Payless, Sequential Brands Collaborate on Martha Everyday

Payless on Wednesday began offering a limited-edition holiday collection of footwear, inspired by Martha Stewart’s everyday life and style.
The new line, available at, is — for now — just a capsule collection for holiday. The line was in collaboration with Sequential Brands Group Inc., the brand management firm that owns the Martha Stewart brand.
Sequential’s chief executive officer Karen Murray said the new partnership “complements our strategy for the Martha Stewart brand, which is to create beautiful, high-quality products and make them available at an affordable price where consumers shop.”
Stewart last month partnered with Aerosoles for a separate footwear line called Martha Stewart for Aerosoles. She is also Aerosole’s brand ambassador. The line at Payless is part of the core Martha Everyday brand. The limited-edition capsule at Payless for includes a strappy, stiletto sandal; a flat, kitten-heel mule and two variations of sling-backs. Price points range from $ 29.99 to $ 34.99. Additional styles — casual sandals, sneakers and slip-ons — are on the agenda for spring 2019.
The lifestyle maven said, “Whenever I am designing items for my customers, I always want to give them the best possible product at the most affordable price. When I started designing this line for Payless,

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Back to the Future: Brands Bank on Old Favorites for a New Crop of Shoppers

LONDON — Fashion is having a flashback as retailers plunder brands’ archives and luxury giants revitalize their greatest hits — the Fendi Baguette, the Dior Saddle Bag, the Prada flame and banana prints, to name a few — and mine the past for future profits.
Versace continues to pump out pieces from its successful Tribute collection, an explosion of Nineties gold baroque prints and flashy hardware that debuted in Milan last year on supermodels including Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni and Claudia Schiffer.
Prada’s flame print has been licking its way across limited-edition tops and shoes, while Mr Porter revived the brand’s quirky bowling shirts in April. The Helmut Lang brand is reintroducing replicas of the original jeans the designer pioneered when he still helmed the brand, while Maison Alaïa is offering reeditions of designs from 1988, 1989 and 1993 on the brand’s web site.
Then there’s Marc Jacobs who, as reported, is this month set to deliver a full-on grunge collection for resort that harks back to his spring 1993 outing for Perry Ellis. Those seminal designs, which famously got him and his partner Robert Duffy fired, cemented Jacobs’ position as a maverick.Fine jewelry and sneaker brands are getting in on the action, too: Last year,

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Laudomia Pucci: How Styling Keeps Brands Fresh Across Generations

LOS ANGELES — “Don’t crush your chiffon, honey,” Neiman Marcus senior vice president and global fashion director Ken Downing advised a model.
The 10 women stood in a makeshift backstage, styled by Downing for an afternoon in-store event at the retailer’s Beverly Hills store on Wilshire Boulevard. They wore pieces from an exclusive Emilio Pucci capsule collection for Neiman Marcus.
Laudomia Pucci, the brand’s image director in town for the event, went to the archives to deliver a fresh spin on seasoned prints originating from the late Sixties and early Seventies for the resort capsule.
“I think the idea here was to have the ‘perfect wardrobe’ for resort escape,” she said. “And, of course, in this store there is not much resort-beachwear. So it’s morning-to-evening in the season. It’s what we call ‘Pucci perfect’ because you just easily put it in a suitcase. It’s light and you have everything. It goes from the beach, swim, caftan, eveningwear. So you can dress it up and dress it down as you wish and it’s styled as you wish.”
It’s all in the styling that allows for brands to remain relevant across generations, Pucci said, offering that the business her father started has remained appealing to younger

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Dsquared2 Revamps the Brand’s First Fragrance and Introduces a Women’s Version  

