Ashley Stewart partners with Loni Love for holiday 2019 collection

November 7, 2019

Loni Love
Loni Love at the 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart Finale Event at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, on September 14, 2019. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Ashley Stewart)

The following is a press release from Ashley Stewart:

Ashley Stewart®, the leading lifestyle, fashion and social commerce brand, is excited to announce an exclusive holiday collection in partnership with Loni Love, long-time friend, two-time Finding Ashley Stewart finale host, Emmy Award winning comedian, actress, author and Celebrity Host of The Real.

Launching just in time for the upcoming holiday season, the 2019 Fall/Winter collection consists of trend-focused pieces curated by the comedic icon herself, offering the perfect holiday wardrobe for the modern day woman.

“As someone that has been wearing Ashley Stewart for as long as I can remember, collaborating with the Ashley family on my first-ever fashion partnership has been a dream come true,” said Loni Love. “Ashley Stewart is so much more than a clothing brand; it’s a movement and a lifestyle empowering and changing the lives of every day women. After serving as the host of the Finding Ashley Stewart finale for two consecutive years, I’ve experienced that sense of community firsthand. I’m honored and so excited to grow my partnership with Ashley Stewart by curating this year’s Fall/Winter holiday collection, and can’t wait to see how my curvy community rocks these looks all season long!”

Incorporating festive holiday colors, textiles, and textures, the exclusive Ashley Stewart X Loni Love Holiday collection includes 10 special occasion styles hand-selected by Loni. Offering consumers a peek into Loni’s Ashley Stewart closet, each of these pieces aims to seamlessly fit into Loni’s lifestyle and yours with festive loungewear for hanging out with family at home to statement styles ready for the spotlight, so everyone has the chance to rock their favorite style just like Loni Love this holiday season. The Loni Love x Ashley Stewart Holiday Collection is available for purchase beginning today in-stores and online at AshleyStewart.com in sizes 10 – 3X, and ranging in price from $40$80.

“Ashley Stewart has always strived to be more than a retailer, standing for individuality, community, and fun,” said James Rhee, Ashley Stewart Chairman and CEO. “Loni Love has been a great friend and ally in our mission for years.  Partnering with her on this holiday collection and her first fashion partnership was a natural progression of our friendship and we couldn’t be happier to share her collection with the Ashley family.”

For more information and to shop the new Ashley Stewart X Loni Love holiday collection, visit AshleyStewart.com and follow @ByAshleyStewart and @ByAshleyTV on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

About Ashley Stewart
Ashley Stewart is a global fashion and lifestyle brand that has propelled itself to be on the vanguard of social commerce and purpose-driven business. Since its founding in 1991 in Brooklyn, New York, Ashley Stewart has always stood for uncompromising style, fashion, confidence & empowerment for the woman who flaunts her curves. Today, Ashley Stewart offers the hottest looks with 88 stores across the United States, a leading and global  e-commerce presence at www.ashleystewart.com, a powerful social media presence @byashleystewart and a growing multimedia and events arm at AshleyTV. Every year, through the Finding Ashley Stewart Tour, Ashley Stewart traverses the country looking to recognize women who embody the ideals of the Ashley Stewart women: kindness, resilience, confidence, and community leadership. Through #ASGives, Ashley Stewart engages in programs such as the #AshleyCollegeTour to make long-term investments into the communities that have supported the brand for close to 30 years.

About Loni Love
Loni Love is a comedienne, actress, 2-time NAACP Image Award and Emmy winning co-host of TV’s “The Real” and the nationally syndicated radio show “Café Mocha”.

Victoria’s Secret launches exclusive lingerie collection with For Love & Lemons

September 20, 2019

Grace Elizabeth in lace underwire bra and thong (Photo courtesy of Victoria’s Secret)

The following is a press release from Victoria’s Secret:

Victoria’s Secret, the world’s most famous lingerie brand, introduces their new collaboration with Los Angeles-based fashion label For Love & Lemons. Launching today, Victoria’s Secret will serve as the exclusive third-party retailer of For Love & Lemons lingerie collection available at select Victoria’s Secret stores in the US and at VictoriasSecret.com, as well as select stores in the UK beginning September 27.

To celebrate the launch, For Love & Lemons founders Laura Hall and Gillian Rose Kern and collection muses entrepreneur Devon Lee Carlson and model Solange Van Doorn hosted a dreamy garden luncheon yesterday in New York City. Carlson and Van Doorn are joined by models Grace Elizabeth, Winnie Harlow, Hailey Clausen, and Jasmine Saunders in the romantic and captivating For Love & Lemons for Victoria’s Secret campaign.

A woman-owned and women-led business based out of Los Angeles, For Love & Lemons started as a lemonade stand in a small country town in Wyoming in 1996. Their business concept of loyalty, female camaraderie and ambitious drive has remained with them throughout their adulthood career. Confidence, femininity and individuality are the defining principles of their DNA.

