Louis Vuitton Monogram Miroir Alma bags.The pair were frequently spotted wearing Juicy Couture’s velour tracksuits while shopping at Kitson or lunching at The Ivy back in the day — and for Kardashian and Paris the look never went out of style. Mind you - It is almost all sold out and on the waitlist now.Also Pam and Gela - the brand founders of Juicy Couture launched after selling Juicy just relaunched their own Velours based on original Juicy in black and you got it - millennial pink.Juicy Couture themselves has a 25th-anniversary collection that is blinged out - the mainline itself is very logo-heavy which makes me think that the logo itself has found a new batch interested in its ironic aughts appeal and old fans wanting to embrace some nostalgia.UggggggggggghhhhhUggs were another brand that was scooped up and worn EVERYWHERE - by everyone. The original Australian Sheepskin boots were popularized by Australian surfers and eventually made their way to American Surfers in the mid-’90s. So this Australian by the name of Brian Smith came to Venice in the 90’s and immersed himself in the American surf culture - the sheepskin boots that the Aussie surfers wore to the beach were often called “ugs''. Because they were considered ugly and not particularly fashionable - in fact they think they are gauche that only the frumpiest person would wear them on the street- or the surfers for kick around as they are especially excellent for drying and warming feet after a day of surfing. Traditionally these boots were sold at gas stations and not known as luxury items in any way - So Bryan partnered with an Australian manufacturer and worked on elevating this rather basic product so that the Southern California buyers would be interested in them. He used top quality hides, adapted the shape and construction and added a rubber sole he marketed them as “luxury footwear” which resonated. The shoe’s pattern has to be hand-cut and each pair is made with over 40 pieces of sheepskin - as opposed to the nearly rudimentary original version. It first gained popularity amongst surfers, then skiers before somehow finding their way to Oprah. In 2000, Oprah declared Uggs one of her favorite things on the Oprah talk show, which sealed its fate and drove demand like only an early Oprah stamp of approval could. Ugg also gifted 350 pairs of boots to Oprah's studio audience, catapulting the brand into the public eye….pretty soon after that all of Hollywood, especially the Celebutante’s and Starlets began wearing them everywhere - literally from the grocery store to the red carpet. You could not get them out of these things. And of course, they were in all the rags.I think they were masters of celebrity gifting, endorsement and placement. They did that from the start - before there was social media and were able to leverage these Celebrity endorsements to get placements into stores and demand amongst other celebrities. They were the height of conspicuous consumption - the Ugg was fairly pricey for the time period - I think if i remember correctly they were just under $200. They were THE XMAS gift for the aughts and I would say 80% of college students had them in Wisconsin. We sold them at Shopbop - they weren’t major sellers like Seven Jeans or Juicy Couture...though which was funny but they did sell. Post-recession they really dropped off and sales substantially dropped. By the end of the Aughts the Luluemon, Ugg, North Face jacket girl came out of the Basic broom closet and the look, as well as the Uggs, lost that luxury shine.They’re Baaaack!!Then came the boom of ugly shoes and a dash of Collab nostalgia. In 2017 Jeremy Scott did his infamous “Ugg Life” collab. Y/Project offered these insane maximal thigh-high uggs in 2018- Riannnah dug them out of her closet in 2018 and began to be spotted wearing them around. So, yes, much like Juicy, we are certainly seeing “Ugg Life” return- particularly in the past year there was an article about the return of Ugg on the Today Show’s website - Shakaila Forbes-Bell a fashion psychologist for financial service Afterpay says” "The pandemic has caused a shift in the way we look at clothing from ‘How does this look?’ to ‘How does this make me feel?’ So it’s understandable why people have turned to comfortable shoes like Uggs to help them navigate the difficulties of the current climate," According to the NPD Group, Ugg has held the No. 2 spots for non-active/sneaker-focused brands in terms of dollar volume growth during the pandemic (March-October 2020).Kelly Haws, a professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University throws on value-added nostalgia to the list saying: "Times of uncertainty often drive us toward products that provide comfort and even nostalgia. Although the Ugg brand has worked hard to extend its product lines and refresh its brand, ultimately, the brand is associated with warmth, comfort and durability. Add to the turbulence, uncertainty, casualwear of the home office of 2020 and the changing seasons, and you have a recipe custom made for increased demand for Uggs."Gaudy, Gauche and Grotesque : Gossip BlogsThe celebutantes made their personal style major fashion trends, kind of defining (for better or worse) the rest of the world’s concept of LA style for well more than a decade. And while they had reality shows and mainstream magazines to amplify their celebrity and their style, they also had another outlet that insured millions of people were reading their names every day: the rise of the gossip blog. The gossip blogs were different from the mainstream gossip mags like US weekly and People because they were just RUTHLESS. They didn’t have to say much. They didn’t have to verify anything. And they didn’t even have to, you know, have a good visual aesthetic.Now, ultimately most of these celebutantes hated the gossip blogs because they were ruthless and cruel. But it was also a weird symbiotic relationship: the paparazzi would chill outside Kitson to get photos with the celebrities who shopped there. And the celebs would usually stop to pose for a photo.The two main gossip blogs as we saw it were Defamer (part of the now defunct Gawker empire) and Perez Hilton. Perez Hilton was iconic of the early aughts for so many reasons. First off, the garish barbie pink aesthetic. Next, the writing was sort of dumb and cruel! And his signature move was using MS Paint to scrawl words or more often, ejaculating dicks on the images of the celebrities he was discussing. He loved picking apart the bodies of young starlets like Mischa Barton and Kirsten Dunst.He loved to torment certain celebrities. He called Mischa “Moosha” and he was always accusing Kirsten of being drunk and fat. His site was just a toxic train wreck, and yet, everyone visited it all the time!The Man the Myth the Misogynistic Cyber Bullying LegendHis real name is Mario Lavandeira.Hilton started his gossip blog from a café near his apartment in 2005. At the time, he couldn't afford to have internet installed at home, so he would use the free wi-fi at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. "I would always sit in the same place, because in the entire coffee shop there was only one power outlet, so I had to sit there to plug in my laptop," he laughs. "I hope they've upgraded since then."Soon he found himself getting 8 million hits a day. People loved his catty--and not always true--posts. His site was dubbed “the most hated website in Hollywood” which he loved.Word got around that Hilton was running the entire operation from this coffee house, and before long, celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes were dropping in to feed him stories. But, other celebrities like Nicole Ritchie showed up to confront him about being so nasty.At his peak, he was making some MONEY. Now these prices sound so low to me now, but it was $9,000 a week for a single advertisement and $45,000 for the most expensive ad package And any time one of the starlet he loved to hate got into some legal trouble (like Lindsay Lohan) he was the default expert called to appear on the talk show and entertainment show circuitBut Hilton was cruel, and if he hated you, you would find yourself being shit talked (with ejaculating dicks drawn over your photos) every day on the blog. He said “"I'm like Madonna, I'm not afraid to offend.”He definitely had those that he loved (Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, and Dita Von Teese) and then those that he hated: Sienna Miller, Mischa Barton, Kirsten Dunst, LIndsay Lohan. He called them sluts. He accused them of being on drugs. Of being too fat or having eating disorders or just being spoiled brats. He was brutal. He labeled Suri Cruise and Victoria Beckham “aliens” and he would draw antennas on every photo of them. Mila Kunis said, "To me, he was the first person that created ugly news, that literally just spread filth. It was just mean, and so it allowed people to be mean." She suggested the "whole concept of trolling really didn't exist" prior to his blog.On October 11, 2007, a judge cleared the way for Hilton to be deposed in an ongoing defamation suit brought against him by DJ Samantha Ronson (another celebrity that he seemed to hate on constantly), after a post on PerezHilton.com claimed that she had planted cocaine in friend Lindsay Lohan's car and set Lohan up to be photographed while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.He also regularly accused Samantha and Lindsay being lovers, too. Which brings up another devastating addition to his voice. Perez Hilton is a gay man, but he seemed to simultaeously hate celebrities for being gay and hiding that they were gay. When former 'N Sync member Lance Bass came out as gay in 2006, Hilton received criticism for having been partially responsible in the outing. "It upsets me that people think what I'm doing is a bad thing," Hilton told Access Hollywood. "I don't think it's a bad thing. If you know something to be a fact, why not report it? Why is that still taboo? He had also for years been insisting that Neil Patrick Harris was gay...he eventually came out in 2006 He was also responsible for outing American Idol star Clay Aiken. Activist Kim Ficera said, “I have to question the character of a man who attacks others on such deeply personal levels, without provocation and for self-benefit, monetary or otherwise...If he's emotionally incapable of exhibiting even the tiniest bit of compassion for closeted people, if he can't be sensitive to the fact that coming out is a very personal decision and that the process can be difficult for some—especially celebrities—I feel sorry for him. If his juvenile behavior is his shtick, I think it makes him a much more pathetic figure, and one the gay and lesbian community should not support...If we support behavior like Hilton's, we applaud shallowness, arrogance, rage and invasion of privacy, and risk becoming what we despise” But Hilton has engaged in some other, well, fucked up shit over the years: On June 25, 2009, shortly after Michael Jackson had gone into cardiac arrest, Hilton posted an article about Jackson's illness, claiming it was a publicity stunt. In 2010, Hilton posted a Twitter message linking to an upskirt picture of Miley Cyrus, which allegedly showed the singer without underpants. Since Cyrus was still underage at the time, questions were raised as to whether or not child pornography charges could be raised. On August 17, 2007, citing exclusive sources, Hilton announced the death of Cuban President Fidel Castro and claimed that he was the first media outlet in the world to break the news. We know that this was untrue, because Castro did not in fact die until 2016. At one point, he met with Ariana Grande about becoming her manager. When she opted for someone else, he proceeded to tear her down on social media for years. He was also embroiled in all kinds of legal issues because it turns out that almost all the photos that he doodled over were...stolen. Ie, just copied off the internet. Which makes sense, because they were always really low res. And he would pick the worst, most unflattering shots. BECAUSE HE WAS A MEAN PERSONRecently he published an autobiography….and well, no one bought it. Because this is probably the most anyone else has talked about him in years.The Perez Hilton of the 20s is softer and gentler (allegedly)"I have a ton of regrets, particularly because I now see that I never needed to be so mean or cruel," he writes. "One of the many things I regret is that I hurt so many people by giving them nasty nicknames, and above all that I was unkind to the children of celebrities.Which just doesn’t make up for the fact that he kinda made internet bullying mainstream!!!
