Amy Klobuchar on 7 Key Issues

On February 10, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) became the latest candidate to enter the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Klobuchar made her announcement during the height of a snowstorm in Minnesota.

Klobuchar began her career as a corporate lawyer, and then served as Minnesota’s Hennepin County attorney. According to the Daily Beast, as a prosecutor Klobuchar was known for being “tough on crime.” She jailed drug offenders for long stretches, increased the prosecution of repeat offenders, and launched campaigns against vandalism and graffiti—a stance that another democratic hopeful, Senator Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) , has come under fire for.

In 2006, Klobuchar was elected to the Senate, becoming Minnesota’s first-ever female to be elected United States Senator. Throughout her time in the Senate, she’s been known for her Midwestern roots and bipartisan stances. However, she’s also been criticized for the treatment of her staff. From 2011 to 2016, she had the highest staff turnover rate in the Senate, at 36 percent, according to Politico. Former Klobuchar staffers came forward to Buzzfeed News to say that her behavior “regularly left employees in tears.” Yahoo News has also reported that when former employees left Klobuchar’s office, she called their new employers to have their officers rescinded. Of the allegations she’s said, “Yes, I can be tough, and yes, I can push people. I have high expectations for myself. I have high expectations for the people that work for me. But I have high expectations for this country.”

Here we break down seven policies that will be central to Klobuchar’s bid.

Cyber Security

During her campaign launch, Klobuchar declared, “We need to put some digital rules into law when it comes to people’s privacy. For too long the big tech companies have been telling you ‘Don’t worry! We’ve got your back!’ while your identities are being stolen and your data is mined. Our laws need to be as sophisticated as the people who are breaking them.” This is a cause Klobuchar has championed ever since the 2016 election. Together with then-Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), she introduced the Honest Ads Act, which works to prevent foreign interference in elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. Because of the bill, Google, Twitter, and Facebook now all mark their political ads with a “paid for by X.” Klobuchar is critical of these companies and wants more public information on their privacy policies and political advertising. It seems Americans are on her side. According to a recent poll, 53 percent of Americans believe big tech companies should be regulated by the federal government, much like the big banks.

Additionally, Klobuchar has pledged to support net neutrality, a rule that says internet providers can’t slow down traffic or block websites for certain users. (For more information on net neutrality, check out this explainer on Vox). Klobuchar also wants to make sure every single American has access to the Internet. “We need to end the digital divide by pledging to connect every household to the internet by 2022, and that means you, rural America,” she said at her campaign launch.

Climate Change

During Senator Klobuchar’s campaign announcement, which she made during a heavy snowstorm in Minnesota, she outlined climate change as one of her top priorities. “In the first 100 days of my administration, I will reinstate the Clean Power rules and gas mileage standards and put forth sweeping legislation to invest in green jobs and infrastructure. And on day one, we will rejoin the international climate agreement,” she said. The Clean Power Plan was an Obama-era designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which Donald Trump replaced upon entering office. Trump has already criticized Klobuchar’s stance on climate change. After she announced her bid for president, Trump tweeted: “Well, it happened again. Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!” Klobuchar would also rejoin the Paris climate accord, the international agreement on fighting global warming that Donald Trump pulled out of in 2017.

Health Care

Queer Eye Season 3: Everything We Know

Today is a glorious day, because Netflix just announced when Queer Eye season three is premiering. Yup! Are you ready for this? The Fab Five is officially returning to your streaming queues on—drum roll, please—March 15. That’s only a month away, people. In just a matter of weeks, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, and Karamo Brown will be back transforming lives and making us cry in the process. Can you believe?

But even though the premiere is right around the corner, we still don’t know much about what’s to come. Here’s everything we know about Queer Eye season three, starting with…

1. The premiere date—and the theme song. It’s March 15, like we said, and Carly Rae Jepsen recorded a new bop for the occasion. Titled “Now That I Found You,” the uptempo pop tune will serve as the soundtrack for the season. Netflix confirmed as much in a new promo for season three, released on Wednesday, February 13.

2. The contestants (or heroes, as the show calls them) will be 50/50 male and female. “No offense to men, but we have so much more fun with women,” Berk told Variety in September 2018.

3. The show will feature its first-ever lesbian contestant. France confirmed this while appearing on the Netflix show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. “We have our first lesbian on the show this year and she’s formidable. What we do with her, you’re going to love it,” he said, according to Radio Times. On the new heroes, Porowski told E! News, “Inclusivity and diversity continues to be the focus of our MO, of what we’re out there to do.”

4. They’re moving cities. The Fab Five is leaving Atlanta, Georgia and setting up shop in Kansas City, Missouri.

5. It’s basically the first two seasons with the volume turned way up. “[It’s] everything that you would’ve liked from seasons one and two, but amplified,” France also said.

6. More tears are coming. “Before the season started, I actually had a conversation with myself where I was like, don’t cry as much as you did in the first season, and like, try to make things that are a little more complicated,” Porowski told E! News. “But what I ended up telling myself was like, just continue to be vulnerable, let it happen when it happens organically, just be yourself because that’s why you’re here…so I cry a lot.”

7. They’re going to Japan. For four special episodes, that is, which will air after season three.

Let the countdown to Queer Eye season three begin.

