GODZILLA CRUSHES

 

The huge success of “Godzilla” was never in question, just how much the movie would actually pull in was. Estimates were in the high $60 million range – but it easily destroyed expectations, hauling in $93.2 million. Part of the appeal might hinge on the fact that director Gareth Edwards was not afraid to take the movie in a darker direction than past Godzilla remakes. Taking a sci-fi movie and trending it towards the horror genre instead of a messy action movie has paid off. The opposite example, Michael Bay’s Transformer films, seem lightweight in comparison. The movie is expected to generate $240 in the U.S. and Canada.

 

TOP PRODUCT: DR. BRONNER’S SOAPS

 

I came across Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps last summer while out in Montauk and have been hooked ever since. For your first go, try the peppermint soap bar, then the lavender pure castile soap. They’re both refreshing and leave your skin feeling rejuvenated with natural oils. They’re certified free trade and organic, so you can feel good about yourself while washing away sand after a long day at the beach. Peppermint Soap Bar $5, and Lavender Castile Soap, $16, both available at Target.

EDGE OF TOMORROW

 

This looks good. “Edge of Tomorrow,” hitting theaters June 6, 2014.

THE SUMMER CARDIGAN

 

What sets this cardigan apart, and keeps it summer friendly, is the fabric: 100% cotton. So despite a shawl color and cable knit weave (typical winter features), it will stay cool and comfortable on a windy June afternoon. When hit by the sun, cotton stays cooler to the touch than wool, it breaths easier and has a smooth finish, making it an essential fabric for layering in warmer months. The above style in “Evening Blue” by Swedish brand Gant is a can’t-miss. Wear it as shown above, or for a more casual look, with a white or gray v-neck tee shirt and jeans. $165, available at Gant.

BAXTER CREAM POMADE

Finding the middle ground when it comes to hair styling products can be challenging: gels get hard and crispy, while molding pastes often look like you combed your hair with buttered toast that morning. We’ve already highlighted a favorite, Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom, so we’ll focus on Baxter of California this time around, and their well balanced “Cream Pomade.” This is a product that will keep stray hairs in place, give your hair a healthy summer shine, and unlike gel, won’t dry out after an hour. For a clean look, give it a shot. $20, available at Modern Anthology.

 

THE MAKING OF HERO

 
A remarkable study in patience. The Making of “Hero” by Miguel Endara.

KNOW THIS BRAND: STUTTERHEIM

 

The story of Stutterheim reads like a dark and foreboding Jack London novel: a man stumbles across his grandfather’s old rain coat, bringing back memories of stormy seas in the vast world that make up the Stockholm archipelago. This story is true, and designer Alexander Stutterheim remembers it well:  “He scared me to the bone every time he set off to sea to catch fish (or life, as he said), defying the worst weather, the heaviest rains and the loudest of thunderstorms.” Several years back Alex came across the old vintage coat, and after modifying and updating it, brought it to the last standing textile factory in Sweden in the small town of Borås. After significant work, “There it was. The coat. With all its seams taped and sealed. In the very best quality. Handmade and with a discreet, classical cut.” You can read the full story here, and then be inspired to buy one of the coats. Our favorite, the “Stockholm Vit” in ivory white is available for $368 at Stutterheim.

 

“PRADASPHERE”

 

Two luxury powerhouses have combined forces to create “PRADASPHERE,” an exhibition debuting at Harrods in London during the month of May. It’s an interesting concept, one that takes the retail experience to the next level, somewhat of a parred down version of 2012′s Met Ball exhibit.

 

“The exuberant exhibition will catalog the multifaceted activities of the Italian design powerhouse – from fashion and accessories to architecture, cinema, and beyond. Concurrently, the legendary Harrods Exhibition Windows will showcase treasures from the Prada archives coupled with a capsule collection of ready-to-wear, bags, shoes and accessories inspired by iconic Prada collections from the last 100 years – developed exclusively for Harrods.” You can read the full release here.

