women

Women’s wrestling, rugby backers join Iowa gender complaint

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa students who want to establish intercollegiate women’s wrestling and rugby programs were added as plaintiffs Thursday to a lawsuit seeking more sports opportunities for female Hawkeyes.

The case filed last month by members of the women’s swimming and diving team seeks to stop Iowa from eliminating their program after this season.

They argue that Iowa doesn’t comply with a federal law that requires colleges to offer equal athletics opportunities to male and female students, and they want more roster spots for women.

Iowa says it’s following federal law and that the decision to eliminate men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and men’s gymnastics was based on a budget crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

One plaintiff joining the case in an amended complaint is Iowa freshman Abbie Lyman, who competed in wrestling at high school in Cedar Falls. Lyman had hoped to continue the sport in college after placing at the state tournament but “found no institutional support for it at” Iowa, the lawsuit says.

“She believes that, given the UI’s international reputation for wrestling, a women’s wrestling team would attract many athletes and receive deep support from the undergraduate student body and the citizens of Iowa,” it says.

Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands has supported female wrestling in the past, telling the NCAA Board of Governors in a 2017 letter that “it is long overdue for women to share in the opportunities of this great sport.”

The other new plaintiff is Iowa senior Miranda Vermeer, president of the women’s rugby sports club. Vermeer believes Iowa could have a traveling varsity rugby program with more support from the university, the lawsuit says.

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fashion

China’s turbo-charged online fashion takes on Zara and H&M

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By Sonya Dowsett and Sophie Yu

MADRID/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Shein may be the biggest shopping site you’ve never heard of.

The fast-fashion player is encroaching on the territory of more established rivals like Zara and H&M. It has become the largest, purely online, fashion company in the world measured by sales of self-branded products, according to Euromonitor.

Nanjing-based Shein, founded in 2008, is aiming squarely at the “Gen Z” social-media generation, using influencers on Instagram and TikTok, and discount codes, to attract younger shoppers in an increasingly crowded fashion market.

It offers low-cost styles, uploading hundreds of new designs to its app every week. The price for a dress is around half that of Zara, according to a recent Societe Generale price survey.

“You can save money, which is important when buying clothes as the fashions change so quickly,” said Rebeca Rondon, a 23-year-old student in Valencia, Spain, whose Instagram page compares dozens of styles from Shein and Zara head-to-head.

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted online sales at retailers, giving online-only players like Shein, Britain’s Asos and Germany’s Zalando an edge over Inditex-owned Zara and H&M which have big city-centre stores.

In September, the Shein app saw 10.3 million downloads globally from across the App Store and Google Play, Sensor Tower data shows. In comparison, H&M’s mobile app hit about 2.5 million, and Zara saw 2 million. 

To date, Shein has reached 229.4 million downloads, versus H&M’s 123.5 million and Zara’s 90.6 million, the data shows.

In the week of Sep. 27-Oct. 3, Shein was the most downloaded shopping app globally on iPhones, according to analytics platform App Annie. It ranked in the top 10 in the United States, Brazil, Australia, Britain and Saudi Arabia.

Privately-owned Shein, which also sells on Amazon, does not publicly disclose sales or other financial figures. The company did not respond to emails or phone calls.

It has backing from investors including IDG Capital and Sequoia Capital China, according to PitchBook capital market data. The funds did not respond to interview requests.

Inditex and H&M declined to comment for this story.

UNKNOWN QUANTITY?

Although Shein is gaining more followers, it has limited visibility compared with the likes of Zara and H&M. It has no domestic presence in China, where online shoppers go to Alibaba’s Taobao and to Pinduoduo for clothes at bargain prices.

Meanwhile, some consumers say the quality of items can be variable and delivery times erratic.

Unlike Zara and H&M, which have detailed background on the sourcing of their clothing and the working conditions of employees on their websites and annual reports, Shein gives no details about the manufacture of its products.

Inditex revolutionised the fashion industry in the 1990s by responding quickly to trends and speeding designs to stores using factories close to its headquarters in Spain.

Shein also works with hundreds of factories in close proximity to its Nanjing HQ, according to a China-based industry source with knowledge of the company’s business practices.

The Chinese company aims to

women

Oklahoma women’s basketball star Ana Llanusa will miss 2020-21 season

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Oklahoma women’s basketball standout Ana Llanusa announced via Instagram on Thursday afternoon that she’ll miss the 2020-21 season.