Meant for individuals who take risks, forge their own way and embrace a bit of adventure; For Love & Lemons at Victoria’s Secret includes an array of bras, panties, lingerie, sleepwear and lifestyle pieces. From custom trims and prints to meticulously sourced fabrics, every piece in the collection is carefully thought out and intentionally constructed. Romantic lace meets feminine florals for the ultimate luxury. Colorful floral-embroidery, and rich jewel tones for every moment and every curve. Stunning corsets and edgy black lace sets are timeless additions to your wardrobe.  It’s not just a collection, it’s a love letter from Los Angeles to you.

The Victoria’s Secret Fifth Avenue (New York City) and New Bond Street (London) Flagship stores will provide a unique store design experience via For Love & Lemons branded shop-in-shops, transporting customers into the playful and feminine world of the coveted fashion label.

#FLLforVS     @VictoriasSecret

Shop the collection: https://www.victoriassecret.com/vs/newarrivals/for-love-and-lemons

Ashley Stewart has Salt-N-Pepa, Faith Evans, Loni Love at 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart event

September 16, 2019

Salt-N-Pepa
Salt-N-Pepa at the 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart Finale Event at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, on September 14, 2019. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Ashley Stewart)

The following is a press release from Ashley Stewart:

On September 14, Ashley Stewart, the leading lifestyle, fashion and social commerce brand, hosted its third annual, star-studded Finding Ashley Stewart finale event in search of their 2019 brand ambassador, naming Addlia Edwards as this year’s winner.

Edwards is a hairstylist and makeup artist, hailing from Atlanta, GA. She has a love for dancing, reading, singing, and bling things, and has always encouraged young girls to rise up and embrace their strength. Edwards uses her voice to empower others to “do what you want to do, and be who you want to be.”

2019 Finding Ashley Stewart finalists with host Loni Love (third from left) winner, Addlia Edwards (holding flowers) at the 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart Finale Event at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, on September 14, 2019. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Ashley Stewart)

“‘I Am Ashley’ – always have been, always will be – but now, to say I am officially Ashley Stewart 2019, is truly an honor,” said Addlia Edwards Ashley Stewart 2019. “Ashley Stewart has always meant so much more to me than just another fashion brand. Visiting an Ashley Stewart store is like going to your best friend’s house. It’s a home away from home and a place to go to reignite your confidence and feel empowered, and now by telling my story, hopefully I can inspire other girls, teens and women across the country to embark on their own journey to becoming the best versions of themselves – and who knows, maybe even Ashley Stewart 2020.”

The sold-out event celebrated all women who stand for leadership, confidence, resilience, kindness and public service, with special feature performances that brought down the house by legendary American hip-hop duo Salt-N-Pepa, Faith Evans, Kid Capri, DJ Olivia Dope, BK United Drumline & Dancers, and more, along with Power 105.1’s Honey German, who hosted the pink carpet pre-show.

“We heard all about the Finding Ashley Stewart finale from year’s passed, but had no idea what we really signed up for until we stepped foot on that stage Saturday night,” said Salt-N-Pepa. “It was the most amazing night, with the most lively audience, celebrating a shared love of community. We were so honored to be part of this year’s event and are proud to say that ‘We are Ashley Stewart’.”

Loni Love at the 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart Finale Event at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, on September 14, 2019. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Ashley Stewart)

The Finding Ashley Stewart finale was hosted by comedian, actress and Emmy Award-winning host of “The Real,” Loni Love, whose jokes kept the audience on their toes and entertained through the night.

Celebrity judges and special guests attended and had the crowd going wild, including producer and media mogul Yandy Smith, drag queen, performer and Season 11 contestant of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Silky Ganache, American journalist and essayist Charisse Jones, Partner & Chief Relationship Officer at Egami Group Mike Warner, and former 2018 and 2017 Ashley Stewart winners Tiffany Flamer and Theresa Larsen.

2019 Finding Ashley Stewart Scholarship winners with Sekou Kaalund, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Advancing Black Pathways (second from right) and James Rhee, chairman and CEO of Ashley Stewart (far right) at the 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart Finale Event at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, on September 14, 2019. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Ashley Stewart)

As part of Ashley Stewart’s #ASGives initiative – a philanthropic platform for long-term investments in the communities that have supported the brand for close to 30 years – the 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart finale event awarded over $300,000 in scholarships and charitable donations, partnering with organizations such as Susan G. Komen, Black Retail Action Group, and others. Ashley Stewart surprised Loni Love at the end of the night by awarding scholarships to two students, Alexis Hunter and Jamelarmeshia Reddick, from her alma mater, Prairie View University. Sekou Kaalund, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Advancing Black Pathways, appeared on stage to help present additional $5,000 individual scholarships to Spelman College students Diop Russell and Chablise Davis, Montclair State University students Kristen Walsh and Jordanne Nelson, Rutgers University students Erica Lassiter and Heba Hallak, Hampton University student Jayla Brown, Medgar Evers College students Ginette Dimanche and Brooke Lugo Smith, Texas Southern University students Meghan Narcisse and Asia Bryant, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University student Zoë Mitchell, New Jersey City University students Evana Lyka Jornales and Georgina Moore, Georgia State University student Taylor McNeil, and North Carolina A&T State University student Lauren Atkinson.