TIM-BER!: “We’re not killing trees anymore,” said Dean Caten of Dsquared2 at the exclusive launch of the brand’s revamped Wood fragrance, which no longer has wooden packaging.
The men’s and women’s fragrances — brown for the boys and pink for the girls — now takes the shape of a hefty beer bottle.
The 30-ml. bottle sells for 44 pounds and the 100-ml. bottle sells for 75 pounds. The fragrance launches at Harvey Nichols on Monday and the Caten brothers expressed the importance of launching exclusively with the department store.
“It’s important to give an exclusive to somebody because it makes it more important as opposed to coming out everywhere. It’s more intimate this way,” said Dean.
In May, Dsquared2 inked a licensing agreement with Euroitalia for the production and distribution of the brand’s fragrances, and Wood is the first perfume to be relaunched under this new partnership.
The men’s fragrance has been reworked while the women’s is a completely new scent created by perfumer Marie Salamagne. Both incorporate similar base notes such as white wood and ambrox.
“We’ve scrapped all of our other perfumes and since Wood was our first fragrance and our bestseller, we’re relaunching with this,” said Dan.
While the fragrance has been divided into men’s and

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New Report Highlights House of Fraser’s Mounting Debt to Brands

LONDON — Trouble continues to mount at House of Fraser as a recent report by Ernst & Young, the professional services firm, cites that the retailer owes millions of pounds to its creditors, including major luxury brand partners.
The retail chain, which was bought on Friday morning by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, is indebted to a slew of retailers including Giorgio Armani, Mulberry and Kurt Geiger.
Kurt Geiger is owed 4.9 million pounds, Giorgio Armani 1.59 million pounds, Mulberry 2.4 million pounds, Warehouse 1.4 million pounds and J. Barbour 3 million pounds.
The news follows at the heels of a payment dispute between XPO Logistics, which runs two of HoF’s warehouses, and Sports Direct, who has stopped fulfilling orders for the retailer and who is owed 30.4 million pounds.
As a result, HoF shut down its web site, reportedly sitting on at least 50,000 unfulfilled online orders. XPO Logistics and Sports Direct could not be reached for comment.
The report also shows that HoF made a pretax loss of 4.1 million pounds for the year to Jan. 21, 2018 and in the first quarter to April 28, the retailer witnessed a 7.7 percent drop in turnover with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization

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Marquee Brands Opens Second NYC BCBGMaxAzria Store

The new BCBGMaxAzria store at 77 Mercer Street in SoHo features the brand’s updated modern store concept and layout.
The space totals 5,200 square feet, and is large enough to house the full range of the brand’s extensive product offerings that include sportswear, dresses, shoes, handbags and jewelry, as well as its new denim line.
Diane Bekhor, senior vice president of BCBG Group, said, “We are thrilled to open the new BCBGMaxAzria store in the heart of such an iconic New York neighborhood.” She added that the new SoHo store “represents our new store concept that is bold, contemporary and clean.”
It is the first store opening in Manhattan for the brand since it came under new ownership. Marquee Brands, a brand management firm, acquired the company last year. Global Brands Group has oversight of the new store location. The other BCBGMaxAzria Manhattan store is the original flagship store at 461 Fifth Avenue.
Cory Baker, chief operating officer, said, “Expanding our BCBGMaxAzria retail presence in New York City is a testament to the fashion-focused customer demand for this timeless brand and an exciting addition to our portfolio.”
Baker’s firm Marquee Brands is also involved in two other store openings next month, one for Ben Sherman and

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XR Brands Welcomes Josh Ortiz to Team

XR Brands has announced Josh Ortiz as the XBIZ Wward-winning manufacturer’s new “Road Warrior” sales representative, a role that will connect Ortiz with hundreds of U.S. customers. – Pleasure & Retail

The 15 Best Hair Product Brands for Men

Using hair gel is one of the many ways guys can style their hair. Unlike other hair products for men like pomade and clay, however, hair gel works best when applied to damp hair—great for active guys living an on-the-go lifestyle who don’t have time to wait for their hair to dry—and will create a put-together look that will stay in place all day. But, not all gels are the same. Some brands leave you with white flakes, residue, and a crunchy style that often won’t hold its shape. That’s why we carefully combed through a slew of hair gels for men, and narrowed it down to 15 of the best ones.

