In conversation with jewellery designer, Archana Behede

by Radhika Sathe Patwardhan | November 30, 2018, 12:00 AM IST

Archana Behede

Getting the most exclusive jewellery for D-Day is every bride’s dream and brand Gautam Banerjee does just that. We have a tête-à-tête with designer Archana Behede where she talks about her journey, the design process and the brand’s collections.

“I did not know much about jewellery,” says Behede, “I was only a buyer.” But it was when she started learning jewellery design that she had found her calling. “I never knew my potential till then. I used to design for a few jewellery houses and seeing the good response my designs got, I decided to start this brand. I trained under designer Gautam Banerjee – whose name is given to the brand. I learnt everything (about jewellery design) from him.”

Archana Behede

Designer jewellery is considered very expensive by most, and it is something that one gets only for occasions – how much ever one may like it. “We wanted to clear this myth when we started this brand. We wanted every woman to wear a nice (jewellery) piece. When one spends one’s hard-earned money, they have the right to get one of the best pieces. As a designer, I always make something which fits the pocket of everyone. I want every woman to relish the jewellery she buys from us. We give good designs at good rates also. We don’t target to make only expensive jewellery; we are very flexible. We make jewellery so that a woman can keep it lifelong.”

Archana Behede

The brand has all the types of jewellery – cocktail jewellery, wedding jewellery or simple daily wear jewellery but “while designing we make sure that every design is really unique. We have simple designs because few people want really simple thing and therefore we have something for them too. But despite being simple, it is also unique in its own way,” Behede elaborates, “When it comes to the techniques we use in manufacturing, the quality of polish and the setting of the diamond, we always take lots of care and pain to see that there is no fault in them when they come to the store as well. After a jewellery piece is made – be it earrings, neckpiece or rings, I personally check it if it is done right, and there isn’t any problem with it like if it is uncomfortable to wear, any joints are stiff, etc. We have a very strict quality check.”

Archana Behede

The inspiration for design, Behede claims, comes from anything and everything. “Sometimes, even an ensemble or a motif on the dress inspires me to a particular jewellery piece. The inspiration can sometimes be something vague; sometimes it is just whatever catches my attention or my eye. For example, once I was travelling to Mumbai and was looking outside the window, and I saw multi-storeyed buildings. So I thought I should do something in multi-layered jewellery. So I designed a bangle which was multi-layered which had three layers. Anything can inspire me when it comes to work.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Spike in diamond jewellery demand on Diwali

Diamond-1---BCCL
Aditya Pethe, director, WHP Jewellers said that they were expecting a 10% to 20% growth in footfall and since the day had started and it seems like we have met our expectations.
DiamondNSE 0.00 % jewellery is witnessing good demand in the Dhanteras-Diwali season, according to jewellers and trade officials. Lightweight gold jewellery too has emerged as the preferred choice for the consumers this festive season.

Atul Sinha, SVP – Marketing, CaratLane said “We are witnessing a shift in trend among jewellery buyers. The impact of higher gold prices is not so much on jewellery that can be worn on a daily basis. There is a double-digit growth in demand for jewellery that women can actually wear every day rather than heavy jewellery or gold coins which typically end up in the locker. We are expecting an increase in footfalls and a further surge in online purchases in the next two days.”

Added Vijay Jain CEO, ORRA “Both the run up to Dhanteras and Dhanteras has been positive. While gold has seen a positive trend over last year platinum and diamond jewellery growth rates have been in excess of 30 percent.”

Aditya Pethe, director, WHP Jewellers said that they were expecting a 10% to 20% growth in footfall and since the day had started and it seems like we have met our expectations.

“People are opting for light weight jewellery in gold and diamond. Traditional Maharashtrian designs like Naths, Mohan Maal etc are preferred by traditional customers. We have also seen younger generation visiting the store. One more thing we noticed this year is that customers are not restricting themselves to dhanteras for gold shopping. When we look at the year on year sales, we are meeting the expected sales targets.” he said.

Pankaj Khanna, MD, Khanna Gems said “We are expecting a considerable growth of 15-20% in the diamond jewellery consumption this year, as an impact of the extensive marketing campaigns of diamond jewellery by the brands. On the other hand, the demand for gemstones & gemstone Jewellery will increase by 10-15% this year due to the increasing disposable income of Indians during festivals like Diwali & Dhanteras.

[“source=forbes]

7 Reasons To Stop Wearing Shoes In Your House

Your home might be your castle, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat it like some kind of dirty medieval fortress. Taking off your shoes inside can help keep your home in good condition, create a more relaxed atmosphere and cut down on dirt and dust.

