After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President Bush said, “It’s back to business, but it’s not business as usual.”
In the current climate, consumers are being traumatized in a different way. Instead of a fear of another attack or flying, the survival instinct is kicking in over having a job, a home, health insurance, savings and money to buy groceries.
After Sept. 11 there was a trend called cocooning and the focus was on the home, where items such as comfy robes, lounge pieces, sleepgowns, pajamas, and bath and body products helped provide the warm feeling Americans craved. Sexy boudoir fare such as baby dolls, push-up bras and thongs, which offered a sense of fantasy and escapism during harsh times, also were in demand.
“After 9/11, there was a presidential mandate to go back to our normal consumer habits,” said Robert Thompson, professor of media and pop culture at Syracuse University. “Buying a pair of shoes or underwear was tantamount to doing a patriotic act. This is a whole different situation. Buying and spending will rehabilitate the economy, but the fear now is we’re keeping company with the Great Depression and ‘I’m the next one to be laid off.’ People have got a sense they’re in it for the long haul.”
However, “there still is that appetite for amusement,” Thompson said. “There is that sense that when you can no longer afford your cable bill, lingerie provides an alternative to ‘Cinemax After Hours,’” he added. “And if you can’t afford that fancy, romantic vacation, you can go to Target and buy a thong set and have part of that experience at home.”
Linda LoRe, president and chief executive officer of Frederick’s of Hollywood, said the hunger for escapism was reflected in Halloween sales.
“It told me very clearly where the customer’s mind-set wants to be,” LoRe said. “We had unprecedented increases across the board, not only to goal but during the same week a year ago. It wasn’t just costumes, it was lingerie with which customers could have their own exciting night at home and do their own kind of party. Instead of spending a lot of money on a night on the town, the customer spent a little on a night in.”
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“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
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In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye