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Editor’s Take: Inside Rivet’s Retail Issue

Somewhere between millennials’ “side hustle” and “girl boss” glamorization of working yourself into the ground in the 2010s and the 2020s rise of conscious consumption, admitting that you enjoy spending your free time shopping became a faux pas. I know from firsthand experience.

By today’s digital-first standards, you could say that I spend an obscene amount of time in stores. It doesn’t matter where or what kind. My go-to weekend activity is to wander down Fifth Avenue, popping in and out of one after another. My ideal spot to catch up with friends is an air-conditioned department store, and if I’m traveling, you better believe I’ll end up at that city’s main shopping street, flea market and grocery store.

Retail is the common thread of some of my fondest memories. I met my best friend while working as the gift wrap girl at The Conran Shop, forever bonded by the experience of catering to a demanding Upper East Side clientele. As a kid, I was my Nan’s yard sale buddy on weekends and as a teen, malls were where my mom and I turned shopping into a marathon. You knew it was a good mall day if you were driving home in the dark. Even now, our idea of a fun day out is centered around a two-hour trip to Target. Add 30 minutes if it’s Halloween or Christmas season.

But it’s not even about buying or acquiring stuff because I prefer to walk out of stores empty handed nowadays. Rather, the act of “going shopping” is my chosen form of entertainment—visual eye-candy, a chance to break away from the screen, an opportunity to discover and learn what’s new and next. So, I cringe any time I hear someone say traditional retail is dead, or worse, that they only order from Amazon. It took a pandemic for me to cave to Amazon Prime and I’m not yet sold on whether it’s going to become part of my “new normal.” I’ve also felt people’s subtle judgement after I’ve told them the garment or accessory they complimented was from a fast-fashion retailer. “It’s vintage” is the new “I’m gluten-free” in some circles.

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My love for shopping doesn’t exclude vintage, however. Or resale, rental, upcycled or thrifted. I’m also a fan of online and I am easy bait for targeted ads on social media. When it comes to retail, I’ll try anything.

It is my hope that the denim sector becomes just as adventurous. The industry is boisterous about its products and how they’re made, but few platforms ever touch on how jeans are even sold. From e-commerce’s humble beginnings to the fit and sustainability strategies filtering onto the shop floor, Rivet’s Summer 2022 issue sheds light on the ways retailers are navigating their pandemic recoveries. With no one-size-fits-all solutions to selling jeans, it’s the perfect time for brands and retailers to shop around and find what fits their business.

Click here to download the new digital issue.