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Joules feels slight chill, UK tough, but US wholesale rises

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Joules is a regular outperformer in a UK fashion retail market that has few of those at the moment. So it was no surprise that its pre-close trading update on Thursday morning talked of “retail growth and improved retail gross margin, despite challenging trading conditions”.

Joules

But as that statement suggests, the company is facing the same fundamental challenges that all of its retail peers are. And while its first half (the six months to the end of November) saw what it called a robust performance”, that still translated into revenue growth of only 1.3% year-on-year. Admittedly, with Black Friday coming a week later this year, some Black Friday-linked sales could fall in December (the start of the second half), so that could have held sales back a bit.

Not that the company is embracing markdowns. The firm’s Retail division revenue rose a healthier 3.1% with an improved gross margin rate, “as a result of a disciplined approach to promotional activity”, it told us. The retailer also said this revenue performance “was driven by strong e-commerce growth that was supported by our distinctive product offer, enhancements to the customer proposition and continued growth in our active customer base”.

Overall, customers have continued to respond well” to its product offer but it said September was challenging, although since then, it’s “seen positive trading momentum across [its] own e-commerce and store channels, with revenue up by over 9%”.  

And on the back of this positive performance, the group is opening four new stores before Christmas, “in desirable locations and on attractive terms”.

So given that its own retail ops were quite strong, how come overall revenue grew so little? Well, the company said wholesale revenue fell by 3.8%, but this reflected the conversion of some of its larger accounts to retail concessions last year as well as “the continued challenging UK trading environment”.

Pleasingly, international revenue continued to grow and now makes up around 17% of its total, up from 15.8% a year ago. It’s seen continued growth of its US wholesale business and “very strong growth” across its international e-commerce markets.

It also said the September launch of its Friends of Joules curated digital marketplace for third-party sellers on its website has seen “a really positive early customer response”.

Copyright © 2019 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.



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21 Easy and Delicious Mocktail Recipes — Best Non-Alcoholic Party Cocktails

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khadija horton

Listen, we love a Chambong as much as the next gal, but sometimes you (or the people you know and love) need a break from the booze. In fact, even if Dry January is long gone, the alc-free trend is still going strong as non-alcoholic tonics and spirits gain popularity in bars and on bar carts at home.

While that’s cool and all, it can make the planning slightly trickier if you’re throwing a party or a pre-game.

Obviously, you’ll want to accommodate the abstainers with something a little more festive than a 24-pack of bottled water—because you love them just as much as the gluten-free friend you scour Trader Joes frozen food aisle for.

The point is, your frands (or you) shouldn’t have to choose between a delicious drank and alcohol-free soda water. Enter, mocktails. These pretty, tasty, fun pseudo spirits are just as yummy and aesthetically pleasing as their alcoholic counterparts. Just FYI though, your sober friends are definitely going to kick your ass in Circle of Death, Heads Up, or literally any other drinking game ya’ll attempt. So proceed with caution (or not…).

If you’re the one looking to tip back something less lit, we’re happy to report that there are flavors here for whatever you’re craving: a booze-free hot toddy, a faux old fashioned, and tons of fruity cocktails.

Here are 21 tasty, creative mocktail recipes that are sure to give your drinks a kick without the booze!

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1

Lyre’s Old Fashioned

Mix 1 oz. Lyre’s American Malt (non-alcoholic bourbon), ¼ oz. simple syrup and 2 dashes aromatic bitters in a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir briefly and garnish with an orange slice.

Recipe by Lyre’s.

2

Ludlow Highball

Combine 4 oz. chilled Proteau Ludlow Red and 4 oz. chilled sparkling water in an ice-filled highball glass. Stir gently to combine and garnish with blackberries and rosemary.

Recipe by Proteau.

3

Kin Citron

Add ice to a rocks glass. Pour in 2 oz. Kin High Rhode, 5 dashes citrus bitters, and 1 oz. grapefruit soda, and stir for 30 seconds. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a fresh orange slice.

Recipe by Kin Euphorics.

4

Turn Up the Beet

In a rocks glass filled with ice, stir together 2 oz. of beet juice and ¾ oz. lemon juice. Top with Red Bull Sugarfree.

Recipe by Red Bull.

5

Toddy

In a heat-proof toddy glass or mug, combine 1 ¾ oz. Seedlip Grove 42 non-alcoholic spirit, 1 bar spoon coconut sugar and 4 oz. hot assam tea. Stir gently and garnish with ginger peel.

Recipe by Seedlip.

