Last week, Balenciaga embarked on a calculated comeback, replete with A-listers wearing the brand on the red carpet. Plus, the lab-grown and non-precious jewelry industry continued to climb, and Pride Month got off to a contentious start, at least as far as brands are concerned. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Glossy Podcast for interviews with fashion industry leaders and Week in Review episodes, and the Glossy Beauty Podcast for interviews from the beauty industry. –Sara Spruch-Feiner, senior reporter
Pride Month and rainbow capitalism see a rocky start
On May 23, Target made headlines for pulling items from its Pride collection on the heels of threats of violence. The move has made a lot of noise — the hashtag #TargetPride2023 now has 1.3 million views on TikTok. Target issued a statement and has since declined to elaborate on the matter. In reporting on the debacle, senior fashion reporter Danny Parisi spoke to Imara Jones, founder of TransLash Media. “Target is underscoring the fact that transphobic and homophobic intimidation tactics can be incredibly effective,” Jones said. “With Target following in Bud Light’s footsteps of retreating from trans inclusion, they are signaling that attacks on trans people overall — rooted in fear and intimidation — are OK,” Jones said.
Still, many other retailers and brands will attempt to get Pride right as the month continues. Macy’s stores in Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. “will feature whimsical, bright, imaginative displays celebrating Pride Month” from June 2-30, according to a press email from the brand. It also noted that the retailer will be highlighting LGBTQ-owned brands.
Meanwhile, Banter by Piercing Pagoda will donate $1 from the first 25,000 piercing services from June 1-7 to the It Gets Better Project, supporting xx. And Kay Jewelers will donate to the Human Rights Campaign with each purchase of its limited-edition Pride necklace.
In beauty, Gen Z-focused makeup brand Lottie London will donate 10% of proceeds from its new Pride collection to the Kaleidoscope Trust, which works to uphold the human rights of LGBT+ people across the U.K.
Balenciaga attempts a comeback
Remember back in November when TikTok was ablaze with people burning Balenciaga goods? Oh, how quickly fashion can forget. (See also: Dolce & Gabbana.) On the Cannes red carpet last week, stars including Michelle Yeoh and Salma Hayek were seen in gowns by the brand. As Vanessa Friedman wrote in a New York Times piece last week, “If the Balenciaga powers that be can pull it off, they will have added a new chapter to the story of early 21st-century cancel culture, becoming not just a case study on mismanagement in a crisis, but one on how to strategize a recovery without the public defenestration of the decision makers involved.” Cannes was just the latest in a string of re-entry tactics for the brand. At this year’s Met Gala, Balenciaga and Demna hosted fashion designers who could not afford their own tickets. Of course, Demna’s presence at the event meant it had been greenlit by Anna Wintour. Still, even if the fashion powers that be give the brand a second chance, recapturing its buzz factor will be a separate, arguably harder feat for the brand.
The non-precious jewelry boom continues
Long-time diamond maker Jean Dousset recently pivoted to entirely lab-grown diamonds, and last week, diamond crystalline-focused Anna Zuckerman launched a rebrand to highlight the everyday wearability of her more affordably priced pieces. The jewelry industry is undergoing a once-in-a-generation paradigmatic shift. It’s impacting celebrity styling, too. Ivan Bitton, owner of fashion agency Ivan Bitton, largely owed the shift to ease and convenience: “It’s because of the insurance, obviously,” he said. “Most times, celebrities prefer that it’s not a real diamond … because of the insurance and the security that diamonds [necessitate].” With the success of other lab-grown diamond jewelry brands like Dorsey, which recently surpassed the million-dollar brand mark, this industry remains one to keep an eye on. In 2022, the lab-grown diamond industry was worth over $22 billion; it is projected to reach $37 billion by 2028.