Llanusa, a three-year starter for Sherri Coale’s program, has seen her Sooner career hobbled by injuries after a fantastic freshman year. She was named to the 2018 All-Big 12 freshman team after averaging 12.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. However, a foot injury limited Llanusa to 20 games as a sophomore, and a back ailment held her to 23 games as a junior. Nevertheless, over those 23 contests last season, she averaged 15.4 points per game, good for third on the team.

Llanusa didn’t disclose the nature of the injury that will sideline her for the upcoming season, but did say that she’ll undergo surgery Friday.

A native of Choctaw, Llanusa was expected to anchor a starting five that also features senior forward Mandy Simpson and junior sharpshooter Taylor Robertson. In her absence, Jessi Murcer and Tatum Veitenheimer figure to get the first crack at replacing Llanusa in the backcourt.

To get the latest OU posts as they happen, join the SI Sooners Community by clicking “Follow” at the top right corner of the page (mobile users can click the notifications bell icon), and follow SI Sooners on Twitter @All_Sooners.

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wedding

Surfing and Games still in love but wedding on hold

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By Steve Keating

(Reuters) – After flirting with each other for decades, surfing and the Olympics were set to tie the knot in July until COVID-19 crashed the wedding to spoil the sport’s debut at the Tokyo Games.

It will, however, take more than a global pandemic to break up this relationship, International Surfing Association (ISA) president Fernando Aguerre said on Thursday.

“We’re still getting married, we’re still lovers,” Aguerre said during a State of Olympic Surfing broadcast. “It’s just an extra year for the wedding.”

Viewed as among sport’s most laid-back athletes, it is no surprise surfers are taking the Olympics delay in their stride, Australian gold medal hope Sally Fitzgibbons looking at the postponement as another opportunity to ramp up the anticipation.

“It is really interesting because that moment you have been preparing for something you think you know what it is going to be like but we truly don’t know,” said Fitzgibbons.

“You just kind of wake up each day and look at it as this opportunity and the dream is kind of happening. It is definitely going to build the excitement. The party is still going to happen.”

While many athletes have sought out sports psychologists to help deal with the anxiety of a delayed Games, Fitzgibbons and South Africa’s Jordy Smith have found balance riding waves.

Fitzgibbons says the extra time has provided room to figure out performance and progression while Smith sharpened his competitive instincts on home waves.

“When I made the trip back to South Africa it was our winter and the borders were closed,” said Smith, who has also secured an Olympic berth. “You couldn’t take flights to each state and there were obviously good waves in Durban and Cape Town.

“I was just getting in the car and driving up and down the coast non-stop for three months illegally pretty much.

“My competitive side of me would come out because I just wanted to get the best waves I possibly could.”

Fitzgibbons said after the Tokyo Olympic postponement was announced she initially felt a bit anxious but has used the COVID pause to “polish the ordinary” and find perspective.

“I think everyone will be on board to have that real positive energy to kick start everything,” said Fitzgibbons.

“Hopefully, that gratitude continues on and every time you think you are having a tough year, a tough moment it will be like remember that year and that will put everything into perspective.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)

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shopping

Adyen’s 2020 Retail Report Reveals American’s Shopping Habits and Post-Pandemic Outlook

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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Adyen, the global payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, today announced U.S.-specific findings from its 2020 Global Retail Consumer Survey which explored how consumers’ perspectives and spending habits shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic and what their outlook will be post-pandemic. The study revealed that even during a time when America’s unemployment rates are at their highest, two things matter more than price for many consumers: brand loyalty and experience.

New 2019 logo Adyen

“The businesses that have risen to the top and will make it through the other side during these challenging times all have something in common — they are trailblazers in enabling technology that gives consumers the convenience and access that social distance orders took from them. Based on our survey, there’s no going back now — more than four out of ten of consumers say that the convenience of the shopping experience is more important to them than the price of items,” said Roelant Prins, Chief Commercial Officer at Adyen. “Additionally, nearly half of Americans surveyed said they will shop to support brands they want to see survive.”

Loyalty is paramount: strong relationships and brand equity are crucial
The study revealed that the majority of Americans remained loyal to their local shops and restaurants and will continue to do so. During difficult times, the normality of a familiar face and your favorite cup of coffee is a comfort.

  • 69% said they intend to continue shopping with/supporting retailers that they relied on during the pandemic
  • 63% said they expect to shop more with retailers located nearby because they want them to stay open
  • 51% said they intent to go out of their way to shop with responsible businesses that demonstrated a social conscience/engaged with charitable initiatives during the pandemic
  • 47% said they expect to shop with important heritage or traditional brands that they want to see survive

Adyen’s platform saw a ~60% increase in online retail volume compared to the beginning of the year and the survey data also reflects that technology played a key role in keeping consumer spending afloat.