54 minutes | 2 months ago
Color Trends (pt 2): The Passion of Millennial Pink, Gen Z Color Trends, Kindercore + Wonderful Wiggly Design
Amanda and Kim take a deeper look into some more color trends that define us this episode!As previously mentioned in 2016 Pantone, for the first time ever, chose TWO Colors of the Year: Rose Quartz (aka millennial pink) and Serenity (a lavender blue). Last episode we mentioned that Pantone wasn’t the forerunner anymore on trend - as Millennial Pink had been pervasive for a few years now.Pantone credits the blurring of gender for the choice - not mentioning the obvious obsession with the color: According to Pantone.”In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design."Amanda points out that these colors weren’t necessarily groundbreaking. These colors were also used together frequently in the early age of the internet, found in both the Prodigy guidebook and the America Online welcome page.Rose Quartz (aka millennial pink) became the color of a generation, with Serenity as its sort of second runner up.Millennial Pink, also known as “Tumblr Pink” and “Scandi Pink” is not the same as Barbie pink, which was the pink shade of the aughts. This was a softer, less aggressive shade….some considered it a modern take on the color. New York magazine did an exhaustive, almost too dry article>> on the history of millennial pink citing here in a lot of her research. The New York Mag fashion editor Amy Larocca said, “often when Pantone declares Marsala Red or Radiant Orchid to be the next color to watch, we shrug knowingly, fully expecting to see that shade on shelves but not expecting it to invade our consciousness.”But millennial pink was different...it really did invade every aspect of clothing, graphic design, interior design, product design….it became a signature of the “blanding” aesthetic (refer to our episode on Blanding for MORE!)In November of 2014, the Color Marketing Group, a worldwide nonprofit color-forecasting group of which Pantone is a member, picked Shim, a deep pink-beige, as the 2016 emerging color (the group works two years in advance). It’s an early version of Millennial Pink. The Asia-Pacific members of the group are the first to notice the color and say that it represents a change in gender roles; the name Shim is a play on she and him. Mark Woodman, the former president of CMG, calls the color a “moment of quietude” and explains that “there’s so much stress that people think, What can I do in color and texture that I can take with me that gives me a moment to calm down?That same year, #palepink is the top used pink-related hashtag on Tumblr...a place that virtually birthed the pastel aesthetic! And I would say that the kids of Tumblr really lead the this paste revolution with all of the pastel aesthetic blogs, pastel goth.Every brand--whether it’s clothing, kitchen goods, furniture, you name it...has gotten into the millennial pink game at some point. ...but strangely none of the big car companies have? WHAT A MISS. Probably why Millennials aren’t buying cars! (please refer to our episode on Millennials Killing things ;).Traditionally considered a color of our youth -or femme girl icons like Paris Hilton, Leagally Blonde or House Bunny - it became popular beyond age, gender or taste. Fuelled by nostalgia and trend the color took over in a massive way.But millennial pink had a different, androgynous vibe. It was considered the “genderless mascot” of a generation. It’s also flattering and easy on the eyes, which doesn’t hurt!A few years ago Amanda read an amazing interview with one of her favorite bands, a Japanese girl band called Chai, who uses pink very heavily in its imagery and outfits! This quote from member Yuki really stuck with her: “In Japan, most girls like pink when they’re little. There is this cultural understanding that when you’re a young girl, you can wear pink, but as you grow older, pink is not the color for you. What we are trying to say is that pink is for everybody at every age. We wanted people to know it’s a cool color and it shows woman power. Our pink outfits show we’re not just cute: This is what cool women wear.”People would ask...why pink? A traditionally polarizing color!In 1918, the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department published an article saying, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls.”While this shade of pink is not new, it’s invasion of our consciousness and our surroundings began in earnest in 2013...so Amanda wanted to call out some iconic millennial pink moments: Glossier! It’s packaging, it’s products, the jumpsuits that its employees wear in the flagship store. The cover of Girlboss, Kim’s favorite book, and Sophia’s second book Nasty Galaxy The upper half of the Grand Budapest Hotel, the setting of the film by Wes Anderson Many subway cars in the Tokyo metro system are pink, sometimes to denote “women only” cars, but also just because science has proven that the color is so soothing to stressed out commuters. They also created special soothing music for each station for the same reason! The cover of Drake’s Hot Line Bling...which inspired so many graphic tee knockoffs! The Wing used it as the primary color for its locations What colors do we see trending with Gen Z? Gen Z Yellow was getting a lot of airplay in 2018 and a lot of people were hoping for another stand out color with the new generation that was swinging in with new market share and dollars at the ready. This year we see that the Pantone Color of the Year is in fact - Gen Z yellow. Will it eclipse Millennial Pink? Not likely!Nostalgic colors: 90’s colors and Y2K is trending Billie Eilish makes a lot of moves with color choice and style The New York Times, called Billie Eilish Gen Z’s fashion role model, suggesting it’s the “new generation’s rejection of the flirty babe aesthetic in favor of something more crazily improvised and less strenuously sexual.” She embraces Neons like UFO Green against statement blacks 2000’s - on tick tock girls are recreating the look complete with butterfly clips and frosted lips. Seafoam / Aqua 90’s Pink - bubblegum Lavender KindercoreAs we mentioned before whenever there is an existing mainstream trend, there is often a counter trend that will resonate strongly as people get exhausted by the status quo. So this minimalism trend of clean design and neutral color has been popular for years. As an opposing trend and one that taps into the zeitgeist to alleviate the darkness of the times, many designers from interior to fashion are turning to a movement called Kindercore. It is essentially a happier aesthetic rooted in primary & bubblegum colors, geometric shapes as well a new movement into fun squiggly shapes reminiscent of being a kid or in your kindergarten classroom. In general COLOR itself is trending more as mentioned as a macro trend toward Maximalism is starting to counterbalance out the years and years of minimalism. Maxamilism is trending like crazy right now with #maximalism having over 7.5 million views on TikTok. Kindercore plays on the design aesthetics inspired by Bauhaus, De Stijl and Memphis. We see it in various fashion - but it is most important right now in interiors and home goods. The clean lines of Midcentury modern will most likely always appeal and be “safe” - but this subverts that look. Chunky lines, chubby furniture and home goods, squiggles and extroverted color choices invoke a sense of carefree fun and wonder. Doing your whole space can be overwhelming but adding a few bold statement pieces make this trend consumer friendly.According to an interview in NY Mag in November - Jill Singer, the co-founder of Sight Unseen, attributes it to the collision of three separate trends: Memphis Milano (which has reached something of a saturation point in recent months), maximalism (“it’s in”), and a renewed interest in primary-color-focused artists, like Calder and Hockney. “All of that,” she says, “combined with the fact that the news is depressing. So why not a rainbow?”
96 minutes | 2 months ago
Pantone Trends: Clashing Colors, Considering the Color of the Year, Pantone & Pantyhose, Calvin Klein’s Coffee + Colorstrology
So the annual grand decree of Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2021 was released recently - For the second time since they started doing the Color of the Year Pantone released 2 colors. They have a bright yellow called Illuminating and a very basic stone grey called Ultimate Grey.Essentially it symbolizes strength and hope - The Pantone website>> describes their selection as:“Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another which best expresses the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021. Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.”We find that these ‘Color of the Year’s’ have been following the trend - not leading it lately - Yellow has been trending for at least 3 years. In 2018 industry people proclaimed this yellow Gen Z Yellow which was pegged to usurp Millennial Pink which rocked the color world last decade. But this wasn’t always the case.First and foremost the color of the year is meant to be aspirational as well as draw some pr momentum. Pantone has been doing the color of the year since 1999 - picking the color of the year for the next year - and set the precedent for a bunch of other paint and trend companies that also release their own color of the year. Color of the year started as a marketing tool to liven up the color standards business - put a little hype and serious pr spectacle into the game. Starting in 2000 the first official color chosen was Cerulean, a light blue said to capture the angst about Y2K- This color represents the millennium because of the calming zen state of mind it induces. Since the founding Pantone has figured out how to capitalize on this more and more - they now enter into licensing agreements with various companies - from nail polish to hotel suites - so that the color is everywhere and these brands are on trend as well. So in essence it is a self fulfilling prophecy. Ultimately the color of the year and the colors they forecast for the season are really about selling merchandise and informing a similar palette brand’s use in unison to come together on a color trend. The more customers see a color the more they lean into it - essentially - so it is a catalyst for a color trend and makes them appear as a reliable resource.Interestingly however - The colors are designed to create obsolescence - after a few months the color loses interest and is considered pase because it was last year’s color. Previous year’s Pantone-branded coffee mugs for example are often seen marked down. The annual update on iPhone colors for instance, is meant for consumers to covet a new phone every year.Here is a great article: Why Does Pantone Choose a Color of the Year>> Pantone Officially defines their choice and methodology as: “A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. Trends across all categories and industries reflect the culture we live in. As marketers, our primary goal to be successful is to connect with people and to do that, it is important to be in touch with these trends.”The Busines Insider came out with a compelling article this year after the 2021 colors were announced called ‘Pantone's Colors of the Year are intended to reflect 'resilience and hope' for 2021. But the annual decision also has a trickle-down effect on everything from high fashion to iPhones.’ by Avery Hartmans>>Avery examines how Pantone's Color of the Year is meant to make a statement that they obviously serve another purpose: setting the tone for the consumer products industry and kick-starting a trickle-down effect that can last for years.