Abercrombie & Fitch has an entire Web series dedicated to its most famous naked torsos — the store greeters. The job interview is a series of one-armed push-ups, and the best greeters get flown around the world to greet at high-profile store openings. "It's like a traveling frat," boasts one.
Meanwhile, executives at the chain met for two hours with some of the teenagers and organizers who have recently criticized its restrictive size policies and the "cool kids only" attitude espoused by C.E.O. Mike Jeffries. After the meeting, Abercrombie released the following statement:
We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion. We want to reiterate that we sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by comments we have made in the past which are contrary to these values.
Carine Roitfeld styled, and cast herself and her daughter Julia Restoin-Roitfeld in, Givenchy's fall campaign. Oh, and there's also Amanda Seyfried. [Telegraph]
Lets go running fashion bunnies!!! Beautiful evening in London x vb twitter.com/victoriabeckha…— Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) May 21, 2013
Biting Mel C's steez, Victoria Beckham Tweeted a photo of her custom Nike sneakers. [@VictoriaBeckham]
• The U.S. State Department is sending a delegation to Bangladesh to meet with representatives of the Bangladeshi government to press for progress on worker rights and safety standards in the wake of the disaster at the Tazreen factory fire, the Rana Plaza factory collapse, and other industrial disasters that have claimed thousands of garment workers' lives in recent years. [WWD]
• Bloomberg points out that 20% of the world's 100 richest people come from the world of retail. Together, they hold some $523 billion of the world's wealth. While not all of these retailers are in fashion — Ikea's Ingvar Kamprad and Karl Albrecht of the supermarket chain Aldi are on the list — most of the world's richest retailers are the heads of fast-fashion companies that manufacture heavily in low-wage economies such as Bangladesh. Zara's Amancio Ortega, four members of the Walton family that runs Wal-Mart, H&M's Stefan Persson, Uniqlo's Tadashi Yanai, and Joe Fresh owner Galen Weston are all on the list. (H&M, Wal-Mart, and Joe Fresh were all among the clients of either Tazreen or the garment factories housed in the Rana Plaza building.) At the luxury end, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy head Bernard Arnault, PPR/Kering chief François-Henri Pinault, and Luxottica's Leonardo Del Vecchio also count as some of the world's richest retailers. [Bloomberg]
• Before it opens its first London store later this year, J. Crew is doing a two-day pop-up shop at the Western Transit Shed in King’s Cross. [WWD]
• Daniela Helayel has left the label she founded, Issa London. The label is best known for making the blue jersey wrap dress that Kate Middleton wore for her official engagement portrait. Helayel is said to have been "unhappy" for some time; Camilla Al Fayed bought a majority stake in the company in 2011. Al Fayed has previously criticized Helayel in public, famously saying she "had no business model" when the Middleton event happened. [Vogue UK]
• More than 13 products and an $85 blowout are among the techniques the Times recommends for women who want to achieve the look of "beach hair." Alternatively, you could presumably go to the beach. [NYTimes]
• Rue21 has been acquired by the private-equity fund Apax Partners for $1.1 billion. Apax recently also bought Cole Haan from Nike. [WWD]
• More and more cosmetics companies are taking the "all-natural" product fad to its, er, natural conclusion — and making beauty products out of actual food:
“Just as you eat food to nourish your body on the inside, we use the same food to nourish the skin on the outside,” said Susie Wang, the founder of 100% Pure, a beauty brand in California that offers a Cocoa Kona Coffee Body Scrub made of organic Kona coffee beans and chocolate extract.
Ms. Wang said her co-workers have been known to dip pretzels in the scrub and eat it, with one employee sprinkling the exfoliator on ice cream.
• And now, a moment with Joseph Abboud. Joseph, you have some strong words on the subject of men's suits these days:
Recently, as I strolled up Madison Avenue to get a sense of what the stylish man on the street was wearing these days, a young thirtysomething model-type approached me sporting what appeared to be the latest, and supposedly the most fashionable, trend in men’s clothing: the skinny suit.
What a disaster! A true sartorial nightmare.
The suit, although it appeared to be expensive and well made, fit him terribly. The shoulders were much too small for his muscular frame, the chest bowed dramatically, the jacket length was so short that it looked disproportionate for his physique, and the trousers were so skimpy — barely reaching his ankles — that they gave the appearance of too much shrinkage from a bad dry-cleaning job. It might as well have been his Bar Mitzvah suit.
Also, Joseph Abboud would like you kids to get off his lawn. [WWD]