However, that’s barely the beginning; keeping those shoes off inside can improve foot health, and overall hygiene around the home. So after reading these top seven reasons for why you shouldn’t wear shoes inside, you’ll probably agree there is pretty much no reason to be keeping those clompers on indoors.

1. It’s already more common than you think

Excuse me for indulging in an argumentum ad populum, but it’s worth pointing out that taking your shoes off inside doesn’t make you some kind of pedantic oddball. On the contrary, you’re weird if you don’t, according to this survey that found 87 percent of Americans take their shoes off indoors. You might be a bit surprised by that figure.

“But wait,” I hear you say, “none of my friends make me take my shoes off at their houses!”

That’s true. Indeed, the same study found around half of Americans don’t ask guests to follow suit. Naturally, this goes a long way towards explaining why everyone seems to think they’re the only ones who go barefoot indoors. The reality is though, that pretty much everyone is already doing it, and you just don’t know it.

2. Your shoes are disgusting

Sorry, but it’s true. Research from the University of Arizona found that a new pair of shoes can attract 440,000 units of bacteria within two weeks. Not only that, but researchers also noted that viruses thrive better on the bottom of your shoes than they do on toilet seats. So your shoes are basically Trojan horses laden with bacteria and viruses, clumping around your supposedly clean house.

3. The disgusting-ness of your shoes is getting everywhere

At this point, you might be wondering if it’s really that bad to wear dirty shoes inside.

Turns out it is. Remember that research from in #2? Those same researchers also looked at just how much bacteria is transferred from shoes to clean surfaces.

On clean tiles, researchers found a 90 percent transfer rate. If you think that’s bad, then don’t even think about carpet. Still, you might think that’s no big deal; indeed, most of the time it isn’t. However, according to Jonathan Sexton, a research assistant at the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health, the research indicates that wearing shoes indoors could be downright dangerous for small children.

Speaking to ABC, she explained that small children can put their hands in their mouths as much as 80 times an hour — those same hands they tend to play on the floor with. “That means that your child can possibly be exposed to every single bacteria that you picked up on your shoe […] all the bacteria from the park, the store, everywhere you went that day,” she said.

Not horrified yet? Well how about the fact that…

4. There’s always poo on your shoes. Always. Sorry.

We all know that depressing feeling when you sink your foot into some dog-do. Next time it happens to you, take solace in the fact that we’re all walking around with poo on our shoes. All day, everyday.

After all, that was pretty much the finding of a research projectcommissioned by the Rockport shoe company (make what you will of that) into just how gross shoes are. As the company discovered, basically the first thing us consumers do when we get hold of their product is — you guessed it — step in poo.

After swabbing 26 shoes worn for at least three months, researchers found all but one pair were infected with coliform bacteria. For the record, coliform bacteria is universally found in the gut and feces of large mammals (like for example, human beings with poor hygiene). While the bacteria aren’t dangerous in themselves, they are often used by health authorities to gauge whether something has been contaminated with fecal matter.

Even the researchers were grossed out by just how much evidence of fecal contamination they found on ordinary shoes. “I’m starting to make myself paranoid,” microbiologist Charles P. Gerba said. “It seems like we step in a lot more poop than I thought.”

5. They’re noisy

Poo isn’t the only threat to your health that your shoes pose indoors. Noise pollution can be genuinely harmful for your health. what’s the noisiest thing in your home? Boots, obviously, but shoes in general. So do yourself and everyone around you a favor, and trade those noisy shoes at the door for some silent slippers.

6. They are destroying your floor

Your shoes are destroying your hardwood floor. Or any even vaguely delicate flooring. Over time, shoes can leave scratches, dings and scuffs that can be expensive or impossible to remove. Save yourself problems in the long run, and just don’t wear shoes inside.

7. Your feet will be healthier

A landmark 2007 study found that shoes have secretly dedicated the past few thousand years to mutating our feet. The study compared 180 modern humans from three population groups (Sotho, European and Zulu) with 2,000-year-old skeletons. Who had the healthiest feet? The 2,000-year-old skeletons, of course.

Somehow, all our technological progress of the past 2000 years has succeeded in making our feet worse off — well, not quite everyone’s. Of the modern humans, the Zulu participants had the healthiest feet. The Zulu participants were also the least likely to wear full closed-in shoes in their daily lives, and most likely to go barefoot.

Researchers point to a number of reasons why our feet are worse off, but perhaps journalist Adam Sternbergh put it best when he said, “Imagine if someone put a cast on your arm when you were three years old and you never took it off. Your arm would stop working. That’s kind of what’s happened with our feet.”

Of course, we can’t all go barefoot all day, but at least at home you can get a reprieve from those devices that have destroyed your feet.

Do you wear shoes indoors? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!