“Hartmans gives this reference - that Cerulean was the color of the year in 2000- then There's an iconic scene in the 2006 film "The Devil Wears Prada" that helps explain the color phenomenon. In the film, Anne Hathaway's character, Andy, quietly scoffs at two similar-looking turquoise belts someone had just described as being "so different." Andy's reaction leads Meryl Streep's character, Miranda Priestly, to turn on her and unleash a seemingly calm yet undeniably eviscerating explanation of the power of the fashion industry and its trickle-down effect on consumer products. To drive home her point, Priestly uses Andy's blue sweater as an example: it's not just blue, it's cerulean, and four years prior, designers Oscar de la Renta and Yves Saint Laurent had both used cerulean in their runway collections. The color then made its way through other designers' collections, into department stores, and finally into the average person's closet. "That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs," Priestly says “ - the same cerulean that 2 years prior was the chosen color of the year from Pantone.The Pantone Color of the year is determined by a top-secret group of industry experts, the annual selection is run by the consulting department known as the Pantone Institute. Months before the announcement, Pantone actually collaborates with various brands to unleash an avalanche of products in the exact hue they specify. No matter if that color is flattering or works in that product. Pantone is big business and here is why the 2015 Color Marketing Group survey found that 85% of customers say color affects their purchasing decisions.Colorful Times We Live In ︎After the Septembr 11th attacks Pantone chose True Red in dedication of the event. It was a remembrance of the fallenn and courageous as chosen as a patriotic and powerful color. It was also a representation of love and something that Pantone believed was needed during this year.Sand Dollar was chosen to express concerns about the 2006 economy. As a warm neutral shade, it relaxes and soothes nerves because it reminds us of the desert and soft sandy beaches.2009 we see glamorously named Mimosa to express hope, reassurance as well as optimism and innovation to counterbalance the economic uncertainty and political change.For the first time ever, in 2016 there were 2 colors chosen together as the color of the year. This choice coincided with the discussions of societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity. Also, the warm embracing rose tone and the tranquil blue reflected the need for connection and relaxation in turbulent times.Coral was a hot color - a distillation of pink and really wearable. I saw this everywhere in the market a year or two before Pantone claimed it as a prophecy.The 2020 Pantone color of the year is one of great controversy - it is just basic, what they call, “classic blue”. It was kinda like a what the fuck moment in the industry. It was just so - well, yeah, basic.HIlariously - Evan Nicole Brown published an article in Fast Company called Pantone’s Color of the Year is Awful>>.She goes on to say “Classic Blue is the color equivalent of watching Friends.” “Classic Blue” is as forgettable, as pedestrian, and as safe as a TV show about six people who all look alike. I’m not offended by “Classic Blue,” but I’m offended that Pantone has assigned it the vitally important role of ushering in a new decade, particularly one that follows a decade as tumultuous as the 2010s. “Classic Blue” feels aggressively 1997…. Pantone, the leading color trend and palate curation company since 1962, describes “Classic Blue” as “a timeless and enduring blue hue . . . elegant in its simplicity,” adding: “Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era…. To me, the hue calls to mind Facebook’s logo and my Google Docs icon. A vivid blue reminder of data surveillance and the tireless demands of work in 2019 doesn’t exactly soothe the soul.”WGSN + Coloro Color of the Year 2021AI Aqua ︎On an interesting note here - WGSN one of the largest industry trend forecasting companies - partnered with Coloro another color service like Pantone and their color of the year for 2021 is AI Aqua - they approach picking their color with slightly different criteria. They want a color that will be successful for their clients - so they do a lot of trend research to land on their color. According to an article in 2019 (they choose colors 2 years out to clients have time to develop into them) from Dezeen who spoke to WGSN about the selection of the colour>> is described by the brand as a "positive" hue, that is "both sporty and trend-forward". When selecting a colour, WGSN's research method involves examining significant developments within various industries as well as socio-economic conditions. WGSN's head of colour Jane Monnington Boddy told Dezeen. "Going forward, technology is only going to become a more integral part of our lives...The digital world will become faster, more efficient, and in turn we will become even more connected and aligned...When selecting AI Aqua, the team looked in particular at the arrival of 5G, which is being rolled out to devices this year and is set to be widely available by 2021.The team found that blue shades were popular for internet searches, and for the branding of tech companies.” Monnington Boddy was a designer in the 1990s and she explains that "Blue is a colour that has always been commercial in fashion – you always have to have blue in your palette..When she was a designer in the 1990s, she always had to include blue because it sold, but it was never pin-pointed as a fashion colour. Whereas now, it's coming through as a statement colour – the tone of Aqua AI is a lot more digestible for most people. They go on to say that since the mass obsession of Millennial PInk around 2016 people are much more accepting of color and even bright colors these days then in the past where neutrals and blacks were reigning supreme. Bright colors are optimistic and happy and consumers are craving more color during these last few turbulent years. In fact :"We've found that rather than replacing black – sales of which remain strong – these colours are actually taking some of the market share that was previously occupied by neutral and natural colours."Pantone & PantyhoseAmanda opens up the swatch book further to explore the story and history behind the famous Pantone - a staple tool in the fashion and design industry amongst many others.From its original start in the 1950’s the company was originally M & J Levine Advertising out of New Jersey. The owners hired a visionary by the name of Lawrence Herbert in 1956 as a part time employee - with the job to systematize and simplify the company's stock of pigments and production of colored ink. by 1962, Herbert was running the ink and printing division at a profit...while the commercial-display division run by the Levin brothers was $50,000 in debt (which was about half a million dollars in 2021). Herbert purchased the company's technological assets from the Levine Brothers for $50,000 (paying off that debt) and renamed the company Pantone. He saw that the future was color and systemizing it, rather than just printing stuff.One day in the early 60’s, while driving to work, Herbert was pondering a better, more consistent way to systemize color. You see, he had recently produced a display card for a pantyhose display, that was intended to help customers choose the right shades for them. This had been an arduous process, because there were no inks in existence at that point that matched exactly, and so Herbert had literally hand mixed all the colors to match each pantyhose swatch. At that point, there was no consistency between ink manufacturers, so you could order taupe or wheat from five different companies and receive five totally different colors. This led to a lot of this hand mixing and just wasted time.The solution--as far as Herbert saw it--was to create a numbered system. Herbert said:“If somebody in New York wanted something printed in Tokyo, they would simply open up the book and say, ‘Give me Pantone 123,’123 (a daffodil yellow) would look exactly the same the world over. Herbert created a sample page to show how the system worked and sent it to ink makers. He still owns a copy of that page!By the 1970s, Pantone was making more than a million dollars a year off of licensing its color system, called the Pantone Matching System, also called unfortunately PMS. Pantone has formulated 1867 colors for graphic designers who create logos, print publications, and product packaging. There are 2,310 Pantone colors for fashion and interior designers.And while the Pantone system was originally intended for advertising, it has been adapted for food science, plastics, paints, textiles...even some stranger uses:It was used to define the color of a Ben + Jerry’s brownie--to ensure consistency in ice cream production.“I have matched color charts for wine,” Herbert said. “I matched color charts for anemia blood samples and for walnuts and strawberries and goldfish.”Calvin Klein kept a Pantone chip in the kitchen to signal to his chef what color he wanted his coffee to be.Tiffany & Co.'s iconic robins-egg blue is actually PMS number 1837 (the brand's founding year). Pantone created the custom color for the brand, which is trademarked and not available in any fan book. It remains one of the most well-recognized brand-color associations in the world.Having a brand-specific color...especially developed by Pantone must cost a fortune, but studies have indicated that color is very important to customers when making decisions! From Secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo 200492.6% said that they put most importance on visual factors when purchasing products. Only 5.6 percent said that the physical feel via the sense of touch was most important. Hearing and smell each drew 0.9 percent.When asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7% of the total respondents think that color accounts for more than half among the various factors important for choosing products.Starbuck's green, the Hermes orange, the red on the sole of Christian Louboutin, and Coca-Cola's red are all Pantone customized colors under trademark protectionThe Pantone PeopleOnly five people in the world have ever had their own Pantone colors: Jay-Z: pearlescent blue, real estate CEO Sherry Chris: a bright pink, fashion designer Jason Wu: grey, the late British fashion designer Richard Nicoll: an elegant blue, Prince: Love Symbol #2 For all of you fans of The Crown: Working with ad agency Leo Burnett, Pantone released a limited edition color guide inspired by Queen Elizabeth's "fashion-forward colour statements" to celebrate the monarch's 60-year reign--her diamond jubilee--in 2012. The palette highlights Her Majesty's love of monochromatic dressing.Minions Yellow: For the release of the Minions movie in 2015, Pantone partnered with Universal Pictures to create an animated character-inspired color -- its first release in three years. The chosen hue is meant to exude “hope, joy and optimism.”In 2020, Pantone partnered with health brand Intimina to create an "active and adventurous" red colour to start a positive conversation around periods. The blood-red hue is presented on a Pantone-branded card with an outline of a womb and ovary with a menstrual cup inside.The pantone library is constantly evolving--especially as technology around producing color and materials changs--in 2020, Pantone added 315 colors to its libraryThere are over 50 new shades of pink, a colour that the brand believes has "embraced new meanings and relevance beyond it's traditional gendered and child-like status". Among them are First Blush, Viva Magenta and Tender Touch.More than 70 new blues will also be available. Some of the cooler hues, like Frozen Fjord, nod to icy natural landscapes, while brighter, green-infused shades like Exotic Plume and Gulf Coast are meant to evoke a more summery, tropical feel.Some of the added shades – such as Weathered Teak and Island Fossil – are supposed to offer a nuanced take on neutrals and taupes, which Pantone thinks are "too often seen as a single colour" but can offer "endless subtleties".Meanwhile, I found this comment on an article about the new colors that I must share, from a user named “Geobob,” (his avatar is a jester): I'm sure designers have been waiting for all these shades with baited breath. But it brings to mind the famous scene in the 1948 film Mr Blandings Builds his Dream House, where Myrna Loy spends ages explaining the subtle colour scheme she wants - "...a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin's egg... not just yellow, a very gay yellow ...etc etc". Only for the decorator to declare that he got it - "Red, green, blue, yellow, white."X-Rite, a supplier of color measurement instruments and software, purchased Pantone for $180 million in October 2007 Industrial conglomerate Danaher Corporation paid $625 million to acquire X-Rite in 2012, Danaher is a mega company that primarily owns health and science related brands. Now, selling books of color chips is a massive business. Pantone recommends that designers replace color specimen books annually...which in my experience, doesn’t really happen because the books are SOOOO expensive A complete set of color specification books for graphic designers costs $1,620. You can tear little perforated chips out of this book to share with vendors and designers fashion designers pay $7395 for a Pantone cotton swatch library The wand is the budget version...nothing to tear out and share here, but at least you can share the number of the shade, and that’s about $300. I actually had a job where I had to pay for this out of my own pocket and it was painful!!! Because the current owner of Pantone isn’t publicly traded, we don’t have a view into how much the brand makes every year...BUT we can assume it’s a lot, because Pantone has shifted from being a tool and a name recognizable to designers and industry insiders, to a virtually household name through big name collabs and the “mainstreamification” of design and aesthetic (think of magazines like Dwell, or Tumblr, Pinterest,)...this combination has made Pantone a big brand! Pantone ProductsAmanda reviews some of the Pantone branded products like Folding chairs, ornaments, mugs, notebooks, iphone cases, passport cases, children’s books...pantone has made it all over the years. You can find some of it on their site under “pantone lifestyle.”SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSEThe first SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE collection was released in 2011 with Tangerine Tango. It was a huge hit, and paved the path for many successful collections. 2018 may have been the last year of the collab (it is hard to find answers) but after a few years of some really difficult cosmetic colors the union ran its course.ColorstrologyColorstrology: What Your Birthday Color Says about You>>Michele Bernhardt, a healer and metaphysician, wrote Colorstrology, which blends astrology, numerology, and color theory to define a person's birthday color and align it with a specific Pantone color.From the official description :Written by renowned astrologer Michele Bernhardt using the numbers and color schemes of Pantone, Inc., the global authority on color, the system features 366 “birthday colors” that illustrate who we are and how we behave. Using Colorstrology, you’ll quickly understand how to enhance your best personality traits with your birthday color.”
116 minutes | 2 months ago
Slumber Party Series (Ch.2): 80’s & 90’s Hair Trends, ‘The Rachel’, ‘The Demi’ ‘The Drew’, Crimping Craze & Torture tools, Herbal Essences & Salon Selectives + Much More!
