On Olivia Rodrigo, Depop, and Feeling Old... Plus More Fashion Headlines
Plus, Jenna Lyons discusses life after J. Crew.
This newsletter took a break last week for Memorial Day weekend (and, quite honestly, for me to meet a deadline for a big project). Maybe it’s the exhaustion, maybe it’s knowing that Paris Hilton is 40 years old, or maybe it’s my failed attempts this week to get into Olivia Rodrigo. Whatever it is, this week’s news is making me feel old, perhaps a little moldy, like that bread you should have frozen before you left your house for four nights over the long weekend.
Here’s what I’ve been reading this week out of Fashion Land, so that, if you’re at least in your mid-thirties, you can feel old, too.
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Olivia Rodrigo Is Selling Her Stuff on Depop. Matter of Fact, Let’s Talk About Depop.
Olivia Rodrigo, the 18-year-old whose new album Sour is receiving all kinds of praise, has a shop on Depop where she’s selling stuff she’s worn in music videos. Items include everything anyone who was 11 in the nineties will remember, like black leather creepers and floral hair clips. In other words, Delia’s has died and come back as Olivia Rodrigo’s Depop shop.
Rodrigo’s shop was surely timed to Depop’s sale to Etsy, an eye-popping $1.625 billion deal announced this week that left Olds Googling “what is Depop.” In case you’re not up to speed: Depop is where the Youngs re-sell clothes in a social media-driven way. Sellers create profiles/stores and promote them on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and, like those platforms, can accrue followers to their shops. Vox reports that 9 out of 10 active users are under the age of 26, and that Depop is the tenth most-visited shopping platform for Gen Z. (Etsy will preserve Depop as the Gen Z haven that it is, rather than alienate them by integrating it into its old-person craft marketplace.)
This all to say that re-selling clothes is a big deal, probably the future of fashion, definitely a force – like TikTok or, even before that, the Internet – that the fashion industry cannot ignore. According to ThredUp’s 2020 Resale Report, the secondhand fashion market will hit $64 billion by 2024, up from $28 billion in 2019.
What’s driving this? A social consciousness. A jaded view of consumerism. A broad inability to justify buying something cheap and new when it will just fall apart and go out of style after a few wears. A belief that individuals are responsible for not contributing to climate change by shopping in a “sustainable” way. (Some experts would argue that individual responsibility when it comes to climate change, while important, is not nearly as important as public policy, given the enormous scale on which change needs to happen to prevent us from obliterating ourselves in floods, wildfires, etc.)
Plus, people are simply getting used to the idea of secondhand clothes. OG internet vintage shop The Real Real is now ten years old, and buying secondhand stuff is becoming normalized elsewhere. Everything on Rent the Runway is now available for re-sale. The brand La Ligne, for instance, has a re-sale shop.
How we reconcile this in the age of “drops,” where new collections role out constantly for a social feed-driven consumer, remains to be seen.
Related: Over at the New York Times, Vanessa Friedman discusses the trend of fashion apocalypse books, which is to say: books that explain how creating clothing destroys the planet and people. Maxine Bédat is the latest author to do this in Unraveled, where she “describes walking through a factory in Guangdong, China, that specializes in acid-washing jeans, picking her way over dark puddles of ‘iridescent, bubbling content’ that had spilled from industrial washing machines and was sloshing around on the floor.” Well unfortunately, acid wash jeans seem to be trending for 2021.
Jenna Lyons on Life After J. Crew
This discussion on Elle.com between ex-J. Crew designer Jenna Lyons and journalist Marjon Carlos rather gripped me. Both talk about burnout and the pleasures and difficulties of working for oneself; Carlos talks about leaving Vogue; Lyons talks about her new professional pursuits, including making false eyelashes, hosting a show on HBO Max, and modeling at age 50. Lyons said, “I'm figuring it out, but it's definitely a smaller existence.”
Honestly, I'm just a slut at this point. [laughs] Because when I was at J.Crew, I had to watch everything I did. I had to be careful about everything I said. Now if someone says, ‘Do you want to do…’ I don't have to ask anyone. It's nice to be able to do that and to set my own terms. I was always under the covers and wraps of this big American brand and it wasn't bad, but everything had to be under the lens of, does this make sense for J.Crew? And so it filtered out some things that just didn't make sense, or people who just weren't interested in me because I was connected to that brand. Now I'm not connected to them anymore, so that's been amazing.
I live on the corner of Mercer right where the Mercer Hotel is. When I would walk up the street, there were always photographers. And I remember there was a time where they just stopped taking my picture. But what I realized—and what you don't realize when you're in it, because when you're just a regular person, meaning no one's taking your picture, no one's writing an article about you, you're not on the cover of a magazine, you don't have a big job. You want all this. And you're like, ‘Oh my God, that must be so cool.’ And, of course it is. Don't get me wrong. It was so fun for a while. But what you realize when it all goes away is, okay, well, what really makes you happy? And you do really have to kind of get in touch with that.
Lanvin Muse Paris Hilton to Release Memoir
The publisher of Jessica Simpson’s memoir has acquired that of Lanvin campaign face and muse Paris Hilton, reports Page Six. A “publishing insider” said the book’s goal is “to capitalize on ‘the success of Jessica Simpson’s book, and nostalgia for early 2000s-era pop culture.’” Obviously, as the Free Britney movement makes us reconsider the media’s treatment of the biggest female celebrities of that era, Hilton, now 40, has a lot to talk about, from her sex tape to her nights out with Britney Spears to her friendship with Kim Kardashian. Finally, a lighting fast two decades later, people will take Hilton’s side of the story seriously. Though I do recall being highly entertained by her first book, Confessions of an Heiress, where, if I recall correctly, she advocated only eating fast food on planes which will make people jealous because it smells so good. (Apparently, Paris doesn’t eat fast food anymore.)
Rihanna Covers Italian Vogue
Have you seen Rihanna’s incredible new cover of Italian Vogue, art directed and styled entirely by her? I like to imagine it coming out of her head as perfectly as that spray of water behind Ariel when she’s on the rock in The Little Mermaid. It’s a moment, you know?
Apparently the internet decided one of the looks resembles Joey from Friends.
In case you needed one more thing to make you feel old.
And Finally, Re: All That Pride Merch…
Versace collaborated with Lady Gaga on a capsule line of merchandise in honor of Pride month, proceeds from which will benefit the Born This Way Foundation, which supports the mental health of LGBTQIA youth and young people broadly.
You can buy the $350 hat and $250 T-shirt on Versace’s site.
I applaud the charitable component and love both Gaga and Donatella, but simply can no longer behold any Pride collaboration without thinking about this:
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