  • 57% said retailers used technology well to make their products available during the pandemic
  • 58% said restaurants, cafes, etc. used technology well to make their services available during the pandemic

Life After COVID-19
When Americans think about shopping after the coronavirus pandemic, the survey revealed that 58% are excited to shop in store for pleasure again but the convenience offered by digital experiences will stick, especially among the digital natives.

  • 41% said they are going to shop online more than they did before the pandemic, with Millennials leading the charge (58%) followed by Gen X (37%) and Boomers (30%)
  • 28% said they are going to use subscription services for products (e.g., food, beauty, etc) to reduce the amount of times they need to shop. This was higher among men (33%) than women (25%), and Millennials have shown they are much more interested in subscription services (54%)
women

Trump?s trying to woo suburban women. Suburban women aren?t buying it.

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Women of the ’burbs — like those enclaves they inhabit — are not who Trump thinks they are.

He needs them in his bid for reelection. But by clinging to the notion that suburban women are White housewives who need to be saved from scary threats such as (gasp!) low-income neighbors and protesters for social justice, his wooing isn’t working.

Across America, the suburbs are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse and dynamic. They’re not the little boxes and fenced yards of Levittown, but a mix of homeowners and renters, apartments and condos, cottages and McMansions.

The suburbs are where city folks go for Korean groceries, Indian buffet and salsa night.

Since 2000, more than half the immigrants coming to America settled in the suburbs, according to the Brookings Institution.

White people became the minority in the D.C. suburb of Montgomery County in 2011, according to Census Bureau figures showing the breakdown of groups in this Maryland locale.

Houston and its suburbs are so diverse, the man running for the 22nd Congressional District there — former Foreign Service officer Sri Preston Kulkarni — has campaign literature in 21 different languages.

The suburbs are where more than half of Americans say they live — and they’re not all existing in Trump’s aprons-and-cocktails Queens childhood of the 1950s he keeps pining for.

After my social media query to the suburban women I know, I went in search of some in the wild.

I headed to the prime habitat of the suburban woman: Michael’s. Surely I could find them in the emporium of scrapbooking and silk flowers in Rockville, Montgomery County’s seat.

So, after spending way too much money on aspirational craft items (hey, urban women craft, too!) I began chatting with the women I found there.

“I am making calls, calls every night, doing anything I can to get him out,” Till Cartwright, 68, a child of the Atlanta suburbs, said of Trump.

“I don’t think he’s doing anything to help us,” she continued. “Montgomery County, we’re one of the most diverse counties in America, and everything he’s doing is hurting the people here — from denying science, the immigration nonsense, the image of the presidency.”

Cartwright meant to simply hop into Michael’s to pick up some art supplies for her nephew, but within minutes, another suburban woman from Chevy Chase joined our discussion.

“It scares me,” the newcomer said. “If you look at the polls, I think it’s closer than everyone thinks. And I just don’t understand these women who want to support him. They’re not from the suburbs I know.”

I redirected to another of the most suburban areas I could think of, the place where we did our Target shopping before any Targets came to D.C.: Northern Virginia.

There, I talked to a woman who seemed to embody the suburban aesthetic that Trump is after. She’s a wife and mother, a Realtor, and an active and chatty member of several women’s social groups. Her hair always looks salon-fresh, her

women

GOP Sen. Ben Sasse Says Trump Mistreats Women and Flirts With White Supremacists in Audio Recording

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Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse said that President Donald Trump has “flirted” with white supremacists, “kisses dictators’ butts” and also criticized the way that the president treats women in an audio recording obtained by The Washington Examiner.



Ben Sasse wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) speaks while Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the second day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on October 13, 2020 in Washington, D.C. In an audio recording obtained by The Washington Examiner, Sasse criticized President Donald Trump after he was asked about his relationship with the president.


© Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) speaks while Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the second day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on October 13, 2020 in Washington, D.C. In an audio recording obtained by The Washington Examiner, Sasse criticized President Donald Trump after he was asked about his relationship with the president.

The comments that Sasse made were part of a nine-minute response the Republican senator gave when asked about his relationship with and criticism of Trump. According to the magazine, the audio was taken from a private call between Sasse and some of his constituents.

Sasse began his response by saying he worked hard to establish a working relationship with the president but reminded his listeners that he campaigned for other Republican presidential candidates before Trump became the party’s nominee in 2016. During the first two minutes of his answer, he said there were some issues on which he agreed with Trump, including efforts to appoint conservative federal judges. The Senate has already approved more than 200 of Trump’s judicial appointments, and the president has said he aspires to have at least 300 approved by the end of his first term in office.