[“Source-thealternativedaily”]

Fans Are Angry That the New Captain Marvel Shoes Don’t Come in Most Men’s Sizes

Vans' Marvel shoe collection

Many of us were excited when the latest line of Vans’ Marvel-branded shoes popped up online. The shoes are comic-book colorful and cool, and I dream of having them all on my feet. Unfortunately for a significant portion of Marvel fans, the Captain Marvel shoes stop at Men’s size 10. This did not go over well, nor should it.

The new Vans feature kicks inspired by the likes of Black Panther, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, and more. The most buzz was reserved for the most recent addition to the MCU in the form of Carol Danvers, and the shoes made in her “image.” Carol is particularly on our minds following the debut of her symbol in Infinity War‘s chaotic post-credits scene.

On June 1st, Matthew Mueller over at Comicbook.com gave us a first look at the Carol-based shoes, which had leaked to the Internet prior to Vans’ official announcement. Mueller described the excellent Captain Marvel high tops:

[T]hey feature a full Captain Marvel color scheme of red, blue, and gold. The outsole of the shoe is all white, while the tongue and toe box are red with white eyelets. The Upper features a gold wavy stripe across a mostly blue backdrop, while the heel features gold trim and a big splash of red with Captain Marvel’s Hala Star logo in gold right in the middle.

Red laces complete the stylish package, and we simply can’t wait to get our hands on them.

Cool as hell, right? Mueller certainly thought so, and he was hardly alone. Carol Danvers already has a lot of fans, and that’s going to grow exponentially after Captain Marvel hits theaters next March and also when she saves the world in Avengers 4.

But on June 8th, following the shoes’ official release to sale, Mueller was back with a follow-up. Those Captain Marvel shoes he couldn’t wait to score are only available up to Men’s size 10. “Some shoes only come in certain sizes, we get that, but the male characters didn’t have the same problem, as those go all the way up to 13,” he wrote.

There’s the rub. These were clearly produced with the expectation that they would be purchased primarily by women, and that is incredibly short-sighted—not to mention the fact that there are many women, both trans and cis, and people of every identification who would also appreciate a higher range of size.

And this doesn’t appear to be a mistake or an oversight on Vans’ part at all: it was an intentional decision. Mueller explained:

So, it comes down to that Captain Marvel is a female character, right? It looks like it, as I wasn’t the only person utterly bummed that I can’t rock some slick Carol Danvers kicks, as Vans has received several responses to the news, asking if they were going to offer bigger sizes at a later time.

Concerned fans received responses like this:

There are bad and outdated gender dynamics baked into the clothing industry and particularly in geek merch (we won’t even get started on toys). While things have gotten better as more companies cater to the diversity of fans ready to spend hard-earned cash to display their fandom love, officially branded merchandise is often the most lacking.

At my local Forbidden Planet store, the Black Widow shirt—the only shirt that featured her—only came in “girl’s cut,” a style I dislike wearing, and its largest size was laughable. One of my best friends was angry that he couldn’t find a Wonder Woman shirt that would fit him before the movie came out. And sizing, in general, is an issue on its own divorced from gender, with many brands still not carrying sizes to accommodate the range of bodies that would like to wear them.

I think the case of the Captain Marvel shoes was a narrow-minded decision where a company did not take into account that many men (and people of many gender identifications) will proudly rock merchandise based on an “AWESOME women’s character.” What makes this all the more ridiculous is that the shoes at hand are visibly unisex: there’s nothing about a red, blue, gold and white shoe that screams “girl” or “boy.” They’re just cool shoes that should be available to everyone.

Yet the fact of the matter remains that we still see a concerted lack of female representation in superhero branded stuff, and so much of this is based on an antiquated idea that the fans spending money on this sort of thing are primarily male and that men are only interested in male characters. Both of these notions are patently untrue.

It’s like I’m writing this from twenty years ago, and it feels exhausting. When merchandise featuring men comes in every size—”male” and “female”—but something bearing a woman’s name is only sized for “women,” that is, these days, frankly unacceptable. Let there be sizing for all.

The only good that I see emerging from this kerfluffle is that hopefully Vans and Marvel will take notice of the feedback, and not do this again—and also, it is wonderful to see men rallying to wear female characters on their sleeve (or feet, as the case may be).

This feels like an antithesis of the recent Star Wars fandom toxicity, and the response made me as happy as the sizing made me mad. To everyone asking to rock some Captain Marvel, I see you, and thank you.

[“Source-themarysue”]

The Secret to Breaking in New Running Shoes—Without Any Pain

runner tying shoe

For over two years, I was devoted to my Adidas Ultraboost shoes. I ran my first two marathons in the first-generation, uncaged version and swore by their lightweight, knit uppers and cushioned foam soles. Then I ran my third marathon in New Balance Fresh Foam 1080s, which felt even more supportive without adding any bulk—I continued running in them for almost a year.

