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Must Read: CFDA and 'Vogue' Raise $4.1 Million, Neiman Marcus Expected to File for Bankruptcy

Plus, what can (and should) brands do with excess inventory?

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Monday.

CFDA and Vogue Raise $4.1 Million
Fashion rescue fund A Common Thread, an initiative put together by the CFDA and Vogue to assist independent designers, stores and contractors, has received over 800 applications since being created less than a month ago. No applicant will receive a grant of more than $100,000, and the committee hopes to have the first payments made by May. Anna Wintour told The New York Times, "We don't pretend this is a bailout...we see this as a grant that will bridge a very difficult time, something to keep the lights on. The goal is to give a little bit of money to as many as possible". {The New York Times}

Neiman Marcus expected to file for bankruptcy this week
Dallas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is planning to file for bankruptcy this week after falling victim to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to sources. The luxury department store is heavily in debt and has borrowings totaling $4.8 billion. {Reuters }

What can (and should) brands do with excess inventory?
The COVID-19 outbreak has left brands with piles of excess inventory and few options to offload it. Off-price clothing stores like T.J. Maxx are shut down, so the only option left is to hold flash sales or offer out-of-season sales. The ultimate goal is to make as much money as possible with minimal damage to the brand. Mario Ortelli, the managing partner of luxury advisors Ortelli & Co, advises brands to try to avoid markdowns whenever possible, telling Business of Fashion, "There will be the biggest markdown seasons ever, and many brands will suffer a lot." {Business of Fashion}

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Brother Vellies launches monthly item program
Aurora James, the founder of accessories label Brother Vellies, is launching a monthly item program. The Brother Vellies team hand-selected items, from her sold-out mugs and cloud socks to puzzles. Members can sign up to receive these items for $35 a month. {Fashionista Inbox}

Can concept stores survive the pandemic?
Concept store 10 Corso Como as been forced to close its New York location after opening 18 months ago. Founder Carla Sozzani, told Vogue Business, "10 Corso Como New York was the most beautiful, incredible place that I could have imagined...but the Seaport District is for people to be there, and circumstances today do not allow that vision to flourish right now." Curatorial stores often share the same difficulties faced by department stores, like rising rents and mercurial consumer habits. {Vogue Business}

Zhou Dongyu is the new face of Victoria’s Secret in China
Golden Horse Award-winning actress Zhou Dongyu, made famous for her film debut in Zhang Yimou's film "Under the Hawthorn Tree" has been named the face of Victoria's Secret in China. Dongyu told WWD, "In my definition, being sexy is a comfortable and nonconforming natural state...when I first entered the business, everyone felt that I was inconspicuous. I also felt very sad at that time, yes, but then slowly I proved myself through my own efforts, living hard every day, studying hard, loving myself. Slowly I feel that I really feel sexy from the inside out." {WWD}

A former Sephora employee speaks about being let go during a pandemic
In the New York Times's Opinions section, Violet Moya wrote about being laid off from her role at Sephora in late March, suddenly and without warning, after working at the beauty chain for almost two years. "I deserve more than a part-time job where I scramble with unpredictable hours and get tossed aside with no warning," she said. "I don't know what the economy will look like when the pandemic is over, but I know we can’t go back to the way things were." {The New York Times

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