For more information on this year’s Finding Ashley Stewart finale event, 2019 winner Addlia Edwards as well as past year’s winners Theresa Royals and Tiffany Flamer, watch the 2019 recap at YouTube.com/FindingAshleyStewart, and visit AshleyStewart.com/FindingAshleyStewart. Follow @ByAshleyStewart and @ByAshleyTV on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to learn more #FindingAshleyStewart and #AshleyCollegeTour news.

Judges Yandy Smith, Silky Ganache, Theresa Royals and Mike Warner at the 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart Finale Event at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, on September 14, 2019. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Ashley Stewart)

About Ashley Stewart
Ashley Stewart is a global fashion and lifestyle brand that has propelled itself to be on the vanguard of social commerce and purpose-driven business. Since its founding in 1991 in Brooklyn, New York, Ashley Stewart has always stood for uncompromising style, fashion, confidence & empowerment for the woman who flaunts her curves. Today, Ashley Stewart offers the hottest looks with 88 stores across the United States, a leading and global  e-commerce presence at www.ashleystewart.com, a powerful social media presence @byashleystewart and a growing multimedia and events arm at AshleyTV. Every year, through the Finding Ashley Stewart Tour, Ashley Stewart traverses the country looking to recognize women who embody the ideals of the Ashley Stewart women:  leadership, confidence, resilience, kindness and public service. Through #ASGives, Ashley Stewart engages in programs such as the #AshleyCollegeTour to make long-term investments into the communities that have supported the brand for close to 30 years.

Victoria’s Secret blasted by models, who sign open letter demanding protection from sexual misconduct in workplace

August 7, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

Victoria’s Secret models backstage at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC)

More than 100 models and several of their allies (including Models Alliance and Times Up) have signed an open letter to Victoria’s Secret CEO John Mehas to demand an end to the sexual abuse and sexual harassment that has allegedly been running rampant against Victoria’s Secret models.

The letter reads, in part: “In the past few weeks, we have heard numerous allegations of sexual assault, alleged rape, and sex trafficking of models and aspiring models. While these allegations may not have been aimed at Victoria’s Secret directly, it is clear that your company has a crucial role to play in remedying the situation.  From the headlines about L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner’s close friend and associate, Jeffrey Epstein, to the allegations of sexual misconduct by photographers Timur Emek, David Bellemere, and Greg Kadel, it is deeply disturbing that these men appear to have leveraged their working relationships with Victoria’s Secret to lure and abuse vulnerable girls.”

Most of the models who signed the open letter are not very well-known in the industry or are well-known models who are over the age of 30, such as Milla Jovovich, Emme, Doutzen Kroes, and Carolyn Murphy. Noticeably absent from the letter are supermodels who’ve been steadily employed by Victoria’s Secret in recent years, such as Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Behati Prinsloo, Jasmine Tookes, Barbara Palvin and Taylor Hill. Adriana Lima, who retired from Victoria’s Secret runway shows in 2018, was also not on the list of people who signed the letter.

L Brands (based in Columbus, Ohio) is the parent company of Victoria’s Secret.  The letter was published just two days after L Brands chief marketing officer Ed Razek publicly announced he was leaving the company. Wexner and Razek had close ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested again in July 2019, for sex crimes, specifically, for sex trafficking of women and underage girls.

Razek came under fire in 2018, when he said in a Vogue interview that Victoria’s Secret was not interested in hiring plus-sized or transgender models. In August 2019, Victoria’s Secret hired its first transgender model: Valentina Sampaio, who posted the news on her Instagram account.

The open letter blasting Victoria’s Secret is the latest blow to the company, which officially canceled the 2019 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show only a few months after it was announced that the show would not be televised anymore. Victoria’s Secret and its Pink spinoff brand have also been experiencing a sharp decline in sales in recent years.

August 10, 2019 UPDATE: Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on August 10, 2019. According to the Associated Press, he died in the morning of an apparent suicide by hanging. The Associated Press also reports that although Epstein, who was 66, had been on suicide watch in the weeks leading up to his death, he was not on suicide watch at the time he was found dead. He had been denied bail while waiting to be put on trial on charges of sex-trafficking of underage girls. Of course, Epstein’s sudden death has fueled conspiracy theories that he might have been murdered to prevent him from exposing who his rich and powerful clients were in the sex crimes that Epstein was accused of committing.

Barneys declares bankruptcy, joins growing list of fashion retailers in financial crisis

August 7, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

Barneys New York logo

Barneys New York (also known as Barneys), one of fashion’s best-known luxury retailers, has filed for bankruptcy, and has announced plans to close 15 of its 22 stores in the Untied States. According to Bloomberg, “Barneys said it secured $218 million in financing and will continue to operate until it finds a buyer.”

Three of the cities that will continue to have brick-and-mortar Barneys stores are New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Barneys will close its stores in Chicago, Seattle and Las Vegas.