But a few weeks ago, while training for a half marathon in the 1080s, I decided I didn’t need so much support and switched back to my Ultraboosts for a quick 5K. But the shoe that I used to swear by suddenly murdered my feet.

My shoes are my lifeline in the sport, so the possibility that my favorite running shoes wouldn’t work for me anymore made me start to panic. But as it turns out, there’s a right way to transition sneakers.

As much as any runner loves their tried-and-true shoes, they’re eventually going to have to replace them. That’s because, “over time, and depending on what surfaces you run on and how hard you are on your feet, your shoes will break down,” says running coach John Honerkamp. It used to be that companies recommended replacing running shoes after 300 miles. Now, materials have gotten more advanced and more durable, so they can handle even more wear and tear.

“Once you break in most newer shoes—which only takes five to 10 miles—they’re stable for at least 400 to 500 miles,” says biomechanist Martyn Shorten, Ph.D., director of the Runner’s World Shoe Lab. Other shoes can last even longer: The new Nike Epic React, for example, is billed as wearable up to 700 miles, says Knox Robinson, cofounder of the Black Roses NYC Running Collective and a Nike Run Coach.

Nike Epic React Flyknit Women’s Running Shoe
Nikenike.com$150.00
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If you’re replacing your old pair with the exact same shoe, “sneaker technology has evolved enough that you don’t need to spend as much time breaking them in,” Robinson says. “You’ll be able to wear those kicks fresh out of the box.” Sure, the shoe might feel a little stiffer than your broken-down pair, but your feet will already be used to the particular specs of that style.

But if you want to shake things up—maybe you want more or less support, you want to try a new brand your speedy friend recommended, you’re just sick of your old shoes, or a company discontinued your favorite style—it’s less about breaking in the shoe and more about breaking in your body, Shorten says.

“Your body can and does adapt to different shoes over time, but the key is to avoid sudden changes,” he says. “I wouldn’t recommend throwing out your old pair and immediately jumping into your new pair—make that transition over a period of a couple of weeks.”

That means you shouldn’t just toss your old shoes for a new pair as soon as you feel them breaking down (when you notice heavy wear on the soles or your toes poking through the uppers, or that you’re feeling more aches and pains or soreness in your feet, shins, or knees), Honerkamp says. As soon as you see or feel any of those telltale signs, though, that’s when you should start shopping. Once you find the right pair, keep running in your old shoes for another four to six weeks and start working in your new ones.

“Alternating your shoes will help your old ones last longer and give your feet time to adjust to the new ones,” Honerkamp says. Not to mention, runners who alternate two different pairs of running shoes have a 39 percent lower risk of running injury than those who almost always ran in the same shoes, according to a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

Don’t go HAM on your first few runs in those shiny new kicks either. “Start with an easy paced three- to five-mile run,” Robinson says. “Give yourself time to understand what’s going on with the relationship between the shoe and the sweat and the legs.” Then, as your feet adjust, you can slowly build up your mileage until things feel A-OK.

If you’re not swapping your old shoes for a fresh version of the same style, be smart about the shoes you switch to. Good running shoes don’t come cheap, so it’s important to seek out a pair that really works for you—not just the pair someone swears will take three minutes off your PR, or the ones Desi Linden won the Boston Marathon in.

“I always recommend going to a running specialty store where you can get really detailed about your needs,” Shorten says. “Just because a shoe is popular and selling well doesn’t mean that it’s going to be right for you.”

And make sure you test them out first. “I’ve noticed that we’re really in a moment where we’re going on feeling—a lot of brands are shifting the focus to how the shoe feels versus certain features, promises, or even aesthetics,” Robinson says. Because this is a case where first impressions really matter, “most running specialty stores will allow you to run in the store or even outside the store to test a pair,” Honerkamp adds.

“Base your decision on how comfortable you feel in the shoes,” Shorten says. “If you put it on your foot and it doesn’t feel right, that’s a good indicator of whether or not it will work for you.” And when you do buy a pair, Honerkamp recommends doing your first run on a treadmill so that you can return them if they don’t work well after a few miles.

Treadmill trial run or not, you need to ease into your new shoes. That’s because when your foot is used to a certain level of support, stiffness, or flexibility, changes at the ground level can have serious effects all the way up your body. Picture this: If you get a new shoe with a lot more cushion than your old shoe, that sole is going to be thicker, which means you’re probably going to have to pick your foot up a little higher than you’re used to—otherwise, you’ll trip. It might take a run or two to get your bearings.

