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This Interactive Map Charts U.S. Department Store Reopenings – WWD



Sky I.T. Group, the provider of retail intelligence platform Skypad, has launched a new interactive map showcasing, which department stores have reopened in the U.S. and their locations, the company said Monday. 

“We built OpenSesame for a couple of reasons. One reason was just to make everybody feel good that the world is opening up again,” Jay Hakami, chief executive officer of Sky I.T. Group, told WWD. “We’ve been speaking to many of the brands, and one thing that they’ve said is, ‘We don’t know which stores are opening, when they’re opening and how they’re opening.’ And we said, ‘Wait a second, let us see if we can come up with something.’”

Skypad already had the necessary fundamentals in place.

According to the 15-year-old firm, its core platform caters to 72 percent of the world’s luxury fashion brands — including Fendi, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Tory Burch and Celine, among others — providing insights on sell-through data from major department stores. The retail list features names including Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Dillard’s, as well as other multibrand retailers such as Sephora and Ulta. 

With all that data moving through the platform, the company can see which physical stores and locations are open and which ones remain dormant. From there, it’s a matter of representing the doors geographically. The firm used the Google Maps API for its state-by-state interactive map, which can drill all the way down to street level. What’s immediately noticeable is the empty space over the Northeast — which is logical, considering the region hasn’t reopened for retail yet. Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, a key coronavirus epicenter, said Monday that a phased reopening could commence sometime in the first half of June.

An animated look at the Open Sesame map. 
Courtesy image

As for the rest of the map, Hakami believes it covers the vast majority of department stores, upward of 75 percent. And by the end of the week, he said, the coverage could surpass 90 percent, particularly as restrictions lift and more stores return to operation. 

Already the demand has been large, Hakami said, with thousands consulting the map within hours. That’s no surprise — patchwork policies from state and local officials across the country have complicated matters, with different degrees of operation varying from total closures to full reopenings and, in some places, a middle ground of curbside pickup. For now, the map doesn’t feature store policies or other details, but the company is fielding numerous requests for that, so it’s mulling over ways to improve the map. 

For now, Hakami’s glad if brands, and even consumers, just find the baseline map useful. But he also hopes it becomes obsolete. “Someone asked me, ‘How long are you looking to have this map up?’” he said. “Obviously, we would like this to be used while the stores are reopening.

“But we’ll be more than happy to take it down, once U.S. retail opens up.”

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Fashion & Style

Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Fendi and more luxury stores looted amid protests over George Floyd’s death 




As the situation in parts of the United States is growing worse with raging protests over the racism against George Floyd’s death, stores have been looted and vandalised by protesters.

Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Fendi and more luxury stores looted amid protests over George Floyd's death Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Fendi and more luxury stores looted amid protests over George Floyd’s death 

The raging protests are only growing every day following George Floyd’s death. The death of the African-American person who was in police custody has caused unrest in parts of the United States. In cities like New York, Chicago, Minneapolis etc.there have been massive protests and outbreaks of violence. Curfews have been imposed across multiple states to try and curb the violence. The National Guard has also been called but it seems like the situation is just getting worse.

Protesters have taken to the streets and multiple properties including restaurants, public properties and luxury retail stores have been damaged in the process. Luxury stores like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi. Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Chanel, etc. have been looted and vandalised. Statements like “Eat the rich”, “F*** the police”, “F*** Trump”, “Living in hell” and “The Revolution is coming”, were spray painted across multiple luxury retail stores in photos that popular Instagram page Diet Prada uploaded.

Protesters with their faces covered to keep their identities hidden, have also been looting the stores and practically running away with products, leaving all of them practically empty! 

While questions have been raised about how looting luxury retail stores help in aiding protests, others say that there is no one way to protest. The idea is to get attention to the issue and make a statement. 

What are your thoughts on the ongoing events? Comment below and let us know. 

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Fashion & Style

Style findings: Kiko Kostadinov and Asics’ sneaker nods to tennis




Courtside style

1 June

There’s something space age about Kiko Kostadinov’s latest trainer collaboration with Asics. The womenswear style, designed by Laura and Deanna Fanning brings together the Gessirit sneaker silhouette, with a 2003 tennis model, the Excourt, which was noted for its quilted upper and lack of logo. The result is an eye-catching multi coloured style, with spacey Gel pod detailing which alludes to Asics history of material innovation. We’ll be hitting the tennis court in this cream pair, accented with pops of yellow, metallic blue and red. Game, set, style match.