To coincide with our Slumber Party theme we thought that no slumber party was complete without the hair - which was such an important part of the late 80’s and 90’s. Mainly inspired by celebrities, models and musicians - hair was dramatic and a zeitgeist of the times. History of Hair 101 (well just for the 80s and 90s...)Humongous Hair : 80’s Hair Kim takes a look at some of the epic hair trends of the 80’s - where the bigger the better. As the 80’s were a decade of excess the hair followed and the 80’s was a mutation of the big hair ideals of the 70’s. The 80’s got messier and curlier as perms reigned supreme. Crimping followed suit as a home texture. We also got the mullet, asymmetric bob and Princess Di’s Sloan Ranger feather, french braid, big bow and scrunchie styles with Whale Spout and Palm Tree. The peak of the big hair trend hit in 1987 and deflated after then. Minimal Insanity: 90’s Hair Iconic celebrity hairstyles defined the generation and fashionable forward hair was extremely important -I would almost argue that young celebrities would get a cool edgy cut to stand out and get featured more in tabloids and news coverage “The Demi”As we moved from 80’s excess into the 90’s - big hair was considered “tacky” and minimalism trended. 1990 - Ghost hit the theaters and the clean, cropped adrogenous style was a turning point. Inspired by Linda Evangelista’s dramatic cut in 1988 that subsequently got her banned from the runway but then became ultra fashionable in Paris and then the world. Short hair saw a major trend in all fashions from the most forward celebrities (see the Drew Effect) and daring followers. “The Rachel”The Rachel could arguably be one of the most influential haircuts of all time. The haircut by stylist stylist Chris McMillan debuted in 1995 on the Friends episode “The One With the Evil Orthodontist." There is a great article that explores the Rachel hair trend from Mental Floss written by Jay Seravino called The One where Jennifer Aniston's 'Rachel' Haircut on Friends Became a Phenomenon.With elaborate highlights and its roots in the shag “the Rachel '' took America by storm after being introduced and was big business for America’s hair salons. "That show has made us a bunch of money," Lisa Pressley, an Alabama hairstylist, said back in 1996. Pressley was giving around four "Rachels'' per week to women ages 13 to 30, and she was touching up even more than that. Another hairdresser estimated that, during that time, 40 percent of her business from female clients came from the "Rachel." The funny thing is that Rachel is a really hard style to maintain - it takes a stylist to perfectly blow it out and style it everydayThe Definitive Guide of Hair Torture Tools in the 80’s & 90’sWielding the power of tv and prime teen time hair care and tool commercials aired for teens and tweens during shows like Saved By the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210. Additionally this was also the golden era of the teen magazine, Seventeen, YM, Teen, Sassy, etc to showcase such showstopping tools. Conair Crimping & Curling EmpireFrom wikipedia>>: Founded in 1959 in a garage in Queens, New York, Conair started out by selling hair rollers and then hair dryers. It continued to expand, and became a public company in 1972, but then went private again after a leveraged buyout in 1985. It was owned by the co-founder and chairman Leandro Rizzuto until his death in 2017. In 2002 Rizzuto pleaded guilty to tax evasion associated with his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Conair, and was sentenced to a prison term of 20 to 37 months. Conair is one of the largest producers of hair care appliances, ranging from hair dryers and styling irons to its innovative hair curlers, Curl Secret and Miracurl Stylers. The company also manufactures a wide range of home kitchen appliances under its brands Cuisinart and Waring. As mentioned ...Cuisinart ResortGeometricksThis styling kit came with not one but five attachments: a zigzag iron, a spiral iron, a triangle iron (??), a crimping iron, and a straightening iron. Amanda and Kim and likely everyone in this age range had this. Clearly a lot of marketing dollars spent behind it. Geometricks also came with a free styling book...allegedly a $2.99 value! And while we pored over that book like it was going to clue us into the mysteries of life, It never successfully made our hair look remotely good!!!Twist ‘N Curl TrioWhile we are here talking about miracle 5 in 1 inventions, I think it’s important to give an honorable mention to the Conair 3-in-1 trio, which seemed to be for working with really tight curls...the sign that you had a really good and fresh perm! It included a 3/8-inch rod, a 5/8-inch rod, and a round styling brush.Conair Impressions ...which was like a crimper, except it created shapes--using heat--in your hair. Stars, hearts, and a lightning bolt. There was also a flat straightening plate, so I guess it was somewhat functional. Conair was really into this multi use stuff!Amanda also had this one and considered it super useless and essentially future garbage. She recalls making hearts in her hair for Valentines Day and her mom asking her, “what is going on with your hair? It’s weird and flat in places.” Wah wah. The commercial--which was filled with magical sound effects and animation urged girls to “MAKE AN IMPRESSION NO ONE WILL FORGET.”Conair Hot Sticks ...were a little bit more sophisticated. They were long, hot sticks that you had to wrap your hair around and then lock into a loop at the end. On one hand, they actually worked--unlike everything else we’ve talked about so far--and they looked really good!!! But, on the other hand, you had to experience the hanging of burning your hands while you rolled up your hair. There was no “cool” part of the rod to hold onto. Also, they definitely burned/irritated your scalp. They can be incredible in the hands of a professional however so there may be use for them still once you get the tricks. Clairol BendersWhich Amanda also owned at some point. Similar to Hot Sticks, but rather than sticking the end through a loop, you just sort of bent them around themselves. These were super heavy, super hot, and always smelled like burning plastic. We can argue that the commercial for Benders was WAY better than Hot Sticks, showing a woman on the subway with her hair in Benders . It was a rap-adjacent type song, that said things like “you’re gonna curl your hair/you’re gonna make them stare.”Clairol Lock N Roll...which were these weird like basket shaped curlers called Spoolies. Of course Amanda owned these, and well, they don’t work with thick or long hair...so they were sort of a lost cause for her. They were nearly impossible to figure out!! Yet another product that was good in theory, but incredibly disappointing in practice! Braun Curl N Go Cord Free Iron...which rather than plugging into the wall, used these butane--yes the same thing used in lighters--cartridges to heat themselves up. There were several models of this and one of them was called The Independent. The commercial featured a woman riding in a black Porsche while curling her hair, which is very relatable for a junior high girl. Of course, Amanda had this one too and swears she never used it because she was afraid of running out of butane. The cartridges were expensive!!Tiny hair dryersWhy were they tiny? Who knows, but it was a trend. And they all smelled like burning hair NO MATTER WHAT. The most popular was the Conair Wild Thing 1250, which was an animal print hair dryer (purple and teal) with a neon green cord. We all had this one. And it always smelled like something was burning. Epic AccessoriesComb BandThe number one most tortuous device was the stretch comb headband, also called a zigzag headband. It basically pulled all of your hair back super tightly--scratching your forehead along the way, and giving you a headache that intensified throughout the day. Banana Clip.Whoever invented these was a monster. If you wanted pain all day, but you wanted to also have poofy mall bangs, then this was the device for you! But let’s just say you wanted to combine these two torture devices into one...well don’t worry, we’ve got them! It’s a comb banana clip! ClipsThe 90s were also all about clips...but specifically teen tiny butterfly clips and massive oversized clips.HairagamiBasically velour covered snap bracelets, these were supposed to give you elegant updos...unless your hair was thin, too thick, too long, or too short . The slogan was "just fold, wrap, and snap!The commercial starts with “in Japan, the art of folding paper is origami. ...now experience the art of folding hair with HAIRAGAMI.”Topsy Tail“If you can make a pony tail, you can Topsy Tail."Hairdini “Magic styling wand”--alleged to give you the kind of hairstyles that you might get for $50 at a hair salon! And it came with a VHS that showed styling tips!Part PizzazzFrom the makers of Hairagami--this gave you a zig zag part, which we totally remember being obsessed with having! “Want to know the secret art to getting that Hollywood part?”Historical Haircare The 80's required more volume, more curls, more teasing and thus MORE PRODUCTS to go with that perm or crimp. Gel, mousse and hairspray were hot. In comes the most popular brands LA Looks, Dep, Stu-Stu-Studio Line, Rave and Aussie (the latter apparently is considered rather toxic despite the claims to natural ingredients>> with a 1.1/10 rating by the Natural Skincare Authority). Utilizing celebrity influence hair care companies hired celebrities and supermodels to be spokespeople for their brands like Sharon Stone with Finesse, Brooke Shields was with Wella Balsam, Christie Brinkly was with Prell. The New Era Salon Selectives hit the scene hot to trot with Commercials that implied that you could look like the perfectly and professionally styled model asking : "Why do some women look like they just stepped out of a salon?" They claim it's because those women simply use Salon Selectives products and used their 7 levels to find the perfect chemistry for your type of hair. With british accents and scientific cross sections - Salon Selectives really offered a premium apple scented experience. This led into the vitamin infused hair care that is still popular today - including Pantene Pro-V and Revlon Outrageous. Clairol’s Herbal EssencesWith a scent forward angle, natural and stand out orgasmic ads Herbal Essences took serious market share. Although super popular in the 90s the line was actually started in the 70’s as the singular Herbal Essence. The original product distinguished itself with its amazing scent different from anything on the market the brand tapped into the desire for scent in the industry as well as the demand for more naturally inspired products that coincided with the trend in the 70s toward natural foods, herbal teas and herbal beauty products. The product was tired by the 90s and went through a bit of a rebrand and relaunch over at Clairol - Adding an “s” and releasing four different varieties of shampoo and conditioner, made for different hair needs. "They wanted people to understand that there are different wildflower essences in this [new] product,". This is also when what is arguably the most iconic Herbal Essences bottle — clear, with a reverse label that could be seen through the shampoo (instead being pasted on the front) and a dark green cap — came onto the scene. This new variety of ingredients "did extremely well," and was in fact “on fire."[Clairol] was the first brand to really look at how to use these natural ingredients and the variety of ingredients to deliver these different types of benefits" to more than one hair texture.The real cincher were the commercials that really stood out and stayed in the customers heads - featuring women doing mundane tasks like riding the elevator or gossiping - when she suddenly is in a shower lathering up with Herbal Essences and experiencing pure orgasmic pleasure induced by the scents. The ads were a hit and commercials ran through the early 2000s. Kara McGrath over at Bustle has a whole article about the cult of Herbal Essences for even more details.
102 minutes | 2 months ago
Murder, They Wrote: Millennials Kill Everything. The Mercy Killings of Applebee’s to the American Mall, Light Yogurt to Napkins and everything in between.