“A lot of these shoes have so many features that there might be something going on in the shoe that’s working against your stride in a subtle way, so you need to feel it out,” Robinson says.

Whatever running shoes you choose, your body will adapt. You just need to be smart about the process and patient enough to let your feet catch up to your fancy new kicks.

[“Source-runnersworld”]

Online mattress companies defy age of online shopping by opening brick-and-mortar stores in Denver and across country

Eddie Machuca tries out one of ...

Eddie Machuca tries out one of the beds in the Amerisleep showroom inside Park Meadows mall June 24, 2018. Amerisleep, an online mattress company based in Phoenix, has opened several brick-and-mortar stores, including the one that opened last month in Lone Tree.

The internet opened up an entirely new marketplace for businesses as smartphones proliferated and broadband moved into rural America.

And it wasn’t just services such as airline tickets and hotel reservations — anyone can set up shop on digital Main Street and hock their wares to customers who are passing by, or in this case, swiping or clicking by.

Few industries have capitalized on this trend more than mattress makers. You see the ads on websites or Facebook, and hear them on the radio. They are everywhere. The best sleep of your life for a reasonable cost all shipped to your door. Rolled tightly and made of foam blends rather than traditional wire springs, these mattresses slide out of the box and in a few hours expand to full size.

And now, building on their success, some online-only mattress retailers are trending the other way and setting up shop in brick-and-mortar stores, some in Denver.

And, as you’d expect, doing it with the same nontraditional approach they started with in the online world.

Take online retailer Amerisleep, which is opening its first Denver area store at the Park Meadows mall in Lone Tree on Saturday, June 23. There, customers can enter “Dream Suites” where they can nap in private for as long as they want while trying out one of five mattress models.

“One of the most frequent questions I get (from customers) is, ‘Is there a store I can go and try out one of your mattresses?’ ” said Joey Holt, co-founder of Amerisleep, which also has stores in Austin, Texas, and Arizona’s major cities.

People spend about a third of their life sleeping, so testing a mattress before purchase is paramount to many customers.

“Eighty percent of mattresses are still sold in stores,” Holt said. “Stores allow people to have those in-person conversations and create relationships that you can’t create online.”

Denver offers Amerisleep and other online mattress companies a large customer base as one of the nation’s second most rested states.

“Denver aligns with our three pillars: sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Colorado is the second most rested state, the least obese, and has some of the healthiest restaurants in the country,” said Holt.

The decision to partner with furniture stores and open their own brick-and-mortar locations goes largely against the grain as many other industries struggle to compete with online retailers and are investing more resources into online marketing and sales.

Physical store fronts and on-site locations have the added benefit of bringing in walk-in traffic and driving awareness that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

Other online mattress companies like Leesa, Boll and Branch and Casper also are beginning to establish physical footprints, wanting to catch some of that foot traffic and also to provide the opportunity for customers to grab a catnap.

Casper has a store in Cherry Creek mall, one of its 18 locations throughout the country, that also allows customers to try out their mattresses and catch a few z’s in the privacy of their makeshift bedrooms.

Leesa is also in Cherry Creek mall. The company has partnered with West Elm furniture store, opting to sell its mattresses in an established retail space.

Later this summer, Amerisleep plans to open another a location in Cherry Creek alongside Casper and Leesa.

“Furniture is an aesthetic that people want to touch, feel, and sit on,” said David Wolfe, CEO and co-founder of Leesa. “Our West Elm partnership gives customers the knowledge that if they want to try a mattress, they can.”

As mavericks who upended the traditional mattress-selling business model, it’s not surprising that Wolfe and Holt have a different perspective from those selling traditional brands.

“Many traditional mattress stores made it very difficult to differentiate between mattresses,” Wolfe said. “We give people the opportunity to research and shop from the comfort of their own home, but we’ve picked one partner where they can go and try it in-person. We’re building relationships and building understanding.”

Holt said AmeriSleep was attempting to “elevate the customer experience.”

“Our goal is to redefine how mattresses are purchased and sold in stores,” said Holt. “With the current landscape you either have one or two options or 50 to 75. Trying a mattress in-store can be kind of awkward. Our approach is much more customer focused.”

[“Source-denverpost”]

Fashion’s Grand slam: why Wimbledon is a masterclass on how to look smart in the summer

Match point: the Duchess of Cambridge, Victoria Beckham, Serena Williams, the Duchess of Sussex and Anna Wintour Photograph: Guardian Design Team

From dreamy Ralph Lauren uniforms to all-white jumpsuits, your summer style directive is courtside SW19 – channelling Meghan and Kate, Anna Wintour and Serena Williams

Can we talk about the weather? Is there even any other subject right now? It is the beginning and end of every conversation. How marvellous it is, how lucky we are, obvs, segueing rapidly into the kicker: what on earth to wear? Holiday weather is a breeze when you are pulling a dress on over a bikini. But when you are still on-duty and expected to look smart, summer dressing is a challenge.

