Kelly Slater’s Template Sunglasses Are Built For the Water-Lovers Out There

Following up the more lifestyle-focused design released last year, Kelly Slater launches the Template. The new model features an oversized frame with a slight wrap to to give you thorough coverage against the sun.  They’ve also added “sport enhanced” bridges and temples for a better grip on your face when you’re on the move. Just like last year’s model, the frames are made from a plant-based polymer and even the sunglass pouch is made from environmentally-friendly bamboo fibers.

Converse Celebrates the Global Pride Movement With Rainbow Chucks

Nike has long supported LGBTA communities around the world with colorful “Pride” drops and now Swoosh-owned Converse is doing the same for Spring/Summer 2016 with the introduction of a trio of new Chucks. Billed as “a passionate reminder for universal tolerance, diversity and equality,” the kicks take on the pride movement’s signature rainbow motif, employing it across both high- and low-top silhouettes in woven and splattered form as an encouragement of authenticity and creativity.

Retailing for $60 to $75 USD, the three different designs are set to hit Converse retail stores and converse.com this Friday, May 13.

The Future of Fashion is Umm… Spiders?

If you’ve ever looked at a spiderweb, it’s easy to see that spiders have some serious weaving skills. But what’s less obvious is that spider silk, which makes up those webs, is one of the most impressive materials known to man.

It’s five times stronger than steel, more elastic than rubber bands, and softer than wool.

If scientists could harness this material, imagine the things it could be used for: bulletproof clothing; biodegradable water bottles; waterproof bags; and flexible bridge suspension ropes.

Here’s the problem: It’s not easy to get large quantities of the material from actual spiders. So, for years, materials scientists have been studying spider silk to see how it might be copied.

Enter Bolt Threads. The company, founded by three scientists from UCSF and UC Berkeley, discovered a technique that makes mass production of spider silk feasible.

The researchers inserted genes into yeast, which then produces a spider silk-like protein as it ferments. Through a proprietary system, the silk is spun into solid yarn.

The fibers, which are much finer than natural materials like cotton and stronger than nylon, could lend clothes the best qualities of both natural and artificial fibers: they would be soft and light, while durable enough to toss in the wash repeatedly. Imagine a fabric that is tough, durable, lightweight, and petroleum-free.

And not only can they make spider silk, they can customize it. Spider silk could improve the performance of everything from parachutes and climbing ropes to fishing nets and surgical sutures.

Never Check the Surf Report Again With The Nixon Unit Tide Watch

For surfers, determining the right time to paddle out is part of the never-ending quest to finding the perfect wave. And for those who aren’t aware, tide swings and depths play a significant role in wave quality, either increasing your chances of scoring or once again leaving you skunked out in the lineup.

Luckily Nixon feels this pain and, thanks to their Unit Tide watches, looks to ease in the struggles of surf prediction. Their waterman-inspired design features a large graph on the face displaying current tide conditions and 48 hours of past and future tidal swings. This perk isn’t just for your local break either. Its custom digital module provides pre-programmed tide info for 270 beaches worldwide through the year 2023. The Unit Tide also boasts style in addition to surf appeal with an aluminum dial ring for color and a large 45mm case with a free swing band. And don’t forget the polycarbonate case, silicone bezel, and molded silicone band locking looper for enhanced durability and comfort, especially when chasing that endless summer. Prices start at $120.

Not Even Millionaires Can Buy This Beautiful New Rolex

When Rolex introduced a beautiful new update of the iconic Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona back in March, it was always expected to generate waiting lists around the world. But with the vintage watch market having exploded of late, combined with the Rolex Daytona’s immense popularity, the watch has become almost impossible to purchase.

The bezel on this newer model features Cerachrom, a proprietary material that’s corrosion-resistant and scratch-resistant, boasting a deep black color that won’t fade. Naturally, orders for the watch shifted quicker than a swipe of a black card.

The problem is that Rolex is making them in such limited amounts that even people who can afford way more than the $12,400 cost have had to join the queue. Which means that the retailers selling these coveted watches are having to be more selective when it comes to choosing buyers than perhaps ever before. In fact, the The New York Times reports that if you join the waiting list now, you’re looking at a two to five-year wait.

In essence, unless you’re super connected, rich enough to tempt a current owner, or a professional jewel thief – you can forget about it.

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Aeropostale Files For Bankruptcy As Predicted, Will Close 113 U.S. Stores

The Aeropostale Bankruptcy Watch is officially over, because, well, the teen apparel chain went ahead and did what everyone has been predicting for the last few weeks and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

After years of losses and watching shoppers move on to online competitors and fast-fashion retailers, Aeropostale bit the bullet and filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

Aeropostale thinks it should be ready to emerge from bankruptcy within six months, after closing 113 U.S. stores and all 41 stores in Canada. But will fewer stores solve its problems?