What Fashion Week Is Like for a Curve Model

Size diversity is something consumers demand and celebrate when they see it on the runway—and call out when they don’t. Progress on this front has been gradual, at best. But season after season, we are seeing more brands cast curvy models for their Fashion Week presentations. (For Fall 2019, AREA and Veronica Beard were among a small number to introduce body diversity to their shows; Prabal Gurung, Cushnie, and Christian Siriano continued building on past seasons by once again casting models of all sizes) Because of these changes, a few women have risen to a level of Fashion Week fame once afforded only to straight-sized models: the Ashley Grahams, Candice Huffines, Marquita Prings.

Still, Fashion Week, from the prep to the walk down the runway, can be an emotional experience for curve models: There’s the anxiety of go-sees, the frustration with designers who have yet to include curvy models, the camaraderie backstage at size-inclusive show, and most of all, a sense of pride in the shared mission of making the fashion world a more inclusive place.

“I want the world to see that more than one kind of body—the kind of body that fashion has forever perpetuated as the only acceptable one—is valuable and worthy and deserving of representation,” says Lauren Chan, a model and former Glamour editor. “If me showing up in a bathing suit on the runway and having a picture on Vogue.com gets that message across, then I’m happy to do it.”

What viewers see as empowering progress or lagging representation on the runway is more complex for the women living it. We spoke with five models—Huffine, Pring, Chan, as well as Mama Cax and Precious Lee—to hear what happens in the moments leading up to and on the catwalk. No single experience is emblematic of every curve model at Fashion Week, but together, their accounts show us the nuances of being faces of change and give us reason to be optimistic about the runway’s future.

“We’ve been waiting to see this for so long.”

“Marquita Pring and I have done the show circuit since 2015. We always look at each other and we’re like, ‘There’s nobody I’d rather be doing this with than you.’ Because we know that it really means something that we’re there. For a while, you could count on one hand how many of the curve girls you would see at every single casting. Now, I’m seeing the casting process open up a lot more. Where it goes from there, you can’t make any guarantees—but it’s nice that you’re in the door.

“The casting process this time has been very similar to past seasons. I’m casting with a lot of the designers I’ve previously walked for. You go see them again, walk for them again, and maybe try on some new dresses. I don’t ever make any assumptions that I’m a shoe-in for a show, but it’s always amazing to go back and see the mainstay supporters of this inclusive movement. There are the Christian Siriano’s, the Cushnie’s, the Prabal’s. When you’re [going through] casting, you’re excited to see them pop up in your email again, because you know that [size diversity] isn’t a temporary thing for them—it’s something that’s going to be a part of their brand ethos and runway vision for life.

“Although the list of castings for a curvy girl like myself isn’t long, I will say that I’m more and more excited by the new additions every season. Those moments where we’re all intertwined on a runway, celebrating women and showcasing fashion, gives a little a-ha! moment to designers, to realize that you don’t have to do something wildly different for this curvy customer—you can beautifully integrate a variety of women into your shoot, your magazine, your campaign, whatever it may be, and it’s so welcomed.

“The 11 Honoré show was my first this Fashion Week. I was like, Is fashion week done after tonight? It was crazy—a full celebration. There was a happiness and excitement that you don’t see at shows very often. Laverne Cox coming out in that amazing tulle dress, glitter confetti coming from the ceiling… There was an extra wow-factor and specialness because of the women that you were seeing. At the end, my husband said, ‘It’s been a long time coming, getting here.’ I feel like everyone feels that way—we’ve been waiting to see this for so long, when you finally see it you’re like, Oh hell yes. Like, I cannot believe my eyes. I’m finally represented on a runway.” — Candice Huffine

“If I’m using my crutches, people assume that something is wrong.”

“Prior to making my debut at Fashion Week last season, I had only been modeling for three months. Chomat was my first show—they had reached out to me for a campaign, and then I was asked to walk their runway. I always told myself, if there was a show I would walk for, it would be Chromat. I’d always admired the diversity on their catwalk.

“Sometimes, castings are in [a] space that is not accessible—it’s one of the things that I think about: If someone wanted to break into the industry and they’re not physically able to go up the stairs, that automatically excludes them from being part of it. I’m lucky enough to be able to get around stairs, but it makes me think of a group of people who are excluded from that experience altogether.

“I’ve been to castings where I’m the bigger person in the room, and I’m only a size 10. I’ve been to ones where I’m the darkest person in the room. I’m so used to such a diverse group from my agency, that always surprises me. I’m a confident person, but it can be intimidating to go into this room where everyone is vying for that one job that only a few can get, and there’s so many beautiful, amazing personalities. You find yourself dissecting your own body and having small insecurities crawl up. But it’s good to remind myself that if I’m there, I deserve to be there, and I’m going to give it my best.

“I always figure that if I go to a casting, that specific brand has the goal of becoming more diverse—that’s not to say that they’re specifically trying to include disabilities, because I guess I’m considered a plus-size model, but sometimes it’s how I see it. Oftentimes, people are surprised that I’m there. I get asked questions that are borderline weird—like, if I’m wearing long jeans and using my crutches, the first question I get asked is, ‘What happened to you?’ That’s part of living in an ableist world: If they see that I’m using an assistive device, people assume that something is wrong. There’s a lot at play that an average model doesn’t have to go through.