The trope of millennials “killing” things has been a nuisance since the early part of the aughties - emerging as a kick bait headline initially by Boomers recognizing industry declines with fingerpointing angled toward millennials who’s consumer tastes, income, and spending habits have varied so drastically than their predecessors. Millennials have been blamed for killing tons of passe things - from cars, to napkins to golf. Many we welcome with open arms that were based on outdated fads like Light Yogurt or a misguided attempt by corporations to lure in a “younger” mindset resistant as well as not financially secure enough to be able to support. Around 2012/2013 bad press started coming out about Millennials - mostly written by Boomers - about the generations laziness and entitlement. Kate Dries reported for The New York Times in 2013, trend pieces portrayed millennials as materialistic but cheap. One of the most famous was a Time Magazine article titled “The me me me generation - Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents. Why they’ll save us all.” Yikes. More sensationalized sentiments blossomed - particularly articles with Millennials Killing things in them. One headline in The Christian Science Monitor in 2012: "Millennial generation could kill the NFL." Forbes, the same year: "Is Gen Y's Live-At-Home Lifestyle Killing The Housing Market?" By 2014, things had really heated up, with "promiscuous" millennials killing McDonald's because they apparently lacked fast-food loyalty. By 2016 Millennials were getting fed up and were lashing back. The most famous was a tweet by The Economist asking why Millenials were not buying as many diamonds. The reality of the matter is that the Millennial generation "are less well off than members of earlier generations when they were young, with lower earnings, fewer assets, and less wealth." which was reported in a statement by the Federal Reserve. They also said the discrepancy could be explained primarily by the fact that millennials came of age during the Great Recession, kneecapping their financial well-being in their early adulthood.The Casual Decline of the Casual Corporate Chain Heavy hitting restaurants in the 80’s and 90’s were often themed chain establishments with a taste for the fattier things in life. Well guess what. Millennials have Murdered them. Say goodbye to your favorites like Ruby Tuesday, Applebees, TGIFridays, Chili’s and Old Country Buffet. The slump of sales is attributed to Millennials not doing their bit and frequenting these Great American Pastimes. Funny thing is that 40% of the American food budget is spent eating out - but looks like Millennials are going elsewhere….We break it down: Authenticity Conscious Consumerism (eating local, farm to table, etc) More options and Indie restaurants. A move away from the mall Food quality and menu Budget Cooking at Home Yelp Fast Casual Delivery Apps Instagram and the rise of food picture culture Make sure to check out the movie Waiting… if you haven’t done so already. Breastaurants - not as bouncy as they used to be. Hooters is showing cracks with 7% closure rate and counting - with the pandemic wiping out more locations. It mostly comes down to crappy food and out of date uniforms - cuz Twin Peaks down the street (Hooters for Foodies with a lumberjack theme) is doing better than fine. Gen Z is gobbling up Fast Food MerchThere is a huge trend in Fast Food Chains - trending with the Gen Z kids - particularly with their merch. Lots of homebody and apparel stuff coming from McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, KFC and even Pizza Hut. The Erasure of the Ethnic AisleThe “ethnic aisle” is seeing a rehabilitation as the definition of “mainstream” American food gets rewritten. Make sure to check out Omson - a fantastic starter meal kit company you don’t have to go to the grocery aisle to get! The co-founder Vanessa Pham contends: "The grocery-store layout should be mapped to how the rest of the country looks. Noodles should be next to pasta. Asian condiments should be next to Western condiments,"Millennials, Like, Murdered MallsWell, no - cultural and wealth distribution as well as technological advances killed the mall. As of 2019, mall vacancies were at a seven-year high - with pre-pandemic reports claiming between 20% to 25% of malls will close by 2022. We can only imagine post pandemic these numbers will be worse.With lack of sales “anchor” stores have quickly left underperforming malls - causing more casualties of other stores and soon barren wastelands. Check out the beauty of these abandoned malls - We recommend checking out the work of Seph Lawless, a photographer who specializes in abandoned places.So, like, what’s up? Rise of ecommerce, savvy shoppers & convenience culture Out of date Mass Market retailers also out of touch They were too late to have an online presence They were tone deaf about social justice movements like #metoo (Victoria’s Secret) They couldn’t adjust to the world of fast fashion They didn’t sign on to any social responsibility and sustainability They didn’t do a good job at social media The stores looked dated...they don’t look good on social media Their clothes just weren’t on trend, or the brand image didn’t really mean anything...just bad branding all around Demand for better Millennials are poor! They make up the largest share of the U.S. workforce, but control just 4.6 percent of the country's total wealth. The average Baby Boomer working in 1989 during their early 30s had 4X the wealth that today’s millennials have (when adjusted for inflation). They also had 26% of the wealth at that time, compared with the 4.6 percent that millennials have. So just a major shift in wealth for this generation. In total, Boomers have twice the wealth of Generation Xers (who aren’t doing that great either), and 10 times the wealth of millennials And then there is the debt! The average millennial has nearly $30,000 in personal debt, with about $19,000 of that being student loans. And because of all of this debt, and about a 20% decrease in average salary from the boomers, millennials have very little savings and they have an average net worth of less than $8000 The Experience MythSo yes, millennials say they prioritize experiences: A survey from Eventbrite, a "marketplace for live event experiences," found that 78% of millennials respondents would rather spend money on an experience than a thing, and 77% said their best memories come from experiences,But guess what, Boomers say they do the same thing at almost the same rate (74%)! And economists have said, yeah, millennials were spending less money on stuff when they were in their 20s, but when they hit their 30s, their spending on consumer goods increased to a pretty average level.And millennials love to treat themselves: According to Fidelity Investments' 2018 Millennial Money Study - 86% said they treat themselves at least once a month, setting them back $110 a month on average.What’s, like, Next? Well - lots of innovation - taking that space and transforming it to align with the consumer trends and actual needs. There’s talk of Amazon showrooms, indoor villages of housing, gyms, medical clinics, charter schools, restaurants, theatres, grocery stores.
97 minutes | 3 months ago
Tragic Trends Girlboss Bonus Episode: The Merch Table - Micro Trends, Schadenfreude, Swear Words, Ironic Tees
Amanda and Kim chit chat about Amanda’s husband Dustin getting back into making hats. You can find his work here @industryandagriculture As a special request, Kim explores the collapse of the Manrepeller empire and the ramifications to the fashion community. A listener reached out to ask why “we” as in “us women” derive pleasure in seeing the collapse of girl bosses.Amanda unpacks the concept of Schadenfreude and why we find so much pleasure at the downfall of these girlbosses and how envy as well as justice impacts our thought patterns. Envy:Envy is the most common basic personality trait shaping human behavior -- and is found among almost one-third of the human population The study on human behavior found that 90 per cent of the human population can be divided into four main basic personality traits -- optimistic, pessimistic, trusting and envious….and envious was the biggest group among the studied participants...at 30% Justice:2017 article from Buzzfeed called Feminist Hypocrisy Is The New Trend In Startup NarrativesAs one employee told Jezebel in June 2015: "I want the young women who are applying to Nasty Gal thinking it will be their dream job to know the truth behind the company’s external image of glitz and glamour. I saw too many incredibly hard working, ambitious, and eager people lose so much self confidence, self worth and motivation, including myself. And I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”BitternessExpectations toward women can be higher when in reality these female founders were just out for themselves. “In the end, it's worth asking why we're so ready to lionize anyone — man, woman, or otherwise — just because they say all the right things. Certainly the stories about the hypocrisies of women like Amoruso, Agrawal, and Huffington feel even more deliciously ironic because of their founders' messaging. But the basic reason they treat employees badly, and the excuse they use when they're called out, is that they, like most business owners, want to be successful — that is, make money.”Let 2020 Be The Year We Get Rid Of Girlboss Culture For Good - Refinery 29 article from Vicky Spratt Jan 2020 “'Girlboss' is a sexist Trojan horse” - and arguably a Trojan horse of toxic hustle culture & commodified feminism. Kim explores the trend of the Future is Female slogan and how that evolved as a feminist mantra - bringing in a wave of feminist fashion statement tees. While Fourth-wave Feminism was really the first of its kind to leverage social media - it can be argued that the accessibility to easy supply chain developments made this type of feminism easily commodifiable and became a superficial fashion trend with the fashion industry grabbing on and using the trend to boost sales. n an attempt to reclaim Babe and Bitch and give the air an edge - “Badass” women's stuff gained popularity in 2014 coinciding to the 2013 release of You are a badass self-help books. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome LifeThis also opened the doors for other extreme left products like mugs with “men’s tears” printed on them.Have any pressing queries for feminists? May we recommend asking the group over at the subreddit: r/AskFeminists? The micro trend of mental health and self care was sort of a subgenera of girlboss - with companies and founders like Ban.do being founded or finding ground with their customer base around these issues - sometimes to a tone deaf degree. The irony is not lost on any of the employees of these established retailers whose mental health suffered at the hands of the founders as well. Amanda recommends everyone read this book Self Care: A Novel.A b-side of this Girlboss merch comes in the form of Hustle crap. TGIM (thank goodness it’s Monday), Hustle Harder, Rise and Grind, Tired and Proud….mantras to keep pushing the millennial to work them to the bone. Another microtrend was the trend of commercializing Icons like RGB, Golden Girls, Dolly, Hillary and Bey. With the offshoot of commodifying the female body itself - uteruses, boobs, vaginas, butts in every product imaginable. The irony of feminist tees being made by underpaid women in sweatshops or disposable plastic tchotchkes that are ultimately terrible for the environment is not lost on us. Feminists tees powered a lot of engines - some small brands to fuel growth and some fast fashion and fashion houses to follow the trend of the feminist slogan tees. “it’s a good reminder that a progressive slogan doesn’t necessarily make something progressive by osmosis." How do we avoid history repeating itself? Especially in other categories of industry like politics? Age of accountability: On June 22, in an article on Medium.com, writer Leigh Stein proclaimed “The End of Girlboss Is Here.” - “The girlboss didn’t change the system; she thrived within it. Now that system is cracking, and so is this icon of millennial hustle.” - systematic changes are the only solution which was the turning point this summer with the Black Lives protests and ability for the individual to keep companies and people accountable. New Wave of Female founders have the opportunity to make a difference . In this first episode we talked about how investors looked for a specific type of founder - one with a huge following and alpha personality. We can only hope that these investors change the way they invest: Don’t Give Money to Assholes and that they practice their own version of conscious consumerism or investor-ism. Don’t Invest in Assholes more like it. Role Models - the need for good role models is more important than ever!