But as luck would have it, there is a masterclass on how to look smart in the summer being broadcast live from London for most of the day, almost every day, for the next fortnight. It’s called Wimbledon. While the rest of the country flails hopelessly around trying to figure out what to wear when your work wardrobe doesn’t suit the climate but your holiday wardrobe doesn’t suit the vibe, one corner of SW19 is showing us how it’s done.

Wimbledon is Britain’s best-dressed moment of the year. London fashion week has too many outsize trainers and miniature sunglasses; the Baftas has that baffling “it’s early February, I think I’ll stand outside in a strapless dress and no coat” goosebumpy thing going on; Ascot is Halloween for posh people. Wimbledon, on the other hand, is bona fide summer chic. And Wimbledon is more fashionable than it has ever been, because it lies at the crossing point of two axes of power in style this decade. SW19 is where the glamour of sport and the allure of the royal family come together – and the stock of both in fashion is at an all time high. The unstoppable rise of athleisure has made playing sport (or performatively watching sport, as exemplified by the royal box) more high-profile than ever. And the passing of the Wimbledon baton to a younger generation of the royal family (the Queen, not a tennis fan, has only ever attended four times) has amplified its profile by having coincided with the impact of the tennis-obsessed Middleton family in the royal landscape. Pippa Middleton is even more of a keen fan than her sister, and counts Roger Federer a close enough pal for him to have been a guest at her wedding last year.

If you don’t believe that strawberries and cream at Wimbledon now constitutes fashion’s top table, consider this. Serena Williams, the Duchess of Sussex, the Duchess of Cambridge, Victoria Beckham and Anna Wintour are probably the five most influential women in fashion in 2018, and the All England Club will probably play host to all five before next Sunday. Serena Williams, recent American Vogue cover star and currently to be seen in a Dior bodysuit on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, is dominating early storylines on Centre Court as she returns from maternity leave. The new Duchess of Sussex, whose every public appearance leads to an instant sellout of whatever she wears, is a tennis fan (she attended in 2016) and pretty much a dead cert to support her friend Williams. The Duchess of Cambridge is a tennis nut and patron of Wimbledon. Victoria Beckham is a regular at the men’s final. As eight-times champ Roger Federer’s most loyal fan, Anna Wintour is sure to make an appearance as he defends his title. This is a power front row like no other. Oh, and Beyoncé – another friend of Williams, who has attended Centre Court as her guest – is in Europe, so don’t rule out a courtside cameo from the Carters, if they can carve out a moment from their tour schedule.

Beyonce and Jay Z at the Wimbledon women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber in 2016.
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 Beyonce and Jay Z at the Wimbledon women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber in 2016. Photograph: Karwai Tang/WireImage
Wimbledon uniform by Ralph Lauren.
 Wimbledon uniform by Ralph Lauren.

But the A-list are not the point, because what makes Wimbledon truly relevant to the business of getting dressed is that its fashion power does not derive from untouchable haute couture wardrobes. The joy of Wimbledon is that everyone is chic. The famous all-white dress code ensures that every on-court shot is a pure visual harmony. Then there is the Gatsby-esque dreaminess of the Ralph Lauren uniforms. Ballgirls and ballboys wear simple preppy navy polo shirts and polo dresses, while umpires and line judges wear blazers and smart cream slacks. The elegance of the uniforms is a lovely thing, because it makes those working at Wimbledon as central to the glamour of the place as the Duchesses in their Alexander McQueen tea dresses.

Dress, Zara, £29.99
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 Dress, Zara, £29.99 Photograph: Zara

The many style lessons to be learned from watching Wimbledon begin, of course, with white. When you want to look cool and calm in summer, all-white is an excellent place to start. Who wouldn’t take style tips from Roger Federer, the snow-white Centre Court dream whose appearance at this year’s opening press conference caused a reporter to blurt out that he was looking “even more handsome than last year”? I have never mastered wearing white on holiday (incompatible with a regime of spaghetti vongole and pistachio ice-cream) but I have learned that when you want to look competent and chic, white is the simplest formula for summer power dressing.

