Adidas Gardening Club Collection: What A Missed Opportunity!

Adidas Gardening Club Collection: What A Missed Opportunity!

Pics of this “horti-couture” collection were all over my newsfeed. It looked super cool and I loved its tongue-in-cheek attitude. Turns out it was mainly PR hype, nothing in-store remotely like this. What a let-down.

Based on their Instagram account plus what I saw on various sneaker blogs, I was expecting a major in-store activation. Minimally, I thought there would be a pop-up at the Adidas Originals store in Soho. Nope. Nada.

On launch day, October 12, I headed out early on Saturday and got to the store as they were opening up. And what did I find: zilch. No pop-up, no greenery, no product, nothing.

On top of that, none of the staff had a clue what I was talking about, even when I showed them the articles and the photos, they were nonplussed. The manager suggested it might be something the adidas Consortium was doing and maybe I could find the products at Kith – but he wasn’t sure.

I’m not a sneakerhead and I will readily admit I had never heard of the “Consortium.”

As it turns out, the adidas Consortium is an elite group based in Germany at the company HQs. It is known for its experimental collections and collaborations with stars and celebrities. Products are exclusively launched at the most influential retailers in the world.

In this instance, Alan Titchmarsh, who I had never heard of but is a well-known British gardener and TV presenter is the model for the ‘horti-couture’ collection. He appears alongside presenter Alhan Gencay and songwriter Khloe Anna.

Bottom Line.

I consider this a lost opportunity for Adidas. The gardening concept is so on-trend (with all age groups but especially with Millennials). Adidas’ presentation of this “horti-couture” collection in the media was PHENOMENAL. I hadn’t seen anything as creative or original in the athletic/streetwear category. To take something that is so cool and fun and then just drop the ball and not deliver any of it in-store is incomprehensible to me.

Get it together, Adidas!! This was executed as badly as the adidas Originals x AriZona Iced Tea debacle earlier this year.

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How Has Retail Changed Over The Last 20 Years?

How Has Retail Changed Over The Last 20 Years?

Excellent insights and stats from Market Realist on how retail has evolved over the last two decades. PLUS, one of the most astute takes on what is ailing retail in Retail Dive’s “Retail Apocalypse is an Apparel Apocalypse.” Highlights from both below.

” In 1977 U.S. Households spent 6.2% on apparel and in 2017 that declined to 3.1%. That is a 50% drop over four decades.”

Shawn Grain Carter, FIT
Apparel Apocalypse – A MUST-READ!

Most retailers in bankruptcy, or on the brink of it, sell clothes. (Source: Retail Dive)

  • 10 of the 16 major retail bankruptcies filed in 2019 were by companies that mostly or exclusively sell apparel and footwear
  • Of the 28 predicted to go belly-up next year, half sell apparel.
  • Apparel retail is in a structural decline and under siege on multiple fronts.
  • Apparel has lost market share to spending on experiences, e.g., fitness, manicures, sports (both participation and entertainment), streaming services, restaurants, travel and electronics.
  • We no longer need as many clothes as we once did, e.g., ‘career wear’ or business wardrobes are no longer necessary.
  • Consumers see no value in ‘dressing for work’ vs. dressing for leisure.
  • Boomers are spending less on apparel as they get older.
Scroll down for big-picture overview of the retail landscape, who’s winning, who’s losing.
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Are Teens Really That Different From The Rest Of Us?

Are Teens Really That Different From The Rest Of Us?

Piper Jaffray just released their latest survey of Teens/Gen Z. In checking it versus the 2017 study, it seems that generationally we are becoming more alike than different.

Key Findings (Link to obtain full study here):
  • Teen spending is down 4% Y/Y and 10% from Spring 2019 – the lowest level since Fall 2011.
  • This is a continuation of the downward spending trend noted in 2017 when spend decreased 2.4%.
  • Food remains the top priority in terms of wallet share with Chick-fil-A the #1 restaurant for four consecutive surveys.
  • Again, the same spending pattern as reported in 2017 when Chick-Fil-A became most popular at 12% edging out Starbucks (7%) for the #1 spot.
  • YouTube (37%) and Netflix at 35% are tops for daily video consumption.
  • A flip from 2017 when Netflix was #1 at 38% and YouTube was #2 at 26%.
  • Video games hold 9% of total teen wallet vs. 8% last year
  • Instagram remains the most popular social media platform for the third consecutive survey.
  • Big change from 2017 when Snapchat was #1 at 39% with Instagram coming in second at 23%.
Scroll down for info on apparel/footwear, beauty and online shopping.
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October Is Now The Most Popular Month For Weddings!

