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Must Read: How America Came to Love Drag, The Rise of High Fashion Outdoor Apparel

Plus, behind the battle between publishers and retailers over affiliate links.

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Monday.

How America came to love drag 
Drag, which was once a "glittery subculture on the edge of gay culture, has become one of our global pop preoccupations with its own hierarchy of stars and story lines for the fans to get behind, marketing deals and Billboard chart-toppers," thanks to "RuPaul's Drag Race." As it gears up for its 12th season, Matthew Schneier delves into how the reality competition turned drag into a cultural phenomenon and America's favorite pastime{Vulture

The rise of high fashion outdoor apparel 
The U.S. market for outdoor apparel is now valued at over $6.7 billion, up from $5.1 billion in 2013, according to Euromonitor International. As a result, more luxury brands are cashing in on this multi-billion-dollar outdoor apparel opportunity by releasing fancy fleece jackets that cost more than a month's rent. But while growth projections are promising, technical gear can be expensive and difficult to manufacture, making it less profitable than categories like denim and sunglasses. {Vogue Business

Behind the battle between publishers and retailers over affiliate links 
Publishers from Buzzfeed to Vogue are generating millions in revenue from product reviews that link back to retailers' websites. "They are heralded as a lifeline for the beleaguered publishing industry and vilified as another way for Amazon to extend its stranglehold over online shopping," writes Chantal Fernandez for Business of Fashion. But as media organizations push for higher commissions in the face of dwindling advertising revenue, retailers and brands are resistant, seeing affiliate links as a cheaper alternative to an advertising market dominated by Facebook and Google. {Business of Fashion

Luxury brands increase spending on Instagram 
LVMH and Kering are raising their social media budgets in an effort to attract younger shoppers. Half of Gucci's 2018 media budget was spent on digital advertising, up from 20% only three years earlier. LVMH increased its total marketing spending at the fastest rate in seven years in 2018 to 5.6 billion euros, and its top brand Louis Vuitton now allocates half its marketing costs to digital media. {Reuters

Why renting is a luxury
"Renting isn't just a matter of necessity these days," writes Sapna Maheshwari for The New York Times. "It's become almost posh." The underpinnings of the rental renaissance are part financial, part ideological, and has been fueled by companies like Rent the Runway, which have succeeded in turning the stigma of wearing used clothing into something that is aspirational and smart. Customers are also drawn to renting, because it gives them the luxury of trying new things without the pressure of commitment. {The New York Times

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Inside Kering's digital shift 
Last week in Paris, Grégory Boutté, Kering's chief client and digital officer, outlined the company's ambitious digital strategy that will give its brands the same control over their online presence as they have over their physical stores. This includes powering its monobrand websites (such as through a proprietary platform instead of Yoox Net-a-Porter's, and using artificial intelligence to improve internal productivity and customer experience. The luxury group is also looking at ways to bring technology into stores and has begun integrating AI into sales forecasting. {Vogue Business

Storm Reid fronts Teen Vogue's Sweet 16 issue 
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Storm Reid on the cover of "Teen Vogue." Photo: Micaiah Carter

Storm Reid on the cover of "Teen Vogue." Photo: Micaiah Carter

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