Bella Hadid Wore a $16.99 Dress, But Should Celebrities Promote Fast Fashion?

In this op-ed, writer Shama Nasinde explores the hidden cost of celebrities promoting fast fashion, as explored via Bella Hadid’s now-viral $16.99 dress.

Model Bella Hadid sure knows how to serve a throwback look. On Monday, November 30, she posted a series of fierce Instagram pics with her signature ’00s flare. “Me myself and my @michaelkors Soho bag,” she captioned the sponsored post wearing a black quilted Michael Kors bag. But what fans really wanted to know is where they could cop her halter neck dress. 

Bella’s slinky moss green dress featured a plunged crossover neckline that left her followers curious for the link. ”This dress tho. I need,” one Instagram user commented. Ask and you shall receive – or, almost. ”I bought it online for $16.99 I’m gonna find the link for u,” Bella soon replied. Twitter user @kissmekyake screenshot Bella’s response and posted it to Twitter on Tuesday, December 1. The tweet quickly went viral and social media praised Bella for being the generous friend we all wish we had.

Bella’s followers felt one quick purchase away from looking as glamorous as Miss Hadid. She hasn’t publicly shared the link (yet) but her openness to discuss the nature of the dress inevitably led to some online criticism. Some Twitter users commented that since celebrities can afford to shop ethically, it’s irresponsible for them to promote fast fashion on their huge social media platforms. “Not to be negative……but rich people buying fast fashion when they have the money to invest in sustainable clothes doesn’t sit right w me,” one user wrote. “Ok but can we please address the literal millionaire contributing to fast fashion?” another one added. For the average consumer, fast fashion is an affordable and accessible option – and sometimes the only option. However, when price tags aren’t much of a concern, Twitter makes several points. 

It’s easy to forget the human cost of a cheap dress. Beneath the seams, there’s an exploitative industry fueled by trend-driven purchases. Just after the oil industry, fashion is the world’s second-largest polluter and its detrimental effects disproportionately impact young women. According to Remake, a non-profit organization working to bring awareness to the human right and climate change issues within the fashion industry, 80% of the workers behind your cheap finds are women aged 18-24, and many of them barely make $3 a day. 

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Debenhams and Topshop Fall, Pushed by Fast Fashion and Pandemic

LONDON — The British department store Debenhams can trace its history back 242 years to a shop on Wigmore Street in central London. On Tuesday, it finally succumbed to the pressures of 21st-century e-commerce. After more than a year of restructuring and several months of trying to find a buyer, the company said it would begin shutting down.

Debenhams is the second big retailer to topple in two days, after Arcadia Group, which owns brands including Topshop and Miss Selfridge, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday. The two are also linked because Arcadia’s brands have a big footprint in Debenhams, with sections set aside for their clothes.

And so, as Christmas lights flicker above the sidewalks in Britain’s downtowns and as the busiest shopping period of the year begins after a monthlong lockdown in England, the nation is watching two of its largest retailers fall. They have about 25,000 employees between them.

More bankruptcies are expected, as the lockdowns have relentlessly exposed the retailers that have failed to pick up on customers’ willingness to shop online.

“The retail house of cards on the high street is in danger of collapse,” said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Britain’s fashion retailers enjoyed a golden period and were seen for a time as a source of national pride. The Debenhams evening wear department was a middle-class destination for all of life’s major celebrations. Marks & Spencer, which announced plans during the summer to lay off nearly 8,000 workers, was a byword for quality for decades, with its cotton underwear and cashmere knits a staple of British households.

In the 2000s, Topshop — once considered the jewel in the crown of Philip Green’s Arcadia Group — was a genuine style authority thanks to sellout collaborations with the model Kate Moss and a vast Oxford Street emporium laden with catwalk-inspired knockoffs.

But these brands have suffered for years. Fast-fashion giants from overseas, like Zara from Spain and H&M from Sweden, started selling cheaper, trendier clothes. They were followed by online-only upstarts such as Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing (similar to the American brand Fashion Nova). Geared toward young women and powered by social commerce, they offer low-priced fashion products designed to be browsed, bought and worn on social media.

The pandemic has hastened the demise of brands found in Britain’s high street shopping districts. For about a third of the year, clothing stores and other nonessential retailers have been shuttered to comply with lockdowns, accelerating the move to e-commerce. Since February, online clothing sales have grown 17 percent in Britain, while in-store sales have slumped 22 percent.

The old guard retailers and department stores that were too slow to invest in their online operations have found themselves grappling with the costs of real estate empires visited by fewer and fewer people. Even accounting for scores of closures in recent years, Debenhams has 124 department stores, while Arcadia has 444 stores for its brands in Britain. .

“Like Arcadia Group, Debenhams might have stood

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The Ins And Outs Of Fast Fashion’s Love Of Black Culture

It’s no secret that Black culture dictates what’s poppin’. While ideas are not always attributed to the creators who bore them, archivists and supporters across media and entertainment have made sure to cite Black influence and provide proper credit to the community. Black public figures have displayed their dominance across fields, particularly when it comes to style, and Black culture’s alignment with fashion brands adds a new mark to their innovation checklist.

