Recommended Reading
You know the vacant Brooks Brothers store at 53rd St. and Fifth Avenue? The Post reports that Topshop, Uniqlo, Century 21, Forever 21, and Zara are all duking it out over the space. Zara already has a smaller store across the street (Mango would reportedly take over that space if Zara wins the lease), and Forever 21 is opening a new location not too far away in Times Square; I'm puzzled by Century 21's interest in the space (it seems far too small); and while I love Uniqlo, I feel like it would do better on Lower Fifth Avenue, in the Flatiron area. My money is on Topshop; their Soho store is already incredibly successful, and Sir Philip Green has said before that he wants to have a Topshop wherever there's an H&M. Regardless, whoever ends up with the lease, let's hope they can afford the annual rent-—which is reportedly a cool $30 million. That's a lot of T-shirts and skinny jeans.

There's an interesting story in Crain's New York about how retailers are cutting plus size lines left and right. Industry stigmas aside, this decision appears to be purely economic: Plus-size sales are down 12% (as opposed to 2% for standard sizes), and plus-size clothes cost an estimated 10% more to produce. What doesn't make sense, however, is that, as Jezebel explains, 56% of American women are plus-sized; you'd think this would be a growing segment of the business. The Crain's article infers that plus-size customers in general appear to be more closely affected by the recession and are thus being more conservative about their clothing spending. Which, while not great for the fashion and retail industries, is actually pretty wise.

Finally, I am a bit behind on my fashion-blog reading, but the fashion blogosphere is all in a tizzy over Susie Bubble's post on Style Bubble. Apparently the super-awesome Bubble posted pictures of herself trying on a jumpsuit by UK designer Pam Hogg (Racked has the photos, which are adorable); Hogg's people didn't approve of the photography and asked her to take it down; Bubble did, but felt stung and hurt. In a way, the situation is not surprising, as designers like to control their brand image with an iron fist, and thus are liable to freak out about any "unauthorized" photography. Then again, Bubble genuinely loves fashion and enthusiastically champions young and independent designers--not to mention the fact that her blog, which has a large, loyal audience, is great exposure for any designer. The takeaway: Fitting-room photography is a no-no.

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