6

N/A Groni

Pour 2 oz. of San Pellegrino Sanbitter and 1 oz. of San Pellegrino Chinotto (both available at Italian specialty stores) into a rocks glass. Add a large cube of ice, and garnish with an orange twist.

Recipe from Spice Finch.

7

Mr. Howard

Add 1 ¾ oz. Seedlip Spice 94 non-alcoholic spirit, 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice, 1 ¼ tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon simple syrup to a shaker with ice. Shake for 30 seconds, double-strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with star anise.

Recipe from Seedlip.

9

Berry Little Christmas

Muddle several pomegranate seeds and cranberries in a glass. Stir in 3 oz. LaCroix Cran-Raspberry and 1 oz. pomegranate juice. Garnish with rosemary.

Recipe from LaCroix.

10

Jardin Verde

In a wine glass with large ice cubes, stir together 1 ½ oz. Seedlip Garden 108 non-alcoholic spirit and 6 ¾ oz. Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water. Garnish with a cucumber wrap and a sprig of basil.

Recipe from Corrida.

11

Thoroughbred

Fill a tumbler with ice, and add 1 ¾ oz. Seedlip Grove 42 non-alcoholic spirit. Top with ginger beer, and garnish with a lime wheel.

Recipe from Seedlip.

12

Sparkling Watermelon Breeze

Muddle a few cubes of watermelon and a few sprigs of mint in a glass. Fill glass with ice and top with Lemon Spindrift. Garnish with a small wedge of watermelon and mint leaves.

Recipe by Spindrift.

13

Lychee Spritz

In a shaker with ice, shake 1 oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. simple syrup, and 2 oz. lychee syrup (from a can of lychees). Strain into a glass with ice, top with grapefruit-flavored sparkling water, and garnish with a lychee.

Recipe from Miguel de Leon, Pinch Chinese sommelier.

14

Pippilotta Smash

In a shaker with ice, shake 1 ½ oz. grapefruit juice, ¾ oz. lime juice, 1 oz. simple syrup, and a sprig of mint. Strain into a glass with crushed ice, and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

Recipe from Jun Hyung Kwon, head bartender at Atomix.

15

Pretty in Pink

In a highball glass with ice, stir 1 ¾ oz. Seedlip Spice 94 and 4 ½ oz. Fever-Tree Aromatic. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Recipe from Fever-Tree.

16

Hot Buttered-Spiced Apple

In a pan, combine 1 cup unfiltered apple juice; the juice of half a lemon, plus 1 strip of its zest; the juice of half an orange, plus 1 strip of its zest; half a cinnamon stick; 1 whole clove; 2 allspice berries; and ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds. Simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes, but do not allow to boil. Ladle the liquid into a heatproof glass or mug, leaving the zest and spices in the pan if you wish. Add about half a teaspoon of butter to the glass, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Recipe from Dry: Delicious Handcrafted Cocktails and Other Clever Concoctions—Seasonal. Refreshing. Alcohol-Free. by Clare Liardet. © Transworld Publishers, 2017, 2018. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.

17

Grandpa Irv’s Old Fashioned

Combine 1 shot espresso, ½ oz. simple syrup, and 5 dashes walnut bitters in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill, strain into a rocks glass over ice, and garnish with an orange peel.

Recipe from Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea Bar.

18

Plum

Brew 6 oz. plum tea, such as Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum Spice or Harney & Sons Spiced Plum, and allow to cool. Then, in a shaker with ice, shake tea, 1 oz. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 2 oz. simple syrup, and a few drops of vanilla extract. Strain, serve over crushed ice, and garnish with a lemon twist and/or fresh lemon zest.

Recipe from Cal Mare.

19

Nasturtium + Peas

In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 pea shoots with 3 tablespoons lime juice and 3 tablespoons simple syrup. Add 5 nasturtiums, mint, gentian root tincture (available at health-food stores), and 5 ice cubes. Cover the shaker, and shake hard for about 5 seconds. Strain into a chilled wine glass, add more ice, and top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with a pea shoot and a nasturtium flower or two.

Reprinted from Clean + Dirty Drinking by Gaby Mlynarczyk with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018.

20

Bloody Bull

In a shaker with ice, combine 4 oz. tomato juice, 4 oz. beef bouillon or homemade beef stock, ½ teaspoon freshly-grated horseradish, 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, 3 dashes of Tabasco sauce, a pinch of freshly-ground pepper, ½ oz. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and a pinch of celery salt. Strain into a highball glass with fresh ice, and garnish with lime and lemon wedges and a celery stick.