Barneys, which opened its first store Manhattan in 1923, has joined the growing list of fashion retailers on a steep financial decline, with store closures and bankruptcy filings. Casualties in the luxury retail business in the past year have included Lord & Taylor and Henri Bendel.

Non-luxury fashion retailers have also been victims of the “retail apocalypse,” which has been largely blamed on the rise of online shopping. Fashion retailers that have announced a massive percentage of store closures in 2018 and 2019 include Ann Taylor, Dressbarn, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Kohl’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Children’s Place, Gymboree, Foot Locker, David’s Bridal and Payless ShoeSource. A few fashion retailers (such as Charlotte Russe and Bebe) have emerged from bankruptcy and are slowly trying to build back their business under new ownership. Department stores that carry fashion (such as Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears) have also been closing stores.

 

Bebe fashion retailer teams up with Bebe Rexha to launch body-positive ‘Bebe Loves Bebe’ campaign

August 5, 2019

(Photo courtesy of Bebe)

The following is a press release from Bebe:

Grammy-nominated artist Bebe Rexha has partnered up with fashion brand Bebe, to debut an empowering national marketing campaign ‘BEBE LOVES BEBE.’ The campaign was created to celebrate the powerful idea of loving and accepting yourself, feeling incredible at any time, all the time.  Rexha appears in the brand’s Fall 2019 campaign, which will debut throughout the U.S. on social, out of home, and in print with the launch of Vogue’s September issue.

The campaign was inspired by Rexha, her honest unveiling of the fashion community and their injustice when she was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year. In an empowering video on Instagram, Rexha called out designers who failed to dress all celebrities, and those who do not fit “a runway size.” Rexha urged women and men to love their bodies and feel beautiful at any size, hence the campaign hashtag, #LoveYourself.

“It’s incredible to be part of this Bebe campaign, it’s not only about me loving the brand, but more importantly about me loving myself!  I hope to inspire and empower women all over the world with this message of self-love, I believe it is super important,” commented Bebe Rexha. “I grew up wearing Bebe, it was the coolest piece of fashion you could have, so to be able to mix fashion and my music is so fun,” Rexha added.

Joey Gabbay, CEO of Bluestar Alliance and manager of the Bebe brand commented, “The bebe brand has a passionate consumer following, one that loves the brand and all it has to offer. Similarly, Bebe Rexha has passionate fans around the world that love her, her music and what she stands for. Beyond sharing a name, this was a natural partnership as Bebe is a longtime fan of the brand herself.”

Rexha will be making a personal appearance at Macy’s Herald Square on November 7, to promote the Bebe Fall/holiday collection.  The collection includes sportswear, outerwear, swimwear, active footwear, handbags, watches, jewelry, eyewear, accessories and kids. The full 2019 Bebe collection is available at department stores nationwide, as well as online at Bebe.com.

“Bebe is a full lifestyle brand, and continues to garner a strong following: it’s clothing is sexy yet comfortable, and can take any customer from day to night,” comments Ralph Gindi, COO of Bluestar Alliance. “The Bebe customer, after all, is a notoriously loyal one, and stays true to the brand by accessorizing its apparel, from head-to-toe, with all its product offerings.” The Bebe brand has consistently remained true to its DNA since its inception, known to accentuate the customer’s body, but also fit into one’s lifestyle with ease.

For exclusive behind the scenes photos and video please visit www.bebe.com. To stay up to date with the latest news from Bebe follow us at @bebe_stores on Instagram and become a fan of Bebe on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bebe.

About Bebe:

Bebe is the go-to destination for chic, contemporary fashion. The brand evokes a mindset – an attitude, not an age. It’s a true original, always defining fashion’s next stride forward. Designed for the confident, sexy, modern woman, Bebe is a global  lifestyle brand that embodies a sensual, sophisticated lifestyle.

About Bebe Rexha

Two-time Grammy®-nominated New York City native Bebe Rexha is a musical force to be reckoned with.  She has accumulated over 12 million overall single sales, over 6 billion total global streams, and a radio audience over 10 billion.  Her debut, RIAA Gold album, Expectations (released June 2018) contained the massive single “I’m a Mess” and global chart-topping smash “Meant To Be” (featuring Florida Georgia Line), now RIAA Certified 7x Platinum.  #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for a record-setting 50 straight weeks, the longest reign ever by a female lead artist, “Meant To Be” won Best Collaboration at the 2018 iHeart Radio Music Awards.  It was subsequently nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 61st annual Grammy Awards® in February 2019, where Bebe was also nominated for Best New Artist. Most recently, Bebe debuted her newest single, “Last Hurrah,” which sets the stage for her upcoming second album release. Reviewing the song, Billboard said, “’Last Hurrah’ is also a triumphant sequel to Rexha’s last single, ‘I’m a Mess.’” Rexha will debut new music this summer, with her new album coming early next year.

