Tag Archives: American Apparel

American Apparel Plans on Preppy (Seriously) & Royalty Hits the Hamptons

Hello-Hello, and happy Monday!

Today we begin with a Sign of The Times that we hoped would herald a return to sanity when it comes to logos. Below, a snippet from this story in Women’s Wear Daily about luxury merchandise and markets:

“…Gucci Group would move away from logos, “adjusting to this new perception of luxury, which is more subtle, more sophisticated.”

The comments come from Gucci’s parent company, PPH; we can only hope this movement points to a diminution in the number of Logophobia attacks one suffers when in close proximity to most Gucci merchandise. Unfortunately, the “move away from logos” doesn’t appear applicable to all Gucci items.

‘Subtle’ and ‘sophisticated’ those are not. Nor are two handbags from the Fall 2010 line.

Perhaps we didn’t fully understand the company’s intent when it comes to this topic.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Next, reports that American Apparel is moving toward more ‘traditional’ styles.  Sunday’s Chronicle carried a story entitled “Can Preppy Look Save American Apparel Empire?

“After outfitting the world of 18- to 30-year-olds in all manner of T-shirts and leggings, American Apparel is going preppy, diving into more sophisticated garments such as blazers, pleated pants, button-down shirts and more formal lace tops.”

We would find the notion laughable were it not obvious this is the firm’s direction; it certainly goes in the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category. But when visiting the company’s online store one notices the home page touting “Classic Guy” styles.

American Apparel

“Preppy” from the firm that the story notes “… remade the hipster wardrobe, sensing the demand for neon nylon bike shorts and lace-thong leotards…”?  Not to mention the firm known for its overtly racy ads featuring scantily clad (or unclad) young people? (If unfamiliar with this marketing maneuver, all one need do is visit the company’s online Photo Archive to see examples.)

One of the most surprising items we saw in the men’s section, the Red Wing shoe, similar to many boat shoes, albeit with trendier lines.

American Apparel is contending with a number of issues, not the least of which is possible delisting on the New York Stock Exchange; this is compounded by its own accounting firm quitting, citing concerns over some of the company’s financial data.

Other challenges are explained in the story (which also appears in Bloomberg Business Week):

“Before the financial concerns intensified, Charney had been contending with damaging sexual-harassment allegations followed by an immigration bust. Fifteen hundred workers at the Los Angeles factory had to be let go owing to lack of documentation and 1,000 more quit over concern of being swept up for immigration violations.”

(To learn more about American Apparel’s CEO Dov Charney, click here, he has his own web page.)

One mystery amid the style changes: we don’t understand why the new direction appears targeted only to male shoppers. Visiting the women’s section of the website doesn’t indicate any evidence of a newly conservative or traditional approach.

American Apparel

Indeed, items the company is known for abound; most are NSFW (Not Safe for Work viewing).

American Apparel

To be fair, there are some basics available, like the Unisex Collared Shirts and Unisex Tees.

But by and large it seems that American Apparel’s new ‘preppy’ clothing styles are intended for the gentlemen, not the ladies.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We close with a quick look at this weekend’s benefit for the Princess Grace Foundation in the Hamptons.

Astrid Stawiarz for The Wall St Journal

On hand for the festivities (and also a co-host), Monaco’s Prince Albert II and fiancée Charlene Wittstock. Louis Vuitton was the other primary host, the event was held at the Water Mill home of Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney.  Below we see Ms. Hearst and Mr. McInerney, the latter is an author we very much enjoy reading.

Monaco’s royal wedding is scheduled for July 11, 2011. For more on how Ms. Wittstock is approaching that event, we turn to Women’s Wear Daily:

“But Wittstock seems very low-key about her upcoming nuptials, scheduled for next year, even if the rest of European society isn’t. “I’m not one of those girls who imagined themselves walking down the aisle in a big dress,” she said. “My style is very easy.” Wittstock was wearing gold flip flops with her gown.”

With that we say G’bye until next time!


5 Comments

Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, The AntiPrep, When Preppy Goes Wrong

Banana Republic Closing Monogram? Hilfiger & Ferragamo Black Friday Deals

Hello-Hello!