Recipe from Dry: Delicious Handcrafted Cocktails and Other Clever Concoctions—Seasonal. Refreshing. Alcohol-Free. by Clare Liardet. © Transworld Publishers, 2017, 2018. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.

21

Black Sesame + Date

In a blender, combine ¾ cup of nut milk, such as almond milk or hazelnut milk; 6 Medjool dates, pitted; 2 tablespoons tahini, 3 tablespoons date syrup, 1 ½ teaspoons black sesame seeds, ¾ teaspoons alcohol-free bitter almond extract, ¼ teaspoon Maldon smoked sea salt flakes, ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional), and about 1 cup of ice. Blend until smooth, and pour into a chilled wine glass. Garnish with black sesame seeds and an orange slice.

Reprinted from Clean + Dirty Drinking by Gaby Mlynarczyk with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018.

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Naomi Watanabe named new face of Kate Spade New York

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Kate Spade New York has named Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe as its newest global ambassador. 

Instagram @watanabenaomi703

As part of the deal, Watanabe will star in Kate Spade’s Spring 2020 handbag campaign.

“To us, Naomi represents all women,” Nicola Glass said, in an official press statement given to U.S. media.

“Her humor and love of life perfectly align with our brand values, and she makes our product shine. Together, we hope to continue inspiring multi-generational self-styled and self motivated women to live their lives with substance, sophistication and a smile.”

Watanabe, whose career skyrocketed in 2008 after performing a lip-sync to Beyoncé, was named as one of Japanese Vogue’s Women of the Year in 2016 and launched her own plus-size fashion line, Punyus, in 2014. Since then, Punyus has launched internationally, and Watanabe has earned the crown as Japan’s most followed person on Instagram as in 2019, with a current follower count of 9 million. 

The latest announcement follows a tough year for the Tapestry Inc.-owned brand, which experienced with low sales and executive shake-ups as it continued to pursue attempts to refresh its connection with customers. Today, the Kate Spade brand is still searching for a successor to CEO and brand president Anna Bakst, who exited the brand in December 2019. For now, Joanne Crevoiserat, Tapestry’s chief financial officer, is overseeing Kate Spade’s strategy and operations, in cooperation with the brand’s senior leadership team.

Tapestry, whose portfolio also includes the Stuart Weitzman and Coach brands, reported quarterly profit above market expectations in November 2019, thanks largely to success with Coach. 

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HBO’s Gossip Girl Reboot Details

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Everyone’s favorite show about Manhattan’s elite teens is officially making a comeback—although this time around, the cast will be more diverse. OG Gossip Girl writer and producer Joshua Safran confirmed to Vulture that the reboot will include nonwhite leads and “more queer content.” News of the series’ direction comes after recent confirmation that Kristen Bell will return as its narrator. Now, the first script of the revival has officially arrived.

Deadline confirmed in July that HBO ordered a 10-episode reboot of the series for its upcoming HBO Max streaming platform. Here, all the details we know so far about the celebrated series’ return to TV.

The revival’s first script is reportedly “quite good.”

According to Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, the first script from showrunner/excecutive producer Joshua Safran has been turned in. “We have gotten the first script and I can tell you we all breathed a big sigh of relief because it’s quite good,” Aubrey said at TCAs, per Entertainment Tonight. “You can imagine the bar is very high. I think that one of the benefits of having the original creators involved, they’re very clear of what the essential elements of the show are and are not. And also, really excited to bring a modern lens to it 10 years later. Josh and team have done a great job so far.”

She also offered an update on casting conversations for the revival, saying production was “very early” in the process: “We’ve kind of drawn circles around a few people but it’s early days on that.”

The new characters will reference Serena, Blair, Chuck, and Dan.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Safran explained that he thinks of the reboot of Gossip Girl in relation to the original series as “like the Marvel universe. It’s not a continuation or a sequel. It truly just is looking at a different angle.”

In regards to the original cast, he said, “I would love for everyone to come back if they wanted to. The universe still exists. The characters talk about Serena, Blair, Chuck, Dan.” When pressed about whether Badgley would return as Dan Humphrey, Safran responded, “I don’t know, I hope so,” adding, “Now that you’ve said it, I want it to.”

The show could venture beyond the Upper East Side.

“Not everyone lives on the Upper East Side, though,” Safran told ET when explaining the new show’s vision. “Brooklyn’s not the bad place to live. Brooklyn’s probably cooler in the new version than Manhattan, ’cause it is in some places [in real life]. Other than that, it has the DNA of the original.” As for how controversial the series will get, no matter the borough? Safran admitted to the outlet, “Luckily, we’ll be airing post-Euphoria, so anything we do will seem tame by comparison. I don’t think we’ll be that controversial.”

