Today’s Fashion Headlines: Banana Republic New Look, Amazon To Buy Net-a-Porter, Beauty Booking Apps, Nasty Gal Moves

March 27, 2015 • Fashion Blog, Fashion News

banana-republic-flagship new look

Banana Republic Unveils New-Look Flagship

The Banana Republic flagship on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood is the latest expression of the brand’s makeover, led by the wispy creative director, Marissa Webb. The $2.9 billion, 700-unit division of Gap Inc. has been stalled over the past few years due to increasing competition and a collection that got stale, so it’s seeking to increase its relevance and growth rate. Though the flagship has been in development for two years, long before Webb arrived, it still reflects how she’s transforming the brand.

The two-level, 27,892-square-foot flagship here, with 14,338 square feet for selling, breaks from the brand’s monochromatic, all-too-serious careerwear image with an infusion of color and a greater variety of casual clothes intermixed with some of the longer-standing looks suitable for work. Bing Crosby-style straw fedoras, Superga sneakers and blush moto jackets, as well as Banana’s “Heritage” cargo jackets and linen sweaters, bring a broader appeal and a touch of playfulness. In men’s, softer, less-constructed blazers are styled with linen sweaters, scarves and T-shirts, and paired with chinos or denim. For Banana Republic, a palette that was predominantly black and white has been invigorated this season with peaches, teals and mustard yellows.

Amazon In Talks to Purchase Net-a-Porter

Could Amazon be the latest e-commerce giant to court Net-a-porter? Amazon has been looking to buy a luxury e-commerce company, and the financial community is abuzz with the prospect of Compagnie Financière Richemont spinning off Net-a-porter, which it purchased in 2010 and is not a core part of its hard luxury business. A Richemont spokesman also declined comment. Amazon is eager to make its mark on the fashion world, which executives have said the Web giant sees as a key area of potential growth and is already one of its key sectors. It has opened an online store on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall.com as it seeks to expand in China, joining retailers that include Zara owner Inditex, Burberry and Asos.com. Purchasing a company like Net-a-porter — with its glossy packaging and edgy, high-end fashion offer — would be a mega-move, catapulting Amazon firmly into the designer arena.

Evolving the Beauty-Booking Market

Beauty-booking apps are battling to be the last service standing on a consumer’s mobile phone. Not everyone wants five apps on their cell to book a makeup or hair service. Like every industry, the winners will stand out and the losers, well, they won’t be in business. Vênsette, Priv, Stylisted, Glamsquad, StyleSeat, Zeel, HiLovely, Beautified, Blownaway, BeautyNow, Uber Beauty, BeautyFriend, StyleBee, Beauty Booked, Vagaro, Schedulicity — the competition is fierce, and the range of models share similar visions of delivering quality when and where consumers want.

Nasty Gal Looks to Santa Monica for Its Second Store

Nasty Gal will test the waters in Santa Monica when it opens the doors Friday to its second store, which bows at the Third Street Promenade. The e-tailer’s outpost comes on the heels of its first entrance into brick-and-mortar in November with a shop on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Santa Monica will take up a larger footprint at 6,500 square feet, nearly double the Melrose location. The store will sell vintage apparel from designers such as Moschino and Chanel in a nod to Nasty Gal’s start as the eBay shop of founder Sophia Amoruso. The mix of merchandise will also include offerings from international and local designers, along with a recently launched shoe collaboration with Teva aimed at attendees of the upcoming festival season. The two sandal styles are priced at $90 and $110.

– Selicia A. Walker

Source: WWD

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