Weekly Link Roundup – Elle Blogs

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I didn’t have high expectations for Burger King’s Fiery Nuggets, but they have quickly become my favorite fast food nugget. The “glaze” (which is more like an oil) adds much needed succulence and flavor (a blend of sweetness and mild heat) to the regular BK nugget, which is otherwise bland and on the dry side. I also tried the new Frozen Fanta® Kickin’ Mango, but this one had a strange aftertaste so I won’t miss it when it’s taken off the menu in a few weeks time.

+ Burger King Launches New Fiery Nuggets (Brand Eating): “The spicy glaze wasn’t really a glaze. While there’s a touch of sweetness to it, it’s an oil-based sauce similar to Nashville Hot sauce … Fortunately, the flavor worked out really well. The slight bit of sweetness added another layer of flavor to the light seasonings and medium heat of the sauce. Additionally, since the sauce was mostly oil, there was very little moisture to make the nuggets go soggy.”

+ The Chicken Sandwich Wars Have Entered a New Era (The Takeout): “In the new era, it’s not so much about the fried chicken breast itself, but more about what’s on top of it, piling on various new layers of flavor.”

+ Is It a Meal? A Snack? No, It’s ‘Girl Dinner.’ (The New York Times): “According to TikTok, where the trend has more than 30 million views, girl dinner is akin to an aesthetically pleasing Lunchable: an artfully arranged pile of snacks that, when consumed in high enough volume, constitutes a meal … Typical girl dinners may include some kind of fruit, a block of cheddar, sliced salami, a sleeve of fancy crackers and a dish of olives. Girl dinner is ‘both chaotic and filling,’ as one TikTok commenter put it, requiring none of the forethought, cooking or plating demanded by an actual meal … And though the trend may sound suspiciously like tapas, or mezze, or a charcuterie board, girl dinner differs in one key way: Unlike a Super Bowl-esque spread of appetizers, girl dinner is most frequently made by one person, for the consumption and enjoyment of one person.”

+ Hunter Boot Collapses, Blaming Brexit, Inflation and Warm Weather (Bloomberg): ” … a combination of supply chain problems, Brexit, inflation and unseasonably warm weather ended with Hunter Boot going into administration, the UK’s version of bankruptcy … Debts were listed at about £115 million ($146 million) … sales in the all-important North America market fell by 15.4%.”

+ Overstock to Rebrand Itself as Bed Bath & Beyond (Retail Dive): “Online-only retailer Overstock.com is rebranding itself in the U.S. and Canada to Bed Bath & Beyond. The move seeks to take advantage of Bed Bath & Beyond’s brand recognition … Overstock has already rebranded its Canadian website to Bed Bath & Beyond and plans to launch the rebranding in the U.S. starting in August. Overstock intends to operate only under the Bed Bath & Beyond name within a few months.”

+ Shein’s Winding Path to an IPO (The Business of Fashion): “With a gargantuan $66 billion valuation, Shein’s current investors … likely won’t be able to cash out with another set of buyers. Their only viable exit is a stock offering on a public market. For now, they can afford to be patient. Despite slowing growth last year, Shein projects global revenue to increase 40 percent this year. If the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange is a bust, Shein could always go public via the Hong Kong or Shanghai Exchange But Chinese tech companies prefer the US exchanges because the market is significantly larger compared to its international counterparts, creating more lucrative opportunities for private investors.”

+ Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale opens to the public on 07/17/2023, and the preview can be found here. Some sale picks:

+ An Ode to the Humble Shopping Bag (Vogue): “With a shopping bag, everyone is on a mission. Everyone is in a moment. Present. Perhaps, the idea of physically shopping and the booty that comes with that act represents another dimension; a temporary reprieve from boring responsibilities and reality.”

+ Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton, Confident But Without Audacity (The Cut): “Williams went on to explain, when asked about his vision for menswear, that he worked with the in-house design team to identify seven or eight touch points. These included his personal journey, from his native Virginia to Paris (he did a riff on the state’s tourism slogan ‘Virginia Is for Lovers’ with products sporting the monogram ‘LVERS’); comfort; sports; his version of dandy dressing; a deep dive into Vuitton’s Damier check pattern; and a collaboration with the artist Henry Taylor, whose artwork became the basis for microembroideries of garments … Williams is designing for the consumer or, to put it more plainly, for the consensus of opinion around what consumers want today. And that is not a very demanding place for a brand like Louis Vuitton … The thing about great fashion, like all art forms, is that it goes further than most people’s expectations. It should shock us or at least surprise and confound us.”

