J.C.Penney Wins with Beyonce

J.C.Penney’s Big Beyonce Branding Win

Every once in awhile a brand does something great. They take a moment, make it theirs, and win big.


During Super Bowl XLVII there was a blackout. It was an occasion that united sports fans across America, launched hilarious tweets, and gave Oreo their moment in the sun. During 34 electricity-less minutes, Oreo created an ad and put it on Twitter.

Oreo Super Bowl Ad

It was glorious.

It was social media at its advertising best. Funny, relevant, uniting.

Who knew that Beyonce would be the catalyst for J.C.Penney scoring major social media points?

Beyonce revealed this week that she is pregnant with twins, and the Interwebs lost its ever-loving mind. It was a source of joy in the middle of an awful news cycle.

Her announcement was unorthodox in style. Instead of a precious pregnancy photograph, Beyonce gave us something…different. The background drew comparisons to J.C.Penney department store photography.

Picture of Beyonce and Twitter's JCPenney Response

JCPenney + Beyonce

JCPenney + BeyonceInstead of ignoring the comparison, taking offense, or drawing up some silly PR statement, J.C.Penney ran with it. 

JCPenney + Beyonce Wins

JCPenney + Beyonce Win

JCPenney + Beyonce Win

JCPenney + Beyonce Win

It was fun. It was hilarious. And, it was personal.

JCPenney + Beyonce(They responded back to everyone, not just me.)

Here’s why this social media tactic worked:

  • It shows clear knowledge of the subject matter. The Tweets use language that’s both understanding of Beyonce’s work and the people who love her.
  • It’s funny. There is a great sense of humor at work here.
  • J.C.Penney trusts its social media team. This is amazingly important. The team is allowed to act within the boundaries of their brand while reacting to what is happening in real time. When internal people are trusted it can result in amazing brand moments.

Bravo to J.C.Penney for a great series of Tweets and for adding levity to social media during an uneasy time.

Best Halloween Fashion Ad

Balenciaga Accidentally Made the Best Halloween Ad Campaign

Way back in September I was flipping through Vogue and came across the following ad:

Balenciaga September Vogue Ad 2016

And then this one:

Balenciaga Ad Vogue September Issue 2016

Balenciaga took out 4 pages in Vogue for a guy wearing a sheet.

Of course I thought about Charlie Brown.


When non-fashiony people ask about odd fashion things I can usually supply some sort of explanation. Every now and then there is something that comes along where I just have to shrug my shoulders and say, “I dunno!” This is one of those times.

But, to Balenciaga’s credit – I did remember the ad.

Fashion News – Top Stories

Fashion News from This Week! 

This week in fashion news – everyone got fired!

Lands’ End Fires Federica Marchionni 

Lands’ End hired Federica Marchionni 19 months ago to bring some glam to the brand. Marchionni’s background is impressive – she previously worked with Ferrari and Dolce & Gabbana.

When we first reported this hire it sounded like a Reese Witherspoon movie. A high fashion gal moves to the midwest to turn around a company. Cue the high-heels-while-walking-in-snow montage.

Picture of Clothing

This isn’t a picture of Lands’ End clothing, but it looks like it could be, eh?

Except this thing went bust. Profits turned into a deficit and Lands’ End stock went down. Ouch.

If you are keeping track, this past year new creative directors have been named at:

Dior, YSL, Lanvin, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta.

Peter Dundas “Parts Ways” with Roberto Cavalli 

Peter Dundas got dropped from Roberto Cavalli. Formal sources are saying they “parted ways” or are cheekily implying that they are consciously uncoupling. But, it sounds like the dude got fired.

Right after his Milan show.

He showed his Spring 2017 collection in late September and then found out a couple of weeks later that he was gone. Jeezy creezy, this industry isn’t for the faint of heart.

If you want to see his last Cavalli collection check it on The Cut here.

I will leave you with this quote from Vogue’s review of that particular show:

There’s always a niche for this sort of thing. The striped jackets and skinny flares are in sync with fashion, as are the drifty dresses, fringed blankets, and shawls. Considering all the work involved in these pieces, though, young girls like the ones on the runway aren’t going to be able to afford to buy Cavalli. Probably it’s an older customer who might magpie around this collection when it hits stores. – Sarah Mower

Note: “magpie around this collection” is my favorite phrase of fashion criticism this fall.

