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009: A (brief) note on gifted items
Plus a new Vivanterre wine, Isa Boulder for under $100, and "the ugliest color in the world."
You’re probably aware from previous sends that I buy at least couple things every week (I chalk it up to collateral damage from my line of work), but this week, I didn’t. I was, however, sent a few items that calamined the consumer itch I otherwise scratch by way of a sale or impulse purchase.
An impeccably designed and constructed vacation-esque dress by Kinga Csilla made of 100% post-consumer cotton, a pair of handmade-in-Spain platform espadrilles by Act Series, some delicate goatskin leather slippers from Jamie Haller’s new brand, J. Hannah’s latest ugly-beautiful nail polish “Compost,” smartly minimal and oddly comfortable TKEES flip-flops, and an espresso-hued leather everything pouch from Porto—together, suitable components of a considerately assembled late-summer ensemble (if I had six feet).
Gifted items come my way via three streams: my role as an Ecommerce Editor at InStyle, my “microinfluential” Instagram presence, and this newsletter. Brands and their PR extensions hope to earn my recommendation of their product to any (or all) of these audiences. Sometimes this works—I spend a considerable amount of time researching the infinite consumer marketplace, but occasionally some of the best brands find me before I find them. And many times it doesn’t. Editorial independence is insurance for the longevity of my work. And the readers and content consumers in my circles have a high level of media literacy to know whether I’m full of shit.
Anyway, just food for thought or an opportunity for more transparency. Feel free to hit reply at any time to make it a conversation.
By the way, this send is featureless and Footnote-less. It’s also going out at 4pm on Wednesday instead of 1pm on a Tuesday. Don’t worry, I’m testing stuff relating to engagement, bandwidth, optimization, yadda. You might see these “briefs” pop up every now and then, but rest assured, full format sends will be back soon.
This newsletter is only as strong as its subscribers, so if you can think of anyone who may enjoy this type of content, please consider forwarding them this email. I’ll make it super easy by putting a share button right here.
As above, so below. Which is to say, a bit more info on a thing I mentioned in the intro: J. Hannah’s latest nail color, Compost, tracks beautifully with her existing portfolio of off hues. More than just a naming convention, the brand has demonstrated a deeper interest in exploring the outshone colors of the world, from sharing experiments in AI paint-naming exercises to partnering with @depthsofwikipedia on a color theory series. Compost is said to be “the ugliest color in the world," but I think, like me, you’ll disagree.
Rosie Assoulin’s wine, Vivanterre, has bridged the gap between fashion-person project and startup-y branded beverage to serious wine drinker territory. It’s showed up on pop-up menus for Niche Niche, earned a spot on the shelves at Henry’s, and been flashed proudly on insider Instagram Stories. It’s got the accolades: The liquid within is produced by Patrick Bouju and Justine Loiseau of Domaine La Bohème, a real-deal French estate concocting brave but in-touch naturals (a balancing act in 2021). Vivanterre’s latest, White Muscadet MSM, is available at Parcelle Wine solo or in a three-pack of the brand’s hot bottles.
The unlikely emergent leader of the self-proclaimed tasteful menswear sphere, Stussy, has joined up with “cool” interior brand Tekla (shorthand for shot by the Posternaks) on a collection that gives rich and left to one’s own devices. A $135 “drug rug” has already sold out, but other California edgelord robes, PJs, and sheets remain up for grabs.
When your tableware is ready to graduate from CB2 to something a little more made and crafted, Hudson Wilder’s plate and bowl sets plus a well-priced terrazzo serving platter have landed at SSENSE. I’m the type of dinner guest who’ll turn over an agreeable dish on its way to the sink after a meal, and this is a stamp I’d have some appreciation for. (Also, friendly reminder that Hasami Porcelain has been there since the site launched its Everything Else department.)
I covered KkCo on this platform recently for her line of non-traditional wedding dresses that beg to be eloped in, but Kara has come back to one of her brand’s core tenets: the great OUTSIDE. Exclusively at Urban Outfitters, the so-titled collection of colorful gorpcore is an obvious step for the designer, whose early RTW included dresses with carabiner clips and climbing rope straps.