To keep up with the mainstream, luxury fashion brands have worked with Black artists in order to appeal to consumer enthusiasm, tapping big names to bring in big bucks across several decades. In 2020, fast fashion brands — affordable apparel based on trends bought in stores and online — have not only utilized the same business model as major brands, but shifted the fashion industry’s power dynamics in the process. Influence no longer lies solely with lavish fashion houses, placing control in the hands of consumers more than ever before. However, fast fashion’s dominance comes with both positive and negative characteristics, especially when it comes to its relationship with Black community.

While fast fashion’s high-speed origins kicked off in the 1960s, the ’90s and early 2000s gave way to the takeover of retailers like Zara and H&M, providing consumers with near-replicas of high-end looks at a reasonable cost. In the internet age, social media makes it easier for fashion to be duplicated and sold in the blink of an eye, with online boutiques like Fashion Nova, PrettyLittleThing, and Boohoo providing affordable, trendy, and quickly-processed styles for men, women, and plus-sized consumers. Their prominence only seems to grow with time — currently, Zara has 41 million Instagram followers, H&M has 36 million, and Fashion Nova has more than 19 million.

How do fast fashion brands determine which public figures to work with? Especially in the social media era, online impact often translates to IRL-influence, and popularity is a quick and easy way to reach more consumers. In this day and age, that means garnering promotion by way of musicians, models, and influencers, and scavenging for intel into what is trending by way of social apps like Instagram and Twitter. Fast fashion brands tap in with Black superstars with universal appeal to cater to all potential buyers, but especially to pull in Black dollars. Per the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Black buying power could result in bringing in an estimated $1.46 trillion by 2021, and may see an increase of 5.4 percent by 2022.

H&M worked with Beyoncé for a beachwear collaboration in 2013, while online boutique Asos is one of the homes for her latest Adidas line, Ivy Park. R&B/hip-hop performer Teyana Taylor teamed up with PrettyLittleThing for brand campaigns and ambassador gigs in 2018 and 2019, while rapper Saweetie worked with the brand for two clothing collections. Cardi B famously released two Fashion Nova clothing collections in 2018 and 2019 — both of which sold out in minutes — and Megan Thee Stallion is reportedly working with

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Shipping tips: Get online orders free and fast during the busiest shopping season

Nothing deflates the spirit of holiday giving as quickly as a special present that doesn’t show up on time. And odds are, this season, which is predicted to be part of the biggest online shopping year yet, deliveries will disappoint those who don’t order early.

Adding to delays: Gift givers are shipping more online items, big and small, directly to recipients, rather than bringing them in person due to social distancing and limits on traveling to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has also been creating packing delays at warehouses where workers are adhering to safety measures while also trying to handle the surge of online orders that started when stay-at-home orders were issued in March.

How big is the online surge? E-retailing researchers at Digital Commerce 360 project U.S. consumers will spend a record $38.21 billion online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, a 35% jump from last year.

Less time will be spent browsing in stores this season as more time is used scrolling through retailers’ websites. But stores will still play a role.

Chain retailers boosted their curbside pick up service when stores temporarily closed at the start of stay-home orders, and they continue to try to match Amazon’s generous, same-day or two-day shipping policies.

Some shoppers order directly from stores in the recipient’s hometown so they can pick up gifts themselves instead of relying on overburdened delivery services.

A holiday shopping and shipping survey by Voxware found most respondents (77 percent) plan to have gifts sent to loved ones, although 13 percent said half of the items they purchased online have arrived later than the promised delivery date.

What are shoppers’ options?

Generally, online retailers offer consumers fast and slow choices.

Standard shipping within the U.S. might take three to five days. The cost is $7 at the Gap, unless you spend a minimum of $50, then shipping is free and can take up to seven business days.

In trying to reach the free-shipping threshold, shoppers can’t count the cost of shipping and handling, taxes, gift cards or gift wrap.

Standard shipping to Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. Territories can stretch to 11 business days. Expedited and priority shipping are offered by many retailers for an extra charge, but only for addresses in the continental U.S.

On the flip side, eco-conscious retailers have cut down on packaging and shipping waste by slowing down deliveries and sending all items in one box rather than in multiple boxes.

Shoppers typically receive a perk for being patient, but about a third of online shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainable shipping and packaging, according to a survey conducted in August by Digital Commerce 360 and Digital Bizrate Insights.

The busiest online shopping season ever means you need to order early, ship smartly and expect delays, say experts.

“Give your delivery professionals a little extra time to do their jobs safely,” suggests shipping experts at Coyuchi, which offers organic cotton bedding, towels and sleepwear. “UPS has suspended the UPS

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Christina Lynn Francis: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

christina lynn francis


Facebook/police photo

Christina and Timothy Francis

Christina Lynn Francis is a Waldorf, Maryland wife who is accused of shooting her Washington D.C. police detective husband, Timothy Eugene Francis, to death not long after sharing their wedding video on Facebook. She then killed herself, sheriff’s officials say.