“My goal is to always to create more opportunities for people with disabilities. When people talk about inclusion and making things more diverse, you think about a brand that has one person with curves, and that’s everyone’s go-to person—that’s what I don’t want it to be.

“I hope that the more I do Fashion Week, the more normal it’ll be—that people will simply talk about the clothes we’re wearing, as opposed to it being about a person walking this show despite having a disability.” — Mama Cax

“For so long, Fashion Week wasn’t considered an option.”

“In 2016, Christian Siriano had his first show where he included curve models, and that’s when I realized that, okay, I look incredible on that runway. I should be able to do this on every single runway. For so long, Fashion Week wasn’t considered an option—it was an automatic no.“

“Going into castings more recently, I don’t feel like I stand out. I don’t feel like people are wondering what I’m doing there. I feel like I’m exactly where I belong—whereas a few years ago, even going into that first casting with ALDA [a curve model collective], we walked in and it was just like, ‘What are these people doing here?’ I think it has definitely become much more of the norm now. It’s not surprising to see curvy women on the runway.

“I guess Fashion Week is not as crazy or overwhelming [as it might be for] straight size models, because our options are still quite limited. So while I have five castings in a day, they’ve got more. I’m really happy I don’t have to deal with that. At a casting for a curvy client, it’s usually a very lighthearted—everyone’s saying hi and catching up; then you go to a casting that’s for all models or just straight-sized ones, and it’s just quiet and not much is happening.

“I think designers are definitely more conscious and aware that they need to be putting more relatable women in their shows. I do wish and hope that more and more women like me are on these runways. I want to be that high-end designer girl.

“I’ll never forget this one show—it was three years ago and it was still pretty new for me. I remember changing and I kept seeing these girls staring. Especially this one girl, she couldn’t take her eyes off me. And I was like, What is this? I have no idea what she’s thinking, but I’m just assuming the worst, right? I wasn’t going to let that get me down, but it was definitely something that I was aware of. After the show, she pulled me aside, and she’s like, ‘I just have to say, you look so amazing! Your body is so womanly.’ I get emotional even thinking about it. It’s stuff like that, where you automatically assume the worst, and then you have that moment when you realize you have no idea what someone else is thinking and, second of all, holy shit. It’s kind of a reminder that we’re all in this together.” — Marquita Pring

“When you get a group of us together and give us a stage to celebrate, we make up for lost time.”

“I’ve been personally trying to put my money where my mouth is on my message about size inclusion in fashion. I’m starting my own company. I’m trying to put myself out there on social more. Returning to Fashion Week felt like something I needed to do to make it a positive experience for myself and to continue to lead by example.

“I’ve been taking notes at the castings I’ve been to, to keep track of what’s happening. At each one that I’ve been to, there’s been a pretty big proportion of curve girls or plus-size models. At the Chromat one, it was definitely at least half. At the other ones I’ve been to, it’s been like a pretty solid half-and-half, I’d say.

“One major, huge change that I almost can’t believe is happening is that people want a plus-size Asian girl. When I first was a plus-size model in 2012, everybody I worked with was pretty cookie-cutter, to be honest. And now […] I joke, but it’s like they see me and they’re like ‘you’re Chinese and plus, and you have freckles? Come on in!’ My 2012 self would probably hear that and think that a trick was being played on her.

“I hate to say it, but observing the industry this way, the shows that feel more likely [for me to be cast in] are not the super high-fashion ones—if I’m walking [a high fashion show], [I’m] walking a brand that has included plus girls before, but only two and the same ones. It’s not that it’s a bad thing, it just seems more aspirational and less attainable than someone who includes more girls.

“Walking in the 11 Honoré show was the best return to fashion week I could have imagined. Next to Chromat’s shows, it was the most celebratory one I’ve been ever to—as a model or as an editor. Much like Chromat, it was about celebrating people who have been previously excluded from fashion. When you get a group of people like that together and give us a stage to celebrate, we make up for lost time.

“The moment after I finished my turn, I had a big smile on my face. It was impossible not to! I was Look 5, so there was still a big group of models—and Laverne [Cox]—waiting to get out there with really excited energy. It was fun to see that through new eyes, with the relief of having just walked. All of my nervousness was gone and it felt like a party. We knew Laverne was going to perform, but we didn’t know about the confetti so when we got out there for the finale to see it falling from the sky, a lot of us were laughing and cheering. If you look back at any of those photos you can see the pure joy on our faces.” — Lauren Chan

“Although I’m fighting to break down barriers, I don’t have to put myself in a position where I’m not appreciated.”

“Everything that I do is going to be done by a black curvy woman, because that’s who I am. Walking in Fashion Week, or even going to certain castings, is something that is super important to me. I feel pressure in general as a model: Fashion Week is stressful—it’s physically draining and there’s a lot going on. [There’s] pressure for me to perform at the highest level because almost everything that I’m doing is a ‘first this’ or a ‘monumental that.’ But it’s also a lot of opportunity to grow and to expand the platform—not just for curvy women or curvy black women, but a different type of woman in an industry that you don’t normally see.

