Thursday's Big Briefing:

🔥🔥 Big News: Gin Lane grows tired of that agency life, pivots to Pattern Brands, and lands $14M in funding to do it.

A visual of Gin-Lane-turned-Pattern's bucolic future, perhaps? | Pattern Brands
Need to Knows
Reading between the lines: As Adweek's Ann-Marie Alcantara writes, the aim is to function similar to the mom-and-pop general stores of a bygone era, where customers knew the owners and trusted the brands they carried––a model Pattern is dubbing “direct-with-consumer.” In the DTC era, the customer can talk to a brand and receive excellent service. But with “direct-with-consumer,” Pattern wants to go beyond just customer service and “offer guidance” as well as products. Full details on Pattern's mission at the link.

👉Stay in the know: Read the report here...
In Focus: Shoelace
Sponsor Spotlight
Q3 | August 2019

Webinar: 2PM x Shoelace.

August Series | Edition No. 2 (of 3)
How brand equity drives retention.
Immersive storytelling is key to building a captive audience around your brand. 

Join Web Smith (Founder at 2PM) & Reza Khadjavi (CEO at Shoelace) on August 15th as they discuss how successful DTC brands focus on building brand equity to drive retention.

–– Save me a seat 👉
Many thanks to Shoelace this week. Their support makes Lean Luxe a better product. Learn more at:
Insights Corner
Thursday: Taking Stock
Lucid observations
A day at Coney Island with Succession’s Cousin Greg.
Alisha Ramos shares recipes at Great Jones. Seedlip gets acquired by Diageo. Esquire profiles Woody Harrelson. Wearable air conditioners could be coming. Kyle Chayka’s latest piece. How TV has transformed our homes. The first wave of Apple Cards have arrived. Instagram wants the memers back. An ode to Barneys. Disney announces a streaming bundle. The best G&Ts in NYC. Wallpaper walks though Hotel Kinsley. Loneliness is a legit public health problem. A community app for women. Why you’re seeing more babies at bars. Mezut Ozil could be coming to MLS. The best new bathroom in America. A taste of summer in 1985. Scientists just discovered a prehistoric ‘Squawkzilla’ parrot. There’s a new lawn care brand called Sunday. A day at Coney Island with Succession’s Cousin Greg.

Equinox is coming for Peloton's throne.
In a move that should surprise few, Equinox announced this week that it's got a new Peloton-like platform coming that "attempts to recreate its signature workouts in one's own living room." Full details are at Fast Company, but the summary is this: "The new digital venture will include two separate pieces of hardware and personalized content representing its portfolio of brands, including SoulCycle, Equinox, and Precision Run. Slated for launch this fall, the platform will pair with a new stationary bike identical to the one found in SoulCycle studios—with the addition of an attached screen. . . . The new digital venture (which has not yet been named) will include all the brands’ signature workouts—led by top instructors—in one network. It’s not meant to replace the live studio experience, rather to serve as an addition for dedicated members who want an at-home offering."

Ensembl: New (soon-to-launch) cookware brand from Toronto.
Compared to what's happening in the brands space in the rest of North America––NYC, LA, SF––there really isn't that much happening on the brands side up in Toronto. New pre-launch cookware brand, Ensembl (pictured above), however, is not letting that stop them. Think: A stackable, modular pots and pans system, perfect for the urban apartment. We dropped a note about Ensembl in the Lean Luxe Slack the other day, and safe to say, they're already making a strong impression with members. Lean Luxe Taylor Sizemore offered this after seeing the brand: “This is personally the most compelling cookware brand concept that I have seen. I cook a lot but have limited space, as do most city dwellers. I love systems." Certainly one to keep an eye one as the cookware space *ahem* heats up.

Emily Weiss sits down with the FT.
Yes, this is an FT piece, so there is a rather tough paywall to sidestep here, just try to access the piece directly from Google search and you should be fine), but it's definitely one you'll want to put in the effort to access. It's a very solid interview with FT's Jo Ellison and Emily Weiss, worth reading all the way through. It was this quote from Weiss, though, on loyalty, that stuck out for us: "Reading between the lines, I didn’t hear them saying that they loved [Lacome, Maybelline, etc]. I heard them say that they loved the products. Back in 2013, when I was first thinking about Glossier, I thought: 'Man, I wish there was a beauty brand whose sweatshirt you wanted to wear.' It really speaks to this notion of winning hearts. A company like Glossier creates this, 'I want to wear this brand’s sweatshirt', kind of mindset. So––to your point––how many brands’ sweatshirts are you going to wear? How many brands are actually representing the values that you align with? And I do think that our success to date has been about that value alignment."

For brands, identity is low-hanging fruit.
At Lean Luxe we tend to roll our eyes at most attempts by brands to embrace ‘wokeness’ and appeal to ‘identity’. But the effect, at least over the short term, can be a rather strong one. That’s especially true in the type of climate we’re in today, where many consumers have embraced their political views as their primary identify and, essentially, as their personal religion. Brands, then, are smart to pluck at these heart strings, however genuine their campaigns may be. A solid column from Ranjan Roy touches on this very dynamic: “Regarding identity, I want you to think about it in a signaling context rather than only the political or cultural. How does your alignment with a brand change the way you perceive and promote yourself? Does it make you feel better? Look better? It doesn’t even have to make you feel better as long as it makes you feel something.” Excellent sociological stuff here, and definitely worth reading.

👋Paul Munford, Founder / Editor in Chief
The Community
Lean Luxe: Connect
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The Ticker
Hot, hot links
Lighter fare
ModCloth wants to leave Walmart
“We have nothing to lose”. Glossy

The Inside launches sofas
With some very funky fabric patterns. TechCrunch

Hilary Milnes decamps to Vogue Business
HUGE loss for Modern Retail. Talking Biz News
The new rules of luxury pop ups
Appear Here’s Ross Bailey gets more shine. Vogue Business

How Year and Day
Revitalized the tableware space. Forbes

This profile on Tristan Walker’s move to Atlanta
Is profound. Fast Company
** News or tips for The Ticker?  
Send tips on news, quotes, coverage, mentions in the media to

Comments, questions, tips?
Send a letter to the editor –– Paul Munford / @leanluxe

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