October Is Now The Most Popular Month For Weddings!

This past weekend (October 12/13), I noticed that six of the people I follow on Instagram were posting from weddings! Isn’t that curious?

Of course, I had to look into this further. I started with my friend Mary Clarke, Executive Editor at Bridal Guide Magazine who told me my observations were indeed accurate.

Yes, Fall has been the most popular time for weddings for a while now and per WeddingWire October has had the edge on September.”

Mary Clarke, Executive Editor, Bridal Guide
Business Insider Concurred:

The most popular wedding date of 2019 is Saturday, October 12. (Source: Zola)

Turns out if you’re observant enough, Instagram is a great barometer for picking up trends. In this instance, my small sample of six was 100% accurate in pinpointing the most popular wedding day of the year – October 12!

Indeed, 4 of the top 10 dates for weddings in 2019 are in October, 4 are in September and 2 are in June.

Reasons given for picking Fall wedding dates include milder temperatures, better-looking photos, and avoiding the summer travel season.

Additional wedding trends:
  • Thursday weddings have doubled in the last year (big cost savings if you opt for mid-week). However, Saturday is still the most popular day for weddings.
  • Friday weddings are now more popular than Sunday weddings. Turns out guests prefer to take Fridays off from work versus Mondays.
Bottom Line.

Weddings are not typically on my radar but six people posting on Instagram from weddings caught my attention. One wedding guest was even a tuner enthusiast who squeezed in a wedding on her way to Subiefest.

Ad finally, big congrats to all those newly-hitched couples – your weddings looked amazing. Thrilled and grateful that you let us all tag along and celebrate vicariously with you through the ‘Gram.

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Robs10KFriends: I Love This Project. So Cool!

Robs10KFriends: I Love This Project. So Cool!

If anybody reading this knows Rob Lawless, hook us up. This concept is so up my alley in a million different ways.

I saw Rob interviewed about his 10KFriends project on CBS last week and just loved what he was doing (link here).

I am so jealous I didn’t come up with this idea.

Those of you who know me well will understand why I would be drawn to this:

  • I love meeting people
  • I love connecting people
  • I love learning about the world through people I meet serendipitously.

Besides the concept itself, I also found Rob’s backstory fascinating. He was working at a startup in sales – making cold calls, trying to get people to get on the phone with him for 30-minutes to talk about his company’s offerings. It was a struggle. To combat some of those rejections, he started his “10KFriends” project with the sole aim of meeting strangers, spending an hour talking with them 1:1 (with no ulterior sales motive) and posting about the experience on Instagram.

In 2016, after his company was acquired and he lost his job, he decided to make his 10K Friends project a full-time endeavor.

Since then, I’ve met over 2,900 people across 20+ cities in the U.S. & Canada, have driven across the United States 6 separate times and have been featured by some awesome press sources.”

Rob Lawless

He doesn’t explain what drives him to do this but I get it. Meeting new people and making new friends is profoundly gratifying.

His project and his unexplainable passion for it reminded me of Matt Green’s 6-year NYC walking project which was turned into an excellent documentary that I’ve previously written about (The World Before Your Feet).

Scroll down to read more about how both Matt and Rob have impacted the world around them.
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Botox Before And After. But Is It Worth It?

Botox Before And After. But Is It Worth It?

I’ve had two deep furrows in my forehead for years. A result of too much squinting and frowning. I decided to give Botox a try.

A friend recommended his dermatologist and I arranged a visit. It’s a very easy procedure, the doctor was great and at $360.00, the cost is not outrageous.

The treatment I got on my forehead is for two very deep frown lines between the brows, known as glabellar lines. They are caused by the force of overactive glabellar muscles. As the skin ages and loses collagen and elastin, the skin can no longer resist the force of these muscles and gives in by forming wrinkles.

Twelve days after the procedure, I do see some improvement on my forehead but I’m not sure I care enough about it to do this on a regular basis. That said, all week long I’ve been getting incredible compliments from people who say I’m “glowing.” However, I also had my keratin done this week and my hair has looked phenomenal (thank you, Rodrigo Padilla). In other words, I’m not entirely sure what’s eliciting the compliments: the botox or the keratin?