One of the youngest artists to receive the Songwriters Hall Of Fame’s prestigious AbeOlman Scholarship award (2012), Bebe formally burst onto the scene the following year, when she wrote “Monster,” a worldwide hit for Eminem and Rihanna that was certified 6x-platinum by the RIAA.  Bebe went on to co-write and carry the instantly recognizable hook for the 3x-platinum “Hey Mama,” by David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and Afrojack, nominated for a Billboard Music Award for Top Dance/Electronic Song.  Bebe also hit #1 on the Billboard Pop and Rap charts with her RIAA platinum “Me, Myself & I” with G-Eazy. In 2017, Bebe released the critically acclaimed EPs, All Your Fault: Part 1 (with “I Got You”), and All Your Fault: Part 2 (with “Meant To Be”). Now in 2019, Bebe has amassed over 2 billion YouTube views and counting. In conjunction with Grammy® Week 2019, Bebe launched the Grammy® Music Education Coalition’s (GMEC) national campaign on behalf of its new All-Star Ambassador program, whose members also include Luis Fonsi, Rita Ora, Kristin Chenoweth, Regina Spektor, War on Drugs, and others.

About Bluestar Alliance LLC

Founded by Joseph Gabbay and Ralph Gindi in 2006, Bluestar owns, manages, and markets a portfolio of consumer brands that span across many tiers of distribution from luxury to mass market. This portfolio consists of major department store retail brands including Brookstone, Tahari, Bebe, Kensie, Catherine Malandrino, Nanette Lepore, Joan Vass, Michael Bastian, English Laundry and Limited Too.

Each brand is uniquely positioned maintaining the brand heritage and equity, considering new categories and current tiers of distribution. Bluestar’s current network of international and domestic partners offers the opportunity to take a niche brand to a visible worldwide lifestyle brand. Since its inception, Bluestar has acquired select brands with current retail sales exceeding $3.0 billion.  The company manages a current portfolio of over 300 licensees and a growing branded retail platform of over 100 stores worldwide throughout North America, Europe, Australia, South America, Asia, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, India and Russia.

 

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show canceled for 2019

July 31, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

Victoria’s Secret’s models at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
(Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC)

The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been canceled for 2019. At this point, it is unknown how long this hiatus will last or if the show will never come back. The news comes after the May 2019 announcement that the show was not going to be televised after ending its partnership with ABC.

Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik told Australia’s Daily Telegraph: “Unfortunately, the Victoria’s Secret Show won’t be happening this year. It’s something I’m not used to because every year around this time I’m training like an Angel.”

Shaik was a Victoria’s Secret Angels model at the show in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

It’s the latest blow to Victoria’s Secret, which has been experiencing declining sales and store closures.

TV ratings for the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show had also been on a rapid decline. The show, which debuted in 1995, wasn’t televised until 2001, when it got 12.4 million U.S. viewers on ABC. It remains the highest-rated Victoria’s Secret show for a single TV network, according to Nielsen. CBS televised the show in 2002, 2003 and from 2005 to 2017. During those years, the ratings ranged from 10.5 million U.S. viewers (in 2002) to 5 million U.S. viewers (in 2017). ABC picked up the show in 2018, when it had 3.3 million U.S viewers.

In addition, Victoria’s Secret (whose parent company is L Brands) has been losing goodwill due to widespread complaints over bad customer service, decreasing quality of products, and an outdated modeling image that pushes the idea that only very thin women can be “sexy.”

L Brands chief marketing officer Ed Razek came under fire when he admitted to Vogue in 2018 that Victoria’s Secret discriminates against plus-sized models and transgender models by excluding them from them campaigns and shows, because he said that these types of models don’t fit the Victoria’s Secret image. He stood firm in saying that Victoria’s Secret had no plans to change these hiring practices to include plus-sized or transgender models.

[August 5, 2019 UPDATE: Victoria’s Secret has hired its first transgender model: Valentina Sampaio, who posted the news on her Instagram account.]

In July 2019, L Brands chairman/CEO Les Wexler faced scrutiny when the New York Times revealed that from the early 1990s to 2007, he had close business and personal ties with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to hiring a prostitutes (underage and over the age of 18). Epstein was arrested again in July 2019 on charges of underage sex trafficking. According to the New York Times report, Wexler named Epstein a trustee of several of Wexler’s foundations, and he gave Epstein power of attorney over much of his financial assets for a number of years. Their business relationship ended in 2007.)

Epstein, who was also a close associate of Razek, used his position of influence to be a VIP guest at numerous Victoria’s Secret events in the 1990s and 2000s, according to the New York Times. So far, L Brands has not publicly commented on the New York Times’ reports of Epstein’s connections to at least two of the company’s senior-level executives.

August 8, 2019 UPDATE: Razek has resigned from L Brands. Meanwhile, Wexner has written a letter to one of his foundations stating that Epstein “misappropriated” at least $46 million from Wexner and his personal interests. Wexner did not allege that Epstein embezzled any funds from L Brands.

August 10, 2019 UPDATE: Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on August 10, 2019. According to the Associated Press, he died in the morning of an apparent suicide by hanging. The Associated Press also reports that although Epstein, who was 66, had been on suicide watch in the weeks leading up to his death, he was not on suicide watch at the time he was found dead. He had been denied bail while waiting to be put on trial on charges of sex-trafficking of underage girls. Of course, Epstein’s sudden death has fueled conspiracy theories that he might have been murdered to prevent him from exposing who his rich and powerful clients were in the sex crimes that Epstein was accused of committing.