The post The 15 Best Hair Product Brands for Men appeared first on Men's Journal.

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XR Brands Debuts Electric Wartenberg Wheel Kit From Zeus Electrosex

XR Brands is officially shipping the Electric Wartenberg Wheel Estim Kit from Zeus Electrosex. – Pleasure & Retail

Kim Kardashian West Brands Lingerie Line ‘Kimono Intimates’

Kim Kardashian West drew inspiration for her new lingerie line from a place just a tad outside of Hollywood … give or take 5,520 miles. The company Kim’s charged with spearheading her new lingerie line filed docs — obtained by TMZ — to trademark…


TMZ Celebrity News for Fashion

XR Brands Expands Tailz Line With Matching Animal Ears

XR Brands has expanded its top-selling Tailz animal tail anal plugs with the Grey Wolf and White Fox. – Pleasure & Retail

9 Affordable Skin Care Brands You Need To Know About ASAP

Style and Beauty – Fashion News, Celebrity Style and Fashion Trends
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XR Brands Debuts Realistic, Dual-Density USA Cocks

XR Brands is shipping USA Cocks, a new line of realistic dildos featuring exclusive Ameriskin material that are made in the U.S. – Pleasure & Retail

XR Brands Debuts Jesse Jane Masturbators

XR Brands is officially shipping adult performer Jesse Jane’s signature lifelike stroker and masturbator collection. Jane has signed an exclusive deal with the sex toy manufacturer. – Pleasure & Retail

Williams Trading Co. Offering 30% Discount on Top Brands

Williams Trading Co. is having a 30 percent off sale throughout March. The sale covers the full lines of Body Action, Hott Products and Nasstoys as well as Cloud 9 Novelties’ personal lubricants. – Pleasure & Retail

How Russell Westbrook Is Helping Make Jordan Brand’s New Classics

There’s no one playing basketball right now who can carry on the legacy of Michael Jordan with Jordan Brand. No one, that is, with the exception Russell Westbrook if you ask Shea Serrano, best-selling author of Basketball (And Other Things). “You need someone who is going to dunk on someone and then pose for pictures over them—and then after the game post something on Instagram about it,” Serrano said of the type of player who could fill that void. “You need someone rebellious. Russell is the most rebellious player in the NBA right now.”

The post How Russell Westbrook Is Helping Make Jordan Brand’s New Classics appeared first on Men's Journal.

Men’s Journal Latest Style News

Global Brands Group Inks Licensing Agreement With AllSaints

LONDON — AllSaints, the British contemporary label known for its biker jackets, has signed a licensing agreement with the Hong Kong-listed Global Brands Group to expand its accessories range.
As part of the agreement, GBG will design and distribute men’s and women’s footwear, socks, costume jewelry and cold weather accessories for the brand, starting with the fall 2018 collection. The company plans to distribute the new ranges globally across AllSaints stores and major department stores around the world.
William Kim, AllSaints’ chief executive officer, said that the new deal offers an opportunity to connect with customers across multiple product categories.
Jarrod Kahn, president of accessories and home at GBG, added that the brand’s global appeal offers an attractive opportunity to scale the business through the development of new categories: “With its innovative, contemporary designs and independent spirit, AllSaints is a perfect addition to our strong portfolio of leading consumer brands. As a brand that resonates with consumers globally, we see significant opportunities for growth, and look forward to leveraging our expertise to maximize its potential.”
GBG is part of the Fung Group and manages licensing for several dozen brands including Under Armour, Kenneth Cole, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade New York and Tommy Hilfiger.
Last year,

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Walpole Unveils Winners of Brands of Tomorrow Mentoring Program