Writer: Laura Hawkins

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Fashion & Style

Vogue stylist Julie Pelipas is launching an upcycled suiting label—and it’s affordable




“When it comes to creating clothes, we can do better, we can create beautiful things ethically and thoughtfully,” Vogue Ukraine fashion director Julie Pelipas explains over Zoom from her home in Kiev. “That’s the challenge and the magic.”

This month, the stylist who is loved for her revolutionary fashion editorials as much as her indelibly clean personal style, will launch Bettter—the small-batch tailoring label she’s been dreaming of making a reality for the past three years. Her very first collection, June’s ‘00 drop’, will feature just 46 looks destined to give upcycled fashion an upscale makeover. That’s where the name comes in. “It was initially a typo,” Pelipas admits, “but if our plan is to upcycle everything, the thinking was: why can’t we also upcycle the word ‘better’?”

So, what makes Bettter better? First, “it’s about special, one-of-a-kind clothes, not big collections.” Every piece is guaranteed secondhand and vintage, sourced locally from Ukraine’s thriving vintage scene where Pelipas spent so much time growing up.

Photography by Ksenia Kargina. Courtesy of Bettter.

Then there are the signature men’s suiting silhouettes, inspired by Ernest Hemingway, Paraska Plytka-Horytsvit (“the Frida Kahlo of the Ukrainian art scene”), and Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich. Each suit is designed to fit up to three clothing sizes, and the fact that Pelipas’s own wardrobe is built around ultra-flattering, roomy suiting is no coincidence. (Think vintage Alaïa vests, worn back to front, teamed with Katharine Hepburn-esque slacks).

Spacious, masculine cuts have been something of an obsession for the stylist since her high-school days when she first began taking her grandfather’s suits and redesigning them to fit her rangy frame. “I experienced a sudden growth spurt at 13 and went from being the smallest girl in the school to the tallest in the space of one year,” Pelipas explains. “I was like a giraffe. At 185cm (6ft), nothing fit.”

Years later, at Paris Fashion Week in July 2018, the stylist once again pulled out a vintage men’s suit that she’d redesigned, then a pair of voluminous, tailored white jeans — both Bettter prototypes. The street-style photographers went into a frenzy. Hundreds of Instagram DMs later, and the stylist had a viable business plan.

Julie Pelipas during the Couture Autumn/Winter 2018 shows in Paris, France. Photography by Melodie Jeng. Getty Images

© Melodie Jeng

“I loved the way I felt back when I first walked into school wearing one of my grandfather’s tailored cream suits. That’s what I want to do with Bettter — I want everyone to feel that the look they buy is not a random purchase, but something that will stay with them, like a grandfather’s jacket.”

But it’s not just the label’s heartfelt sustainable credentials or the polished fits that make it a uniquely modern proposition. Pelipas is also overhauling the way we shop. Instead of buying a single piece, Bettter sells full looks (or a “model upcycled wardrobe”), consisting of a one-of-a-kind secondhand suit, with one or two shirts, and one or two T-shirts — in other words, the building blocks of Pelipas’s own 24/7 closet. The bonus is that when it comes to both ethics and aesthetics, you never have to worry about what you wear.

“We track everything, from where we found the original suit to the year of production if we can find it, and information about who inspired the silhouette,” Pelipas adds, noting the importance of transparency. “My dream is that we can share the story behind every piece, including the names of former owners. That’s how, I believe, we will learn to build more sustainable wardrobes where every item has a meaning. I would love to get to the stage where people will give us their clothes to redesign.”

Photography by Dudi Hasson. Courtesy of Bettter.

The focus on ‘honest fashion’ also includes the label’s price points. “We will consider every little thing about the look before we price it,” Pelipas explains, adding that a fully recrafted look will retail at around $500, with some specially crafted looks priced a little nearer to $1,000. Alongside plans to build an algorithmic tool, which will enable shoppers to custom-design their own Bettter suit tailored to personal specifications, the stylist also has her sights set on launching a line of ultra-affordable looks in time for the ‘03 drop’. “I’m here to bring people joy, not struggle, so I hope that with time we will actually be able to lower prices.”

“Years ago when I bought the beautiful Phoebe Philo Céline pink suit, which I love, I remember I gave my whole monthly salary for that. We need to consume more responsibly and thoughtfully now, reconsidering our relationship with all of the things that we have around us.”

Bettter is available to shop online at from 1 June 2020

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Sophie Turner is the first to carry this covetable new Louis Vuitton bag

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