DSW launches inaugural Runway Redone fashion show; women invited to apply through Boots for All Casting Call

July 17, 2019

Runway Redone

The following is a press release from DSW:

DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse (NYSE: DBI), a leading branded footwear and accessories retailer, announced today that it is teaming up with female powerhouse Create & Cultivate to launch Runway Redone: Boots for All Casting Call. Hosted by body activist and model Hunter McGrady, Runway Redone will shake up fashion week and reinvent norms by inviting women of all backgrounds to walk the runway in New York Citythis Fall. Submissions for the digital casting call are open now throughJuly 31, 2019.

Runway Redone kicks off DSW’s Fall 2019 campaign celebrating inclusivity, individuality, and self-expression. Participants of Runway Redone will showcase DSW’s expansive Fall collection of boots and will be featured in DSW’s Fall marketing campaign.

“DSW is a warehouse of possibilities for every style and personality, so this Fall we wanted to create an experiential moment that celebrates and encourages self-expression through shoes,” said DSW CMO Amy Stevenson. “We think Create & Cultivate is the perfect partner to bring this to life with us because of their inclusive-focus and highly-engaged, diverse female following.”

“I’m excited to host Runway Redone because I love the idea of giving women a platform to show off their individuality and confidence on a stage normally reserved for a select few,” said Hunter McGrady. “I’m looking forward to inspiring our participants to embrace themselves during this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Women across America are invited to digitally enter the Runway Redone: Boots for All Casting Call at www.createcultivate.com/dsw-runway-redone between July 17 and July 31, 2019, to enter for the chance to win the following:

  • Walk in the Runway Redone show in NYC on September 4, 2019 wearing DSW’s new Fall collection alongside DSW influencers and associates
  • Get styled by celebrity stylist Samantha Brown and prep for the show with a full day of expert-led workshops designed to inspire style, self-expression, and confidence
  • Be featured in DSW’s 2019 Fall marketing campaign
  • Round-trip airline tickets to NYC
  • Hotel in NYC for two nights

“At Create & Cultivate, we work to advance inclusive conversations and champion equal representation for all. We’re excited to join forces with DSW to bring this messaging to the runway during one of the most prominent fashion events of the year,” shares Create & Cultivate CEO and Founder Jaclyn Johnson.

Learn more and enter Runway Redone: Boots for All Casting Call by visiting: www.createcultivate.com/dsw-runway-redone or https://www.dsw.com/en/us/content/dsw-boots-for-all-casting.

To sign up to be a DSW VIP member, visit www.dsw.com/en/us/vip.

Join the conversation on social media by following @DSW @CreateCultivate and using #MyDSW and #DSWRunwayRedone.

ABOUT DSW
DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse is a leading branded footwear and accessories retailer offering a wide selection of brand name and designer dress, casual and athletic footwear and accessories for women, men and kids. DSW operates more than 500 locations in 44 states and operates a robust ecommerce website at www.dsw.com, a mobile site at m.dsw.com and via mobile app. Founded in 1991, DSW is a division of Columbus, Ohio-based Designer Brands Inc.

ABOUT CREATE & CULTIVATE
Create & Cultivate is the leading online platform and offline conference women looking to create and cultivate the career of their dreams. Led by CEO and founder Jaclyn Johnson, the nationwide conference gathers the best in the business including CEOs, content creators, and celebrities like Martha Stewart, Ashley Graham, Jessica Alba, Meghan Markle and Kim Kardashian.  Through their online platform and curated events, Create & Cultivate offers a 365-day conversation around entrepreneurship and works to advance inclusive conversations that empower women.

2019 D23 Expo: Disney Parks, Experience and Products programming announced

July 17, 2019

Disney World’s Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida (Image courtesy of Disney)

The following is a press release from Disney:

D23 Expo 2019 will be a must for fans of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. An immersive pavilion will provide an insider’s look at new themed lands, attractions, shows, and more, in addition to a jam-packed schedule of entertaining presentations and a number of exclusive shopping opportunities for every Disney fan.

Showcasing an array of new experiences for guests around the world to enjoy for years to come, the Disney Parks “Imagining Tomorrow, Today” pavilion will give fans a unique look at the exciting developments underway at Disney parks around the world. Attendees will see a dedicated space showcasing the historic transformation of Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. They will also see Tony Stark’s latest plans to recruit guests to join alongside the Avengers in fully immersive areas filled with action and adventure in Hong Kong, Paris, and California.

The fan-favorite Hall D23 presentation with Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, will take place Sunday, August 25, at 10:30 a.m. Guests will be treated to more details on much-anticipated attractions, experiences, and transformative storytelling that set Disney apart.