The reboot will be more diverse.

In a recent interview at Vulture Festival, Gossip Girl writer and executive producer Joshua Safran delved into the new direction for the reboot. He said that although he was hesitant about rebooting the series, Safran was convinced by a 2019 reimagining of the premise.

“There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show,” he admitted. “I was the only gay writer I think the entire time I was there. Even when I went to private school in New York in the ’90s, the school didn’t necessarily reflect what was on Gossip Girl. So, this time around the leads are nonwhite. There’s a lot of queer content on this show. It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that. The thing I can’t say is there is a twist, and that all relates to the twist.”

It will take place in the same universe as the OG show.

In addition to a more representative cast and mysterious twist, Safran dished on the reboot’s timeline. It will reportedly take place in the same universe as the OG CW show, with characters attending Constance Billard School for Girls. “It is 12 years, I guess 13 years after the original. So we are in real time from the original where we are in the show,” the writer-producer confirmed.

Kristen Bell is returning.

Yes, at least one member of the original Upper East Side crew is set to return for the reboot. On November 7, The Wrap reported that Kristen Bell will narrate the new series, just as she did for the show’s first six seasons. “Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl,” the producers said in a statement.

Bell’s timeless sign-off, “You know you love me, XOXO, Gossip Girl,” appeared in all 121 episodes of the show. The actress also appeared on the CW series in a quick cameo in the series finale.

Blake Lively isn’t involved with the reboot at this point.

Lively, who portrayed Serena van der Woodsen during the show’s original run, spoke about whether she is set to appear in January 2020. At the premiere of her movie The Rhythm Section, Lively confirmed that she’s not “involved” in the reboot, per E!. When asked about when the project would be happening she responded, “I don’t know. I’m not a producer. I’m not involved. You gotta call them.” According to the outlet, the star is not taking part in the series in any way, shape or form at this point.

Previously, Lively had been more open to a reboot. She spoke to Variety in April 2017, saying that she’d be fairly open to doing Gossip Girl with the original cast. “It sort of all depends,” Lively said. “Would I do seven years of the show? No, because it’s hard work and I’ve got my babies, and I don’t want to be away from them that much. But I’ve just learned in life you never say never. I’m looking to do something that I haven’t done yet, not something that I did. But would I do that? Who knows—if it was good, if it made sense. We had so much fun shooting and living and working in New York City.”

Penn Badgley isn’t super interested but won’t rule out the possibility completely.

In the past, Badgley didn’t seem to express much excitement in playing Dan Humphrey again. “I don’t think that could happen for maybe another 10 years because if you look at the shows that are being rebooted, they’re much older,” he told Marie Claire in September. “I don’t think any of us are interested in that, the creators or the cast.”

But in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, when posed with a scenario where he returns as Dan, Badgley seemed more open to the idea. “Could Dan Humphrey…? I don’t… That’s a message I gotta put at the top of my inbox, you know, to think about,” Badgley told reporter Lauren Zima. “I have not had conversations with any of the creators yet, but you know…” he teased, his voice reportedly trailing off.

He continued, “I think it’s pretty clear that, like, I’ve never been a proponent of Dan Humphrey’s. I’ve never been necessarily the greatest friend or fan of Dan Humphrey, which now I reconcile in this way that I’m like, you know, I would love to contribute in a meaningful way to it. And I guess it would just depend on a lot of things.'”

“It would depend on how and why he’s there,” he explained, “and I don’t know… like, is it even… yeah, I don’t know.”

Badgley also didn’t rule out a return when speaking to Variety in 2018. “I suppose you should never say never,” he admitted. “I suppose there are conditions where I would. Do I think those conditions will ever exist? No. But they might.”

Despite his ambivalence, he talks about the parallels between Dan Humphrey and his new character, Joe Goldberg in Netflix’s You, pretty regularly these days.

Hilary Duff would return, if asked.

In November, Duff told ELLE.com that if asked, she’d be down to return to Gossip Girl. “I did hear that’s coming back and I got very excited. I would love to make a cameo,” she confirmed. Fans may remember that Duff played actress Olivia Burke in a nine-episode arc of season 3. While on the series, she lived with Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) and briefly romanced Dan (Badgley).

The revival will be focused on a new set of teens.

Deadline reports that the logline for the series is: “eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media—and the landscape of New York itself—has changed in the intervening years.”

Schwartz discussed the reboot for the first time at TCA in July, explaining why he wasn’t comfortable with the show focusing on the original cast.

