The loneliness epidemic and what White Lotus tells us about luxury goods
What we're reading and talking about in Slack
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Forerunner’s must-reads to start 2023:
We’re intrigued by the analysis of how The White Lotus, Triangle of Sadness, and others are taking great pleasure in exposing how the lives of the wealthy turn out to be not so aspirational after all. When a classically wealthy lifestyle is out of style, what defines modern aspiration and will luxury brands adapt?
For a generation that prides themselves on individuality, it’s pretty surprising that Gen Z’s TikTok #ChristmasHauls reveal that they all got the same stuff, as highlighted by Forerunner friend Casey Lewis. Chalk it up to platforms amplifying the voices of a fairly predictable crop of aspirational influencers, driving uniformity across Gen Z wishlists (and overall consumers desires).
It’s not in your head: Everything you buy now is actually worse than it used to be. The hamster wheel of hyper consumerism is reliant on this model, but interestingly, this model is also giving way to new consumer activism re: fighting for the right to repair and DIY damaged goods. This is particularly novel in industries like tech where DIY is less accessible or obvious.
“We are in the midst of a long-term crisis of habitual loneliness.” The Atlantic explores how the pandemic has fostered not just widespread isolation, but supported our blasé acceptance of it.
According to social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, Gen Z’ers are so affected by social media and victimhood that it’s going to have major ripples on culture and capitalism. When you are in defend mode, “you’re not creative, you’re not future-thinking — you’re focused on threats in the present.”
The power of free stuff is hard to resist—and a lot of times, it makes us do very strange, irrational things.
Catalogs are making a comeback. Vertically-integrated brands, thwarted by Apple’s crackdown on consumer data collection, are turning to direct mail—and standing out from cluttered inboxes and feeds.
DoorDash’s newest launch is cashing in on the rise of returns. For $5, the delivery service will come pick up your packages and take them to a UPS, FedEx or USPS location. We’re old enough to remember Shyp—and curious if this second coming will be sustainable.
NYT reports on a “gold rush” of resources cropping up for women experiencing menopause, a life stage that has been very underserved. “It’s no accident this is coming at a time when the exceedingly narrow confines of beauty are stretching. Race and size are becoming more diverse in fashion. So why not age, too?”
Being able to try on clothes in the store is a privilege that’s rare for those who wear a size large and above—especially for secondhand clothing. Thick Mall, a pop-up market in Chicago, is delivering vintage finds in extended sizes—and has become an instant hit.
Fast Company speaks to Mariel Reed, Co-founder and CEO of Pavilion (formerly CoProcure), Ari Bloom, cofounder and CEO of A-frame Brands, and Sarahjane Sacchetti, CEO of Cleo about advice for leading through a recession.
Stylecaster covers Curology’s product launch at Target.
Arrived’s milestone of funding its 200th single-family home is covered by Yahoo!Finance.
The Oura ring is included in Forbes’ Gadgets of 2022 and Good Housekeeping's 2023 Fitness Awards.
Brian O’Malley is quoted in The Information’s article on the creator economy and how they will have to learn to live with less in 2023.
Jason Bornstein talks to Business Insider about by Balance is one of the top retail-tech startups to watch.
Work at a Portfolio Company
Senior Director, Performance Marketing, KiwiCo | KiwiCo is an eCommerce company that sparks kids’ creativity and curiosity through offline and online materials and inspiration. This role will be responsible for managing a team of channel managers as well as for identifying and successfully launching new growth strategies.
Content Marketing Manager, Canal | Canal is a Shopify app that allows vertically-integrated brands to expand their product offering by easily cross-selling other brands on their site, as well as offer their products on other sites within our curated network. As the sole content marketer, this role will lead the development of, writing, and editing of content that furthers Canal’s brand and business goals.
Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Zola | Zola is reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience to make the happiest moment in our couples’ lives even better. As the Senior Product Marketing Manager, this role will be responsible for bringing new products, features, and campaigns to life.
There are ~608 other openings on our jobs site. Check ‘em out.