 

 

THE NIKE MERCURIAL SUPERFLY

 

Nike unveiled their latest and greatest football boot last week in a carefully orchestrated PR event in Madrid starring superstar Cristano Ronaldo. Donning the new “Mercurial Superfly” cleat, along with the uniform for his Portugal World Cup team, he showed off his juggling skills amongst a packed house. There is no bigger sport in the world, and with the cup just months away, you can expect the media blitz to continue well into the summer. The first match is Thursday, June 12th, as Brazil takes on Croatia in Sao Paolo.

 

 

 

SMELL BETTER: AMAZINGREEN

Spotted at the popular retail shop Bird on Court Street in Brooklyn: AMAZINGREEN by Japanese-based brand Comme des Garçons. The scent features notes of palm tree leaf, green pepper, hazelnut, coriander seed, gunpowder accord, vetiver, smoke and white musk. Which all adds up to an incredibly unique spring scent – a “concentrated dose of natural freshness.” $105, available at Bird.

 

THE PADDED VEST BY H&M

 

We always appreciate well priced good style here at Style Ledger and there’s no better example then this sporty padded vest by H&M. At $59, it’s a smart spring buy for a layer that can do it all: wear it over a dress shirt for the office, or under a sport jacket when sunny afternoons turn to chilly April nights. The stand up collar with white stripes adds just the right amount of collegiate cool. $59, available at H&M.

 

 

THE MAKING OF: PRADA DRIVING SHOES

 

True artistry at work.

THE CONWAY WATCH

Jack Spade only recently got into the watch game, but they arrived with guns blazing – red hot. Their collection of timepieces are both well designed and reasonably priced, an often hard to find combination in the elitist world of one-upmanship that is the watch industry. You can either go low and embrace the everyman approach, like Swatch, or shoot for the stars, with mighty Rolex. For a versatile, summer friendly option, go with the Conway. It comes in three colorways, but as red is our favorite color this season, try something new and bold. $298, available at Jack Spade.

 

 

 

FRIDAYS SONG

SUMMER SPORT

Here are four fun items for the beach or lawn this summer, beer coozie not included. Adidas Country Jacket, $78, available at Adidas. The key is to balance out the sporty look with casual items and avoid pairing with hi-tech running shoes – unless you’re in training. Riviera blue mid-length swim trunks, $240, available at Orlebar Brown. Pricey, but notice the mid-length cut of these shorts. Styles that cover the the knee are too long. Island Slipper, $89, available at Island Slipper. Handmade in Hawaii since 1946, these incredibly comfortable flip flops are right up there at the top of a very crowded field. Artemare beach racquets, $190, available at Threads & Fins. This beautiful set is constructed in California using hardwoods, including American pine, walnut, teak, purple heart and African mahogany. The set comes with a ball used traditionally in racquet ball, making your game more challenging then traditional paddle beach racquets.

News Wall

THE 10 BEST BRANDED INSTAGRAM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK. How inexpensive and short videos capture today’s fleeting attention spans. [ADWEEK]

ITALIAN LUXURY GROUP PRADA DOWN 20% IN FIRST HALF. Prada SpA posted a 20.6 percent drop in first-half net profit, weighed by sluggish consumer demand amid an uncertain economic outlook and unfavorable exchange rates. [REUTERS]

THREADS OF THOUGHT AT NEW YORK’S MENSWEAR SHOWS. Several labels reflected sombre themes from the wider world. [FINANCIALTIMES]

LONDON FASHION WEEK PINS HOPES ON EMERGING TALENT TO BOOST LUXURY GROWTH. More than 5,000 buyers, journalists and bloggers come to see Britain’s leading talents such as Paul Smith, Anya Hindmarch and Burberry’s Christopher Bailey showcase their creations alongside emerging talents such as Simone Rocha and Thomas Tait. [REUTERS]

ALIBABA’S LATEST E-COMMERCE COUP: SECURE MOBILE PAYMENT BY FINGERPRINT. The biometric technology will allow mobile users to confirm payments for a wide variety of goods and services with their smartphones simply by swiping a digit instead of entering a lengthy code. [FORBES]

OPENING CEREMONY: THE PLAY IS NOT THE THING. Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman offers a refreshing take on Opening Ceremony’s show – a 30 minute play during New York Fashion Week. [NYT]