I LOVE YA, TOMORROW: Walpole, the association of high-end British companies, has unveiled the winners of its Brands of Tomorrow program and they include Savile Row tailor Kathryn Sargent, flower delivery service Flowerbx, men’s underwear brand Hamilton and Hare and women’s wear and accessories label Rae Feather.
The brands will receive mentorship from a member of the industry and be able to take part in workshops that will help them with financial planning, distribution, strategy, branding, marketing and business management.
Other brands on the list include Asceno, which does pajamas and swimwear; technical sportswear label Castore; leather goods brands Love or Nothing Baby and Malle London; Method Studio, a boutique creative production house, London-based lifestyle magazine The Jackal and the oil-based skin-care brand Votary.
Sargent, who launched her tailoring brand in 2012, said she is in growth mode. She was the first female head cutter at a Savile Row tailoring house and first female master tailor to have a store on Savile Row.
“We have seen sales and client numbers continue to grow year-on-year,” Sargent said. “I believe we are now an integral part of London’s tailoring scene and hope to capitalize on this by expanding the brand into new associated categories that will

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Four Brands Selected for NYFW Men’s China Day

HONG KONG–Changes are coming fast to New York Fashion Week with the discussion of brands shifting to a June/December format while others depart for alternative cities. Attendees can add at least one more change to the list: four Chinese labels are to show in February during men’s under the banner of a China Day.
The chosen brands are: affordable chain Peacebird; Li-Ning, the leading sportswear giant founded by the Olympic champion of the same name; the designer Chen Peng, known for his cocoon-like puffer jackets; and streetwear brand CLOT, founded by Hong Kong entrepreneur Kevin Poon and former actor-musician Edison Chen.
“China Day allows us to further expand the scope of NYFW: Men’s by showcasing the most exciting Chinese fashion talent to the American fashion community,” said CFDA president and chief executive officer Steven Kolb. The initiative is part of CFDA’s overall strategy to build international ties, which will in turn help us strengthen the impact of American fashion globally.”
“Both sides come from the common goal of promoting exchange between Chinese and American fashion industries,” said Jessica Liu, president of Tmall Fashion. “We want to help outstanding Chinese designers gain more recognition in the international fashion community, while also supporting commercial labels to build their brand

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Sex Toy Brands Kick-Start New Year at ANME

Despite the gloomy weather and heavy rainfall, the highly-anticipated Winter edition of ANME is now underway at the Burbank Airport Marriott hotel, where crowds of buyers and sellers can make their way through the venue’s three exhibition areas. – Pleasure & Retail

23 Menswear Brands Making the Next Generation of American Classics

No doubt America’s influence on menswear looms large, with brands that are more like full-blown lifestyles than mere clothing labels, but if there’s one thing people in fashion are obsessed with, it’s what’s next. Luckily, there’s no shortage of labels that are both honoring America’s rich history of menswear design—and steadfastly moving it into the future. Here’s a sampling of the brands—from upstarts to familiar faces who’ve already built a sizable imprint—that prove when it comes to American fashion, the future is bright. 

The post 23 Menswear Brands Making the Next Generation of American Classics appeared first on Men's Journal.

Men’s Journal Latest Style News

23 Menswear Brands Making the Next Generation of American Classics

No doubt America’s influence on menswear looms large, with brands that are more like full-blown lifestyles than mere clothing labels, but if there’s one thing people in fashion are obsessed with,

This article originally appeared on 23 Menswear Brands Making the Next Generation of American Classics

Men’s Journal Latest Style News

EDC Wholesale to Launch 6 New Brands

EDC Wholesale says it will launch six new private label brands, with more than 300 new products at next month’s eroFame trade show in Hanover. – Pleasure & Retail

XR Brands Introduces Master Series ‘Infiltrator II’ Hollow Dildo, Strap-On

XR Brands is now shipping the Infiltrator II, a realistic harness and dildo set designed and built to accommodate users of any gender. – Pleasure & Retail