Blazer, £49.99, zara.com
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 Blazer, £49.99, zara.com Photograph: PR Company Handout

Also, blazers. If you are still harbouring inverse snobbery against the blazer, take a good look at Wimbledon and then at yourself. It is true that if you wear a blazer with a striped shirt and a panama hat and ostentatiously expensive watch, you will look ghastly. But if, on the other hand, you wear a blazer with your normal wardrobe you will find it neatens the edges of your look in a pleasingly no-effort kind of way. The key is not to shy away from going full-on blazer and thereby end up in a boring suit jacket. Gold buttons? Great, wear the blazer with a white T-shirt and cropped trousers and gold hoop earrings. Double-breasted? Surprisingly flattering thrown over a sundress.

Self-Portrait dress, £300, from matchesfashion.com
 Dress, £300, frommatchesfashion.com.

The Wimbledon “look” is smart, but not fraught. Even in the royal box, the dress code for female spectators is surprisingly relaxed. This makes Wimbledon an infinitely more useful template for what-to-wear-in-real-life than the royal enclosure, Ascot, with its compulsory millinery, or the Met Gala with its impossible dress codes (this year, if you recall, was Catholic chic). Self-Portrait is a popular label – Pippa Middleton wore one of their dresses last year, and Beyoncé the year before that – reinforcing its status as the home of formal-but-still-fun dresses. Sienna Miller in a cream Galvan jumpsuit, red lipstick and tortoiseshell sunglasses (2015) will forever serve as a reminder that the Talented Mr Ripley school of summer dressing takes a lot of beating.

This year’s Wimbledon is only just hotting up, but the fashion game is strong as ever. For day one, Mirka Federer teamed her deckchair-striped cotton shirt with a Gucci belt while Laura Carmichael wore a Ganni wrap dress: two strong summer looks, right there. The grass is green, the dress code is white – but this is a red carpet. Pour yourself a Pimm’s, and watch.

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[“Source-theguardian”]

Tata Motors posts first loss in three years on weak JLR sales

On Tuesday, shares of Tata Motors Ltd fell 1.18%, or ₹ 3.15, to ₹ 264.15 on the BSE.

On Tuesday, shares of Tata Motors Ltd fell 1.18%, or ₹ 3.15, to ₹ 264.15 on the BSE.

Bengaluru: India’s Tata Motors Ltd reported its first quarterly loss in nearly three years on Tuesday, as UK business Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) sold fewer of its luxury cars to dealerships in China, while raw material costs rose. The automaker said first-quarter net loss was ₹ 1,902 crore, compared with a profit of ₹ 3,182 crore a year earlier that included a ₹ 3,609 crore gain from changes to the way JLR’s pension payments are calculated.

Dealers in China delayed purchases to benefit from an import duty cut that came into effect after the end of the reporting quarter, the automaker said, adding that planned dealer stock reduction in other markets also weighed on its business.

That resulted in a 6.7% drop in quarterly revenue for JLR, the company added.

Total expenses during April-June rose about 17% to ₹ 69,890 crore.

JLR had said in April it would cut around 1,000 jobs and production at two of its English factories due to a fall in sales caused by uncertainty around Brexit and confusion over diesel policy.

On Tuesday, shares of Tata Motors Ltd fell 1.18%, or ₹ 3.15, to ₹ 264.15 on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex once again rose to a record high of 37,606.58 points, up 0.30%—or 112.18 points—from previous close.

[“Source-livemint”]

Amazon is the biggest in online shopping, but not always the best

Amazon, online shopping, online retail, Jeff Bezos, Amazon prime customers, Foods Market grocery chain, amazon traffic, Walmart

Amazon gets more visits in a typical month than EBay, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and Costco combined. (Reuters)

Amazon.com Inc.’s dominance in online retail is clear to see: The so-called Everything Store captures 49 percent of retail e-commerce sales in the U.S., thanks in large part to its 95 million-strong army of Prime customers, who in July contributed to an estimated $4 billion spent globally in just 36 hours during a promotional binge that Jeff Bezos created out of thin air. For comparison, that’s more than Church & Dwight, maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda and Trojan condoms, generates in a year.So Amazon’s the biggest shopping site in the U.S. But is it the best? And how does one measure that, anyway? A common way is to look at how much of a retailer’s total revenue comes from its online division. By that metric–simply, who does the biggest share of their business online–Amazon is worlds ahead of most rivals.

That doesn’t tell us very much, though. For one thing, that metric is declining at Amazon as the company evolves: It now owns the Whole Foods Market grocery chain and also gets almost 12 percent of net sales from its successful cloud business. At Walmart, meanwhile, the online unit is expected to grow 40 percent this year, but it will never be as big of a slice of the pie given that the company operates more than 11,000 brick-and-mortar stores around the globe that deliver about a half-trillion dollars in sales.