Sasse spent the other seven minutes of his answer listing the policy positions on which he disagrees with Trump and explaining why Trump’s leadership concerns him about the future of the Republican Party, the Senate and the country as a whole. Sasse started by addressing the foreign policy problems he had with Trump, which he said included the way Trump “kisses dictators’ butts” and addressed neither the Uighur detention camps in China nor the plight of protesters in Hong Kong.

“It isn’t just that he fails to lead our allies, it’s that the United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership,” Sasse said.

The senator went on to list other issues he said he had with Trump: “The way he treats women and spends like a drunken sailor. The ways I criticized President [Barack] Obama for that kind of spending, I criticize President Trump for, as well. He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He’s flirted with white supremacists.” Sasse also mentioned the coronavirus pandemic, which he said Trump initially did not take seriously and added that Trump “careens from curb to curb” in his administration’s pandemic response.

Sasse said he expected some of his constituents to disagree with his views on the president—Trump won Nebraska by 25 points in 2016, according to election results compiled by The New York Times—but he said he has spoken with some Nebraskans who voiced concerns about Trump’s time in office. “They don’t really want

gift

Best Thank You Gift Ideas

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More than any other type of present, the art of the thank-you gift is all about showing the recipient that time and consideration went into its selection (which is why a re-gift is never a good option). Personalization is essential for handwritten notes, as well. If you take the time to write and express your gratitude—whether it be to a teacher, mentor, or a weekend host—they’ll know the sentiments are really about them, and not just a copy-and-paste job.

When determining how to say thank you beyond the note, one of the first things to decide is whether you want to send the gift or give it in person. Etiquette pros suggest the taking cues from the occasion. A key rule of thumb is to avoid gifts that could end up being a burden to you or the recipient—which is why sending thank you after is never a bad idea.

Stressing over what you pick should be avoided at all costs, so do yourself a solid and arrange a gift ahead of time that’s easy to pick up (or have delivered). Read on below for our suggestions on how to hit the mark with your thank you every time.

Make it timely

Whether you bring them yourself or have them delivered after, flowers are a classic thank-you gift for a reason. They’re cheerful, work in anyone’s space, at any time, and are appropriate for new or old friends. Showing up with blooms is a nice way to give the recipient something to put out immediately (pro tip: offer to pop them in a vase yourself if the host is busy with other guests); on the other hand, sending them afterward as a thank you is a quick way to brighten up a random day.

Edible Arrangements’ new FruitFlowers does chic, ready to go pairings such as handpicked roses and lavender or sunflowers and chrysanthemums that create a thoughtful bounty that anyone will love. They don’t come alone, either, which addresses our second suggestion…

Go above and beyond

If you want to bring something, an edible spread is a great option that a recipient (such as a dinner host) can put out for other guests right away. The chocolate-dipped fruit included in the FruitFlowers makes for a perfect dessert that can be shared after a meal and will mix in easily with whatever was already on the menu (a thank you immediately becomes less thoughtful if it throws a wrench in the plans). If you opt to send an arrangement after as a thank you instead, it’ll be a decadent treat to be enjoyed by the recipient with absolutely no pressure to share.

When picking out a thank-you gift for a family or a couple, look for something that’ll please a crowd. The combo of flowers and sweet treats in Edible Arrangements’ FruitFlowers offers something for everyone (plus, who can say no to chocolate-covered strawberries?).

