It’s been another weird week in retail.
Turns out curiosity didn’t kill the cat — a Japanese company did. But they replaced it with a plush cat toy, so that’s something. Meanwhile, Balenciaga walked platform Crocs down the runway and Swarovski is adding zeroes to the end of everything — from water bottles to VR kits.
This, and more, in this week’s Retail Therapy.
Look what the cat dragged in
Cats are a topic of contention for many pet owners. Aside from the "dog" camp and the "cat" camp, there’s also the "I like cats if they’re friendly and affectionate" camp. But how do you ensure you adopt the right kind of cat and not a claw-raking menace bent on feasting off of your flesh when you die?
Thanks to Yukai Engineering, we no longer have to worry. The Qoobo, a robotic cat that comes in "Husky Gray" and "French Brown," has all the benefits of a real cat and engenders none of the life-threatening fears associated with actual cat ownership, Mashable reports. An elegant solution to the cat problem, the Qoobo gives you the tail, fur and lack of companionship that you can expect from a real cat, with the added benefit of requiring no food, water or other real care.
The cat robot is programmed to wag its tail when you stroke it and can even produce a vibration upon being touched, all to make you feel better — because what is the purring of a real cat compared to the vibration of a plush toy with no face? And unlike real cats, the Qoobo will never slink away upon your approach, swat at your face mid-sleep or dig its claws into your arm for unforeseeable reasons.
That’s because it has no arms. Or legs. Maybe the Qoobo isn’t for everyone, but hey — there’s more than one way to skin a robotic cat.
Balenciaga puts the 'platform' back in Crocs
In the latest of a shocking number of attempts to bring back Crocs, Balenciaga actually told its models to walk down the Paris Fashion Week runway in a scaled up version of the hole-dotted foam shoes that peaked as an unfortunate fashion fad in 2007.
But these aren't your typical "toddler at the beach" or "old lady gardening" Crocs — the platform foam footwear towers at 10cm tall.
You’d think if Drew Barrymore couldn’t save crocs, no one could, but it seems Balenciaga wants to take a crack at turning around the image of a brand that most people are embarrassed to wear in public. And it has some experience in that department. Earlier this month, the Spanish luxury fashion house rebooted dad sneakers with a pretty penny to match its new "distressed" look.
This pair of shoes takes what Balenciaga calls the "iconic" Crocs and actually just makes it worse. Remember Croc charms — the tacky invention created to recapture the faltering hype? These shoes are covered in them.
So why were models strutting them down the runway again? Probably for the same reason Balenciaga made shopping bags and priced them at over one grand. They sell.
While everyone was busy worrying about climate change and being nuked, someone made platform crocs. This imminent threat needs to be stopped pic.twitter.com/DJpYxRJkvs— Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) October 2, 2017
Balenciaga is making platform Crocs... pic.twitter.com/3yhax5P2Zm— Alex Gallagher (@alexineleila) October 5, 2017
I want platform crocs— Louie (@kiinglouist91) October 5, 2017
Swarovski finds a diamond in the water bottle market
They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure — in which case men should keep a better eye on their trash because if Swarovski has its way, everything’s likely to become a jewel-encrusted treasure, from necklaces to… water bottles.
In a move that’ll have you squinting every time you try to take a sip of water, Swarovski has teamed up with Bkr to create a water bottle that comes with a crystal-covered lid and a $185 price tag, Glossy reports. That’s not to mention a Swarovski crystal-encrusted headset for a virtual reality collaboration with MasterCard. The "500 Collection," which is about $150 more expensive than the typical Bkr bottle, is apparently inspired by "a glam culture obsession."
The product description is a jumble of words and phrases that convey only one real meaning: privilege.
According to the site, the collection’s inspiration is "the surreal experience of floating weightlessly in a Lucas Samaras infinity room, a giant glass bath in an all-glass bathroom, a bon-vivant and her unconventional bed made entirely of crystals and everything that’s quite impractical, quite beautiful, quite unnecessary, quite necessary and dizzyingly, limitlessly glittering, glowing, mesmerizing, fearless and fashion-mad."
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. After all, diamonds are a (rich) girl’s best friend, right?
Spanx keeps a tight rein on consumers’ arms
As if wearing tights on your legs wasn’t enough, Spanx has found a way to make women more self-conscious while also forcing their arms into skin-tight undergarments.
Recognizing a gap in the market for arm-clinging tights, Spanx has released just that — "ArmTights." The product, reported by Huffpost, covers the wearer's arms and chest, cutting off a few inches above the belly button. According to the description, it’s been through five years and "hundreds of prototypes," but the team over at Spanx has finally come up with a way to improve the way your arms look in those unflattering long-sleeves we all apparently wear.
Hold onto your tube socks and long johns: "Arm Tights are made entirely from hosiery to give you an incredibly lightweight, comfortable second-skin feeling. Unlike traditional layering shirts, this non-shaping garment has no seam up the arms for 360 [degrees] of flawless coverage!"
Next time you’re layering up for winter, throw on something that’s not a real shirt to help hide all of the self-perceived flaws that keep the Spanx business running.