“I see each season that designers are a little more open, I feel, to a curve model. I would personally love to see it accelerated, but I’m also grateful to see changes. It’s a lot about what’s going on outside of Fashion Week that is making designers take a look and really see how major it can be to have curves.

“It’s a different vibe when you’re in a space of a lot of all curvy women, versus a show where it’s some curves and some straight-size clothes. What really stood out to me [at 11 Honoré] was the styling of the show and the selection of the pieces—it was just amazing to see and show that you can have Brandon Maxwell in a size 14. I was super grateful that it was all of those high-end designers that you don’t typically think of in extended sizes.

“Fashion Week for me is not about specific designers. Of course I would want to walk every show that I like or that has never used curve girls before. But I realized that, although I’m fighting to break down barriers, I don’t have a desire to put myself in a position where I’m literally not appreciated or desired.

“I definitely think that seeing me on the runway has afforded me so many different opportunities job-wise. I think people really like to see me in action, speaking, seeing me on the runway or on the red carpet. Seeing my personality come out in different ways through fashion week is an opportunity for me to show different sides to myself.” — Precious Lee

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Halie LeSavage is the fashion associate at Glamour. Follow her @halielesavage.

Why There Were Less Sex Scenes in Outlander Season 4

Obviously, Outlander is more than just steamy sex scenes. But at its core, this is a show about Jamie and Claire’s relationship—and their intimate moments, sexual or not, are important to fans. It’s also important that this series consistently shows female pleasure and consent as sexy, as we’ve pointed out before.

But season four, which just wrapped, was largely focused on setting up new characters and storylines for the series. Sure, the couple made a new home for themselves in colonial America, but most of our time was spent diving deeper into Brianna and Roger’s story. While it’s exciting to see where that goes, it meant less screen time for Jamie and Claire and the intimate moments we did get were often cut short, fading to black before things heated up.

For many fans, this was frustrating. “The show is brimming with adventures, cliff hangers, great characters and performances, social commentary and lots of sentimentality. It has lost touch, however, with the thrust and depth (puns intended) of the writings of Diana Gabaldon, who shows us a relationship like nothing we have seen before on television—an egalitarian relationship where the joy, intensity, fun, playfulness and excitement of being a couple never stops for Claire and Jamie, despite the passing of years and all the dramas that develop and revolve around them,” Andrée Poppleton wrote on Outlandercast.com.

We asked co-executive producer Maril Davis about this shift at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “I think every season is different,” she tells Glamour. “This season we were introducing more characters, and there was a lot of story to get in. We’ve always talked about the sex scenes—we love them too—but they have to be organic to the story.”

Sometimes, she says, the story just doesn’t allow for as many slowdown times—intimate moments between Jamie and Claire, specifically—that fans can get in the books. “I do anticipate a return, hopefully, to that next season a little more,” she says. “Every season has its different storylines and where we’re going. It can’t always recreate the first season, which was very special, but it just has to be within the story and feel like it’s organic. That’s something we work on, and the actors work on. It’s a collaboration.”

As a fan herself, Davis says she totally gets that a fade-to-black in the middle of a sex scene might not be satisfying for some fans. But, “This is the fifth season, and we’re trying to find those intimate moments without always having to show everything and putting actors in that position. But I get it! I want everyone to be satisfied.”

The next season will start production some time this year, though she won’t reveal exact timing yet. As for the storyline, Davis says they hear truly every kind of request from fans. “It’s hard to please everyone,” she jokes. But production knows the “heart and soul” of the story is Claire and Jamie: “We never forget that.”

Reporting by Jessica Radloff. Anna Moeslein is a senior editor at Glamour. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @annamoeslein.

Why There Were Fewer Sex Scenes in ‘Outlander’ Season 4

Obviously, Outlander is more than just steamy sex scenes. But at its core, this is a show about Jamie and Claire’s relationship—and their intimate moments, sexual or not, are important to fans. It’s also important that this series consistently shows female pleasure and consent as sexy, as we’ve pointed out before.

But season four, which just wrapped, was largely focused on setting up new characters and storylines for the series. Sure, the couple made a new home for themselves in colonial America, but most of our time was spent diving deeper into Brianna and Roger’s story. While it’s exciting to see where that goes, it meant less screen time for Jamie and Claire, and the intimate moments we did get were often cut short, fading to black before things heated up.

For many fans, this was frustrating. “The show is brimming with adventures, cliffhangers, great characters and performances, social commentary, and lots of sentimentality,” Andrée Poppleton wrote on Outlandercast.com. “It has lost touch, however, with the thrust and depth (puns intended) of the writings of Diana Gabaldon, who shows us a relationship like nothing we have seen before on television—an egalitarian relationship where the joy, intensity, fun, playfulness, and excitement of being a couple never stops for Claire and Jamie, despite the passing of years and all the dramas that develop and revolve around them.”

We asked co–executive producer Maril Davis about this shift at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “I think every season is different,” she tells Glamour. “This season we were introducing more characters, and there was a lot of story to get in. We’ve always talked about the sex scenes—we love them too—but they have to be organic to the story.”

Sometimes, she says, the story just doesn’t allow for as many slowdown times—intimate moments between Jamie and Claire, specifically—that fans can get in the books. “I do anticipate a return, hopefully, to that next season a little more,” she says. “Every season has its different storylines and where we’re going. It can’t always re-create the first season, which was very special, but it just has to be within the story and feel like it’s organic. That’s something we work on, and the actors work on. It’s a collaboration.”