CUUP’s pithy fans may or may not have launched a grassroots write-in campaign to get the the brand to make pink. The most-requested color is finally (to some: FINALLY!) a reality. Available seasonally in four core bras and three underwear styles.
What’s on sale
What’s going on with Luisaviaroma? When a site like Saks has constant 70% off designer sales, it figures (the messy chasm and brand dilution stuff isn’t exactly under the rug), but LVR’s sales have been ruthless. The 40% off full-priced items promo continues (use code S40), and this week it’s upped its sale-on-sale to 25% extra on top (with FR25). If the site is internally embattled, we’re here for the spoils of war, namely these Gia Borghini flats (the ballet slippers I should have plugged in a recent IG story shop-along), Christopher Esber, and nice, affordable linen things from a brand called The Sleep Shirt.
Farfetch is sweetening the pot. Its ongoing sale, which reaches up to 80% off already, tends to be one of the best places to find deep deals year-round. For a short spell, though, it’s taking an additional 20% off select sale items, and the “selection” is surprisingly high quality stuff. With the extra chop, there’s Isa Boulder, SIR., and St. Agni for well under $100. (Oh, and the Y/Project skirt I got a couple weeks back is over $500 off.)
Either And’s summer sale carries on, now with an extra 20% off (use SUMMERSALE). Jenna and Nicole’s sourcing is so on point as it is, but the grace and care with which they bring vintage pieces through their process and wash them in their vision lends the clothes a quality that can’t be found elsewhere.
Big sale things happening at Kotn, which is like Everlane or Los Angeles Apparel or Uniqlo, except it’s none of those things. It’s a basics brand that’s a little off in a good way because perfection is boring and invented for people who read magazines (I read that once in Vice’s old Dos and Don’ts, who’s to say if I carry the sentiment but the phrase certainly stuck). Shop men’s and women’s up to 50% off.
My life got a little better when I learned cashmere season was every season, and better still when I discovered all-cashmere brand Naadam a few years ago. It suffers somewhat from out-of-the-box D2C branding but the product is exceptional and incredibly well-priced (okay, the direct-to-consumer, no-middleman thing really does make a difference here). It’s having a verrry nice sale right now, as in, where else can you find cashmere lounge shorts for under $50?
Everybody loves Hay, from the plastic stacking crates to the Ana Kras-designed ceiling lamp, so there’s never a bad time to buy it. An especially good time, however, would be right now, as living room items are 15% off.
Quick and clean: Sigil Scent’s newest fragrance, Aqua Viridi (previously recommended on this newsletter by Alexis Badiyi), is 20% off today and tomorrow only with code AQUA20.
If you’re in a city served by the app FastAF (an ordering platform that gets all the ~good brands~ delivered to your door in about two hours), today you can get something cheap or free whether you’re a new member or existing one. If you’re new, sign up with my code LAURA7094 for a $20 credit, and if you’ve used it before, use the code BACKAF35 for $35 off a $50 purchase. I just used it to get famously expensive Aesop hand soap for just $15 plus tip.
These bungee cord-y river sandals from gearhead brand Keen that I recently recommended on IG Stories have since made their way onto the runway at Copenhagen Fashion Week. On the feet of Skall Studio models dressed in classically Scandi lace and menswear looks, you can really see them at their most elegant.
There’s been a lot of click interest in Christopher Esber since I posted his cut-out dress and some related links, but I also get not wanting to pay $1,000+ for a belly-baring dress that might not be the most versatile. Here’s this though: a dress that embodies the flattering open-front style by Black designer Andrea Iyamah—and it’s just $225.
Within hours of Kanye appearing at the Donda listening party wearing his Gap x Yeezy Round jacket in red, searches for red puffer jackets spiked 73%, per data aggregator Lyst. Pre-sale for the blue, black, and red Round jackets have sold out almost immediately after each drop, but it’s TBD whether there will be more—sign up for alerts here if you’re aiming to secure the next.