MENSWEAR A SLEEPING GIANT AT NEW YORK FASHION WEEK. Menswear plays a poor relation to women’s styles at New York Fashion Week, but it is enjoying faster-growing sales and consumer tastes that are becoming more daring. [REUTERS]

CAN ALL-AMERICAN GAP SUCCEED IN INDIA? Slumping in the U.S., Gap is moving into India. [BLOOMBERG]

OLD AGE MAY BE SETTING IN FOR THREE TEEN RETAILERS. Will Aeropostale, Abercrombie And Fitch And American Eagle Be Around In Five Years? [FORBES]

CONDE NAST TO SELL FAIRCHILD FASHION MEDIA FOR $100 MILLION. The $100 million sale price highlights the struggles of print media companies in the digital age. In 1999, Condé Nast purchased the Fairchild assets from Disney for $650 million. As part of the transaction, which is expected to close in September, Condé Nast will keep the consumer websites Style.com and the blog network NowManifest. [NYT]

APPLE SOARS TO RECORD AMID OPTIMISM ABOUT COMING PRODUCTS. Apple Inc.’s stock soared to an all-time high, surpassing a 2012 record as investors look ahead to new products such as bigger-screen iPhones and a wristwatch-like device that may jump-start revenue growth. [BLOOMBERG]

MEN’S MUST-HAVE SWIM SHORTS FOR SUMMER. What men round the world are wearing to make waves. [FINANCIALTIMES]

CAN STARTUPS HELP FASHION BRANDS BATTLE AMAZON? One of the biggest challenges for fashion brands: getting the kind of scale to compete with services such as Amazon Prime, the $99-a-year service that includes such perks as free two-day shipping. [BLOOMBERG]

LVMH RESULTS SENDS CHILL ACROSS LUXURY GOODS SECTOR. Shares in LVMH, seen as setting the tone for the luxury goods industry, fell as much as 7.2 percent on Friday – the biggest one-day drop since 2009, dragging down companies in the sector such as Cartier-owner Richemont, down 3 percent and Gucci-owner Kering, which fell 3.7 percent. [REUTERS]

TESLA IDLES CALIFORNIA PLANT TO RETOOL FOR ELECTRIC SUV’S. Tesla halted production at its California assembly plant for the first time as it adds robots to accelerate production of electric sedans and prepares to build its Model X sport-utility vehicle. [BLOOMBERG]

ALLAN MAYER HELPED TAKE DOWN AMERICAN APPAREL FOUNDER DOV CHARNEY. WHO’S ALLAN MAYER? Mayer wrote and edited for Newsweek, founded Buzz magazine, wrote two books, and worked in book publishing before getting into the damage control business in 1997. Strategic communications? “For years, I’ve been looking for an unpretentious way to describe what I do,” Mayer says. “Strategic communications counsel is the best I could come up with. A lot of my clients think of me as a consigliere. In the old days, I would have been called a fixer.” [BUSINESSWEEK]

MANCHESTER UNITED AND ADIDAS AGREE TO RICHEST DEAL EVER. Adidas will pay $1.3 billion over 10 years to United, or $130 million a year, beginning with the 2015-16 season. [FORBES]

DENIM AND PINSTRIPES MAKE A SHOW AT MEN’S FASHION WEEKS. Since the fashion caravan moved off to Milan and Paris for the menswear shows, two trend ripples seen in the London collections look set to spread. [GUARDIANUK]

MERCEDES UPSTAGES ROLLS-ROYCE WITH $1 MILLION S-CLASS. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman will have three rows and cost as much as double the top-of-the-line Rolls-Royce, setting it up to become the world’s most expensive sedan when it goes on sale next year. [BLOOMBERG]

TOD’S HIRES DESIGNER ANDREA ICONTRI TO MAKE STRIDES BEYOND FOOTWEAR. Group sales for the maker of bobble-bottomed loafers priced as high as 400 euros ($540) have lagged behind those of rivals in recent quarters, which analysts have attributed partly to its heavy reliance on footwear. [REUTERS]

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