Brands Eye Fashion Bloggers to Form Genuine Partnerships

As their influence grows, bloggers such as ones from The Blonde Salad to Gary Pepper are increasingly present at recent fashion shows. And designer brands are taking note by forming year-round partnership deals with them.
The fashion bloggers are paid via affiliate marketing arrangements with the brands, which — in simple terms — involves technology platforms that pay the bloggers a commission each time they refer to a brand or retail site.
And it is big business. Forrester Research expects spending on affiliate marketing to reach $ 4.5 billion in 2016.
But it is a tricky endeavor — coming at a time when the fashion industry seems to be seeking a transformation — that requires a high-degree of authenticity between the blogger and the brand, according to bloggers, who add that readers are keen enough to know when a writer is touting a brand just to make a buck versus truly liking the brand or product.
“Followers are smart and it is important to work with brands that [bloggers] truly believe in,” said Heidi Nazarudin of who is also cofounder of Blogger Babes, which is an association of more than 5,000 lifestyle bloggers. “Followers know the difference, so the [content] must be authentic.”
To that end,

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The Designers Behind Common Projects on the Brand’s 10-Year Success

Peter Poopat and Flavio Girolami rarely like to speak about the brand, but on Tuesday evening, the dynamic duo did a Q&A with MR PORTER editor Dan Rookwood.

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Honey’s Place Offering XR Brands’ Prostatic Play Collection

Honey’s Place has announced its release of the entire XR Brands’ Master Series Prostatic Play collection. | Top Stories

‘Empire’ Builders: Fashion Brands Tap Into Hit Show

Judith Leiber gave her a crystal-encrusted mirror compact that looks like a chocolate chip cookie. Moschino let her stand out among orange-suited prisoners in a gold-trimmed denim patchwork jacket. Baja East sent a $ 5,995 full-length ikat-printed shearling coat that cofounder Scott Studenberg described as “her f–k you look.”
The woman basking in all this attention is none other than Cookie Lyon, who, as portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in “Empire,” has layered sassy one-liners on top of flamboyant style to become the TV character of the moment. When the second season of Fox’s hit series premieres on Sept. 23, Cookie can be seen reveling in a wardrobe stocked with the latest looks from Fendi, Kimberly McDonald, Stuart Weitzman, The Blonds, Versace, Balmain and other luxury labels that are clamoring to be featured on the show.
Indeed, Jana Matheson, creative director of Judith Leiber, predicted that “it’s going to have an effect that’s the same as, if not greater than, ‘Sex and the City.’”
It has always been the intention of “Empire” producers to highlight fashion. “The fashion on ‘Empire’ is bombastic,” said Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated director who created the show with writer Danny Strong for Fox, in a preview of the second

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14 Indie Beauty Brands You Need to Know About

Twenty One Pilots, Rosie Assoulin, and The Grand Budapest Hotel—there’s something gratifying about discovering an indie hit before it gets big, and the same goes for beauty brands. Here, 14 under-the-radar beauty companies you’ll want to try right now (you know, for bragging rights).
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XR Brands Debuts New Lovebotz Automatic Stimulators

XR Brands has rolled out new Lovebotz automatic strokers and an innovative portable thrusting machine. | Top Stories

Tmall Promotion Underscores Heightened Competition in China For U.S. Brands

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS: created an online frenzy with its latest blowout featuring more than 1,000 fashion brands.
The apparel promotion, held twice a year — one for spring and another for fall — this time around boasts a number of brands exclusive to, including Timberland, Decathlon and Zara.
The retailer sweetened the deal to customers with a same-day shipping option, aided by participating stores that will send items purchased online to a customer’s home.
It’s part of a larger strategy to bridge the online and off-line worlds, said a spokeswoman with parent Alibaba Group.
“That’s a very important strategy for Alibaba Group,” the spokeswoman said. “You have a lot of shoppers sometimes when they order online, they want to go in stores and get a sense of the look and feel of something.”
So customers shopping in-store, can make a purchase online with the scan of a QR code or schedule to have product seen in-store delivered to their homes. The option is available in more than 10 cities.
It’s another point of distinction for the online retailer as competition remains fierce to bring U.S. brands to the Chinese consumer.
The sale — running through Wednesday — comes on the heels of Alibaba’s announcement this

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Endless Summer: Prolong the Warm-Weather Feeling With 4 Surf-Inspired Brands

surf brands

Summer Fridays, weekends out East, rooftop bars—whatever you’re pouring one out for as the season draws to a close, chances are a little well-placed retail therapy (and hell, maybe pouring one, too) will go a long way in assuaging the pain. This fall we’ll be looking to a handful of surf-inspired brands that are giving good vibes year-round, right on the money with fashion’s current yen for right-on beach vibes. (Hedi, we’re looking at you.) Less about hard-core performance and more about vintage-inspired appeal, these labels are serving up enough sunny stuff to carry you into the new season without too much anguish—rash guard optional.


