Kafka Fancams and Me-Maxxing
after school weekend edition
Welcome back to After School ✨weekend edition✨. Think of the daily letter as the CliffsNotes; this is the extended version for paid subscribers.
I mentioned last week that I’ve been spending some time in the south, and while we were swinging through Savannah, we stopped in a shoppy shop called Provisions opened by a former Brooklyn-based fashion photographer (and SCAD alum). It was interesting talking to her about what it’s like to sell natural wine in a small-ish town, especially in a neighborhood with mostly broke college kids (Gulp Hablo — a liter that retails for less than $20 is unsurprisingly a top seller).
Last week, the Times published a piece called “The American Wine Industry Has an Old People Problem.” Based on analysis from the newest “State of the U.S. Wine Industry” report, the only area of growth for American wine was among consumers over 60, and the biggest growth area was among 70- to 80-year-olds. 70- to 80-year-olds! (I’m currently in Florida, where there is an abundance of 70- to 80-year-olds, and I gotta say, they do know how to live.)
What’s missing, according to the author of the report, “are enticing introductory wines, bottles that provide the sort of ‘aha’ moments that will draw consumers into learning more about wine and perhaps finding a lifelong pursuit in seeking the same pleasures.” A lot of wine is mass-produced and bad, and many young consumers haven’t had the opportunity — or the motivation — to try wine that is not mass-produced and is actually good.
Obviously, price point matters when it comes to this category, but as the Times points out, it’s not like younger consumers don’t have the money to buy wine; after all, Gen Z and millennials who are still living with their parents are actively driving the luxury boom.
It’s great that the wine industry is seeing growth among 70- to 80-year-olds, but, uh, they really need to think about connecting with younger consumers who have many more years of spending ahead of them. Places like Provisions are already actively changing wine’s antiquated reputation, but the industry needs a rebrand much larger than anything a few cool local bottle shops here and there can accomplish.
Today, we’re talking about:
The gym creep
The Gen Z shake
Phoebe’s Catbird collab
Tiffany’s collab (no, not the Nike one)
Adidas’s biggest launch in 50 years
Absolutely massive hats
Absolutely tiny scarves
And everything else that happened this week in brands, trends, and digital culture.
Between “corecore” and “dupe mindsets,” “Lucky Girl Syndrome” and “de-influencing,” sometimes it feels as if the internet has officially — in internetspeak — lost the plot. But even some of the most ridiculous-seeming “trends” can tell us a lot about what’s going on in society, and I think it’s a worthwhile (if occasionally tedious) pursuit to try to understand them.
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