74 minutes | 3 months ago
Tragic Trends: Cult of Girlboss (Part 1 The Rise) - Broken Rung, For-Profit Feminism, Role Models and The New B Word
Coined in 2014 #girlboss was popularized by Sophia Amoruso’s autobiography and aspirational business tome - skyrocketing to popular culture through heavy use of social media frenzy and the rise of the ambitious Millennial women in the workplace. Spawned from the proliferation of “girlboss” came Bossbabe, SHE-EO, Mompreneur, and Boss Bitch appealing to a (mostly white) pseudo-feminist with a nack for business with the intention of lifting up the women around. By 2020 the cracks started to show and these concepts became shunned while businesses crumbled around it. How did this start? 2010Millennials were at a pivotal age (14-29) - coming out as an aspirational force in the workplace and 2010 - for the first time ever in American history - women outnumber men. Besides that the job market was changing drastically - new jobs, VC funding, silicon valley, et al. In 2010 Hanna Rosin released an article with The Atlantic titled “The End of Men”- theorizing that due to a culture shift, women have essentially won the gender war. “Earlier this year, for the first time in American history, the balance of the workforce tipped toward women, who now hold a majority of the nation’s jobs. The working class, which has long defined our notions of masculinity, is slowly turning into a matriarchy, with men increasingly absent from the home and women making all the decisions. Women dominate today’s colleges and professional schools—for every two men who will receive a B.A. this year, three women will do the same. Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women. Indeed, the U.S. economy is in some ways becoming a kind of traveling sisterhood: upper-class women leave home and enter the workforce, creating domestic jobs for other women to fill.” Not So FastThe Glass Ceiling continued to hold women back from the executive level - McKinsey Reported back in 2011: “As has been well documented, Corporate America has a “leaky” talent pipeline: At each transition up the management ranks, more women are left behind... women represent 53% of new hires... At the very first step in career advancement (which they will later call in other reports the “broken wrung” which is an ever present foe to women even today)—when individual contributors are promoted to managers—the number drops to 37%. Climbing higher, only 26% of vice presidents and senior executives are female and only 14% of the executive committee, on average, are women. At this point women are doubly handicapped because, as our research of the largest US corporations shows, 62% are in staff jobs that rarely lead to a CEO role; (in contrast, 65% of men on executive committees hold line jobs.) This helps explain why the number of women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies appears stuck at 2-3%.”Role ModelsSo with such a low number of women advancing left few role models for women - particularly Millennials. Millennials resonate with Millenials. And there weren’t a whole lot of people to look up to at that time especially in business. Enter Facebook COO superstar Sheryl Sandberg (also a Harvard Business grad) - who isn’t an millennial but inspired many of these milliennial Alpha Business Women that rose to fame during the Aughties. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TED talk called "Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders," in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers - viewed over 6 million times and considered a pivot point in corporate feminism at this time. In 2013 Sandberg releases Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead to high acclaim. in an effort to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can. Sandberg provides practical advice on how to achieve the dream of the corner office - with tips on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career. She essentially pushes the idea that feminism is an independent execution that a woman can bear for herself and move herself forward through personal professional advocacy. Some criticism about the book obviously comes from her academic background and the opportunities themselves achievable. The New B WordThe word Bossy in regards to women leaders was getting a bit of heat - Tina Fey came out with Bossypants and Sandberg was leading a movement to “Ban Bossy”.Interestingly - a year or two later #Girlboss was released as an Alternative to Lean In - targeting the Millennial set and subverting the concepts Sandberg was trying to dismantle. The book appealed to its target audience and made corporate achievement and fame see, well, achievable to the “everywomen” - sans pedigree. A rags to riches bent with an angle toward female empowerment. But she did essentially distill the ethos of Lean In and spew back out packaged perfectly for the hungry millennial audience as a "girlboss." It celebrates a certain kind of businesswoman -- entrepreneurial, disruptive and most always white -- whose ambitious nature and success professionally was thought to be a subversive, radical, feminist act.The Feminist AestheticWith a massive customer database, social media following and intellectual property this book seved to drive personal brand building for Amoruso and also work to acquire new customers for Nasty Gal and fuel a new level of consumerism and product for the followers. Faulty FeminismMillenial women wanted a piece of that magic sauce and related to her - seeing their aspirations to be a self made celebrity business entrepreneur - or just a girlboss at their own job. They wanted to celebrate themselves in the workplace and opportunities, new jobs and new companies and new types of business started to become available. Particularly in the VC disruptor world. The hashtag acted as a As a rallying cry for a generation of young women who might not otherwise have thought to start their own businesses, #girlboss bore countless hopes and dreams - even if ill worded it had this rebellious feminist angle that particularly resonatedIn an interview with Elle, Amoruso mused, "Maybe girlboss is a new word for feminism." may we remind you.....FOR-PROFIT FEMINISM IS GROSSMore Rank RisersMore Alpha Female Founders started to rise in for women by women brands with VC backing and insta-fame. Fast Company - The Instagram trap: Social influence is helping women build brands—as long as they follow the rulesEntrepreneurial women are finding that they have unprecedented influence, whether or not they want it.“The female-founder-as-influencer phenomenon didn’t emerge overnight. Investors have long sought out entrepreneurs who embody a certain kind of “magnetism,” says Kirsten Green, founding partner at nine-year-old venture capital firm Forerunner Ventures, which has invested in a number of high-profile, female-forward brands over the years. “As a founder, you’re going to have to move mountains,” she says. “You’re going to have to compel so many people to get on that journey with you,” including investors, employees, and customers.”They spoke of transparency and empowering women not just in their community and customer base but right there in their business structure. Magical Places full of rainbows and unicorns for women to roam free -unencumbered by society's prejudice. MoonjuiceReformationThinxAwayOutdoor VoicesThe WingGlossierBan.doMan RepellerWho What WearInsert foreboding music here... Stay tuned for our next episode on the Fall of the Cult of the Girlboss!
90 minutes | 3 months ago
I’m with the Bland: How generics became cool again. Millennial Minimalism Movement, Naming Paradigm, History of Generics, The Great Generic Paradigm
Amanda and Kim spice up the trending dialogue around Blands! A concept being gossiped about regarding VC backed disruptor brands who share monotonous san-serif “blanding” across identity, voice, naming, logo and visuals. Kim gets into the backstory of Blands causing quite a stir in the industry particularly in 2020’s Bloomberg article by Ben Schott Welcome to Your Bland New World - “Why do disruptive startups slavishly follow an identikit formula of business model, look and feel, and tone of voice? Because it works, sort of.”Following the success of Warby Parker - it seems that VC kids demanded more, more, more (of the same, same, same) causing the blandification of the market and brands therein. Kim makes some very valid points however about this concept: This isn’t a new concept. The chatter started 2018 with a Fast Company article: “The hottest branding trend of the year is also the worst - Is your made-up name rendered in a sans-serif type, with thiiiiiiiis much white space? Congratulations! You are a bland.” Minimalism has been trending hardcore for well over 10 years - and when these original VC disruptor trends started Minimalism was actually fresh and new to the Millennials these brands were geared toward. Coined here as the Millennial Minimalism Movement. Branding Agencies develop the most of the branding for these Blands - and its usually the same agency - actually 3 VC backed agencies: Gin Lane, Red Antler and Parters & Spade that specifically cater to that precious Millennial look and have built billion-dollar businesses over and over again. As Gen Z continues to grow to have more spending power we will start seeing a shift in aesthetics to cater to this much different demographic (think the rise of unique and maximal brands). What makes a Bland a Bland? Well, first things first - gotta go with the NAMING! Blands names are notoriously carbon copy namers and rely on similar naming tropes (as described from the Bloomberg article): Quirky or Naive names: Judy, Floyd, Billie, Henry, Maude) or “studiously cool” like the Jack Kerouac based Warby Parker. Portmanteaus: Hungryroot, Baublebar, Tracksmith, Trubrain, Classpass, Platejoy Color+Noun: Blue Apron, Black Milk, Purple Carrot, Green Chef Monoliths: Public Goods, Ministry of Supply, Primary Goods, Modern Citizen Vowelessness: RMDY, MVMT, DSTLD, HVMN, TRNK, MNDFL Ampersands: Tuft & Needle, Frank & Oak, Hook & Albert, Loom & Leaf Quirk: Lemonade insurance, Kangaroo home security But for anyone who hasn’t named a brand - Naming is super tricky and kinda a science. Beyond just liking a name there are logistical reasons behind some of the naming decisions behind brands. First - registering for a trademark is really hard - so usually the name has to be very original and why you see so many made-up names. Second - SEO - your name has to stand out - and you don’t want to compete in search ranking. Like you start a Sneaker company and want to call it Runner’s Club - try googling that! The same goes for registering for a website! Hence the trend behind other domain names than .com becoming normalized (i.e. thedepartment.world)- it’s really hard to get a website unless you have a very original name. Listen in for a very special discussion about the White Claw name as well! Once the name is settled - ditch the logo - Fonts and Typefaces are all you need (san-serif if you please) . Bland logos are confident but cute, utilizing an array of tweaks and twists to provoke the all-important “smile in the mind.” Then move onto visuals - which is described as rather neutral, simple and looooooots of white space. They are generic for the sake of inclusivity.Which is understandable why - these VC backed companies don’t want to alienate anyone and remain neutral for the sake of acquiring the largest market share. It is a commercial approach and It is a safe approach. But it makes them particularly generic - because there isn’t much of a point of view. How do brands avoid become Bland Casualties? Easiest one? Minimal Branding OUT - Maximal branding in! Risk it to stand out Cultivate a true Point of view Engage with an outside the box or newer branding agency Niche but make it nice Amanda takes us back to simpler times and discusses the evolution of the generic 1970’s supermarket brand that has evolved over the years. In particular, No Frills grocery store founded in 1978 that took a page from the French generic brand Carrefour who saw extreme popularity in their minimal branding approach to discount and value groceries. At No Frills nothing was branded (although it could be argued that No Frills and their No Name was essentially a brand) with plain canary yellow packaging and simple san serif font spelling out the contents of the packaging. No Frills took a stand: forget the brand, focus on what’s inside, and save lots of money. Their quest for minimal packaging came from the concept that it conveyed a sense of thriftiness and value...that a savvy shopper might not have a lot of money but knew that it was what was inside the package that counted. Listen and learn99% Invisible ︎︎︎No Frills Podcast EpisodeIan Sevenious wrote a great essay a few years ago taking on Apple as part of this idea of minimalism being an aesthetic owned by the wealthy. The basic premise was: poor people can’t afford to be minimalist because they need stuff to survive.Power to the Pack Ratsby Ian Sevonius: “The Apple proposition is a 1960s futurist-zen minimalist throwback, lifted from Nordic designers like Panton and Saarinen, whose functionalism was influenced by movements like De Stijl and the Bauhaus.While modernism proposed ways of dealing with the cataclysmic upheaval brought on by industrialism, Apple’s proposition is the Western capitalist commercial: freedom, ease, and cool control of one’s environment.”Amanda unpacks this further by considering that this idea of taste being good or bad, these “tastemakers” always being incredibly privileged in terms of looks, finances, and background...they get to determine what is good taste versus bad taste. And the ultimate things that are adopted by the wealthy, beautiful, famous and important are “good taste” and the things that are liked by everyone else are bad taste. So basically, talking about taste is just a more socially acceptable version of classism. And so right now we think minimalism is “good taste,” but only because the gatekeepers have decided that. You will see in the story of No Frills, that eventually this minimalism became “bad taste.”Dave Nichol, the owner of Canadian store chain Loblaw--which btw was struggling during the economic downturn of the mid-to-late 70s--saw what Carrefour was doing with packaging, and he wanted to adapt it for a Canadian audience. But he wanted this new brand--No frills--to be a brand with a capital B...with a very identifiable and iconic look and feel. So he brought in legendary Canadian graphic designer Don Watt. He created the iconic yellow color and paired it with the strikingly minimalist Helvetica font. Essentially creating a “brand”. As time passed and we moved into the gregarious ’80s this minimal aesthetic started to become synonymous with “cheap” and “poor” and all marketing and branding took a 180. This concept of “Generics” has evolved over time and as you found from the earlier part of the episode became the style de jour for Millennials. We see the look as cool and aligned with Helmut Lang when it was at its lowest point and brought back into the fold. Embraced by Muji as a generic “brandless concept” as well as many other Blands now at the center of millennial marketing.