As a fan herself, Davis says she totally gets that a fade-to-black in the middle of a sex scene might not be satisfying for some fans. But “this is the fifth season, and we’re trying to find those intimate moments without always having to show everything and putting actors in that position. But I get it! I want everyone to be satisfied.”

The next season will start production some time this year, though she won’t reveal exact timing yet. As for the storyline, Davis says they hear truly every kind of request from fans. “It’s hard to please everyone,” she jokes. But production knows the “heart and soul” of the story is Claire and Jamie: “We never forget that.”

Reporting by Jessica Radloff. Anna Moeslein is a senior editor at Glamour. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @annamoeslein.

Would You Buy Designer Bags *Without* the Designer Label?

A designer-quality bag, without the exorbitant designer price? That’s the sexy premise of Italic, a direct-to-consumer brand that offers luxury pieces—think leather bags and jackets, cashmere, and eyewear—from the same factories that make products for companies like Celine, Givenchy, Gucci, Miu Miu, Burberry, and Prada. One key difference: None of Italic’s products will have those fancy designer labels. Genius idea? Or could they be ripping off some of the world’s most coveted brands?

Italic, which launched in November, requires a $120 annual membership, which the company says allows it to keep inventory relatively limited and the prices of its products low. (A designer-grade tote will cost you $250, versus four figures, for instance.) As of mid-January, they had more than 150,000 combined members and people on the waitlist, according to Jeremy Cai, the company’s founder. (He declined to share revenue or sales figures; when one of our testers tried to sign up for membership, she was accepted within about a day and the fee was waived because, the site said, she got in “early.”)

While the company’s website prominently displays the names of luxury brands it shares factories with, Cai says they absolutely do not make knock-offs. In other words, they may be able to stay out of the legal fray. (Luxury companies may still have a case if their trademarks are misused, or used in a way that creates confusion for customers, experts told Glamour.)

Italic’s handbag designs are classic, in terms of shape (lots of totes and bucket bags) and color (always-popular options like black, red, and cream; no prints or pastels yet). The company also offers bedding (from the same people that make sheets for the The Ritz-Carlton), and plan to roll out beauty and skin products (from the factories used by Dior and Chanel) soon. So the question is: How much is a luxury label worth to you?

What we’re looking for when we buy “luxury.”

I’d like to believe that what I crave most in luxury products is the quality—that investing several hundred dollars in a bag means I won’t need to replace it next season or could even one day pass it on to my next in kin. But if I’m honest, quality isn’t the only thing that appeals to me. I’ve been mulling over a vintage (or, at least, consignment) Chanel bag. It’s comically tiny and impractical, too precious and too flashy for my lifestyle, but I’ll catch myself absentmindedly scrolling on The Real Real, envisioning my fantasy self, wearing a matte fuschia lipstick and festooned in interlocking C’s. (My real self carries at least three tangled chargers and five half-empty face lotions in my tote on any given day.) The label on the bag is a big part of the fantasy.

In the real world, a labeled luxury purchase can also feel validating. “My entire outfit can be from Old Navy, but when it comes to my bags, I like the high end; I like the label,” says Erinn Blicher, a creative and business development lead for a PR and social media agency in New York. “It’s always been like an accomplishment—all my designer bags have been gifts to myself for certain milestone, so they mean something to me. The brand’s name, its lineage, and its place in fashion means something to me, too. I gotta say, wearing them makes me feel good.”

Utpal M. Dholakia, Ph.D., a marketing professor at Rice University, and author of How To Price Effectively, has extensively analyzed the impact pricing can have on a product. Though you decide how much you’re willing to spend on any given purchase, whether it’s a hand bag or a vacuum, brand name plays a role in your decision-making. That’s especially true on items that are highly visible. “Most people don’t buy luxury products in categories that are hidden,” he says. So luxury toilet paper is less likely to be a thing. “In more public categories, like cars or handbags,” he says, “People will spend more.”

A new, label-free trend is born.

The interest in logo-free brands isn’t just about cost (although, as we’ll explain in a sec, there is a surprising reason that’s part of it). It’s also about factors unique to our digitally-lead lives right now.

Shoppers want something unique. In this Instagram era, the ubiquitous style images we see influence how we all dress. “For me, fashion is much more about style than brand; it’s why I get more compliments on my Zara boots than my Isabel Marant ones,” says Lia Avellino, a therapist and director of a wellness club in New York. “Wearing a luxury brand like Gucci conveys more ‘status’ than ‘unique style’ to me.” For women like Avellino, style is about putting outfits together that are original, not buying a look that anyone else can have for the right price.

Marley Gibbons, a travel professional who lives in New York, also buys based on quality and overall look over labels. “I’d rather have something unique and made by a smaller brand than worry about what spending thousands more would ‘say’ about me,” she says. For example: Her best friend bought her Cuyana travel pouches as a gift a few years ago, and she adores them “because they’re nice but not a major, flashy label.”