Well, if we don’t seem to be encountering another preppy money moment here. We just read that Banana Republic’s new upscale line, Monogram, is closing its doors on Bleecker Street. According to the folks at Racked, American Apparel is moving into the space.  Below, the Monogram store.

<br>

The line received a fair amount of splash when introduced; regulars may recall The Princess wrote about it upon its launch back in April.  The line was described as being more sophisticated, more tailored, and more expensive; 30-40% more expensive in some cases.

sum1_m_monogram_bb

This may not be as cataclysmic as it appears however, as we do remember reading back in April the standalone store was only scheduled to be open for 9 months, which would sync up with the timetable mentioned in the Racked story.

Courtesy Banana Republic

Courtesy Banana Republic

We would be more than surprised if the line performed at anywhere near hoped-for levels. Many loyal Banana Republic customers felt the collection was overpriced, with the merchandise providing little or no justification for the higher cost. Nor was there enough distinction between the Monogram pieces and original Banana Republic fare to attract a new following.

Below, a BR Monogram knot halter gown that is definitely not for the faint of heart, at least not in the Chroma Pink colorway.

As our Tuesday post focused in large part on the J. Crew struggles, and now today we are talking about Banana Republic, it seems ideal that Austin’s American Statesman recently did an interesting story advising readers how they can achieve ‘a James Bond look’ at J. Crew and/or Banana Republic prices.  In the story writer Marques G. Harper suggests:

“If Savile Row isn’t in your budget, other spots worth a look for Bond-style wares are Banana Republic and J. Crew.”

“….the BR Monogram specialty line has classic items such as cardigans, patterned pants, dress shirts, trench coats and a tuxedo (it goes for $650 compared with a Tom Ford tux, which sells for $4,650). In other words, get your Bond look for less.”

A photo accompanies the story, featuring a Tom Ford tuxedo and other items at Needless Markup Neiman Marcus.

Rodolfo Gonzalez

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

In our continuing effort to provide information that is moderately entertaining, yet also fiscally friendly, here are a few more tidbits on Black Friday sales and discounts, as originally mentioned in the WSJ blog:

  • Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques will begin holiday sales Dec. 4, marking down men’s and women’s clothing and accessories by 35% to 50%.
  • Tommy Hilfiger company stores will offer 40% off the entire store on Black Friday, plus they’ll take an additional 25% off purchases of $200 or more between the hours of midnight and 10 a.m.

One cautionary note: as TP was initially reading this she neglected to notice it only applies to Tommy Hilfiger factory stores, or outlet stores, whichever term you prefer.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

The new Gap advertising campaign features a personality from one of TP’s favorite shows, Mad Men.  Actor Jon Hamm plays the show’s always-natty lead character Don Draper; he is joined in the commercial by his real-life significant other, actress Jennifer Westfeldt.

Courtesy The Gap
Below, a photo of Mr. Hamm and actress January Jones, who plays Don’s wife, Betty Draper.
Courtesy amc tv

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

One more quick shopping tip, in this case directed at anyone who uses Clinique cosmetics: there is a Trina Turk-designed ‘gift with purchase‘ underway now at Nordstrom. The goodies shown below accompany any $25 Clinique purchase at Nordstrom, actually a fairly good arrangement IOHO, as the lines at the beauty counters can really be tedious when it is GWP time.  TP loves collecting these throughout the year (only as appropriate, when we genuinely require something from the line doing the giveaway, honestly!) and then donating them to a local shelter at the holidays.

Whether visiting the store in person, or in a virtual sense, don’t forget this is going on:

hy_sale

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

For today’s Pretty in Pink, this Leather Mini Wallet isn’t one you are likely to be lose inside the giant pile otherwise known as your purse! It is from one of TP’s favorites, Elaine Turner.

Don’t forget to enter the Great Giveaway, with $100+ in outstanding preppy gifts from Boatman Geller, the Preppy Princess, with the Summer at Tiffany book as a bonus gift! Just leave a comment telling us one friend you are grateful for and you are entered!

We hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weeknd!

16 Comments

Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Updates