The post Endless Summer: Prolong the Warm-Weather Feeling With 4 Surf-Inspired Brands appeared first on Vogue.

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Brooks Heritage Updates the Brand’s Most Iconic Sneakers

After digging into the archives, Brooks is rereleasing four classic silhouettes for the new season. Style

The Brands Bringing Menswear Manufacturing Back to America

For these designers, the words “Made in America” aren’t political. They’re a matter of necessity. Style

Our Favorite Made-in-the-USA Beauty Brands

Celebrate the Fourth of July right with our favorite hair, makeup, and skin-care products that are all made here in the USA.
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4 Greek Brands That Will Help You Complete Your Summer Wardrobe

Whether you’re looking for the ideal summer destination, or scrolling through international news, you are sure to stumble upon Greece. In the midst of its struggling financial situation one may wonder what else the country has to offer besides its rich history, culture, and hospitality? Well, the answer is its fashion scene.

Inspired from their country’s roots, four Greek fashion brands show that it is possible to create and promote something unique in times of financial insecurity. Here are four Greek brands that you should know about:

Ancient Greek Sandals

From Emma Watson to Rihanna, many celebrities choose to elevate their summer looks with a pair of Ancient Greek Sandals. Influenced from the widely-worn traditional leather sandals sold in every corner of Greece, the brand’s designers wanted to create a pair of sandals of high quality that would last for summers and summers. Subtle colors and intricate designs exemplify the brand’s originality, as they combine a long tradition with new fashion trends.

Isapera Sandals

A photo posted by Laurel V. (@laurellovesthis) on

As the brand’s name reveals, Isapera, which is Greek for “straight ahead and beyond,” is inspired from the traditional Greek sandal model but offers an interesting twist on the classic footwear. Each pair of sandals is unique for its striking colors and multitude of textures. These sandals will amp up any outfit and are the only pair of shoes you will be need this summer.


A splash of bright color makes these bags essential for your summer travels. Fun designs, delicate crafting and made with care in Greece, Koku bags stand out for their originality. Carry them at a summer festival, on the beach or even in the middle of the city, these lightweight bags are ideal for the warm season.

Callista Crafts

The search is over, we’ve found the perfect bag to carry from day to night. Crafted in Greece, Callista bags stay true to their simple yet sophisticated design with fine Italian leather and signature knots. The bags come in every shape and size and in an array of colors, ideal for all year round.

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Sun Seekers: 8 New Swimwear Brands

Launching a swimwear collection is no day at the beach, but these eight new brands — all designed by women — are making a splash with niche offerings that range from eco-chic to mix-and-match.
Paris-based designers Claire Mougenot and Virginie Courtin-Clarins, who met at the Edhec Business School, launched Luz in 2014 after discovering a gap in the market: There was no such thing as an eco-friendly swim brand in France at the time.
The collection, produced in South America from organic materials, focuses largely on the one-piece, a style both women felt was overlooked. But their version is considerably sexed up, featuring high cuts and deep décolletés, while conveying a sporty feel heavy on colorblocking. With suits priced from $ 200 to $ 300, Luz hits in the U.S. this summer at The Webster and Marie Eiffel and is also sold online at and on Luz’s own e-commerce site.