During the three-day event, fans can scoop up never-before-seen collectibles across the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products-operated retail shops on the Expo floor: shopDisney.com | Disney Store, Disney DreamStore, Mickey’s of Glendale, and Mickey’s of Glendale Pin Store. Attendees will be introduced to new collections that celebrate milestone anniversaries and favorite characters across Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel, along with must-have official D23 Expo 2019 gear and accessories, nostalgic Disney Parks-inspired items, and limited-edition collectibles celebrating Walt Disney Imagineering’s heritage.

There are many other exciting offerings to discover, including several special panel presentations:

The Music and Sounds of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Friday, August 23, 12:30 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

Sound design is an instrumental layer of storytelling found throughout every Disney park, resort, and cruise ship. Join Imagineering Music Studio lead Matt Walker in discussing the creative process behind the original music and sound design heard throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Join Imagineers and collaborators who will share how they developed all-new iconic soundscapes while taking inspiration from the rich legacy of Star Wars music and sound design, from the land’s epic John Williams-composed musical score to the sounds of low-flying starships.

Haunted Mansion: Celebrating 50 Years
Saturday, August 24, 12:30 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

Celebrate Disney’s famed home of 999 happy haunts. The attraction’s rich history has generated global fandom from both the living and the unliving. Our ghost host has assembled a procession of bodies you will be dying to meet!

Immersive Worlds: Bringing Stories to Life in Disney Parks
Saturday, August 24, 3:30 p.m., Stage 28

Disney Imagineers continue Walt Disney’s legacy in creating themed environments where beloved stories and characters come to life. Join Imagineers Joe Rohde and Scott Trowbridge to learn about the creative process for dreaming up and developing new Disney experiences as we invite guests to enter authentic worlds previously seen only in a film, a book, or one’s imagination.

Travels with Marty: A Conversation with the Sklars and Imagineers
Saturday, August 24, 6 p.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage

Celebrate the legacy of Disney Legend Marty Sklar as his colleagues, mentees, and family recount the journey of publishing his last book and discuss his lasting impact on The Walt Disney Company.

Behind the Art of Disney Costuming: Heroes, Villains, and Spaces Between
Friday, August 23, 4 p.m., Stage 28

Celebrate the imagination, passion, and attention to detail in creating Disney costumes. Go behind the scenes with the team that crafted the dazzling new Walt Disney Archives exhibit on the D23 Expo show floor and its accompanying coffee table book.

Inspiring Women Behind Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Sunday, August 25, 2 p.m., Stage 28

Meet some of the talented women from across Disney Parks, Experiences and Products responsible for bringing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to life. Hear stories about their roles and experiences in developing everything from the original backstories of the land and its inhabitants, to the themed merchandise, galactic fare, and the interactive elements found throughout Black Spire Outpost.

Magic Journey: My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career with Kevin Rafferty
Sunday, August 25, 4 p.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage

Join veteran Imagineer Kevin Rafferty as he reminisces about a career spanning 40-plus years, from a dishwasher at Disneyland to builder of immersive worlds. Kevin explains his path to Imagineering and talks about his new book.

Marc Davis in His Own Words – Imagineering the Disney Theme Park Sunday, August 25, 5:30 p.m., Stage 28

Authors Pete Docter and Christopher Merritt reveal their magnificent two-volume tribute to the artwork and career of Disney Legend Marc Davis. Featuring artwork from Marc for the creation of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, the presentation will also highlight the 50th anniversary of the storied attraction.

Disney Store Artist Signing Schedule
Friday, August 23 – Saturday, August 24, Talent Central

Come meet the artists and designers behind some of our amazing D23 Expo product ranges:

• Disney Pixar Tiki Mug Signing with Jerome Ranft
Friday, August 23, 4 – 5 p.m., Talent Central

• Midnight Masquerade and Animator Villains Collections with Steve Thompson and Courtney Watkinson
Saturday, August 24, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Talent Central

• The Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Collection with Steve Thompson, Bryan Mon, Daria Vinogradova, Diana Tran, and Cathy Clark-Ramirez
Saturday, August 24, 4 – 5 p.m., Talent Central

Disney Parks Designer Collection Artist Signing Schedule
Friday, August 23 – Sunday, August 25, Talent Central

Meet the artists behind the latest releases from this exclusive, limited-release collection of Mickey ear hats and Minnie ear headbands:

• Jerrod Maruyama  Friday, August 23, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Talent Central  Saturday, August 24, 12:30 – 2 p.m., Talent Central

• SHAG
Saturday, August 24, 2  – 3:30 p.m., Talent Central

• Noah Fine Art
Saturday, August 24, 2  – 3:30 p.m., Talent Central

• Ashley Eckstein for Her Universe
Saturday, August 24, 9:30  – 11 a.m., Talent Central
Sunday, August 25, 5 – 6:45 p.m., Talent Central

Single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday of D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children ages 3–9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $79 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children ages 3–9. Single-day Saturday tickets and three-day passes are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit D23Expo.com.

About Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products brings the magic of Disney into the daily lives of families and fans around the world to create magical memories that last a lifetime.

