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The Real Star of the Apple Event Is a Coat

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Fenty Beauty Should Make the Rest of the Industry Want to Do Better

If you havent heard the news (are you okay?), Rihanna finally released her much-anticipated beauty line, Fenty Beauty, at the start of New York Fashion Week last Thursday.

Take her wild success with the Fenty Puma line (and countless other entrepreneurial endeavors and collaborations) into consideration, and it would be easy to assume that Rihannas entering the beauty space was just a shiny financial play, but theres something bigger here.

Obviously, everyone is in awe of Rihanna’s seemingly perfect being. But whats being most celebrated about Fenty Beauty is its wildly accommodating and accessible range of 40 different foundation shades. Oh, and its great quality, too. Medias toughest beauty critics — like Cheryl, Rackeds senior beauty reporter — and seasoned makeup pros alike agree that the 91-piece collection is actually very good.

Its honestly unheard of, really, for a brand to take so many different types of women into consideration upon its debut. Which is, of course, upsetting to sit with as a black woman. The frustrating dilemma of where and how far women of color have to go to find makeup made for their complexions — not to mention at what cost — has been going on long before I even knew what makeup was.

Fenty Beauty line

Fenty Beauty isnt the first brand to attack (or at the very least, acknowledge) the industrys ugly inclusivity problem. Maybelline put a lot of energy into the marketing of its 40-shade Fit Me foundation line, and the much-loved Becca is known for its diverse, accommodating products — especially its $44 Ultimate Cover Foundation.

Still, when drugstore brands extend shade ranges, they dont often take the skin tones of women of color into consideration; everything is too yellow, too orange, or too ashy. And when brands do get it right, like Becca, you can rarely find anything under $40.

What Fenty Beauty has done differently and better is recognize that accessibility and genuine inclusivity — not marketing jargon, but the real time and energy and research that delivers 40 completely different, nuanced foundation shades — will sell product. More than that, it will make women feel seen, heard, and beautiful. No Kardashian limited-edition hype. No selling out in seconds. Supply, meet serious demand.

Its also worth noting that there are dozens and dozens of black-owned beauty brands doing their absolute best to 1) make sure you know theyre there, and 2) get the product out to the people who need it. Aside from the obvious good that has come from the launch of Fenty Beauty, its also shed much-needed light on how majorly we need actual women of color in the beauty industry: on the teams, in the labs, and at the conference tables, calling the shots.

So to the beauty industry at large: It must be known by now, with unwavering proof, that if you make products for women of color with actual women in color in mind, we will spend the money. Shit, we're buying Fenty Beauty in bulk, and its darker shades are even selling out of Sephora stores around the country and online. Its your move, and were waiting on it. —Tanisha Pina, associate market editor

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Deal of the Day

Never shopped Frank + Oak before? Take 20% off your first order of $50+ right now with code SEPT20 to test the brand out. (Signing up for the emails only gets you 15% off.) Basics like tees and sweaters are moderately priced, and accessories like baseball caps and backpacks are fun add-ons for fall. The selection here is refreshingly not overwhelming, and you can narrow your choices down even further by shopping edits like Wear to Work.

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In the News
J.Crew Is Debuting $98 Cashmere
Woman in light gray sweater.

The past few months at J.Crew have been characterized by seismic shifts. In June, longtime CEO Mickey Drexler announced he was leaving the company; this came shortly after the departure of beloved creative director and president Jenna Lyons. A few weeks before stepping down, Drexler announced the brand’s plans to slash prices in an attempt to reclaim “J.Crew’s identity as an affordable and accessible brand for everybody — not just the fashion-forward crowd.”

Change is inevitable given several years of slumping sales. Lyons made J.Crew trendier (some say at the expense of customers who shopped there for basics) and more expensive, and now it needs to course-correct. A line in the most recent (and scaled-back) catalog tells shoppers to “keep an eye out for more prices that’ll make you smile.”

This promise is coming to fruition with J.Crew’s new “Everyday Cashmere” collection, which launches today. Prices start at $98 for simple crewnecks and are capped at $248 for a few novelty sweaters with bows. Not long ago, J.Crew was peddling $500 lace jogging pants and $800 skirts. Its cheapest cashmere in recent memory was a $145 sweater — for infants.

This new line confirms that J.Crew is getting back to basics. This doesn’t mean it’s giving up on trends entirely, but when it does lean into them, it is likely do so on a smaller, more affordable scale. In this way, it’s remaining true to its DNA while paying attention to the enormous growth in the fast fashion sector. Its version of fast fashion, however, is more Uniqlo (known for its clean basics, including $80 cashmere sweaters) than H&M.

J.Crew is also beginning to operate more like a fast fashion company behind the scenes. As Business of Fashion reported last week, the brand isn’t showing at New York Fashion Week for the first time in years, nor does it have plans to replace chief design officer Somsack Sikhounmuong, a 16-year company vet who resigned last week after being promoted following Lyons’s departure. In the spring, Drexler confirmed J.Crew was looking to expand its supply chain in order to speed up the process of getting merchandise to stores.

J.Crew is still a household name, but part of what made the company so adored was the fact that it wasn’t a fast fashion machine. It’s long been a brand synonymous with design talent and integrity, not to mention quality. It will be no easy task to make a fast fashion-like pivot while ensuring brand identity doesn’t suffer. —Chavie Lieber, senior reporter

In the News
Apple Event Made Infinitely More Interesting by Lacy Pink Trenchcoat
Angela Ahrendts in a lacy pink coat.

Today’s Apple event features the debut of the iPhone 8, iOS 11, and the new Apple Watch. It also involved an extremely pink, extremely lacy trench coat that is arguably more important than any of those other things.

The coat in question belongs to Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and the former CEO of Burberry. Much like Ahrendts herself, the coat is also from Burberry, and, if the rumors about the new iPhone are true, costs precisely three Apple phones.

Though we’ll have to wait for confirmation of whether or not the $1,000 iPhones are good, early reviews of the coat lean positive

Follow the non-coat aspects of the Apple event live over at The Verge. —Rebecca Jennings, associate producer

Where to Buy Your Next Favorite T-Shirt
Woman in white T-shirt

There are few wardrobe pieces as enduring, versatile, or democratic as the T-shirt. The same humble tee can play nice with jean shorts on the weekend, slide under a sleek blazer for work, and offset a fancy skirt for an evening look. The right one — or two or three — are outfit lifesavers.

Here, we’ve gathered 11 of our editors’ go-to T-shirt brands for everything from crop tops to office-appropriate styles. We left out mass retailers like H&M and Uniqlo, instead focusing on specialty brands that nerd out on specs, designer diffusions that make extra-special tees worth the cost, and a few inexpensive stock-up options. Our picks range in price, fabric, and style for a variety to fit all body types and stuff all dresser drawers.

See all our favorites here >>
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