Send something personalized

Stationery

Bell ‘Invito
bellinvito.com

A simple thank-you note is standard whenever it’s important

clothing

Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing

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Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Apparel 1 Hollister 8.06 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Apparel 2 White House Black Market 8.02 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Apparel 3 Nordstrom Rack 7.88 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Apparel 4 Anthropologie 7.86 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Apparel 5 Zara 7.82 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Baby and Children’s Products 1 Carter’s 8.40 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Baby and Children’s Products 2 OshKosh B’gosh 8.18 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Baby and Children’s Products 3 Buybuy Baby 8.17 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Baby and Children’s Products 4 The Children’s Place 8.15 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Baby and Children’s Products 5 Justice 8.07 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Bridal Fashion 1 Camille La Vie 8.22 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Bridal Fashion 2 Bella Bridesmaids 8.05 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Bridal Fashion 3 BHLDN 7.86 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Department Stores 1 Nordstrom 8.71 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Department Stores 2 Dillard’s 8.68 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Department Stores 3 Belk 8.66 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Department Stores 4 Bloomingdale’s 8.51 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Department Stores 5 Boscov’s 8.46 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Retailer 1 Brighton 7.96 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Retailer 2 Alex and Ani 7.92 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Retailer 3 francesca’s 7.65 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Footwear 1 Merrell 8.46 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Footwear 2 Toms 8.35 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Footwear 3 Red Wing 8.06 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Footwear 4 DSW 8.05 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Footwear 5 Skechers 8.03 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing High Jewelry Retailer 1 Helzberg 8.99 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing High Jewelry Retailer 2 Bulgari 8.71 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing High Jewelry Retailer 3 Cartier 8.58 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Jewelry Retailer 1 James Avery 8.48 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Jewelry Retailer 2 Kay Jewelers 8.06 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Jewelry Retailer 3 Swarovski 8.05 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Lingerie 1 Intimissimi 8.22 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Lingerie 2 Victoria’s Secret 8.20 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Lingerie 3 Soma 7.88 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Luxury Fashion & Accessories 1 Gucci 8.86 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Luxury Fashion & Accessories 2 Louis Vuitton 8.77 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Luxury Fashion & Accessories 3 Dior 8.59 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Outdoor and Athletic Apparel 1 Columbia 8.46 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Outdoor and Athletic Apparel 2 Eddie Bauer 8.43 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Outdoor and Athletic Apparel 3 Under Armour 8.35 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Outdoor and Athletic Apparel 4 Patagonia 8.33 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Outdoor and Athletic Apparel 5 Lululemon Athletica 8.26 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Plus-Size Fashion 1 Torrid 8.10 Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing Plus-Size Fashion 2 Cato Fashions 8.03 Brick and Mortar
fashion

RuPaul’s Drag Race Queens Create Pageant-Worthy Fashion Inspired by Barefoot Wine

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To fan-favorite drag queen Eureka O’Hara, gay activism looks like a towering headpiece and a curve-hugging bodysuit.

The alum of RuPaul’s Drag Race modeled their show-stopping ensemble on YouTube recently as part of a promotion with Barefoot Wine, dubbed “House of Barefoot.”

O’Hara and several other queens took their fashion inspiration from Barefoot’s first Pride-themed packaging, translating the rainbow-colored designs on wine bottles into runway-ready outfits.

The branded content stunt was designed to keep the Pride party going past its usual June period and honor some milestones in LGBTQ history—and, sure, sell some Barefoot booze, which is funneling part of its proceeds from the Pride packages to nonprofit group, Free Mom Hugs.

“I wanted it to be kind of warrior-esque,” O’Hara says of their color-saturated outfit, meant to shout out trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson and other Stonewall-era pioneers. (O’Hara has broken ground of their own with an Emmy nomination for the HBO series, We Are Here, in which they star with Bob the Drag Queen and Shangela Laquifa Wadley).

YouTube and streaming series Fashion Photo RuView unveiled the fierce “House of Barefoot” looks recently, where hosts Raja and Raven had only praise—or “toots”—for O’Hara and fellow queen Manila Luzon’s Pride-centric garb.

Another round of content went live for National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), with drag queens and their “chosen family” describing their coming-out journeys.

The ongoing marketing alliance between Barefoot and RuPaul’s Drag Race producers World of Wonder represents another step forward for drag. This art form was once considered untouchable by mainstream brands.

In fact, World of Wonder cofounders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey have stepped up their partnerships in the last 18 months, hiring a dedicated executive and making deals with Pepsi, Starbucks, Disney, Bud Light, Netflix and Wet N Wild beauty, among others. The annual DragCon weekends in Los Angeles and New York have become sponsor bonanzas.

A celebration of expression

“It’s taken time but brands are increasingly recognizing that drag—a platform that celebrates self-expression and inspires people to feel confident in themselves—is a great way to really connect with audiences through fun and authentic messaging,” Barbato and Bailey said via email. “In the past one might have said that this audience has their finger on the pulse of the consumer, but increasingly they are the pulse.”

Execs at Barefoot wanted a partnership to “elevate the stories behind each of the limited-edition Pride designs” and “honor the strength and resilience” of the LGBTQ+ community, according to Anna Bell, vice president of marketing.

The partners brainstormed “House of Barefoot” as a stand-in for Pride events that had been canceled around the country this summer due to the Covid-19 public health crisis, she said. Ditto for DragCon.

“We wanted to create a fun, light-hearted piece of content to show that Pride lives within us, always and every day,” Bell said. “Pride can and will be celebrated no matter where we are or how we gather.”

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