Anyone who's ever been dragged to a mall to buy a backpack's worth of notebooks and a new pair of regulation shoes has surely wondered if it wouldn't be possible to, you know, cram even more harried, bickering parent-teen pairs into a confined, fluorescent-lit space redolent with stale movie popcorn and sadness. What if there were some way to make back-to-school shopping even busier? Even bigger? Even more crowded? Well, Teen Vogue is inventing a new fashion holiday, to sit in the pantheon of shopping holidays alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Boxing Day (Commonwealth, represent!): Back-to-School Saturday (nothing says "fun" like "school" and "Saturday" in the same sentence!). The magazine has decided the inaugural event will take place this year on August 11. Think Fashion's Night Out for the middle and high school set. Naturally, there will be branded partnerships. The Times reports that stores including Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Express, Guess, H&M, Maybelline New York, Pacific Sunwear of California, Quiksilver, Staples and Vans will participate. Cover Girl, Olay, Pantene and Tampax — all owned by Proctor & Gamble — are also involved.
Deborah Marquardt, vice president for media and integrated marketing at Maybelline New York, part of the L'Oréal USA division of L'Oréal, said that for Teen Vogue's target generation, "shopping is like a sport."
Back-to-School Saturday represents an "opportunity to get out in front of this key audience," she added, in a relevant way that "gives shape and focus to something that's already existed, elevating it, event-izing it and celebrating it."
"If it doesn't provide anything of value," Ms. Marquardt said, consumers will not respond. "But they're going to get samples, and they're going to get offers, and there'll be a fashion show at the Grove," she added, referring to a mall in Los Angeles, "where 10-to-15,000 are expected."
Let August 11 heretofore be known as the day to avoid all public places where commerce takes place. [NYTimes]
- Neither Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons nor Johnny Depp will be attending the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards on Monday night, where they will be honored with the International Award and the Fashion Icon Award, respectively. Coincidentally, both asked John Waters to accept their awards on their behalf. [WWD]
- Jalouse is apologizing for a Megan Fox quote it ran in its April cover profile of the actor. The interview was conducted in English and then translated into French — and an English translation of the French quote later made the tabloid rounds. According to the magazine, Fox said, "Je vis bien avec mon image, je ne peux pas me plaindre; je n'échangerais pas ma place avec une fille moche." That means, roughly, "I'm comfortable with my looks, and I can't complain; I wouldn't change places with an unattractive girl." Fox denied ever saying any such thing on her Facebook (because Megan Fox always gives such meaningful, eminently sensible, not-embarrassing quotes to the press). Jalouse printed a retraction in the following issue. [Facebook/Megan Fox]
- In a hint that the fashion IPO market may be overheated, Graff diamonds pulled its planned IPO yesterday after its investor road show failed to elicit enough interest. In the past year, Prada, Ferragamo, Tumi, Michael Kors, and Brunello Cucinelli are among the fashion brands that have had (more or less successful) IPOs. Graff had been seeking $3.22-$4.76 per share, but apparently banks weren't biting. [WWD]
- Anna Wintour's daughter Bee Shaffer has reportedly split up with her boyfriend of two years, comedy writer Jake Hurwitz. [NYDN]
- Lauren Weisberger is writing a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada called Revenge Wears Prada. Reportedly:
Andy is now editing The Plunge, the hottest bridal magazine around, alongside Emily, her one-time Runway nemesis turned current BFF. While Andy is planning her own wedding to Max, a handsome media scion, she remains haunted by her impeccably heeled former boss — and the magazine world being as small as it is, it's only a matter of time before she hears the dreaded syllables "Ahn-dre-ah!" again.
- Shaun White didn't leave a tip at a downtown Manhattan night club, so "a spy" conveniently sold a juicy eye-witness account of the snowboarder canoodling there with Bar Refaeli. [P6]
- Christian Dior C.E.O. Sidney Toledano says that what he learned from the John Galliano saga and its aftermath is simple: major luxury brands don't need creative directors to have strong sales. "I never considered that. I always thought we absolutely needed an artistic director. They, and their charisma, are what creates breakthroughs." He says that the public persona of a designer can be "a shorthand to help consumers understand the brand, and to embody it," but that not every designer has to work that way. "If it works for the designer, then fine...But if not, it can be counterproductive, and it is better to avoid it. In the end, luxury is judged not by whether a designer's face is on X number of posters, but by their work." [FT]
- J. Crew says its profits during the quarter just ended rose to $30.7 million, or roughly double what they were during the same period one year ago. [WWD]
- The New York Times has a tiny glimmer of insight into the whole, weird Simon Spurr situation, in which the acclaimed men's wear designer left his namesake company just two days after being nominated for a CFDA Award (and his former business partner, Judd Nydes, pledged to continue on under the Simon Spurr brand name):
"I understood my departure, coupled with silence, would set tongues wagging," Mr. Spurr said in an interview last week, during which he described his differences with Mr. Nydes only in vague terms. He said it was better to address the issues now, while the company is still small.
"I'm working together with my business partner and investor to find a resolution," he said. "I have high hopes to come back to the company one day. I'm looking forward to whatever the next step would be, whatever it is."
- Talbots has a buyer, but it's not getting the price it hoped for. Sycamore Partners, the private-equity firm, is acquiring Talbots for $193.3 million in cash (and including debt, the deal is worth $369 million). Sycamore and Talbots had been in binding talks to sell for a price that was 10% higher, but the contracted time period expired with no agreement reached — so Sycamore came back with the lower price. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with an Express employee training glossary of slang terms from the mid-90s. Let's start with the letter U:
Up in this piece (noun): Place, where we're at
Vibe (noun): Feeling
Wassup (fig. spch.): Hi, what's up
We be out (verb): Leave, bounce, outtie
Whack (adj.): Terrible, bad
Wifey (noun): Girlfriend
Word is born (adj.): True, [The Awl]