 

 

Discussions about online sales usually devolve into comparing deals. But it’s not just about who has the lowest prices–most sites these days employ algorithms that can quickly match competitors’ price tags, so they’re changing constantly. (During Prime Day, Amazon took 40 percent off the Instant Pot cooker, a foodie favorite, prompting Walmart and Costco to follow suit.) Executives at Walmart, the king of everyday low prices, now talk less about prices and more about “reducing friction” for online shoppers–or making the shopping experience faster and easier. And while product assortment is important, it’s more than who carries the most stuff. Consumers can get lost in a sea of online listings in much the same way they get confused when they’re staring at 52 different brands of toothpaste in a physical store.

There are other ways to measure online sales success, like downloads of a retailer’s shopping app. Of course, just having an app on your phone doesn’t mean you’re shopping regularly–how many unloved apps sit gathering digital dust on your smartphone? Even metrics like the time spent on a site can be misleading: While advertisers love it if you linger, a retailer generally wants to get you to the checkout page as fast as possible, or else that could be a sign that navigation isn’t working so well.

In truth, what matters most to web retailers are three things: Traffic, engagement and conversion. In other words, how many people visit your online storefront, how interested they are in what they see and how many of them click the all-important “buy” button. Let’s start with traffic, measured by site visits.

No surprise here: Amazon gets more visits in a typical month than EBay, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and Costco combined. One reason is Amazon’s strong referral business, whereby other websites, dubbed affiliates, send traffic to Amazon and collect a fee. Around 6 percent of Amazon’s traffic in any given month comes from those referrals, according to researcher SimilarWeb, double that of Walmart and Target.

“For Amazon, referral traffic is huge,’’ said Ethan Chernofsky, director of corporate marketing at SimilarWeb. “Nobody else has that affiliate strength.”

But traffic doesn’t tell the whole story. It can increase without delivering any perceptible boost in sales, and a sudden spike in traffic can cause site glitches that prompt shoppers to go elsewhere: witness Amazon’s Prime Day trouble, where some early searches for goods prompted an error page featuring dog photos. Shoppers who leave a site after viewing just one page are said to have “bounced” in web parlance, and that’s not a good thing either. It’s the online equivalent of a customer who walks in a store, takes one look around, and walks right out.

EBay and Costco both have lower bounce rates than Amazon, a sign that the visitors coming to their sites truly want to be there. For Walmart, meanwhile, having half its visitors leave after viewing one page says its shoppers aren’t nearly as engaged. That might explain why the company unveiled a website redesign in May, with new colors, fonts and lifestyle-focused imagery–for example, pictures of cute babies in a kitchen rather than a boring photo of a stroller.

Those baby pictures are just one of many ways e-commerce sites try to lure millennials, who devote a greater share of their spending to the web than any other age group, according to UBS. Ebay, for one, is launching personalized shopping pages and boosting its marketing spending to freshen its image as an online rummage sale. Walmart and Costco’s web visitors also skew older, which makes sense given their more mature shopper base. Still, even Walmart is trying to get younger, taking a page from Jet.com, the urban-focused startup it acquired in 2016.

Turns out the winner among millennials isn’t Amazon but Best Buy, where more than one in five shoppers are between 25 and 34. One reason is simply what it specializes in: gadgets. But the consumer-electronics retailer has also vastly improved its website in recent years with a better search function, more reviews and detailed product information. That’s helped the company more than double the proportion of its U.S. revenue that comes from online to 16 percent last year, up from 7 percent in 2012.

No matter their age, online shoppers are a fickle bunch. The Baymard Institute, an e-commerce researcher, has found that about seven out of 10 online shopping trips end with no purchase made. Shoppers abandon their virtual carts for a variety of reasons. Most often, it’s because shipping and other fees are too high. Others find the checkout process too complicated, don’t want to create an online account, or didn’t trust the site with their credit card information. All those factors can hurt a site’s conversion rate, which is the share of shoppers who actually buy something.

“You want shoppers to be engaged, but conversion is the ideal metric,” says Nathan Rigby, senior vice president of global sales at One Click Retail, which monitors e-commerce sales.

Amazon converts shoppers into buyers better than its main rivals, and it’s not even close. With simple one-click (or one-swipe) checkout and “Subscribe and Save” discounts for household goods purchased regularly, Amazon, for now, closes the deal better than anyone. And that, more than anything, makes it the king of e-commerce.

But with rivals starting to catch up, there’s no guarantee Amazon’s dominance will last. One Click Retail’s engineers are hard at work developing a new e-commerce yardstick, one that will combine traffic, conversion and revenue into one metric called “TeComm,” short for Total E-commerce. Once that rolls out, it will be easier to see who’s got the biggest leg up in digital sales. It should appear next year — perhaps just in time for Prime Day.

[“Source-financialexpress”]