73 minutes | 4 months ago
Home Trends: Nesting, Homebody Economy, JOMO, Le Creuset, Girls Who Stay in Bed, Social Resale Marketplaces, Metro Moves and Homesteading
Kim cuddles into the Nesting phenomena that has been lo-key mainstreaming pre-pandemic with US Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that millennials spent 70 percent more time at home than the general population and 75% of them considered themselves “homebodies”. This mindset is perpetuated by the rise in apps appealing to the “homebody economy” - streaming services, food and liquor delivery, fitness apps and more. All to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. Another factor? Political and social turmoil pushed people indoors - to the safety of their own spaces. Social media trends regarding domestic obsessions and #adulting have been growing like crazy - Cooking and particularly Le Creusetis trending on Ticktock The new obsession with the aesthetically pleasing colorful pots is likely also stemming from the popularity of #Cottagecore content, which is providing a combination of escapist fantasy and self-care, and many #LeCreuset posts also have a #cottagecore tag - cottagecore resonates in so many spaces and is like the central aesthetic of 2020. Out of this grew the concept of JOMO - the Joy of Missing Out and the opposite of FOMO. JOMO is finding joy in disconnecting. Leading to trends in 2018 for the “girls who stay in bed” and marketers targeting this new demographic and leading to the continued rise in the realm of Bed in a box, candles, facemasks, Cooking brands and more. - which are seeing grow exponentially during the pandemic.@Girlsnightin gets referenced often during this movement that was founded back in 2017 - on a mission to help you unwind, take care and connect. In 2018 and 2019 sayings like “Namasty’ay in Bed” popularized etsy as this girl exploded and wanted everyone to know it. As the pandemic hit and we are required to stay at home that novelty wore off quick - but the importance of the bed became central to lots with bed and bedding sales booming. They share their choices for mattresses to elevate your slumber experience - Highest Grade Ikea and Tuft and Needle (Amanda and Kim respectively) as well as some other Bedding Recommendations like Matteo, Brooklinen & Parachute. Amanda crushes on the Facebook Marketplace which has been trending during 2020 with furniture listings increasing nearly 100% since April - with a similar story happening over at NextDoor - with their furniture sales up 28% in Aug vs last year. She explores the facts behind this craze: 1. Value for money shopping during these uncertain times2. Consumption habits and sustainability is at top of mind3. The pandemic is causing a massive amount of people moving.... Where are people moving? Well some are moving back home! In a September poll from the Pew Research Center, 52 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds reported living with their parents because of Covid-19. Before that, “The highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents,” according to the centerAnd many are fleeing the city - During the second quarter of 2020, 51 percent of properties seen in America’s most populated metro areas were in the suburbs, according to Realtor.com. An economist at the real estate company Zillow said in July that 64 percent of homebuyers were looking at the suburbs — a stark contrast from the 2010 US census, which found that eight in 10 Americans lived in cities. 80%Home repair was trending at the start of the quarantine - Amanda reports that Industry analysts say that the first wave of quarantine was used on home projects, so places like Home Depot and Lowe’s saw huge sales lifts. We’re talking 20-30% growth year over year Everyone was doing repairs, setting up home offices, and generally just improving the utility of their home. Lots of bookcases, organization furniture, and desks. As we move into fall this is changing to aesthetic and comfort - couches, chairs, rugs, oh my! She recommends scoping out: Facebook MarketplaceAlso facebook has a lot of buy/trade, buy nothing, and yard sale groups. Craigslist: depending on where you live Next Door LetGo: this is an app. IRL: thrift stores, vintage stores...Amanda highly recommends the Habitat for Humanity Restore
58 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 14: 7 Cool Ways to Survive Winter Quarantine and Fight #cabinfever (A Listcast)
Fight the urge to #cabinfever with The Departments Listcast - Amanda and Kim spend some time getting self help guru with some great tricks to fight the winter blues during quarantine.The Department’s Guide for Surviving Winter Quarantine1. Make mini sanctuary spaces Semi Spa Shower, Enviable Bed, Reading nook, Exercise Corner. Make affordable upgrades Invest in an aromatherapy diffuser Fill your home with plants Create different spaces in your home optimized for hanging out and being productive. 2. Optimize your Outdoors Blankets and Cozy Drinks Heat Lamps Space Heater or Electric Blankets Solar Powered string lights Dress appropriately! (Amanda swears by Sorels) 3. Lighten Up - literally Avoid overhead lighting Get Dimmers for Mood Lamping Get happy with SAD solutions (Amanda recommends Circadian Optics Luxy Light Therapy Lamp a Shark Tank product!) Put a ring on your Zoom calls (Amanda has found this Ring Light very complimentary to any video meeting!) 4. DIY Discovery Pick up a new DIY project - from learning a new language, life skill, instrument or new art! Kim recommends looking into Fiber Art referencing Mrcreatives monthly pattern club. @threadhoney that does these gorgeous pieces with hands and moons. Or @DMC_embroidery to find creators are doing some incredible things. Lots of makers are supplying kits and patterns Amanda says to check out Tiny pricks project. 5. Cookbook Cookdownbuy a cookbook or two you have been eyeing and actually cook from it. Amanda recommends learning out to cook your favorite cuisine you go to restaurants for like Asian (her suggestions? Lucky Peach) Kim found enjoyment in Burma Superstar 6. Try a fitness Challenge One week or 90 days - just get moving Find a Buddy Check our our Self Care Episode recently about Kim’s trials! 7. Download a Mindfulness or Meditation App. Kim recommends Paradym a new self awareness application Dive into our Self Care Episode for other recommended apps!!
86 minutes | 4 months ago
Candy Trends: Gross Candy, Adult Candy, American “Chocolate," Recommended Sweets + Politically Active Witches
In this very special Halloween episode, Amanda and Kim talk a few Halloween trends - and not the giant-sized skeleton kind. Kim kicks off with the trend of Witchcraft especially in the realm of political activism. Spurred by the uncertainties and turmoils in politics men and women are taking up broomstick arms and embracing Magical Resistance as a way to personally combat Civil Justice, Civil Rights and Environmental issues. Taking a bite into the main topic at hand - Candy Trends!Amanda dissects the reason behind American Chocolate’s “weird taste” with Hershey’s leading the charge. Kim diverges into the trend of Gross Candy - falling into a k-hole about Jelly Belly and the origins of the gross candy craze starting with their collab with Bernie Bott’s every flavor beans collaboration they did with the Harry Potter franchise. So going from delicacy bean to candy in all imaginable flavors edible and non opened a lot of doors for Jelly Belly….as they expanded their offerings of prank product into a series of “games” like BeanBoozled (featuring look-alike good tasting candy and identical gross Canned Dog Food, Dead fish, Booger and Barf) and BeanBoozled Fiery Five (Sriracha, Habanero and Carolina Reaper). Skittles brought back the Zombie skittles for the second year in a row - with secret rotting corpse flavor mixed into regular skittles. The Trend of gross candy continues into Candy Canes that feature “meal” and “condiment” flavors like Gravy, Fried Chicken, Kale, Mac & Cheese and Pho. Many can be sourced from Archie McPhees if you are so inclined. Brachs released their Turkey Dinner Candy corn this year - likely as a publicity stunt featuring the tantalizing flavors of green beans, roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, ginger glazed carrots, sweet potato pie, stuffing.Want something sweeter? How about some candy Boogers - tangy gummy boogers that look and feel real at least don’t taste like they were picked from your nose. Dick at your Door - arguably not Gross - just shocking is an online company that anonymously sends some really life-like Chocolate and Candy Penis’s to friends and family and interestingly ENEMIES. Amanda dishes on the market trend in favor of adult candy - in particular Boozy Candy. Her particular favorites? Anything from Trader Joe’s it seems! She recommends the Brandy Beans, Cherry Cordials and Chocolate Covered Figs Soaked in Brandy. Other brands on her hot, drunken list - Mc Crea’s Candies, Sugarfina and Smith and Sinclair with their appealing mix of cocktail-themed cocktail gummies and cocktail glitter dust. Amanda has a sweet tooth for Marshmallows and not the commercial kind. The artisanal kind like Malvi Marshmallows with enticing flavors like Fluffy Nutter, Berry Tropical and Raspberry Hibiscus. She takes a look at the trending Adult Gummy category including the popular Behave (w/ only 6 net carbs) and a first ever taste test on air of Smart Sweets>> that boasts 80-90% less sugar. Candy we actually eat? HU - Paleo, Keto & Vegan clean, natural chocolate. Milla - LA-based award-winning chocolate company. Tony’s Chocolonely- raising awareness about slavery in the cocoa industry one delicious candy bar at a time. Jacobsen Salt Company Candies - Highly recommended Salty Sweets
85 minutes | 4 months ago
Self-Care Trends w/ Ty McBride: Skincare + Skipcare, EFT Tapping, Meditation & Mindfulness Apps, Home Fitness & Weight Loss Apps
Amanda starts the podcast off with her elaborate skin care routine with the brand The Ordinary. She takes us on a tour of the trend in binge buying beauty products and the fascination of the “shelfie”. The reverse trend has emerged during uncertain pandemic times including #nobuy and #shopmystash: using what you’ve already collected instead of buying new stuff. A challenge created by @esteelaundry, calling on followers to stop binge buying beauty products. Another trend in the beauty bubble comes via Korean beauty--famous for it’s super intense routines--has gotten in on the act with “skipcare” a skincare method that allows you to identify the essential ingredients for your skin and avoid the use of unnecessary products for a simpler, yet proper, skincare routine. Amanda highlights a few fantastic and effective paired down brands that embrace a minimal beauty aesthetic: Noto Botanics(especially their Deep Serum as one of the best moisturizers out there), Topicals One Kind and Tower28 (to replace glossier and Amanda claims BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm “is literally the best blush I have ever used”.Ty chimes in with some of his own beauty tips - agreeing with Amanda’s inclusion of Noto, he finds esthetician recommended brand Osea as well as Seattle based shop Spruce Apothecary for fantastic natural brand assortment. Ty also sneaks us a tip for a comment inducing glow as well - listen to the podcast for exactly what ;)Ty puts out an open call to a very eclectic mix of people to find out what they are doing to practice some self care during the pandemic. He personally swears by some meditation & mindfulness apps that have helped him focus and align and are trending hard during the pandemic. In particular he recommends Waking Up with Sam Harris and Headspace.He sheds some light on a really innovative technique called EFT Tapping that has helped with some debilitating claustrophobia issues during airline travel but can help a person heal themselves from PTSD, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Chronic Pain and even Weight Loss issues. In Los Angeles he recommends Melinda but there are practitioners all over that can help you understand and utilize the technique. Kim takes us into the world of home fitness apps to help her on her over 20 lb weight loss journey during quarantine. Starting with some rather dated 30 Jillian Michaels Shred fitness video challenges - Kim finally went on a quest to find an app that would give her an elevated experience that fitness videos just can afford. After testing and researching many including BBG on the Sweat App, Beach Body App, Don Saladino, 8 Fit and Open Fit Xtend Barre she ended up settling back with Jillian Michaels on her app. Tune in for her other tips to drop the weight while stuck at home.
