Must Read: How Beauty Sampling Will Change Post-Pandemic, Some Brands Are Getting the 'Crisis Pivot' Right

Plus, a look at why people turn to knitting during times of turmoil.
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These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Friday.

Beauty sampling is poised for major changes post-pandemic
As cosmetics retailers grapple with the future of beauty shopping, WWD asks the question: What does a high-touch category look like in the new normal? Designers and manufacturers that create retail environments are looking to possible innovations like low-touch dispensers which could be retrofitted into existing store displays, and single-use testing palettes made from sustainable materials. Longer-term solutions could also include re-working store layouts as well as implementing protective shields and antimicrobial displays. {WWD}

Some brands are getting the 'crisis pivot' right
Brands are struggling to adjust to the new retail landscape amidst the Covid-19 crisis, but some are adapting quickly to find new ways to drive sales. For example, Revolve's new Shopping Network approach — "QVC for the Coachella set" — relies on hard sales tactics to move product; Jonathan Cohen has begun selling flower illustrations to keep his business afloat; and Gucci is reducing its reliance on wholesale and instead prioritizing its direct-to-consumer approach. {Business of Fashion}

People turn to knitting in times of turmoil
The comforting hobby of knitting — like puzzles and baking — has seen a worldwide surge in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, and the boost in this category fits a historical pattern, writes Alexandra Marvar for The New York Times. "Knitting is a renowned stress reliever...and for decades it has been suggested as a cure for rheumatism, tension, addiction, nervousness, insomnia, so on," she writes. Beyond being a way to stay calm and keep busy, it can also serve as "preparation for end times," allowing people to feel a sense of productivity in times of uncertainty. {The New York Times}

Neiman Marcus's bankruptcy filing and the fall of luxury Americana
Department store Neiman Marcus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday, inspiring GQ's Rachel Tashjian to reflect on the luxury retailer's history, as well as its opulent "glory days" of the 1990s and 2000s, a heyday for luxury Americana. "It turned the department store into a gleaming temple to consumerism," writes Tashjian. "Neiman Marcus made the aspirational feel attainable, often by simply putting it in front of you....It embodied a very specific western, try-anything opulence." {GQ}

What beauty conglomerate will acquire Charlotte Tilbury?
While most color cosmetics companies have struggled throughout 2019 and the beginning of 2020, Charlotte Tilbury has been among the few to defy the odds and actually grow. With the entire category of makeup seeing a decline, it's clear why beauty companies are eyeing the Tilbury brand for possible acquisition. Conglomerates such as Estée lauder, Puig and Unilever are rumored to have shown interest in purchasing the brand — worth a reported $1 billion-plus — but in an uncertain economic climate, an acquisition of that size may be a risk. {Business of Fashion}

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