Sophia Kim, 23, was so eager to launch a swimwear line that she graduated from University of California, San Diego a year early to use her college funds as seed money. She found a manufacturer in Bali, raised additional financing via Kickstarter, and launched at Miami Swim last July.
The flirty, feminine

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Russell Brand’s New Doc Briefly Addresses Katy Perry Relationship

Katy Perry and Russell Brand have frequently discussed their 14-month marriage since it ended in December of 2011 after Brand sent Perry a text message saying he wanted a divorce. The split was even immortalized onscreen in the 2012 documentary, “Katy Perry: Part of Me,” which featured Perry’s tearful postmortem on their union.

“If you can believe in something great, I feel like you can achieve something great,” Perry said in the film. “I have that same belief system with everything, from career to my life to my personal life, everything. And I will do everything it takes to not fail. And I did everything it took, but it still failed.”

Three years after that movie, the Brand-Perry relationship is back onscreen, albeit briefly. The couple are shown together in “BRAND: A Second Coming,” a new documentary which had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival on Friday night.

While “BRAND” is much more concerned with its title subject, Perry’s presence is unavoidable. In fact, it’s while Brand is married to Perry that he has a sudden epiphany about fame and his place in the world. The comedian is shown visiting Nairobi, where children are digging through a garbage dump loaded with hypodermic needles and other dangerous refuse; the footage is then juxtaposed with Brand discussing a lavish party he attended with Perry. It’s a turning point that pushes Brand away from his ascension up the Hollywood ladder and toward his current place in the lexicon as a political activist.

The film also includes an interview Brand conducted with Perry while they were married, where the singer expresses some trepidation about their relationship (she tells a story about how the Buddha left his wife to search for enlightenment). But Perry says she “picked” Brand because of how his intelligence made her look. The camera remains on after their chat ends, and Perry stages a faux tantrum while Brand playfully admonishes for pretending to break their possessions. “I control the pussy,” she jokes to someone off-camera. (A representative for Perry did not respond to request for comment when contacted by The Huffington Post.)

katy perry russell brand

Brand has frequently said he enjoyed being married to Perry (“I really enjoyed it,” he said last year), and while “BRAND” doesn’t dwell on their relationship too much, it does include one piece of the comic’s philosophy on human connections.

“I cut people out of my life if I think things aren’t functioning,” Brand says over footage of the 39-year-old visiting his grandmother’s gravesite with his father. “And I think, ‘What am I making this effort for?'”

Brand did not attend the debut screening of “BRAND: A Second Coming,” announcing on Friday that he was “very uncomfortable” watching the film. Neither SXSW Film organizers nor “BRAND” director Ondi Timoner knew of Brand’s decision until hours before the premiere.

This year’s South by Southwest Film Festival runs from March 13 until March 21.
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10 Times Luxury Brands Swagger Jacked Classic Sneakers [Photos]

As Nas once said, “No idea’s original, there’s nothing new under the sun.” That idea, in some ways, rings true in fashion — especially in the increasingly popular luxury sneaker game.

After noticing that the upcoming adidas Yeezy 350 Boosts bear an uncanny resemblance to a shoe the company Kanye West previously worked with creates, Hip-Hop Wired decided list it and a bevy of other kicks with swagger jacked designs. Hit the jump for more.

Photo: Saint Laurent Paris

The post 10 Times Luxury Brands Swagger Jacked Classic Sneakers [Photos] appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

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Icon Brands Unveils Boomer Banks Falcon Signature Dong

Icon Brands is releasing what it bills as the largest of its Falcon Signature Dongs ever, molded from gay performer Boomer Banks. | Top Stories

FDA Issues New Warnings Over 3 Penis Pill Brands

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued new advisory warnings for three penis pill brands — Samurai-X, Triple PowerZen and Zhansheng Weige Chaoyue Xilishi. | Top Stories

Two Iconic Brands Want to Make Your Tweed Scarf Smell Like Whisky

Two iconic Scottish brands recently collaborated on a fabric that looks and smells like the famous Scotch. Style

TOMS and Warby Parker Aren't the Only Buzzworthy Brands

The success stories of both TOMS and Warby Parker have been written and written again, but there are two companies in their shadows that deserve your attention as well: Tortoise & Blonde and BucketFeet.