Bottom Line.

I do notice a difference but I am not 100% convinced I need to do this every 6 months (versus the keratin which I absolutely cannot live without).

Scroll down if you’re curious to see photos of my forehead from day 1 to day 12.
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Get Your Portrait Painted! It’s The Ultimate Selfie.

Get Your Portrait Painted! It’s The Ultimate Selfie.

I first wrote about how cool portraiture was getting back in 2017 after I had seen the Alice Neel show curated by Hilton Als at David Zwirner. The Times and I had a major disagreement about it!

“The New York Times called the show nostalgic. I disagree, it feels fresh, young and vibrant to me.”

Irma Zandl, The Opinionator, March 25, 2017

I also wrote at the time that the Neel show would kick off a trend to small-scale portraiture – and especially to portraits that include a more diverse array of people. I was absolutely right about everything except “small-scale.” The new portraiture is anything but small, it’s outsized in every way. And why not?

While there has always been a market for portraits, e.g., Elizabeth Peyton’s have consistently been top sellers, interest in portraiture exploded after the Obama portraits were unveiled in early 2018 partly because the art world loves the Obamas but also because of who they picked to paint them..

Full credit for making portraiture newly exciting has to go to the group of black artists who are working at the forefront of this genre. Artists like Kehinde Wiley (Barack Obama portrait), Amy Sherald (Michelle Obama portrait), Jordan Casteel, Kerry James Marshall, and Henry Taylor among others.

Henry Taylor’s current show at Blum & Poe in NYC was the inspiration for today’s post. “NIECE COUSIN KIN LOOK HOW LONG IT’S BEEN” will be up through November 2nd. I’ve heard that “everybody” now wants to be painted by Henry Taylor.

The show also includes a fantastic large mural that Taylor completed while at Black Rock, Kehinde Wiley’s art residency program in Dakar, Senegal.

Scroll down to see what I’m talking about.
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Are people cooking more or is the kitchen dead?

Are people cooking more or is the kitchen dead?

Two friends recently told me they were cooking more at home – primarily to eat healthier and for convenience. They suggested other people were doing the same. It made me curious.

So far, zero evidence this is the case. In fact, the exact opposite:

“Only 10% of consumers love to cook, while 45% hate it and 45% are lukewarm about it.”

Eddie Yoon, Harvard Business Review

What I did find is that people aspire to do more cooking. A small study conducted by Peapod (the online grocer) in 2018 found:

  • Three-quarters of the survey respondents prefer a home-cooked meal to going out (but doesn’t say who would cook it for them).
  • The top reason for cooking at home is to save money.
  • Wednesday is the most popular day for Peapod users to cook at home and also the most popular day to use a meal kit which I don’t consider home cooking but 60% of millennials do (vs. 30% of boomers).

Meanwhile, a study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier this year found people are cooking less than ever before.

  • Millennials eat at restaurants or bars 30% more often than any other generation.
  • They also allocate less time to meal prep – only 13 minutes per day, which is an hour less per week than Gen X—and when they do head to the grocery store, they spend more on prepared foods, pasta, and sweets than any other age group.
  • Biggest finding: the very definition of home cooking has changed. If you buy a prepared meal at the supermarket, bring it home and put it on a plate, that seemingly qualifies as “home cooking.”

Based on my lifestyle and that of people around me, few of us are cooking (even when there are kids in the house). I’m seeing lots of ordering in and lots of take-out.

For me, cooking has been relegated to a rainy weekend activity. It has to be super easy with as few ingredients as possible, e.g., baked salmon with a salad – all in, can’t take more than 30 minutes. I’ve gone so far as to toss old recipes that I used to love because they are just too complicated, take too darned long and are too caloric.

I cook, at most, once a week. I am, however, at Whole Foods every other day picking up fruit, salad, yogurt, milk, etc.

Interestingly, my partner, Brad, cooks for himself almost every night when he gets home from the studio. At 10 pm he’s in the kitchen whipping up a storm making pasta, homemade sauces and most recently, pad thai. It’s all relatively simple but wow, does it ever make a mess of the kitchen.

Read on below for more on the massive growth of food delivery (WORTH A READ!)
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