For some women, being a walking billboard for a company—not matter how chic or esteemed it is—does not appeal. Allie Gross, a business reporter who lives in Detroit, doesn’t want a cookie cutter look. “I saved and bought a Mansur Gavriel purse a few years ago—I liked that the labeling was so small and almost unnoticeable,” she says. “But I actually don’t wear it often, because I feel like the actual bag has, in a way, become a label—it’s so ubiquitous, everyone knows what it is and that it’s a designer bag. I really wish I had spent the money instead on a not-so-known or recognizable bag.”

It’s easier than ever to assess the quality and value of a purchase, regardless of the name on the label. “In the past, a brand itself was the way to validate that,” says Kathy Gersch, EVP at consulting firm Kotter International and a former VP at Nordstrom. But in today’s marketplace, you can learn from reviews and customer opinions, and companies like Brandless are Everlane are more transparent about what goes into the cost of any given item, be it a beauty product, home cleaning supply, or your new favorite jeans. “Customers have access to more information than ever before,” says Julie Zerbo, founder of The Fashion Law. “And they are increasingly demanding more transparency.”

Prices keep climbing. The appeal of a Celine-quality bag for less doesn’t just have to do with label fatigue, it’s also about price. The cost of luxury products has grown faster than those in other fashion categories, more than twice the rate of general inflation in some instances. Some shoppers might reject this kind of “outrageous pricing”, according to Zerbo, but also not want to go to the other extreme of fast-fashion. That in-between is “an opportunity” for brand-free brands like Italic, she says.

Women want clothes that work for their hectic, busy lives. Another reason the “It Bag” may be an outdated concept: For those of us who really wear the hell out of our trustiest carryalls (I know I do), bags might not really be the “investment pieces” we once envisioned. What’s the point of spending a lot of money on something that’s too precious for the rigors of daily use? “I tend to use and abuse bags and wear them into the ground; they don’t last very long and it feels like a bad investment,” says Darryn Fitzgerald, a lawyer who lives in New York. “I would definitely be open to paying less for a high-quality bag.”

We’re entering a more understated style period. Fashion brands themselves are getting more spartan with their logos—many sporting all-caps, sans-serif typefaces, which are “designed not to stand out at all, but to blend in,” as Bloomberg described. The Fashion Law aptly dubbed it ‘blanding of branding,’, saying it too, is a result of the times we live in, as logos have to scale and be easily readable across multiple platforms.

Is this the end of the “It” bag?

Of course there are plenty of shoppers who still care about wearing designer-name pieces that are recognizable. As recently as the end of 2018, logo fashion still ranked high on industry trend lists (Gucci’s signature interlocking-G belt was “the hottest product” of 2018).

“Sales of designer branded luxury merchandise are driven in large part by emotion, so long as a brand is able to hit that nerve, it will be important,” says Jeffry Aronsson, founder of Aronsson Group and former CEO of Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, and Marc Jacobs. And even in this period of disruption, luxury goods are showing more consistent growth than other industries, he says. The brands that stay at the top are those that have been around a long time and whose executives are able to find the sweet spot between exclusivity and volume: “The more accessible and ubiquitous the brand, the less ‘special’ it might feel,” Aronsson says. “And a brand’s importance suffers without continual innovation and excitement around [their] product.”

And experts point out that just because a product is made in the same factory as a luxury brand, that doesn’t mean you get the same luxury quality. The materials and level of craftsmanship can vary, Aronsson says, hence the lower price point. (Cai says that Italic uses deadstock—i.e. leftover and unused materials and finishes—to create many of the products sold. Since there are massive quantities of deadstock that languish in factories until tossed out, this may appeal to eco-conscious shoppers.)

“Luxury brands have 200 years, and hundreds if not billions of dollars in marketing building up their brand,” Zerbo says. “Culturally, so many people are buying that logo.” And unlike a bag with a designer logo, a label-free luxury product isn’t necessarily seen as an investment. “People who are going to buy brandless luxury are buying for functional value—they’re going to use the product,” Utpal says. “They’re going to put it on from the first day they receive it in the mail. These are different customers.” Dholakia agrees: “How many people are interested in an expensive product because of its quality, versus because of the cache associated with that brand? You’re going to have both types of people.”

And Uptal believes this new kind of label-less luxury isn’t necessarily a replacement for brand-name luxury—rather, it could be a stepping stone for shoppers. “It’s an entry point for many consumers to discovering really high quality products,” he says. “Once you’ve discovered high quality products and have disposable income, you will likely graduate to luxury product.” Longterm, Utpal continues, “this could have a positive impact on luxury brands. This is all good for the Hermès of world.” And more choices—at more price points—is a win for consumers, too.

Alexandra Ilyashov is a writer and editor based in New York.

Cardi B’s Grammy Win Backlash, Fully Explained

The Grammys should’ve been a celebratory time for Cardi B, who became the first solo female artist to win Best Rap Album for her critically-acclaimed debut Invasion of Privacy. But this moment has since been clouded with controversy. It didn’t take long for haters to come out of the woodwork and say Cardi B’s award wasn’t well-deserved. This led to the “Bodak Yellow” performer herself taking to Instagram to defend herself before ultimately deactivating her account. Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, and Lady Gaga’s names have popped up in this situation, too. It’s out of control—and heartbreaking because this is Cardi B‘s first Grammy. Her win is well-deserved, full stop.

