I’m not sure how much Ruby Rose’s claim that she loves JAGs because her mum wore them is helping JAG’s reputation as a leading supplier of mum jeans. But dancing around in the said denims while making out with a very attractive man and performing an only slightly cringey rendition of Blondie’s “One Way or Another” is, against all odds, making me want a pair.
The model/presenter/singer/ex-fiance of Catherine McNeil has been tasked with breathing new life into JAG as the face of JAG Bombshell after the brand went into receivership over a year ago. If JAG is trying to speak to a pre-childbirth audience with this move, then they couldn’t have chosen a better face than Ruby’s, which is immediately recognisable and attached to a perfect body that is at all times covered with either a) tattoos or b) designer clothes.
The video filmed to accompany the campaign makes excellent use of Ruby’s place in the upper echelons of youth culture, painting her as a rebellious wild child who makes out with hot guys and looks excellent in slow motion. Let’s all forget about the fact that Ruby is actually an open lesbian and enjoy the show. And then probably go buy some jeans.
Last week, I posted an article about Beyonce's special-order Isabel Marant sneaker wedges, which the company PMK customized with stingray, ostrich, calf fur, crocodile and anaconda skins. The shoes (pictured) were ugly, unethical and coming under fire from PETA.
PMK responded to the flurry of news stories with a short statement asserting that "no animals were beaten, harmed, or killed in the development and crafting of the 'King Bey' sneaker." Right. The exotic animal skins apperated out of thin air because the universe could tell that Beyonce thought her Isabel Marants needed a little extra oomph.
PETA just emailed us with their response to the custom order sneaker company. The animal rights advocacy group is threatening to sue PMK if the business doesn't acknowledge the fact that animals were harmed to make the Beyonce's new shoes — which she'll probably never wear in public now, ever (small blessings).
From the organization's President, Ingrid Newkirk:
"PMK must face up to the fact that a variety of species were slaughtered for these shoes or confront a consumer-fraud lawsuit. The company's attempt to cover up this cruelty is as ludicrous as a fast-food chain telling customers, 'No cows were harmed in the making of our burgers.'"
PETA also notes that PMK has a Better Business Bureau 'F' rating, with a lawsuit that was filed against the company in January, for violating consumer-protection laws.
Last Friday, Natalia Vodianova celebrated her new line of shoes for Centro and Net-a-Porter and the party was seemingly more exclusive and better-attended than most runway shows. Here are ten of the fifty guests who were in attendance: Natalie Massenet, Karlie Kloss, Christopher Kane, Carine Roitfeld, Mario Testino, Roland Mouret, Grace Coddington, Christian Louboutin, Veronika Chow. I guess those are just your friends if you're a highly-ranked international editorial model in a relationship with Antoine Arnault (below, right), who's essentially fashion's future boss.
The shoes are available now on Net-a-Porter*. All profits will benefit Natalia's charity, the Naked Heart Foundation.
Images courtesy of NET-A-PORTER
*Shoe collection currently available on NET-A-PORTER International site and will soon be available on The Americas site
Ever since trailblazing Cosmpolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl encouraged 1960s women to be financially independant and maintain uncommited but fulfilling and shame-free sexual relationships while being firmly commited to femininity and man-worship, the publication has had a complicated relationship to feminism.
So it's not surprising to see a headline which reads, "The Latest Sexist Thing We're Not Pleased About," on the magazine's website home page, right beside a link for an article called "Sneaky Ways to Burn Calories," which urges women to shape up with squats while blow-drying their hair in the morning. "We live in a sexist culture, get mad about it!" / "Don't just stand there watching your hair dry, get your glutes in shape!" It's the perfect expression of a classic women's mag formula, which Cosmo itself helped perfect in the decades following the Women's Liberation Movement: make women feel bad about themselves under the guise of empowerment.
In this case, the dose of empowerment is set up as sheer entertainment. The headline trivializes itself and forestalls the possibility of the readers taking its contents seriously: "The Latest Sexist Thing We're Not Pleased About…" Things are terrible, LOL. The article details a new line of misogynist T-shirts that make light of violence against women. (Actually terrible. Depressingly not uncommon.) " Major fail," writes Cosmopolitan. LOL!
On the Internet, articles that get outraged about sexism or racism or whatever-ism attract readers. "The Latest Sexist Thing We're Not Pleased About…" is basically not even the title of one article, but a description of an entire section of the Internet. I'm picking on Cosmo, but this is an Internet-wide problem and one none of us are immune to: you clicked on this post; I wrote it. Outrage is a kind of web-based drug.
We should all care about how and why the game is rigged against certain people, but on the Internet, it all memefies into background noise. Internet feminism is a verbose, angry cat photo. Sexism, racism and other forms of structural oppression are real problems with deep consequences; they're not punchlines.
It's beginning to feel as though the swarm of stores invading Canada from the States will never end. J. Crew, Marshall's, Ann Taylor, Bloomingdales, Tory Burch, Kate Spade and Nordstrom are just a few of the Goliaths that have been spurred by the stronger Canadian dollar to set up shop next to your local Roots, whether we want them here or not.
Chico's is the latest to park its truck at the Canadian border in anticipation of entry as the clothing retailer announced today its highest fourth-quarter earnings since 2005 and plans to roll out more stores, both domestic and offshore. In a conference call with analysts, CEO David Dyer said that the retailer is expanding in Canada, which he says is a "natural expansion."
"We believe Canada is a great first foray into the international arena for Chico’s FAS, as it represents a natural extension of our brands," said Dyer. "In fact, from our robust customer information, we already know that there is significant number of Chico’s FAS customers in Canada. We expect those customers to welcome our White House Black Market and Chico’s stores into their neighbourhoods."
For those of you not familiar with Chico's (I can't say I've ever shopped there), it targets the 25 to 55, I guess, professional working woman. Kind of your Ann Taylor/Klein crowd. Dyer adds that three stores will open in Canada in late 2013 under its White House Black Market banner, and in 2014, more stores will be set up under the larger Chico’s banner. Maybe we should have expected this sooner since White House Black Market already has a popular Canadian face fronting its campaigns.
Interestingly, as Chico's prepares to move in, many Canadian stores targeting similar 25 to 55 demographics are moving out. Perhaps you'll remember the disappearance of Toronto-based women's chain Tabi in late 2011? Then there's also the Montreal-based Le Chateau who, in recent months, has been reporting dwindling sales and struggling to stay above water. And then there's Sears, not a Canadian chain per se, but a staple in any mall across the country that has been here for 60 years.
Sears is facing big competition from Target, who will be opening 24 stores in Ontario this month and 124 in total across Canada. Making a last ditch effort to save themselves from a bloodbath of red and white bullseyes, Sears recently responded by releasing all kinds of updated semi-hip ad campaigns. You can check one out below and then compare it with Target's almost four-minute ad, which aired in a primetime spot in the middle of last week's Oscars.
Is Sears' attempt to attract younger consumers a case of too little, too late? Maybe they deserve to be Target's primary, um, target given their rather inflated prices (yeah, I said it). But then again, Sears' shortcoming aside, is our rolling out the welcome mat for all American retailers a good thing for Canadian consumers? Sound off in the comments below.