Posts tagged with "WWD"

Why own a diamond ring when you can rent one?

November 28, 2022

“Diamonds are forever,” if you were to ask James Bond–or just for a couple of weeks if you question Millennials and Gen-Zers.

Indeed, when it comes to younger consumers’ views about owning and purchasing jewelry, they are increasingly likely to treat precious sapphire rings and diamond pavé earrings the size of an almond like the latest “It” bags and decide to rent rather than invest in a purchase, reports WWD .

Jewelry rental services have been popping up here and there over the past few years—think Beekman NYCHurrRocksboxVivrelle, Switch, HauteVault, and more. They service an audience of women—and some men—seeking statement pieces to wear one night or day only, be it for charity galas or their bestie’s wedding ceremony.

Yet compared to their fashion counterparts, which have become somewhat mainstream, the jewelry sector—especially in the higher end of the product spectrum—has remained more niche.

The occasion-based model, emotional connection to jewelry, insurance nightmares, higher logistics costs, and lower margins are among the hurdles the category faces. But consumers’ appetite for more responsible business models and mindful spending is unlikely to wane.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of reinventing ownership and the sharing economy—why can’t we access amazing things for shorter periods of time?” questioned Victoria Prew, founder and chief executive officer of Hurr, a U.K.-based rental platform focused on fashion and jewelry.

“As a Millennial myself I’ve witnessed the monumental rise of sharing platforms such as Uber and Airbnb. As consumers, we rent our cars, we rent our houses; so my “lightbulb” moment came when I considered our wardrobes. Why can’t we rent those, too? There is no doubt in my mind that circular fashion is the opportunity that digital was 10 years ago,” she said.

Yet the scalability of jewelry rental services and subscriptions remains a mixed bag.

“The jewelry rental market continues to find its most success around events and occasions, where meaningful moments are elevated by pieces typically outside of consumers’ price range,” said Brielle Saggese, an insight strategist at consultancy WGSN.

“I would suggest that clients that are looking for occasion-driven pieces would be more inclined to embrace jewelry rental. That client might not invest in a particular piece, but if it is for an occasion, it might be worth the splurge, again for this brief indulgence, a moment of excess, which is a wide-spanning cultural sentiment, heavily infiltrating into the fashion and jewelry industries,” echoed Anush Mirbegian, director of accessories at trend forecasting firm Fashion Snoops.

Wedding-related rentals are an established category—from the venue to dresses and tuxedos—and the same increasingly applies to other formal or special events and even to vacation dressing, with pieces rented and packed just for the duration of getaways, as Hurr’s Prew explained.

But those aren’t enough to rely on for a significant business. Scalability comes with bigger audiences, more frequent rentals, and higher margins. It’s especially important as these platforms are being backed by investors—who are closely watching and crunching sales numbers.

For example, Rocksbox was acquired by Signet Jewelers last year; Vivrelle secured a $35 million Series B funding round earlier this month that included the likes of Lily Collins, Nina Dobrev, and entrepreneur Morgan Stewart McGraw.

So how can the sector engage customers monthly and make them return, beyond just parties and ceremonies? A strong offering in the right price range and speedy, high-end service all contribute to turning the experience from once-in-a-while rental to a monthly treat to oneself.

“When we first launched Switch, we expected that it would mainly be event-driven, but we quickly learned that wasn’t the case,” said Adriel Darvish, cofounder and CEO of U.S.-based Switch.

“Most members use Switch to borrow pieces for weeks or months at a time as a supplement to their everyday wardrobe. In response, we’ve invested in more timeless, wearable and versatile pieces. That’s not to say that there aren’t members that use Switch for events — for a number of members, that’s the primary purpose. Those members tend to gravitate toward funkier statement pieces and switch them out far more often,” he noted.

A data-driven approach to curation has helped Switch to assemble the right selection of pieces—often based on social media, and magazine and runway insights, to deliver high-end brands and elevated styles that could easily be part of daily outfits.

Platforms offering subscription models, such as Rocksbox, benefit from that model, engaging clients tempted to making a big impression for as little as $21 a month. Its edit of fashion and costume jewelry, which was enhanced last year with the addition of a demi-fine selection, caters to younger demographics. These represent the age group most likely to embrace rental versus ownership.