+ All Staples Locations to Accept Amazon Returns (Retail Dive): “… all Staples locations will now accept Amazon returns as of July 31. Nearly half of Staples’ almost 1,000 stores currently accept Amazon returns. Eligible unpackaged, unlabeled Amazon items can be dropped off at the full-service shipping area inside Staples stores, according to a company press release.”

+ Barbie Goes to the Movies (Bloomberg): “Since 2018 they’ve been carrying out a strategy championed by their CEO and chairman … Ynon Kreiz, to reverse a precipitous sales decline by licensing the company’s intellectual property to most every studio in Hollywood. Gerwig’s film, a comedic, feminist, PG-13 take on Barbie, will be the first release for Kreiz’s ‘IP strategy,’ and its most consequential—the dolls are Mattel’s crown jewel, driving about a third of its $5 billion in annual sales.”

+ Birkenstock Owner Considers IPO at $6 Billion-Plus Value (The Business of Fashion): “The iconic German sandal maker could be valued at more than $6 billion in an IPO … The firm is working on a potential listing in the US … A transaction would come more than two years after the private equity firm and the family investment company of billionaire Bernard Arnault acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock, valuing the company at $4.9 billion. Brothers Christian and Alex Birkenstock retained a stake in the firm.”

+ How Plastics Are Poisoning Us (The New Yorker): “Microplastics … don’t just leach nasty chemicals; they attract them. ‘Persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances,’ or PBTs, are a hodgepodge of harmful compounds, including DDT and PCBsWhen PBTs encounter MPs, they preferentially adhere to them … Consuming microplastics is thus a good way to swallow old poisons … Microplastics—and in particular, it seems, microfibres—can get pulled deep into the lungs. People who work in the synthetic-textile industry, it has long been known, suffer from high rates of lung disease.”

Canada Goose Glacier Trail High

+ Canada Goose Debuts First Sneaker (Retail Dive): “Canada Goose will release its first sneaker on July 18 … The Glacier Trail sneaker is meant to combine functionality with luxury, with features including a breathable waterproof interior membrane, a protective rubberized leather wrap and a multi-directional heel tread … Glacier Trail sneaker is priced at $450 and the Glacier Trail High costs $550.”

+ Amazon Prime Day Isn’t the Only Game in Town Anymore (The Business of Fashion): “It’s not just that Target, Walmart and others now hold blockbuster mid-July sales of their own. These days, shoppers looking for fashion deals can open Shein’s app anytime. Now there’s also Temu, which didn’t exist when Amazon held its 2022 Prime Day, and is now the No. 1 most-downloaded shopping app in the country. TikTok, home of infinite #Sheinhauls, wants to boost its e-commerce sales past $20 billion this year worldwide.”

+ What Is the Threads Logo Supposed to Look Like? (The New York Times): “The logo most closely resembles the @ symbol present in Twitter handles and email addresses. It is just abstract enough, however, to have earned many other comparisons … the logo’s ambiguity will probably end up helping people remember it … The loopy design of the Threads logo appears friendly and nonthreatening … a piece of spaghetti.”

+ The Musk-Zuckerberg Social-Media Smackdown (The Economist): “Today Mr Musk’s erratic handling of Twitter makes Mr Zuckerberg’s stewardship of Meta look like a model of good corporate governance … Mr Musk remains more popular than Mr Zuckerberg among Americans (who also fancy his odds in the cage), according to polls from YouGov. But as the controversies at Twitter rumble on, and as politicians turn their fire on another social app, the Chinese-owned TikTok, Mr Zuckerberg’s approval rating is now the highest it has been in over three years.”

+ How to Not Break Up With Your Friends (The Atlantic): “Friendship, in general, is less common: People are spending much less time with friends than before, and the surgeon general now calls loneliness an ‘epidemic’ … Nevertheless, advice is proliferating on how to aggressively confront, or even abandon, friends who disappoint us … there is a kinder, more realistic way to maneuver through a friendship that’s lacking in some area. You don’t need a guide for breaking up with your friends, because you don’t need to break up with your friends. You just need to make more friends. Of course, it’s reasonable to hold a friendship to certain expectations.”

+ Recently purchased: J.Crew Crochet Cardigan Sweater in Supersculpt Yarn, Tory Burch Howell Court Sneaker, Black Halo Ally Sheath, APAFES Fishbone Pattern Cropped Hoodie, Alice + Olivia Ellis Dress, Reformation Frankie Floral Silk Slipdress, Cbcbtwo Swimsuit with Wrap Skirt, Free People Santa Maria Maxi Dress, and J.Crew Linen-Blend Bow Headband.

Have a good week, everyone!

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