We felt that a version with just our cast grown up, regardless of the challenges of getting those actors, didn’t feel like a group of adults controlled by “gossip girl” made much sense. We felt there was something interesting that we are all “gossip girl” in our own way and how that’s evolved, morphed and mutated and telling that story through a new generation of Upper East Side high school kids felt right.

Original showrunner and series writer Joshua Safran is involved with the series and will be working with Schwartz and Savage’s Fake Empire production company, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. TV, and CBS Television Studios.

The executive producers are still working out the details.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter pegged to their Looking for Alaska adaptation with Hulu, executive producer Josh Schwartz said the “freedom” of working with a streaming service appealed to their plans for the reboot, but Stephanie Savage, also exec producer, admits they don’t quite know what that means yet: “If it’s more explicit, that’s something that we’ve talked about and haven’t really come up with a solid take on. Like, can they swear? Maybe there will be some nudity. We haven’t really figured it out.” Perhaps they can take a few tips from Euphoria

Leighton Meester has said she’s open to doing a revival.

When Meester spoke to Vanity Fair about a possible reboot in August 2017, she seemed somewhat open to the idea of reprising the role of Blair Waldorf, but approached the topic with a fair amount of hesitation.“I guess I hear that [reunion talk] in fits and starts here and there, but it’s hard to say,” she said. “If everyone was into it and if the timing was right, you know? I don’t want to say, ‘No, never…’”

Despite the hesitation, Meester has a clear vision of what Blair would be doing now. “When we last left Blair Waldorf, she had a kid with [Chuck Bass], and she was running her own fashion company,” she told ELLE in February 2017. “Blair Waldorf is probably about to debut her new fashion line. She’s probably doing New York Fashion Week! She’s got a runway somewhere.”

After the news dropped that a reboot was a possibility, Meester was asked by E! News in April 2019 if she would be open to doing Gossip Girl again. “No one’s ever asked me,” she responded. “No one’s ever talked to me about it except for in interviews, and I always say the same. I never say never. So, I don’t know. No one’s sent me that information, it’s coming from you.”

Chace Crawford definitely wants to make a cameo in the reboot.

In December, Crawford told Us Weekly that he would “be open to talking about something.” Crawford, at the time, was under the impression that a reboot wasn’t in discussion. And though he is open to the idea of playing Nate Archibald again, he thinks that the cast might be too old to reprise their former roles.“They’ll probably just reboot it and cast all new young kids,” he added. “How are we going to do it? … At 35, I’m still at the high school there, wearing my uniform?”

Then in July, Crawford mused a limited series could be a possibility…and he’d definitely be down to appear in it.

On whether they’d reboot Gossip Girl with the original cast, Crawford told Digital Spy that “I don’t know what it would look like with us being in our 30s now, but I always say, because it was such a big part of my life, I’m open to anything. It would have to be really right, and really specific, and with TV and the golden age of the TV streaming service, maybe an eight-episode season…”

Crawford said it wouldn’t be easy to assemble all the original stars either. “It would be very tough to get everybody on board I think because of their schedules, Penn, Leighton, Ed… They’re all doing really good TV shows. It would be hard I think [to get them all together]. The reboot might come in the form of new characters. I would absolutely cameo. I’d have to!”

Ed Westwick is not really a fan of the idea.

When Westwick sat down for an interview with Radio Times in May 2017, he said that he feels like the idea of a Gossip Girl reboot is impossible, and that his character, Chuck Bass, is “played out.” “Nah, that’s not gonna happen,” he told the interviewer. “I know there’s a bunch of them coming back—I hear they’re doing Will and Grace, they’ve done Gilmore Girls… But it’s such a strange thing to think about. It feels like we only just finished! And I haven’t done enough in between yet to feel like I could comfortably revisit it. And I did so much with that character – it’s played out, man. It’s done.” In spite of his harsh words, Westwick said he would take up the opportunity to play Chuck again—but only if he was offered millions of dollars.

Taylor Momsen has since quit acting, so it’s unlikely she’d return.

Momsen experienced growing pains when filming Gossip Girl. While on set, she focused her attention on music and eventually began touring with her rock band, The Pretty Reckless. “I’m very lucky that the producers were nice enough to write me out, allow me to tour, and pursue my passion, because they very easily could have told me to go f–k myself and keep me on the show,” she told The Daily Beast in 2014. And as far as returning to play Jenny Humphrey? “I’m not looking to go back to it,” she told Riverfront Times in 2014. “Gossip Girl was a great experience, and it helped in one way and hurt in another, but it feels like forever ago.”





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