Acquisitions abound and the new artistic direction of Lacoste

Welcome to the Glossy Weekend Briefing, a recap of the week’s must-have fashion news. To get it in your inbox on Sunday, sign up for the Glossy Weekend Briefing here. Enjoy!

Last week, acquisitions and price increases were at the forefront. Ted Baker may be the latest retailer to be acquired by Authentic Brands Group, which also sued one of its fintech partners this week. And underwear brand ThirdLove acquired Kit Undergarments to better appeal to Gen Z. Additionally, Discord became the hot new platform for fashion brands and Lacoste launched a fun new spring campaign. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Glossy Podcast to listen to the latest episode, an interview with Batsheva Hay, founder of Batsheva. –Danny Parisi, sr. fashion journalist

What you may have missed
Highlights from the past week

The potential new owners of Ted Baker
British brand Ted Baker went on sale earlier this month and on Wednesday said it had “a number” of offers to consider, according to Reuters. The main one of these offers, according to Sky News, comes from Authentic brand groupthe company that has acquired dozens of struggling retailers and brands over the past three years, from Brooks Brothers to Forever 21.

If ABG does acquire, it is possible that Ted Baker could see a resurgence like other ABG purchases, including Aeropostale.

Unilever’s price hike
It’s a familiar refrain now, but it won’t change anytime soon: prices are going up. The latest to speak on this was Unilever, the global consumer goods company that owns brands like Dermalogica and REN. The company has already raised prices for all of its products by 8% this year and warned on Thursday that prices are likely to rise again.

This has been a common problem among fashion and beauty brands over the past year. The challenge these brands now face is not necessarily how to avoid price increases – they are often unavoidable – but how to communicate them to the customer.

Reading list
Inside our cover

Discord is the new fashion obsession
Discord is a platform primarily designed and used by gamers. So why are fashion brands so interested in using it?

In short, it’s a combination of fashion and games coming together, and fashion brands looking to engage new audiences through new channels. Discord, by its very nature, tends to attract only the most loyal customers, the kind of people who would join a private server just to chat about a specific fashion brand. For brands, this makes it a great place to establish a two-way dialogue with their customers, including soliciting feedback from the most engaged people. Read Glossy’s story here to find out why brands from Gap and Adidas to StockX and Cider have all launched Discord servers.

The acquisition of Thirdlove
On Monday, DTC underwear brand ThirdLove announced the acquisition of Kit Underwear as part of ThirdLove’s aggressive growth plans. The company is growing rapidly, opening four new stores and launching two new categories, sleepwear and activewear, in the past year.

It comes at a competitive moment in the intimate space. Victoria’s Secret is expanding outward, buying a stake in swimwear brand Frankie’s Bikinis last month and launching a new tween-focused brand called Happy Nation.

Victoria’s Secret and ThirdLove seem to be targeting Gen-Z audiences in an effort to compete with Aerie and Parade, both of which have been very successful with this crowd.

The coming weeks
Stories we follow

Lacoste’s new artistic direction
Something is wrong with Lacoste. The tennis apparel brand’s spring campaign, launched last week, has been hailed on social media for its loose, streetwear-inspired art direction. It’s a far cry from the somewhat stodgy reputation the nearly 100-year-old brand has grown to.

Gareth Rutter, founder and creative director of the agency Bellow Studio, called out the campaign on Twitter, writing “Lacoste is FINALLY sorting out its artistic direction. these [images] are awesome.” The campaign was created by an external agency, BETC, based in Paris.

In March, Robert Aldrich, Lacoste’s North American CEO, told Glossy that many of the most artistic decisions Lacoste has made over the past two years have come from creative director Louise Trotter, who joined the brand in 2019.

“We’re one of the unique sports brands that has a creative director,” Aldrich said. “[Trotter’s] the shows are fantastic and she does this genius job of taking all the visual cues of tennis and putting them into everything we do.

Aldrich also said Lacoste has big plans for the rest of the year and physical retail will be one of the main areas of focus. Now we can add a revitalized marketing aesthetic to the list of Lacoste virtues.

Brilliant Live Podcast with Frame’s Erik Torstensson
On Thursday, Glossy set up shop at Frame’s Greene Street store in New York’s SoHo for a live podcast taping. Glossy Editor-in-Chief Jill Manoff was joined by Frame Co-Founder Erik Torstensson to talk about everything from jumping into new categories and the resilience of physical retail to the importance of failure .

The audience, made up of Glossy+ members, were eager to ask Torstensson for advice on starting and growing their own business. Torstensson said Frame has been profitable since day one, which was almost 10 years ago at this point. Watch for the episode to post to your regular Glossy Podcast feed on May 11.

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