“Aeropostale will likely emerge from Chapter 11 as a leaner entity with a smaller, but largely profitable, store base…but it does not solve the issue of relevance to the market,” Neil Saunders, chief executive of research firm Conlumino told Reuters.

He adds that bankruptcy will give Aeropostale time to think about how to become relevant to shoppers, but won’t provide a long-term solution in itself.

The chain thrived in the ’80s and ’90s, but is now caught between competitors in the teen market like archnemesis American Eagle, as well as the upmarket Abercrombie & Fitch and cheaper fast fashion retailers that also cater to teens and children.

Aeropostale is the latest formerly popular teen chain to fold in recent months: DEB, Wet Seal, and dELiA*s, have closed their doors, while PacSun is reorganizing under bankruptcy protection.

The Next Apple Watch Might Have Cellular Data

Apple debuted the Apple Watch almost exactly a year ago to much fanfare. However, the device continues to be derided by critics despite it being a popular item for Apple with impressive sales numbers — in its first year, Apple sold nearly twice as many Apple Watches as iPhones. Speculators posit that the next iteration will include a faster processor and cellular connectivity, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple is reportedly working hard at amending these shortcomings, given the fact that competitors have long offered smartwatches that could function and stand on their own, as opposed to the Apple Watch which must be tethered to an iPhone to function. Expect more news in the coming weeks, with Apple likely to unveil the next-generation Watch at its WWDC event from June 13-17.

Victoria’s Secret Set To Discontinue Swimwear After This Year

Earlier this month, L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, announced it would restructure certain aspects of the retailer’s business, but failed to provide specifics on the changes. But a filing from the company’s bank sheds a little light on just what could be cut from the company. First up: swimwear. 

A note from Citigroup suggests that Victoria’s Secret will stop selling swimwear after this year, instead focusing its attention on its activewear line, BuzzFeed News reports.

Citigroup’s note, dated April 8, reported that L Brand’s “will be eliminating swim from stores and online” after the category “had trended down over the last several years and management believes store space will be better used for VS Sport.”

Two people familiar with the situation tell BuzzFeed that the company would be “exiting out of all current inventory by the end of this year.”

A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the matter, except to say that more details about the retailer’s changes would be addressed on an upcoming earnings call.

Earlier this month, L Brands announced it would streamline operations and focus more on its core merchandise offerings: lingerie, the PINK brand, and Victoria’s Secret Beauty.

The company said that the restructuring would also include changes in how it connects with customers “through more focus on loyalty programs and brand-building engagement rather than traditional catalogues and offers.”

Clothing And Accessories Now The Biggest Category In E-Commerce

What do Americans buy the most of online? Thanks to improved return policies and ever-expanding selection, purchases of clothing and accessories took the top spot in 2015 for the first time. That’s according to research by analytics company ComScore, which tracks online sales by categories, and noticed this important change.

We still buy plenty of computers, tablets, and computer parts online. Using the Comscore data for 2015, the Washington Post figured out that computers and tablets counted $51.1 billion in sales, which is not shabby. Sales of clothing and accessories
went up to $51.5 billion, though slightly taking the lead for the year.

They didn’t say whether that counts sales where someone buys three different items sizes of an item to see which fits best and keeps only one of them, but that’s one of the factors boosting online clothing sales.

Consumers more comfortable with ordering clothes online, but looser return policies and retailers that pay for shipping in both directions or allow returns of online orders to retail stores are important factors in making us more comfortable with the idea.

That’s especially impressive when you remember that department stores and clothing specialty retailers generally complained about their sales in the last quarter of 2015, saying that the weather was too good and customers weren’t coming in to buy winter coats or the rest of their winter wardrobes. Online, clothes and accessories outsold computers by $1 billion during that quarter.

Nike Releases Its Free-Inspired F1 Premiere Golf Shoe

Golf isn’t a sport known for its cutting-edge footwear, but Nike has been raising the bar recently with new, progressive silhouettes for the fairway. The latest among them is the F1 Premiere Golf Shoe, which eschews traditional design elements for running shoe-inspired technology and a more modern profile. Among its notable features are a Nike Free-inspired midsole for a natural ride, hybrid outsole that combines Integrated Traction with green-friendly spikes, waterproof Flyweave upper and an asymmetrical response collar that enhances support, fit and feel. The result is a golf shoe that’s lighter and more functional than ever before, and available now in two versatile, volt-accented colorways.