Below, here’s a complete timeline of Cardi B’s Grammy backlash, starting with her acceptance speech.

Cardi B wins the Grammy for Best Rap Album. She was visibly shocked and moved while accepting the award, at one point joking, “The nerves are so bad. Maybe I need to start smoking weed.”

Ariana Grande tweets her reactions. Eagle-eye fans screen-grabbed a series of messages Grande tweeted (then deleted) about her ex-boyfriend, the late Mac Miller, losing Best Rap Album to Cardi B. “Literal bullshit,” “fuck,” and “trash,” Grande wrote in three separate tweets. But they had nothing to do with Cardi B: She was upset the Grammys invited Miller’s parents to attend the ceremony and he didn’t even win. “Nothing to do with [Cardi B] Good for her. I promise. I’m sorry,” Grande tweeted, according to People. She then added, “She’s not at all [trash] and that’s not what I meant and you know that.”

MTV reports that backstage at the Grammys, Cardi B said, “You wanna know something? I read an article that Mac Miller’s family said that if he don’t win, they wanted me to win, so I’m sharing this Grammy with you.”

The haters roll in criticizing Cardi B’s historic win. So much so that Cardi B hops on Instagram to check them. “Slept in the studio on leather sofas for three months straight,” she wrote before addressing the people who said she was “stupid” for having a baby so early in her career. Read her full response, below:

Nicki Minaj somehow gets involved. The two women have a historic feud, but Minaj was unnecessarily brought into this situation thanks to an ill-advised BET tweet. Shortly after Cardi B won her Grammy, the network tweeted, “Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj is being dragged by her lacefront.” The incident caused Minaj to pull out of the BET Experience festival, where Cardi B is also slated to perform.

Cardi B takes to Instagram—again. She seemingly acknowledged the Minaj situation by saying, “It’s not my style for people to put other people down to uplift somebody else,” before addressing her haters head-on. “I’ve been taking a lot of bullshit today,” she said. “I saw a lot of bullshit last night and I’m sick of this shit. I remember last year when I didn’t win for ‘Bodak Yellow,’ everybody was like, ‘Cardi got snubbed, Cardi got snubbed.’ Now this year. it’s a fucking problem?” Shortly after this, she deleted her Instagram account.

Lady Gaga comes to Cardi B’s defense. Mother Monster, whom Cardi is a longtime fan of, took to Twitter and implored fans to “celebrate” the rapper’s fight. “It is so hard to be a woman in this industry,” Gaga tweeted. “What it takes, how hard we work through the disrespectful challenges, just to make art. I love you Cardi. You deserve your awards. Let’s celebrate her fight. Lift her up & honor her. She is brave.”

The 30 Best Oscars Hairstyles Ever

We were thrilled when Moonlight won Best Picture and love a meme-able moment like Meryl Streep whooping from the audience, but the red carpet will always hold a special place in our hearts. There’s nothing better than a solid six weeks of Hollywood’s finest showing off their most elaborate looks. While the Golden Globes and Grammys have their own shining moments (typically the attendees have a little more fun with their looks), the Oscars are arguably the crowning jewel of awards shows. It’s where stars and their glam squads pull out all the stops, from their gowns to their hairstyles.

From flowing waves to intricate braids and dazzling headbands, the Oscars have brought us some of the most iconic hair looks over the past 50 years. Weather you’re looking for hair inspo or just getting in the mood for the 2019 ceremony, we got you covered. We’ll go ahead and start writing our acceptance speech for finding some of the greatest Oscars hairstyles ever.

Walmart Is Being Accused of Only Locking up Black Hair Products Again

Imagine going to buy shampoo and conditioner at your local drugstore only to find that the products made specifically for your hair texture are locked up behind glass. It’s an unsettling reality that’s happened to black women time and time again, and most recently to Patricia Fulford during her Saturday morning trip to a Long Island Walmart. “I went to where [my hair products] are usually kept, and I looked up and down the aisle for about a minute or so before discovering that they were in a case locked with a key,” Fulford tells Glamour. Eventually, she went to find a manager after waiting for an associate to come back with the key.

But it wasn’t the wait that bothered her. It was the implication that black women were more likely to steal than others. After asking the store manager—and then customer service—why hair products made specifically for textured hair were locked up, she was then told those items were frequently stolen in the past. Fulford did end up buying what she needed, but not before posting about the interaction on Facebook. “I need to ask the manager at Riverhead Walmart why is it that the black hair products are the only ones under lock and key and now I have to wait for them to find the key smh,” she wrote, along with a photo of products from brands like SheaMoisture, Carol’s Daughter, and Cantu behind a glass case. She later ended up returning the products after she was able to buy them without assistance at Target.

As these instances have in the past, her post started to go viral and began garnering national attention: both positive and negative. Fulford tells Glamour she soon deleted her post after receiving an influx of hateful and racist comments—including some in which people accused her of being a thief. “It started taking a toll on me physically and emotionally,” she says. “So in order to prevent most of it, I decided to delete it. People were trolling my personal page. I had to change my profile picture and make my page private.”