What’s good 2016?

Amazon Opening Grocery Stores

In the meantime, Amazon is positioning itself to take over the grocery industry.

Amazon Fresh customers will soon be able to go to small convenience stores to shop for fruit, veggies, milk, and meat. Non-perishables will be delivered or customers can go to a drive-through where items will be loaded directly into their car.

Why is this a fashion story? Well, it isn’t. But, this speaks to a larger concept of Amazon changing the game in retail. Right now this sounds like an odd idea. In five years we will all probably will be doing it.

Amazon Knows What We Want

The most upsetting / real quote regarding Amazon

Lisa summed up the Amazon / retail phenomenon in one line that I found frightening and true.

Other Fashion News

  • American Crime Story announced that season 3 will be all about the Versace Murder. YASSS. It’s about time someone took this on in a comprehensive way.
  • Whoopi Goldberg is now designing Ugly Christmas Sweaters with Lord & Taylor. Yes, that is a real sentence.
  • Macy’s is opening even earlier on Thanksgiving Day than anticipated. Good for people who want to get away from their annoying cousins for a few hours, right??! RIGHT?? Honestly, I’m not sure if this a good thing or not.
  • You will soon be able to purchase Ferragamo RTW online. It’s a big deal because most luxury brands have not waded into these waters. Sure, they may sell perfume or bags online. But, high-end fashion brands don’t (typically) sell clothes online. Bold move, Ferragamo. Bold move.

Want to hear more? Hop over to Pop Fashion podcast where we do a deep dive into these stories and more fashion drama! Or, just push play below.

Fashion News – Top Stories

Fashion News from This Week! 

Does the fashion world ever get boring?

Trick question – the answer is no.

Kim Kardashian Jewelry Robbery  

I’m still in recovery from the Kim Kardashian jewelry heist. I’m a secret Kim fan, so I was worried about her emotional health following the robbery.

That aside, I’m curious how the incident is impacting tourism in France. It’s not just me who is worried – Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo came out said, “No worries, visitors!” and then talked about how tourism is essential to the health of the city. Furthermore, women in Paris are concerned about wearing their jewelry in public right now. Turns out there have been multiple armed robberies of jewelry stores within the city. If people don’t want to wear bling, how is it going to impact the luxury market?

Oakley Attempts to Make World’s Ugliest Sunglasses

In other news, Oakley is apparently determined to make the ugliest sunglasses on the market. The new Radar Pace acts as a coach to the user. If you slow down your run you can now have a robot yell at you for $449.

Oakley Radar Pace Sunglasses

Oakley Radar Pace Sunglasses

The sunglasses also track vital signs, answer questions, text people, answer calls, etc. Voice activated / hands-free devices are where everything is headed. But, do we really need this product? Maybe hard-core athletes will appreciate having a virtual coach. You can purchase a pair here.

Moschino’s Capsule Collection Controversy 

Moschino’s “capsule” collection isn’t going over well. Advocates say the clothing and accessories glamorize drug use, and Nordstrom responded by pulling the brand from stores. You can find the products at Saks Fifth Avenue – for now.

Moschino Chain-Strap Prescription Bottle Bag

Moschino Chain-Strap Prescription Bottle Bag at Saks Fifth Avenue

What do you think? Has Moschino gone too far? Does this line bring awareness to our connection to the drug world (prescription or otherwise)? You can find the Chain-Strap Prescription Bottle Bag here for $950.

Other Fashion News

  • Cambodia’s imports to the United States are declining. A new report by the U.S. Commerce Department states that countries including Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Honduras aren’t shipping as much apparel to our country. Keep an eye out on this story because it’s tied to labor laws.
  • Chanel’s Spring 2017 show took place in a data center to enhance the technology theme. It’s about time we see some fashionable lanyards! Rejoice!
  • Did you know that pockets are political? This fantastic article by Chelsea G. Summers of Racked goes deep into the inherit sexism of pocket design.

Want to hear more? Hop over to Pop Fashion podcast where we do a deep dive into these stories and more fashion drama! (Or, just push play below!) Navin Vembar (@NavinVembar) is our guest co-host for this week.