Police say it’s believed to be a murder suicide. The tragic final posts, which also included a post about the couple’s children, are riddled with typos. “I love you and what we had together,” Christina Francis wrote about the husband authorities say she would soon kill.

“Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division responded and recovered evidence indicating Christina Lynn Francis, 41, shot her husband, Timothy Eugene Francis, 50, and then herself. Anyone with information should contact Det. Weaver at (301) 609-6571. The investigation is ongoing,” the Charles County Sheriff’s Department wrote in a news release.

In March, Christina wrote an ode to Timothy on Facebook for his birthday, writing, “HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY TIM! 🎉 Let 50 be the age where life truly gets good. Never older only better. You are something to many but everything to me- I love you..”

Tim Francis

FacebookTimothy and Christina Francis.

The DC Police Department wrote on Twitter, “MPD Det. Timothy Francis, was tragically shot and killed in a domestic-related homicide yesterday. The suspect was also found deceased & @CCSOMD is currently investigating this case. Det. Francis had 20 years of service. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family & loved ones.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Police Say They Found the Couple Deceased Inside Their Home

timothy francis

FacebookTimothy and Christina Francis

On November 27 at 6 p.m., officers responded to the 3300 block of Marylea Court in Waldorf for “the report of two people found deceased inside their home,” the Charles County Sheriff’s Department wrote in a news release.

The release indicates that Christina’s father found the bodies.

“A preliminary investigation revealed a family member had been trying to contact his daughter throughout the day and when he did not hear from her or her husband, he went to their house and found them deceased,” the release says.


2. Christina Francis Shared the Couple’s Wedding Video Only Hours Before the Apparent Murder-Suicide


Christina Lynn Francis shared a video of the couple’s wedding on Facebook only a few hours before the apparent murder-suicide.`

She wrote, in a post riddled with typos:

This day meant everything to me. This marriage wasn put together for a great reson. couldn’t more confident and stayed forever not giving up. I love you and what we had together. U you all I even want NEEDED. YOU AND I BELONGED TOGETHEN AND ALWAYS. We had 6 years of experience and nmemories that should have taken presence over everything in everything we did but be got lost in petty shit you believed was a mistake. AMD tests immature. Tim and Christima Francis together.

You can watch the video above.


3. Christina Also Posted a Final Statement About Her Children

christina francis

FacebookChristina and Tim

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With Oubre, Wiggins, Curry, is it time to play fast?

Thanks as always to those who submitted questions. You can submit questions for future mailbags to me on Twitter or email them to [email protected] Let’s get to it.

Can we get an updated roster/projected opening day roster? Please.

— Jeff Croft

Sure, Jeff.

PG: Stephen Curry / Brad Wanamaker / Nico Mannion
W: Andrew Wiggins / Damion Lee / Jordan Poole / Mychal Mulder
W: Kelly Oubre Jr. / Kent Bazemore / Juan Toscano-Anderson
F: Draymond Green / Eric Paschall / Alen Smailagic
C: Marquese Chriss / Kevon Looney / James Wiseman

Accounting for Klay Thompson’s roster spot (and not accounting for training-camp invite Dwayne Sutton), that’s 17 players under contract. The Warriors have to get down to 15 by the start of the regular season on Dec. 22.

Four of the starting spots are written with Sharpie, while the center spot remains up for grabs. Training camp will determine who between Chriss, Looney and Wiseman starts opening night, but my money is on Chriss, if only because his passing ability with the starting unit will be important, and the Warriors want to bring along Wiseman, 19, and Looney, coming off an injury-plagued season, slowly.

If they don’t trade Minnesota’s pick next season and keep their own first-round pick from being conveyed to Oklahoma City, do you see them prioritizing guards to help bridge Klay’s role?

— Rudy Gaspar

Next year’s draft is heavy with wings. I’m not sure that played a factor in taking Wiseman, a center, this year, but it sets up nicely for a team that could be looking for young talent there after this season. Not only is Thompson coming off a second straight season-ending injury, but Oubre’s contract is up after the season as well. Plus Bazemore and Wanamaker are signed to one-year deals.

Do they have an outside chance to make the Finals with this roster in your opinion?

— @deepak_narwal23

All they need is to stay healthy, for one of Oubre or Wiggins to take a sudden leap into an All-Star scorer, Curry to have an MVP-caliber season, Green to play like he’s three years younger and for everything to go wrong for the Lakers. If all that happens, yes, they’ll have an outside chance.

Do you expect the Warriors to use the remaining mid-level exception on a wing (Nic Batum, Glenn Robinson) or a big? Any chance of the Warriors signing another backup wing? They still seem thin there. Perhaps a return of Glenn Robinson III? Do you expect the Warriors to make another move or a signing soon, or are they done with all this stuff?

— @witaglizzy, @thecanyonrays, Niko

Guys, they’re done. This is the team.

On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that Steve Kerr will be able to adapt the Warriors’ playing style to the personnel he has? He’s more rigid than someone like Nick Nurse, who I’d trust more to maximize this squad. Or do you think this roster is a natural fit for Kerr?

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