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on July 17, 1955, he created a unique destination built around storytelling and immersive experiences, ushering in a new era of family entertainment. More than 60 years later, Disney has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of family travel and leisure experiences, with iconic businesses including six resort destinations with 12 theme parks and 52 resorts in the United States, Europe, and Asia with approximately 160,000 cast members; a top-rated cruise line with four ships and plans for three more to be completed in 2021, 2022, and 2023; a luxurious family beach resort in Hawai‘i; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business; the world’s largest children’s print publisher; the world’s largest games licensor across all platforms; more than 200 Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.

These experiences are created by Disney Imagineers, the creative force behind experiences found in Disney theme parks, resort hotels, cruise ships, and consumer products—including books, games, and merchandise.

About D23 Expo 2019
D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

About D23 The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plusyear history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twentythree; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

 

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream partners with UNIQLO to give away free ice cream on National Ice Cream Day 2019

July 1, 2019

(Photo courtesy of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream)

The following is a press release from My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream:

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, America’s fastest growing frozen novelty brand is shaking up the category once again by partnering with UNIQLO for an in-store pop up in honor of National Ice Cream Day. On Sunday, July 21st, both brands will come together to deliver fashion, flavor and fun by offering consumers free My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream at UNIQLO locations throughout the United States. My/Mo’s poppable and delicious ice cream wrapped in sweet rice mochi dough will be available for snackers to enjoy as they browse the racks and try on the latest trends.

Shoppers at nine U.S. UNIQLO stores across New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle and Chicago, will be treated to their choice of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. Throughout the day people can experience My/Mo’s classic mochi ice cream offerings like Sweet Mango and Ripe Strawberry as well as flavors from the brand’s new triple layer variety like S’mores and Vanilla Blueberry, which feature a texturally tantalizing core. My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream will be handed out for free at each of the below locations from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M on July 21st. Ice Cream lovers are invited to stop by to join in the celebrations:

  • New York City:
    • UNIQLO 5th Avenue (666 5th Ave.)
    • UNIQLO SoHo (546 Broadway)
  • Los Angeles:
    • UNIQLO Beverly Center (8500 Beverly Blvd.)
    • UNIQLO The BLOC (700 Flower St.)
  • San Francisco:
    • UNIQLO Union Square (111 Powell St.)
  • Washington D.C.:
    • UNIQLO Union Station
  • Boston:
    • UNIQLO Faneuil Hall (245 Quincy Market)
  • Seattle:
    • UNIQLO Southcenter (141 Southcenter Mall)
  • Chicago:
    • UNIQLO Michigan Avenue (830 Michigan Ave.)

“UNIQLO is an authentic and natural partner for us this National Ice Cream Day. My/Mo and UNIQLO are each disrupting our respective industries with new takes on snacking and fashion,” said Russell Barnett, CMO of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. “UNIQLO shares in our love of color and play and we’re ready to bring this energy and enthusiasm to snackers across the country.”

The fun won’t stop with in-store treats! To keep the celebration going beyond National Ice Cream Day, shoppers can enter to win a year’s supply of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, a $500 UNIQLO shopping spree, and other exciting prizes.

For more information on My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream and UNIQLO, please visit www.mymomochi.com and www.uniqlo.com.

About My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream

Headquartered in Los Angeles, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is a miraculous match of magnificent mochi dough with marvelously mouthwatering ice cream. Available in a variety of fan favorite flavors, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream gives snackers a colorful and flavorful new way to experience ice cream in a handheld, naturally portion controlled way. Made from the very best ingredients, always gluten free and rBST free, My/Mo’s offerings range from poppable and delicious ice cream wrapped in sweet rice mochi dough with dairy and vegan offerings, as well as the delectable My/Mo Ice Cream pints filled with pillowy mochi bits.

About UNIQLO LifeWear

Apparel that comes from the Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. Designed to be of the time and for the time, LifeWear is made with such modern elegance that it becomes the building blocks of each individual’s style. A perfect shirt that is always being made more perfect. The simplest design hiding the most thoughtful and modern details. The best in fit and fabric made to be affordable and accessible to all. LifeWear is clothing that is constantly being innovated, bringing more warmth, more lightness, better design, and better comfort to people’s lives.

About UNIQLO and Fast Retailing

UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese retail holding company with global headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. UNIQLO is the largest of eight brands in the Fast Retailing Group, the others being GU, Theory, Helmut Lang, PLST (Plus T), Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam and J Brand. With global sales of approximately 2.13 trillion yen for the 2018 fiscal year ending August 31, 2018 (US $19.17 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2018 rate of $1 = 111.1 yen), Fast Retailing is one of the world’s largest apparel retail companies, and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.

UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world’s most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a global brand. Today the company has more than 2,000 stores in 22 markets including Japan. In alphabetical order, the other markets are Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and U.S. In addition, UNIQLO established a social business in Bangladesh together with the Grameen Bank in 2010, and today there are several Grameen-UNIQLO stores in Dhaka.

With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere.  For more information about UNIQLO and Fast Retailing, please visit www.uniqlo.com and www.fastretailing.com.