Fulford didn’t let the backlash deter her from doing what she felt was right. “I never wanted this fight with Walmart, ok. never,” Fulford wrote on her Facebook page. “But it was not right for products to be locked up targeted toward one race. I really don’t care about your negative ignorant comments.” According to Fulford’s local news outlet, Riverhead Local, she met with a town councilmember and co-chairperson of the town’s anti-bias task force, who went to Walmart to look into the complaint. The president of the NAACP’s Eastern Long Island branch said the organization is also looking into the matter.

Walmart gave Glamour the following statement:

“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at Walmart. We serve more than 140 million customers weekly, crossing all demographics, and are focused on meeting their needs while providing the best shopping experience at each store. Like other retailers, Walmart uses enhanced security on some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures. Our goal is to ensure that we offer a wide variety of products to our diverse array of customers at the low prices they have come to expect.”

Shortly after the incident, Fulford’s local Walmart removed the products that were locked up and put them on open shelves with all the rest. “We did it‼️‼️‼️ the locks are off Riverhead and Middle Island they heard US loud and clear,” Fulford wrote in a new post on Facebook. “Thank you everyone who supported my efforts so that everyone can have the same shopping experience at our local Walmarts. It was tiring at times but well worth it. Thank you for your encouraging text, calls and posts we did it‼️‼️‼️💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽”

This isn’t the first time that Walmart has been accused of racial discrimination. In January 2018, a California woman filed a lawsuit against Walmart. The woman, Essie Grundy, alleged that the company violated her civil rights by keeping African-American personal care products locked up in a glass anti-theft case. Meanwhile, she claims similar products not geared toward women of color were easily accessible and did not require employee assistance to buy. Grundy’s suit, filed by women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, refers to California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, a law that prohibits businesses from discriminating against customers on account of their race. Allred told Glamour that keeping products marketed to a specific race under lock and key, regardless of security concerns, is unlawful. The case is still in pending in court.

Walmart Is Being Accused of Locking Up Only Black Hair Products Again

Imagine going to buy shampoo and conditioner at your local drugstore only to find that the products made specifically for your hair texture are locked up behind glass. It’s an unsettling reality that’s happened to black women time and time again, and most recently to Patricia Fulford during her Saturday morning trip to a Walmart in Riverhead, on New York’s Long Island. “I went to where [my hair products] are usually kept, and I looked up and down the aisle for about a minute or so before discovering that they were in a case locked with a key,” Fulford tells Glamour. Eventually, she went to find a manager after waiting for an associate to come back with the key.

But it wasn’t the wait that bothered her. It was the implication that black women were more likely to steal than others. After asking the store manager—and then customer service—why hair products made specifically for textured hair were locked up, she was then told those items were frequently stolen in the past. Fulford did end up buying what she needed, but not before posting about the interaction on Facebook. “I need to ask the manager at Riverhead Walmart why is it that the black hair products are the only ones under lock and key and now I have to wait for them to find the key smh,” she wrote, along with a photo of products from brands like SheaMoisture, Carol’s Daughter, and Cantu behind a glass case. She later ended up returning the products after she was able to buy them without assistance at Target.

As these instances have in the past, her post started to go viral and began garnering national attention: both positive and negative. Fulford tells Glamour she soon deleted her post after receiving an influx of hateful and racist comments—including some in which people accused her of being a thief. “It started taking a toll on me physically and emotionally,” she says. “So in order to prevent most of it, I decided to delete it. People were trolling my personal page. I had to change my profile picture and make my page private.”

Fulford didn’t let the backlash deter her from doing what she felt was right. “I never wanted this fight with Walmart, ok. never,” Fulford wrote on her Facebook page. “But it was not right for products to be locked up targeted toward one race. I really don’t care about your negative ignorant comments.” According to Fulford’s local news outlet, Riverhead Local, she met with a town council member and co-chairperson of the town’s anti-bias task force, who went to Walmart to look into the complaint. The president of the NAACP’s Eastern Long Island branch said the organization is also looking into the matter.

Walmart gave Glamour the following statement:

“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at Walmart. We serve more than 140 million customers weekly, crossing all demographics, and are focused on meeting their needs while providing the best shopping experience at each store. Like other retailers, Walmart uses enhanced security on some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures. Our goal is to ensure that we offer a wide variety of products to our diverse array of customers at the low prices they have come to expect.”

Shortly after the incident, Fulford’s local Walmart removed the products that were locked up and put them on open shelves with all the rest. “We did it‼️‼️‼️ the locks are off Riverhead and Middle Island they heard US loud and clear,” Fulford wrote in a new post on Facebook. “Thank you everyone who supported my efforts so that everyone can have the same shopping experience at our local Walmarts. It was tiring at times but well worth it. Thank you for your encouraging text, calls and posts we did it‼️‼️‼️💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽”

This isn’t the first time that Walmart has been accused of racial discrimination. In January 2018, a California woman filed a lawsuit against Walmart. The woman, Essie Grundy, alleged that the company violated her civil rights by keeping African-American personal care products locked up in a glass anti-theft case. Meanwhile, she claims similar products not geared toward women of color were easily accessible and did not require employee assistance to buy. Grundy’s suit, filed by women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, refers to California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, a law that prohibits businesses from discriminating against customers on account of their race. Allred told Glamour that keeping products marketed to a specific race under lock and key, regardless of security concerns, is unlawful. The case is still in pending in court.