“Most of our members are jewelry lovers who wear jewelry daily and want to keep their jewelry wardrobes fresh every day. They also turn to Rocksbox as an option for their special occasions,” said Rocksbox President Allison Vigil.

When it comes to more expensive pieces, the average demographic also skews young—especially as global economic headwinds and the recession are shifting consumers’ purchasing behavior.

“With the impending recession, consumers’ mindsets are already shifting in terms of value, luxury, ownership, and access; where many will find true worth in both owning and renting for different purposes … they will more likely have both rented and owned pieces sitting in the same jewelry box,” Saggese said.

“We believe that macroeconomic factors are also in our favor,” noted Switch’s Darvish. “While we would never root for a recession, current economic conditions are leading to people becoming more thoughtful about how they spend their money. Rather than splurging on a single item, Switch provides a better bang for the buck, unlocking an infinite trove of accessories at a fraction of the price.”

He said the platform’s core clientele is aged 22 to 40, lives in metropolitan cities and appreciates the “convenience, efficiency and attentiveness” of the service.

Switch now has  a core membership subscription priced at $45 a month and will introduce a premium tier, called Switch Select, which will allow customers to rent jewels and handbags with an average value of $4,000. The waitlist for it, Darvish said, is already in the thousands.

But while convenience and the ability to experiment with different types of jewelry are attractions for potential customers, there’s a sentimental aspect to wearing—and owning—jewelry that could represent a challenge for rentals and subscription boxes.

“Consumers often attach more personal meaning to their jewelry than other items .… Rental services can’t replicate that kind of backstory. For younger consumers especially, jewelry trends are often about celebrating their individuality .… The nature of rental doesn’t allow for that kind of relationship, so services will need to reconsider how rented pieces can still act as a token of identity,” Saggese said.

Research contact: @WWD

Saweetie and Cher collaborate in MAC Cosmetics’ ‘Challenge Accepted’ campaign

January 10, 2022

Bay area rapper Saweetie has been a brand ambassador for MAC Cosmetics since September 2021. Her latest campaign for the brand is here—and it involves none other than songstress and actress Cher, reports WWD.

The rapper and music icon feature in MAC’s Challenge Accepted campaign, which challenges its users to put their makeup to the test and shine a light on their performance.

“Challenge Accepted means challenging a status quo, and I try to do that every day with my business, with my music, with the message I give out to the world,” Saweetie told WWD.

She added, “Because I went to college, something that was said to me was: ‘Why would you be a rapper when you have a degree?’ But I challenge that. I’m going to do what I’m passionate about. So Challenge Accepted from MAC’s side; from my side, I feel like we continue to challenge the doubters.”

To announce the challenge, Hello Beautiful reports,  the 29-year-old rapper took to Instagram to share a glamourous promotional video of herself and Cher as they applied MAC makeup and primped in the mirror. “

How’d we do it, @Cher ?!!! Me and my new bestie have teamed up with @maccosmetics to challenge you to put their high-performance products to the test. Why? Because performance is EVERYTHING. #IKDR!!! Get my ICY look, set your challenge and show us what your M·A·C can do with #MACChallengeAccepted,” she captioned the IG post before tagging the cosmetics used in the video.

So what exactly is being put to the test? According to MAC it’s everything! From color-true payoff, to transfer- and sweat-resistance, to waterproof wear and longevity, MAC Cosmetics wants to prove the quality of their products is made to last and is just as extraordinary as the beauties who love it!

Saweetie continued in the press release, “M·A·C Lipglass has always been my favorite go-to lipgloss—I’ve been using it for as long as I can remember. Cher’s regal energy is so contagious so being alongside her in Challenge Accepted has been an unforgettable experience.”

Research contact: @wwd

Sean Combs regains control of Sean John brand

December 23, 2021

Sean “Diddy” Combs gave himself an early Christmas present this year: He bought back his Sean John brand, the game-changing streetwear label he created in 1998.

While it may have cost a little more than he had originally expected, the winning price of $7.551 million was well worth it for him to regain control of his eponymous brand, sources said told Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) exclusively.

