"Weekend Reading" is a weekly rundown of our favorite stories from around the web.
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Nepenthes, New York’s Last Great Independent Boutique, Is a Hidden Gem of the Garment District
"At Nepenthes, Daiki Suzuki and his team are resisting the mall-ification of New York City with a Garment District boutique where the clothes are made upstairs. Fans from around the world make the trek to the destination shop, but the future of the neighborhood is uncertain."

via: GQ Style

How a Shirt Covered in Swastikas Ends Up in a Department Store
"The shirt looked, at first glance, quite simple, even humdrum—a short-sleeved, black button-down, from the streetwear label Airwalk, priced at $12.99, and patterned with tiny, white polka dots. Except they weren’t dots. They were swastikas, roughly 14,000 of them in all. How exactly a shirt covered in swastikas made it through the design process, much less crammed into a rack in a Ross Dress for Less store in Florida where Bloomberg found it this week, can probably be chalked up to retailers’ vast and complex retail supply chains, where errors can often go overlooked."

via: Business of Fashion

Noah’s Brendon Babenzien Talks His MR PORTER Collab & Making Suits Fun
"In just over two years, Noah has established itself as a brand for a new type of consumer—one who is extremely conscious of what they buy, and more importantly, what they’re buying into. Noah has built its fanbase through its radical transparency about its prices, taking a strong stance on environmental issues, and being unafraid of voicing its opinion on politics, like making a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and a hurricane relief tee, and donating the proceeds to charitable organizations. It also focuses on encouraging its wearers to live active lifestyles. Founder Brendon Babenzien doesn’t just make clothes to be bought and preserved like a museum piece; he wants them to be lived in and worn out."

via: Highsnobiety

Break the Internet: Minaj à Trois
"It's been a decade since Nicki Minaj released her very first mixtape, 2007's Playtime is Over, which established her lyrical talent and knack for creating a colorful world filled with witty rap references, vocal impressions and memorable characters. Now, ten years, three studio albums, two acting roles in major motion pictures (Barbershop, The Other Woman), several endorsements and business endeavors (including MYX, her own brand of Moscato wine) and an unmentionable amount of awards later, we have watched Nicki peel back the layers from her Barbie Girl public persona and expose a more personal side. Her last record, 2014's The Pinkprint, showed a more vulnerable approach to her music with songs about relationships and love. We even saw her style go through a similar evolution, trading the flamboyant, day-glo wigs and bright outfits that had become her trademark for a polished, natural look that favored more muted palettes and sleek, long hair. But what hasn't changed from day one is Nicki's connection to her immensely loyal fan base, #TheKingdom (FKA The Barbz), a connection that grows and thrives on the Internet and social media. It's a bond that has even seen Nicki changing fans' lives IRL, like when she offered to pay some of their college tuitions and student loans back in May. And now, while fans await her fourth studio album, which she's understandably being very tight-lipped about, Nicki's making sure not to leave us completely empty-handed -- she currently has two major features climbing the charts, a remix of Lil Uzi Vert's "The Way Life Goes" and "MotorSport" with Migos and Cardi B. We recently talked with Nicki about this passionate and intimate relationship with #TheKingdom, as well as her new music, future acting opportunities and how her spirituality helps her stay cool and calm amidst the entertainment industry's chaos."

via: Paper

Two Decades After Lululemon, Canada Is a Hotbed for Athleisure
"Vancouver-based Lululemon, founded in 1998, played an important role in launching the athleisure craze. Over the last five years, hundreds of activewear startups have popped up around the world, from Outdoor Voices and Aday in the U.S. to RumiX in Hong Kong. But Canada has also been a very fertile ground for startups that take a page from Lululemon’s playbook. Michi and Titika hail from Toronto, while Public Myth and Karma are based in Vancouver. And one of the newest entrants into the market is Aurum, an activewear startup founded by four mothers in Montreal, hoping to build a presence in the eastern part of the country."

via: Fast Company

Adidas Edges Nike in World Cup Team Sponsorship
"Adidas AG has the early lead in the shirt-sponsorship battle that will accompany the World Cup in Russia next year. With qualification for the 32-team quadrennial soccer tournament complete, the German company has secured at least 11 jersey sponsorships, one more than Nike Inc. of Beaverton, Oregon. While the world’s biggest sporting-goods maker had a last-minute addition to its roster after Australia beat Honduras on Wednesday to clinch the next-to-last spot, several prominent Nike-sponsored teams — including Chile, the Netherlands and the U.S. — failed to qualify. New Zealand, another Nike team, Wednesday blew its chance to upset Peru, which took the final spot."

via: Business of Fashion

When Raf Simons Brought Colour & Volume to Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2011
"Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst is currently deifying the legacy of Jil Sander – woman, rather than label – in an ode to minimalism that links Sander’s legacy to German Modernism and Bauhaus notions of form following function. It’s a school of style that has proven profoundly influential both in Sander’s own time as a designer, and after. Everyone, from Céline to COS and all in-between, references Sander’s shtick of the lean, mean and clean. And yet, under the hand of Raf Simons, who joined the label in 2005, then purely a menswear designer making his first tentative foray into womenswear, the house Jil Sander built enjoyed success and influence that rivaled its founder’s. At least, for the latter part. Simons’ early collections received mixed reviews, as the designer searched through the archive to pull his own story from Sander’s well-worn narrative. However his Spring/Summer 2011 collection, Techno Couture, was a universally acclaimed game-changer for both Simons personally and the industry at large. It kicked his Jil Sander into hyper-coloured hyperdrive, propelling the designer within two years to the plum role of Christian Dior’s storied haute couturier. But the story started at Sander, with Simons’ Spring/Summer 2011 collection, which shifted fashion."

via: AnOther

Will The Year of 'The Drop' Change Fashion Forever?
"The Instagram likes had only just begun to pile up on runway photos of the ultra-luxe collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme in January, but online speculation about what would come next was already at a fever pitch. How much would the items cost? (A lot.) Which celebrities and influencers would get their hands on pieces from the collection first? (Travis Scott, ASAP Rocky, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna and Justin Bieber, to name a few.) What does it mean that a cult New York skate brand like Supreme had stormed Vuitton's venerable Parisian runway? (That they'd soon receive a $1 billion valuation.) And, most pragmatically, how would these items actually be sold?"

via: Fashionista

Meet Russian fashion superstar Gosha Rubchinskiy
"The major artistic revolutions of the 20th century, Stravinsky’s wild dances, Malevich’s Black Square? Russian. Vladimir Putin was way ahead of Donald Trump with the whole fake news/ethno-nationalist stuff. And who sensed that the time was right to rescue the Burberry camel check from early Noughties ignominy? No, not the brand’s outgoing creative director, Christopher Bailey. It was Gosha Rubchinskiy. Russian."

via: The Evening Standard

How Vans Became the Shoes Everyone’s Wearing—Again
"By focusing on that element of the company’s DNA, Pozzebon and his design team led Vans through a turnaround that was nothing short of staggering. The brand has become a staple of American footwear culture, on the level with iconic brands like Converse (which is twice as old) and Nike (which is nearly 10 times as large). Vans are worn by celebrities and fashion influencers, the jeans and T-shirt crowd who rarely pay attention to what's stylish, teenagers and toddlers, alike. What makes it all the more impressive—especially in an age of unprecedented technological innovation—is that it leaned on just five classic styles to drive its cultural relevance, which arguably have never been higher, as well as its sales, which have inarguably never been higher."

via: Esquire

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