Details are emerging about Michelle Obama's Vogue cover, which hits newsstands next week. It will be the First Lady's second for the magazine. According to Robin Givhan, the cover was shot by Annie Leibovitz, and Obama resisted the photographer's (and the magazine's) efforts to, as the Washington Post puts it, "entice Obama into one of her trademark creative shoots she's employed for so many Hollywood celebrities (i.e., reclining in a milk bath)." In our heads, Vogue was all like, Come on, FLOTUS! It's the second term. Let loose a little! And MObama was all like, No. Apparently, Obama wears an outfit by Reed Krakoff on the cover and a Michael Kors sweater and ball skirt inside the magazine. [WaPo]
- Victoria Beckham:
"I don't wear fake tan anymore. Sometimes I've been turned orange but that's definitely a look from my past. Being overly tanned is very aging and, dare I say it, a bit footballer's wife. Embrace your natural colour!"
- Leslie Fremar, whose clients include Julianne Moore, Charlize Theron, and Scarlett Johansson, topped the Hollywood Reporter's annual list of the most powerful Hollywood stylists. In second and third place, respectively, were Petra Flannery (Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis) and Rachel Zoe (Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Hudson). [Fashionista]
- John Malkovich's delightfully odd men's wear line, Technobohemian, is partnering with Yoox on a summer capsule collection. [WWD]
- Today in the Times, writer Karen Stabiner shares her account of the conflicted feelings that were inspired when she inherited her mother's mink coat:
The furrier's manner was that of the kindly gerontologist: He petted the pelts, examined the collar and fastenings, slid his hand between the lining and the fur and worked his way up from the hem to the armhole, at which point he smiled a weary, experienced smile. The leather on the inside of the sleeve was dried out. He saw 30 coats like this a week, he said, brought in by daughters like me. I should donate it and take a tax write-off. Or I could just wear it.
If I were in my 20s or tall, maybe I could achieve the necessary irony, wear it with insouciance, pull off a look. One inch shy of the average height of American women, I lack sufficient flair; I'd just feel silly. And then there's the issue of wearing fur in the first place, even though I'm persuaded by the recycle-and-reuse argument about vintage furs. Still, I can't see me in the coat. I pulled the Macy's bag down over the coat's shoulders and headed home, feeling a little defensive on its behalf. Never fun to see a family member rejected.
- Ever wondered what the highest-grossing malls in the U.S. are? According to the co-owner of Dallas's NorthPark mall, where sales last year surpassed $1 billion for the first time:
NorthPark is one of five centers to eclipse $1 billion, Haemisegger said, citing such fellow complexes as Ala Moana Center in Honolulu; Aventura Mall in Florida; Houston Galleria, and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. This data isn't independently tracked, and he attributed it to information shared among industry leaders.
- Tomorrow, Joe Fresh stores will open inside 681 J.C. Penney locations. The move is of obvious significance to the Canadian fast-fashion chain, which will greatly expand its footprint in the U.S., but for J.C. Penney it's kind of seen as make-or-break. The retailer has been struggling and lost $985 million last year. The Joe Fresh unveiling is a practical test of the ideas promoted by newish C.E.O. Ron Johnson, including a push towards the store-within-a-store model and less reliance on permanent discounting. [WWD]
- Stars: they're just like us! Thrift-store edition:
"At various times in my life (it has) been really necessarily to shop like that," [Debbie Harry] said in an interview.
Harry, 67, said she also hit up thrift shops to fuel her creativity when deciding what to wear to an event or photo shoot. Her favorite used item? A silver 1960s Betsey Johnson jumpsuit.
"Let's face it, when you don't have a lot of money and have to dress cool, it's the best way to go," she said.
- Zara's parent company Inditex reports that its net profits rose 22% from 2011 to 2012, to $2.96 billion. [WWD]
- During the same interval at luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli, net profits rose 26.2%, to $34 million. [WWD]
- Barneys' Simon Doonan says his working-class roots made him especially appreciative of fashion's ability to transport the viewer into a kind of fantasy. Doonan grew up in Reading:
"It's known for two things. Oscar Wilde was in jail there ( see "The Ballad of Reading Gaol") and Marianne Faithfull went to the convent school I went to. But it was kind of grim...All of my relatives were insane or alcoholic. We didn't have a lot of money and the future didn't look great. The truth of the matter for me was, the minute I was 16, I had to go and get a job in a factory."
Later, he got a job working as a window-dresser for a Savile Row tailor.
"I saw this shimmering mirage of fashion. It seemed transformative, like you could embrace fashion and transcend your circumstances. For me, fashion was like a lifeline, where you could grab onto something and connect with this other world and get out of the world you were in."
- Model Heather Hahn was too embarrassed to tell the kids at her school that she was going to work as a model in Tokyo for four months as a 13-year-old, so she said she was going to live with her grandparents. Word started to get out, however:
"I had a magazine come out, I think it was Teen Vogue, and it was my first American magazine, and that's when everyone found out that I was actually modeling, and it was horrible. My house got egged and toilet-papered."
- Spanx and Yummie Tummie, two makers of uncomfortable things, are fighting in court over a design patented by the latter that the former may have ripped off. [WWD]
- Burberry is switching the location of its men's show from Milan, where it has shown for a decade, to London. London has been trying to increase the visibility of its newer men's fashion week. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with Cindy Crawford, who spoke to Oprah about her relationship with Richard Gere. That relationship began when she was 22 and Gere was 37. The couple divorced in 1995. Cindy, now that nearly 20 years have passed, can you tell us what were the main issues that you would say contributed to your divorce?
"I just think your twenties for women is such a time when you're starting to come into your own and feel your own power and connect to your inner strength and it's hard to do that — it's hard to change — in a relationship, because what one person might have signed up for, all of a sudden, you're not that anymore...I think I was more willing at 22 to be, like, 'Okay, I'll follow,' but then you start going, 'Well, I don't want to just follow — I want to lead sometimes and I want to walk side by side sometimes.'"