“I launched Sean John in 1998 with the goal of building a premium brand that shattered tradition and introduced hip-hop to high-fashion on a global scale,” Combs said. “Seeing how streetwear has evolved to rewrite the rules of fashion and impact culture across categories, I’m ready to reclaim ownership of the brand, build a team of visionary designers and global partners to write the next chapter of Sean John’s legacy.”

 As reported, the entertainer and entrepreneur submitted a bid in bankruptcy court earlier this month to buy the Sean John brand for $3.3 million through an acquisition company named SLC Fashion. As such, he was positioned as the stalking horse, meaning that any other bids would have had to exceed his offer.

Although four other parties reportedly also put in offers for the brand and an auction was held on December 20, ultimately Combs prevailed. At the beginning of the process, 45 potential purchasers were contacted about buying the brand.

 According to court papers, United Ventures submitted a bid for a cash purchase price of $7.5 million and is now deemed the backup bidder.

 In July, the North American arm of Global Brands Group, the Hong Kong-based company that owns 90% of the Sean John label, filed for Chapter 11 in New York and sought to sell its assets—which included Aquatalia, Ely & Walker, and Tahari, in addition to Sean John.

 Combs is believed to have retained a 10% stake in the brand when he sold it to GBG in 2016. Court papers described the brand as the “crown jewel” of the GBG portfolio and said the bid submitted by Combs reflected the highest and best available for the assets.

 Research contact: @wwd

Parsons School of Design, WWD, and Yellowbrick team up to launch online fashion business program

February 24, 2021

The School of Fashion at The New School’s Parsons School of Design—in collaboration with WWD, a leading source of news for the fashion, beauty, and retail industries; and the New York-based education platform Yellowbrickannounced on February 23 the availability of a new online certificate program called Fashion Business Essentials.

According to the press release from the three organizations, “The program will offer a deep exploration into the innovation and changes happening across the Fashion business—including effective uses of information technology, strategic business planning, decision-making, planning management, brand development, and effective communications within organizations.”

Learners who complete the program will earn a non-credit Completion Certificate from Parsons and will gain a full understanding of key roles, skills, and functions to be successful in the fashion industry. All course materials and instruction will be provided online, enabling students to complete lessons at their own pace and fit the course into their daily lives.

The program offers more than 15 hours of instruction and project time offered across five modules” “Entrepreneurship and the Fashion System,” “Managing Fashion Production,” “Fashion Branding,” “Marketing Strategies,” and “Retailing and Distribution.”

Instruction will come from Parsons faculty, along with fashion insiders and experts. Instructors include Keanan Duffty, director of Fashion Programs, Parsons; Khary Simon, VP at The Premiere Group, Parsons Faculty; Jasmine Young, VP of Operations at Ami Colé; Sydney Price, founder & CEO, The Knew Purpose, Parsons Faculty; Rick Helfenbein, Retail & Fashion Industry Consultant, former president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association; and many more.

“The fashion industry has endured many challenges over the past year and we see its recovery as an opportunity to bring more diverse voices into the ranks,” said Ben Barry, Dean of the School of Fashion at The New School’s Parsons School of Design. “In this program, we’re building opportunities for talent who hail from non-traditional backgrounds in the fashion industry, and we’re furthering our mission to change the fashion education experience for the better.”

“WWD has been covering the Fashion industry since 1910, and few if any years have been more disruptive to the industry than 2020 was. However, where there’s disruption, there’s opportunity,” added Amanda Smith, president of Fairchild Media. “This is a chance for a whole new generation of talent to join us in reimagining the industry in bigger and better ways. By partnering with Parsons and Yellowbrick, we’re helping educate the next generation and we’re excited to tap our staff’s extensive knowledge in providing that education.”

“Fashion occupies a special place among creative industries, as expressed to us by the thousands of learners who have come through our Fashion and Streetwear programs,” said Rob Kingyens, president and CEO of Yellowbrick. “For learners who are dedicated to learning all they can, we wanted to create a next-level educational experience that highlights the intricacies of this massive and inspiring industry. By tapping the passion and expertise of Parsons and WWD staff, we’re now able to help fashion professionals and businesses advance in this exciting industry.”

Beginning February 23, visitors to can sign up for an exclusive preview of the program. The first group of students will be admitted to Fashion Business Essentials later this month.

Research contact: @ParsonsSchool