Fashion News – Top Stories

Fashion News from This Week! 

It’s the start of New York Fashion Week! The designers just started showing their looks for Spring 2017. Usually it’s too hard to think about spring when I’m excited about fall. BUT, D.C. has had a round of 90 degree weather that has me all crazy-like. Thus, I’m in a mood to see spring clothes.

You don’t have to follow everything that happens at Fashion Week, ya’ll. I got you!

Check out my New York Fashion Week Spring 2017 Pinterest board. I go through the shows and pick looks that are emblematic of the brand, the line, or make me go, “aww, hell naww.”

New York Fashion Week Spring 2017 RTW Pinterest Board

Pinterest for the win!

The biggest hubbub from the start of Fashion Week is Kanye’s show. Apparently models got over-heated, leading to this insightful article by Stella Bugbee on The Cut. (Worth a read.)

Amina Blue also took off her shoes on the runway. Twitter response: Your career is over! My response: Girl, I’ve been there.

Other Fashion News 

  • Walmart is cutting 7,000 jobs, mostly in the back office. Remember how they just bought Jet.com for $3 Billion? Yeah, ch-ch-ch-channnnges all around that store.
  • Doc Martins are getting an update in the best way. They will be lighter but look exactly the same.
  • Oscar de la Renta announced that Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia will be co-Creative Directors. You guys have to check out this NYTimes profile on how and why this happened. It has romance, drama, revenge, and lots and lots of hustle.
  • PEOPLE ARE STEALING from stores. In fashion crime this week, check out the stats for shrinkage (shrinkage = loss of inventory).  The National Retail Federation said that organized crime retail costs the industry $30 Billion a year. Retail Inventory Shrink Statistics
  • The H&M Conscious Foundation is putting up serious cash for their Global Change Award. Think you have an idea that can change the industry?
  • ModCloth is selling a podcast co-host top. Translation: a regular blouse that they have given a hip name because they are the QWEEENS of product description. As a co-host, I completely appreciate this nod.
ModCloth Podcast Co-host Top

I don’t like the top, but can I have your hair?

Want to hear more? Hop over to Pop Fashion podcast where we do a deep dive into these stories and more fashion drama! (Or, just push play below!)

Fashion News – Top Stories

Fashion News from This Week! 

Here are the top fashion stories that have me buzzing this week!

  • Kanye paid how much for that t-shirt? After Kanye got his brag on about earning $1M in 2 days with his Life of Pablo pop-up, High Snobiety decided to look into the cost of making all that swag. The bottom line: Mr. West is jacking up prices. But, Kanye warned us about spending early on:

Poignant “All Falls Down” lyrics: “I want to act ballerific like it’s all terrific / I got a couple past-due bills, I won’t get specific / I got a problem with spending before I get it.”

OMG – do you guys REMEMBER the genius that was College Dropout? It’s still flippin’ amazing. I may have to dip to listen to that album again…

(The whole album is here on YouTube if you would like to partake.)

76 minutes and 13 seconds later….

  • A K-Beauty scandal is happening in Korea. Racked did some digging and found that those adorable sheet masks are being HAND FOLDED by women who are making too little money. (Bangs head on wall.)
  • Barneys New York is selling these “distressed” shoes by Golden Goose for $600. If you have enough money to buy this ridiculousness, can you go ahead and fund Pop Fashion? Cause you don’t know what to do with your money, but I can help.
$600 Distressed Designers Sneakers

Image: Barneys – You could pay $600, or you could just go play in mud.

  • In other news, Amazon is cracking down on counterfeiting. (This is after Birkenstock said, “Boy, Bye,” to Amazon.) If you are a 3rd party who wants to sell on the site you are going to have to pay up.
  • Did you know that the FDA doesn’t regulate the cosmetics industry? It’s the Wild Wild West when it comes to shampoo, deodorant, foundation, lipstick, etc. An article by the New York Times explains how Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) want to get the FDA more involved. But, can it happen in an election year?
  • The birkini ban was overturned in France! Yeah! Oh, but wait, it gets worse. 30 towns in France are still imposing the ban, even though it was overturned. And, it gets worse. Prime Minister Manual Valls is all like, “well, let’s just keep the ban, aight?” And, could it get worse? Sure it could. 64% of the French people support the ban.