Founded just four years ago, eyewear brand Tortoise & Blonde has toured the country with musicians, received backing from Urban Outfitters and began building shop-in-shops in multiple Manhattan UO locations. BucketFeet, founded in 2011, has partnered with retail giant Nordstrom, counts Crate & Barrel founder Gordon Segal as an investor, opened a flagship brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Chicago and will launch a summer pop-up in Manhattan later this month.


Tortoise & Blonde’s first shop-in-shop in downtown Manhattan.

I was introduced to these companies a few years ago while creating the official style segment of the South by Southwest Music Festival. My goal in creating this, then called Style X (read “Style By”), was to celebrate emerging brands that weren’t getting as much attention — and didn’t have as much money — as their well-known competitors. We had runway shows and speakers like the Man Repeller and Huffington Post’s own Anya Strzemien, but the heart of the showcase focused on pop-ups and up-and-coming brands.

Perhaps more than any other brand, Tortoise & Blonde benefitted tremendously from early SXSW exposure. The eyewear company was founded around the same time as the well-funded startup Warby Parker, but Tortoise & Blonde’s founders had a much deeper connection to people’s eyewear choices. While Warby Parker has been led with design and New York cool, Tortoise & Blonde was led by a successful optometrist, Dr. Steven Weisfeld, who serves as CEO with his son Evan as partner.

“We participated (in SXSW) very early in our company’s lifecycle, which was great because it made us start thinking more omni-channel. The e-commerce space was crowding rapidly and it was a great differentiator when raising capital and building out the brand,” said Evan, who ditched a high-paying finance gig to launch Tortoise & Blonde with his father. “We have also seen a higher conversion rate of prospects we meet at events and pop-ups that go on to purchase online versus ads purchased on Google and Facebook.”

Tortoise & Blonde initially met Urban Outfitters on their “Store on Tour” in the fall of 2011, about six months after its launch at SXSW. By the next year, the company launched a program of pop-up shops at existing and opening UO store locations across the country. In June 2013, Tortoise & Blonde launched its first permanent shop-in-shop with UO in their Noho store in NYC and will open two more Manhattan locations in the coming months at the Fifth Avenue and Herald Square UO stores.

“We are firm believers that brick-and-mortar will never truly be replaced by e-commerce. Customers still need to be assisted with purchases, especially with a product like eyewear,” added Evan, who serves as chief operating officer for the young company.

BucketFeet, based in Chicago, is co-founded by CEO Raaja Nemani – who also left the finance industry to start the company – and Chief Artist Aaron Firestein, who discovered his passion for artist-designed shoes while traveling in South America. Today, the company has a growing roster of artists around the world who design shoes that cater to everyone from skateboarding teenagers to soccer moms. (I recently purchased a pair designed by New York artist Jayson Atienza.)


BucketFeet’s flagship shop in Downtown Chicago.

With international reach and a passion for creativity, SXSW was the perfect platform for BucketFeet to raise awareness for its mission to put artist-designed sneakers on the feet of millions.

“SXSW is a unique event and one that fits within the culture of BucketFeet. It’s not about sales, it’s about connecting with creative people from all industries: tech, music, art, fashion, food,” co-founder Firestein said. “Pop-ups and in-person events have been huge for us. We are a footwear company, so giving people the opportunity to try on and feel our product is priceless.

“We want people (artists and consumers) to see BucketFeet as something much larger than just a shoe brand, and there’s no better way of doing that then by interacting in person.”

Despite a world where it seems it’s e-commerce everything, the role of pop-ups and brick-and-mortar has not fully declined – as evidenced by brands like Tortoise & Blonde and BucketFeet, and more importantly, by the investments of retail kingmakers like Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom. The ambitious model of TOMS is easier said than done, as is getting tens of millions in venture backing as Warby Parker has done. But what emerging brands like Tortoise & Blonde and BucketFeet demonstrate is that there exists a new path to fashion and retail success that looks a bit like the old path: one face-to-face interaction at a time.
Style – The Huffington Post
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