88 minutes | 4 months ago
Intentionally Frank: Ty McBride of Intentionally Blank is telling us like it is
Ty McBride Founder and Creative Director of the shoe, apparel and lifestyle brand Intentionally Blank joins us to talk about his rise in the fashion industry as a sprightly young thing through his days as a shoe dog to a fashion footwear leader at Jeffrey Campbell and Sole Struck to peacing out and starting his own thing that we couldn’t be more grateful for.Ty chats with Amanda and Kim about trends, industry gossip, challenges and the future on this very special episode of The Department.
87 minutes | 5 months ago
Conscious Consumerism Trends (part 2): Food Waste, Cleaning Up Green, and Sustainable Foods
Amanda and Kim are back with more dig downs into the super trending world of conscious consumerism and sustainable products.But first they talk about trends happening in their own homes. Amanda has caught the homesteading bug as she moves to a farmhouse into the Pennsylvania farmland. She has a great podcast recommendation here: The Daily - New York Times PodcastThe Sunday Read: 'How Climate Migration Will Reshape America'Listen on Apple HERE.Kim is jumping deep into the Mushroom trend that has permeated fashion, Interiors, consumer goods + food and beverage trying out Four Sigmatic Mushroom instant coffees and lattes to add focus but lessen the caffeine load.They also discuss the trend of upgrading your home interiors and difficulty of finding home goods in stock. Kim’s white whale is a lamp. She is sniffing around some Noguchi sculpture lamps to bring some light and serenity into her home space as she moves into fall.Getting into the meat and potatoes....As a quick reminder that of the 50% of plastics that even make it in the right bin - only 9% of any plastic recycled actually gets recycled. So we have this insane amount of plastic just ending up at landfills and in oceans even if you do your part and recycle.Amanda gives some great facts on glass and aluminum (not to mention paper) as an alternative that has their recycling game figured out.Kim gets down and dirty with a few newish green cleaning kit brands that tackle the issue of reducing single use plastics as well as moving away from toxic chemicals exploring Cleancult this (most universally appealing and a good Mrs. Meyers replacement), Blueland (great for value but not a sensory experience) and Supernatural>> (Goop customer and more of a premium priced aromatherapy model) for all your home care needs - weighing the pros and cons of each.She also advises to check out Grove Collective a multi brand webshop offering a selection of non-toxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free with an angle for monthly shipments and carbon neutral approaches.Kim takes a bite out of the conscious consumer trends in the Grocery and Food Supply industries. She starts with a look at the food wasted epidemic estimated at 30-40% of our food supply - and new business models formed to approach this like Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market - both offering online shopping experiences and that killer subscription model we talked about earlier. Amanda SWEARS by Imperfect Foods - so you know it’s gotta be good! She also shares the app Olio which connects neighbors with each other and volunteers with local businesses, so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. If you love food, hate waste, care about the environment or want to connect with your community, OLIO is for you.Spinning away into actual food production - Patagonia Provisions is working to disrupt the current problematic agriculture & fishing industries.Barn2Door>> is connecting Farms straight to customers - it is based on locality and offers pickup, delivery and shipping of farm made goods, produces, meats, grains and CSA’s.The seafood industry is also getting revamped - she explores both Sea2table and Wild Alaskan Company - both taking on Big Fish and offering a more sustainable way to obtain local seafood. For an extra treat she even slips in a little trend in fish skin snacks - particularly from the brand Good Fish.Finally - Kim takes a deep look into the problematic and harmful animal meat industry - but offers some great new alternatives on the market beyond Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger who have admittedly really put in the work to pioneer the current mainstream natural of the meat-alternative market even fighting against toxic masculinity to achieve social acceptance. She presents some cool fungi and fermenation based startups like Prime Roots, Meati and Natures Fynd, plus Perfect Day heating up the ice cream market partnering with Brave Robot and Smitten for some truly unique vegan alternatives. She finishes with trends in cultivated or cell-based meat companies that grow food from animal cells including Memphis Meats>> & BlueNalu>> for fish.
78 minutes | 5 months ago
Conscious Consumerism Trends (part 1): The Myth of Plastic Recycling + Reducing Single Use Plastics
Amanda and Kim are ecstatic to get into the trend of Conscious Consumerism that is growing more and more popular everyday particularly in 2020. Conscious Consumerism is a movement whereby consumers vote with their dollar by buying ethical products or boycotting unethical companies.So essentially: Where do you put your dollar and how can we keep putting it in the right place and adjusting your lifestyle to consume in a way that is more positive to the environment as well as society. Kim explores the trending concept of reducing single use plastic. Kim details out some of the worst offenders and highlights some easy replacements. Bee’s Wrap - can stand in for her guilty pleasure Saran Wrap while Stasher takes the place of those plastic zip bags. Plastic Bottles are such another big culprit. A report by the Guardian found that 1 million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute. Additionally, less than half of the bottles purchased in 2016 were recycled — with just 7-9% of those collected are actually recycled, and the rest ending up in landfill sites or the ocean. Thankfully reusable bottles like Hydroflasks are trending - which is not just a functional replacement but a statement for environmentalism for all to see. She also reports that Evian has partnered with Virgil Abloh to repair some damage they have done for essentially starting the disposible water bottle trend including their “Activate Movement” competition. The project encouragers young designers to enter their sustainability-focused design and innovation projects, with a €50,000 EUR (approximately $54,000 USD) grant available to the winners.AN OPEN CALL FOR INITIATIVES THAT CREATE A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE - under the umbrellas of either Waste Reduction, energy reduction and recycling/upselling. More details HERE.Straws we also find are a scourge upon the earth. Americans use 1.6 Straws Per Person Per Day: enough straws to wrap around the Earth 2.5 times everyday. They are not recyclable and don’t decompose - so just BRING YOUR OWN. She recommends FinalStraw.Single Use Plastic Bags also suck total balls and are a complete plague upon the earth. The average plastic market bag is used for 12 mins and takes 1,000 years to decompose. GROSS! Kim plugs a product she worked on with Graf Lantz - the Ami Market Tote.Lastly - Kim touches on refill shops that are popping up in cities nearest you. With the pandemic it has been hard to use this sort of service but a few have made it easy online including the Refill Shoppe out of Ventura that offers online - zero waste - refills and the ability to pick your own ALL NATURAL scents! Amanda issues a wakeup call on the booming personal care industry and presents us with some unique solutions to our waste-free lifestyle.Amanda RecsListen to her say Lush over and over again as she offers some reviews on Shampoo & Conditioner (plastic free!!) bar soap options. Amanda recs The Earthling Co, as well as well as Meow Meow Tweet for their bars in addition to Dustin's deodorant of choice which comes in a cardboard tube! By Humankind wows us with their modern branding and zero waste packaging with cool products like refillable deodorant, hand sanitizer, shower kits and cotton swabs. Bite is HOT HOT HOT - trending with the kids who want to reduce their plastic footprint. With awesome branding and product to boot. Package Free Shop sells some really innovative products for your oral care regime as well as other great game changers in the personal care realm.Amanda brings us into the ladies room with some plastic free feminine care options recommending applicator free options like Natracare as well as the super trendy period underwear Thinx and Sustain.But her pièce de résistance is the menstrual cup. Learn more about her choices like the Diva Cup, June Cup, and Saalt. Find more details at our website and on instagram.
65 minutes | 5 months ago
Normalization Trends (Part 2): Real Women’s Bodies & Size Inclusiveness, Influencer Retouchcore, Men’s Taboo Trends and Teen Boy Perms
Welcome back for part 2 of our mini series on Normalization! Please make sure to check out the last episode for a more robust explanation, history and discussion.Amanda really dives in here to a rather contentious subject matter - Normalizing Women’s bodies. She starts with a thought piece on some of the most obvious culprits toward a negative movement and also extreme positivity - Influencers!With the growth of accessible apps, photoshop and other tech - Influencers are deluding their followers and retouching themselves to laughably unreachable sizes (i.e. a 6/8 to a 0/2) in every single photo they post. Some apps that stretch the body give the appearance of heroine chic but the consequence are misshapen coneheads and massive feet.BUT there is a growing trend in body positive influencers as well as brands that are actually fashionable.Case in point the Kardashians support of a body positive fashion accessibility like Good American>> that is sexy and trendy if not a slight lean into fast fashion. But a better offering that most plus size brands. Also check up on Skims>>- a Kim Kardashian vehicle for intimates, basics and loungewear. Skims>> is known for not only size inclusivity (up to size 4X) but also nudes in a wide variety of skin tones.Universal Standard>> is a real groundbreaker because the make everything in their line from a size 00-40.GIrlfriend Collective>> is an activewear brand doing their part to normalize women’s size inclusivity. It’s hard to find cute activewear for larger sizes...basically the activewear industry has been ignoring anyone over a size XL. Girlfriend offers everything up to size 6XL and they use recycled plastic for a lot of the garments (so extra brownie points).CUUP>> is a great intimate brand (Kim wears them and highly recommends! ︎︎︎︎︎ ) - offering a generous size range and includes models of all shapes and sizes in their campaigns.Kim tackles the trending normalization of various men’s taboo issues that can be considered negatively “emasculating” like certain health issues as well as elements of “grooming”.Teen boy perms are HOT HOT HOT>> - check out your local Tick Tock looks for more Timothee Chalamet impersonators (or this Cut Article>>).As the notions of gender fluidity and disregard of gender norms is starting to take root and spread the tastemakers and early adopters have found nailpoish and other traditionally female grooming tricks normalized as a new wave of men’s masculinity --->incoming brand The Faculty>> is sliding in to elevate the experience and build a lifestyle around it featuring Drop culture in men’s products like a pine colored nail polish.There has been a growing interest in the long tabooed conversion around men’s makeup. And both luxury brands (i.e. Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford) as well as indie brands have been seeing success with their men’s makeup collections as the trend to normalize this market has been increasing. Tho subtlety is key - especially among many hetrosexual men where maintaining masculinity is of societal importance. Mmuk>> (a british men’s makeup brand) has beard products for men who experience beard thinning - like mascara and fillers, even a shadow palette - for that fuller look, “guyliners” and “manscaras”and man lipstick. Fluide, Mac & Milk also stand out as gender blurers.Finally - With the shifting telehealth laws and an increasing number of brand-name medications going off-patent a few DTC brands have been able to offer self care and prescription product at a fraction of the cost from previous methods and right from the privacy of your home. Hims>> in particular is working to normalize masculine self care and offer comfortable, affordable support and solutions for typically “emasculating” medical and cosmetic issues that are hard to talk about can create self esteem issues - hair loss, erectile dysfunction, mental health and adult acne.
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