Want to hear more? Hop over to Pop Fashion podcast where we do a deep dive into these stories and more fashion drama from this week! (Or, just push play below!)

Athletic Apparel – Joggers

Jogger Pants

Raise your hand if you are ready for a more relaxed athletic style.

Skinny jeans, skinny pants, skinny athleisure wear has been the name of the game for years. Every fall I’ve thought, “maybe this is the autumn of our discontent regarding skinny pants.”

Only to have that thought echo into the deep, dark void that is fashion.

But this year, friends. This year we are seeing a more relaxed silhouette. I first noticed it in jeans, but then Momma Mo (aka my Mom) mentioned that athletic clothing was looking more relaxed, too.

Relaxed Athletic Wear Style

Athletic Wear – Joggers & Relaxed Style

Momma Mo is a runner and an all-around badass. She was online searching for a brightly-colored pair of running pants and discovered, to her surprise, that everything was looser.

Like, late-80’s / early 90’s looser.

To clarify: I didn’t mind skinny pants. I just wished there was variation on the market so I could mix and match styles. Retail went through a number of years where it was impossible to find non-skinny jeans for clients. It was so stinky to say, “Well, if you want a relaxed jean we are going to have to go to a consignment store because it’s all tight all the time right now.”

Then the client would look at me and wonder, “Wait, you don’t control what is in stores?”

And, I would have to say, “Not yet, friend. Not yet.”

I digress.

When it came to athleisure I also didn’t mind the oh-so-tight athletic / yoga pant look. That product made me feel all sucked in and safe before going and sweating like a waterfall in the gym.

But, having a relaxed option is a nice change of pace, no? Looser jogging pants say, “Hey, why not go for a jog on a crisp, fall day?”

They also say, “Hey, why not sit on the couch and binge watch Mr. Robot?”

Both options mean we are living life right.

Product Breakdown 

  1. Nike Rally Jogger Women’s Sweatpants, $65 nike.com
  2. PacSun Drop Skinny Drawstring Pants, $55 pacsun.com
  3. Athleta Women La Viva Capri, $69 athleta.gap.com
  4. Love 21 Women’s Contemporary Drawstring Denim Joggers, $23 forever21.com 
  5. Studio Cinch-Leg Pants, $54.95 gap.com

Top Fashion Stories This Week

Want to Catch Up with Fashion News? Here You Go!

  • American Apparel hired an investment bank to explore a possible sale. Will Dov Charney want to buy his company back? Right now he is saying, “Hard swipe left.” In other news, American Apparel is being sued by two former factory workers for alleged, “wrongful termination, failure to pay overtime, discrimination, and retaliation for expressing concerns about working conditions.” The drama continues.
  • The editor of Seventeen magazine was fired WHILE SHE WAS ON MATERNITY LEAVE.
  • T.J.Maxx is saying, “Pass the Veuve Clicquot,” while other retailers are sitting around drinking Andre. Their plans are to add 2,000 stores – an increase of 50% – in an environment where other stores are consolidating and closing.

    T.J.Maxx is opening nearly 2,000 new stores

    T.J.Maxx is like, “Wait – doesn’t everyone drink champagne with breakfast?”

  • A new book is out in Sweden that explores H&M’s relationship with its factories in Myanmar. The phrases “child labor” and “12-hour workday” are being bandied about.
  • DSW is opening 40 stores in the Middle East.
  • Target was duped, swindled, and bamboozled. When they asked, “Hey, are these Egyptian cotton sheets?” supplier Welspun India said, “yeah, yeah, sure. They are Egyptian cotton.” Note: They weren’t. Now Target is offering millions of dollars worth of refunds to customers. Making us all say, “Oh sheet.”

Want to hear more? Hop over to Pop Fashion podcast where we do a deep dive into these stories and more fashion drama from this week! (Or, just push play below!)

Top Fashion Stories This Week

Want to Catch Up with Fashion News? Here you go!

  • Alexander Wang was awarded $90 million in a counterfeiting case. But, he might not see a dime.
  • Grindr launched a sportswear line. It might sound odd, but their foray into fashion supports a great cause.
  • Macy’s is closing 100 stores. Related: 44K retail jobs have been cut this year so far.
  • In a “is this real life?” story, the mayor of Cannes banned burkinis.
  • Under Armour went on a hiring spree of epic proportions. Plus, they backed Michael Phelps who won approximately 276 gold medals this summer in Rio. They also made a dope commercial:

  • It’s back to school time! Are you getting your first day outfit in order? (Or, are you indulging in the feeling of “back to school cool” even if you are way past that time in life?) The Atlantic discusses the science behind “dress for success” and why retailers want to push the concept of purchasing new apparel at the start of the school year.

Want to hear more about these stories? Hop on over to Pop Fashion podcast where we do a deep dive into these stories and more fashion drama from this week! (Or just push play below!)

Beauty DIY: The One that Didn’t Work (But I love)

Beachy Waves – The DIY That Failed 

This summer I was reading an article in Allure that proposed a simple DIY for beachy waves. Think about the textured hair you get after a day near the ocean. Your tresses are messy, but full of sunshine and salt.

There are a ton of products that will give you that perfect day-at-the-beach look. Two of my favorites are Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray and the budget-friendly Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray (whew, that’s a long name). BUT, the Allure article suggested that there was a simple DIY approach to the same product:

As for how real surf girls do it? ‘I mix seawater and a few drops of lavender oil (to make a sea-salt spray),’ says swimwear designer Tori Praver. ‘The oil keeps the salt from making my hair crunchy.’

PERFECT. My parents live near the ocean and they were headed to DC for a quick visit. When Mom asked if I needed anything from home I said, “A bunch of ocean water.” Bless my Mom. She has witnessed / participated in enough of my creative hijinks that she just rolled with it.

When she arrived in DC she presented me with an OJ bottle full of seawater. YASSSS.

Now, let’s back up for a minute and talk about the concept of wavy hair. I’ve always had pin-straight locks. It’s genetic. My hair doesn’t take curl (in the winter when there is 0% humidity it will hold for a few hours). I experienced natural waves once when visiting Guatemala. To my absolute surprise I had some serious body in my hair during that vacation. I’m guessing it had something to do with the water. Fact: I have fun hair in Guatemala, guys. (Who knew?)

Back to the ocean water.

I ordered lavender essential oil from an Etsy seller called Bath Body Soul. This decision was part of a larger intention to order household items from independent people whenever possible. It meant waiting for a few days for the product to arrive in the mail.

In the meantime the bottle of ocean water was hanging around the house. Which is why it ended up looking like this:

Ocean Water - Don't Drink

Don’t drink the ocean water!

I put it in my fridge and was concerned that someone might drink it by accident. Thus, the cheeky message “OCEAN WATER Don’t Drink F*&%ers!” Which, now that I look back, sounds aggressive. But, we have a house where friends are encouraged to go into the refrigerator without asking. I didn’t want someone to pour a glass by accident (thinking it was filtered water) and get sick. I knew if I could make people laugh they would pause before grabbing the bottle.

The last thing you want is a big gulp of salt water when you aren’t expecting it.

So far this sign has worked. People open the refrigerator and laugh.

My essential oil arrived….

Lavender Essential Oil

Essential Oil by BathBodySoul

…and, I purchased a mini-spray bottle from CVS.

Beauty DIY Fail - Beachy Waves

I put a few drops of the essential oil into the ocean water, sprayed my hair….

and nothing.

Nothing happened.

No waves. No increased body. Nothing, nada, zero.

But, it smelled so good. Refreshingly, beautifully good.

I’ve tried this product for weeks. Some days I leave it in my hair to air dry. Some days I blow dry my hair. I’ve put it on my roots, I’ve sprayed it throughout my hair.

My hair is still straight as a board.

Perhaps if I had different hair texture this experiment would be successful. It’s okay, though. It feels like a small luxury to experience the sea and lavender on a daily basis. I will continue to use it – at least through the end of the summer – because it is so enjoyable.

What about you? Have you ever used sea salt spray? Have you ever tried a beauty DIY that completely tanked? Do tell! I would still recommend this simple project because the result is so refreshing!