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From Shoe Mogul to Brand Genius: The Rise of JustFab

Shoes. Ladies, I’m sure I have your attention. If not, I’m sure that Don Ressler the co-CEO of JustFab can tell me how to get it. We have all seen the commercials, the infamous wall of shoes that we so lovingly salivate over. If we were lucky we were even offered a buy one get one deal for $39.95 and free shipping. Why do I know this? Because JustFab is a staple of my shoe closet.

Like so many women in America and Europe, I have helped make JustFab a household brand. I have shared the commercials and email invites. JustFab is the brainchild of Don Ressler. It is his first subscription based, e-commerce, fashion retailer. He created JustFab on the heels of launching and selling his first startup. In 2005, after having sold Fitness Heaven for approximately $650 million, Don Ressler decided it was time for something new. He could no longer watch as the media conglomerate News Corp (the parent company of Myspace.com) absorbed the company and then ignored it.

By 2009 Don Ressler had already created and launched 2 other successful brands. He chose not to stop there and by 2010 he was ready to launch JustFab. It was considered an immediate success and attracted a familiar fashion forward face. Kimora Lee Simmons joined the company as its president and creative director. JustFab was re-evaluated and received a $33 million funding from Matrix Partners. Once JustFab reached 6 million members in 2012, the company was able to secure an additional $76 Million of funding from various sources.

This influx of cash opened a large door for Don Ressler. He was able to branch out. Knowing that his customer based was largely comprised of mothers, he created a brand of clothing for kids that was also subscription based. He aptly named it FabKids.

By May of 2013, it was doing so well that another door swung open. JustFab extended its reach across the ocean. Now the once autonomous European fashion e-commerce site “The Fab Shoes” became a JustFab brand. At the end of 2013 JustFab had 3 million European members at http://www.matrixpartners.com/entrepreneur-stories/adam_goldenberg/.

Its growth did not stop there. After even more funding was received JustFab launched its athletic brand, Fabletics. Shortly thereafter they acquired their competition, Shoe Dazzle and launched its first brick and mortar store.

This growth would not have been possible without Don Ressler. His marketing prowess and ability to raise funds ultimately took a start up from obscurity to household name status in under 4 years. Such a skyrocket to success is unheard of, and his strategies are being studied by brands across the world.

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Listen to French Montana and Drake’s New Song “No Shopping”

Listen to French Montana and Drake’s New Song “No Shopping”

After teasing the track yesterday, French Montana has released “No Shopping,” which features Drake. Stream the track below. The track, which is produced by Noah “40” Shebib and Murda Beatz, is from Montana’s forthcoming album MC4, the follow-up to 2013’s Excuse My French. Montana previously collaborated with Drake for 2012’s “Pop That.” “No Shopping” premiered via Drake’s OVO Sound radio show on Beats 1. Other highlights from the show include a guest mix from Mixpak boss Popcaan and a remix of French Montana’s “Lockjaw” with Kodak Black and Gucci Mane. 

TOMR. 👀🔥 #noshopping SUMMER JUST STARTED #MC4 link in my bio

A video posted by French Montana (@frenchmontana) on

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Tupac Biopic Delayed by Song Licensing Dispute

Tupac Biopic Delayed by Song Licensing Dispute

The upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez on Me, is being delayed by a song licensing dispute, TMZ reports. Rapper/producer Daz Dillinger, who worked closely with Tupac before his death, claims the rights to “Ambitionz Az A Ridah,” a popular cut from the 2Pac album All Eyez on Me that is prominently featured in the film. But the publishing company BMG says that it owns the rights to “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” and that it alone can authorize the song for the picture. The feud has pushed the biopic’s release date back from September to November. This isn’t the first legal dispute between Dillinger and BMG. Earlier this year, the rapper sued the company, claiming it owed him $75,ooo in royalties.

Revisit 2Pac’s “Ambitionz Az A Ridah”:

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Beastie Boys’ Mike D Chats to Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig: Listen

Beastie Boys’ Mike D Chats to Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig: Listen

Beastie Boys‘ Mike D has launched a new show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio. “The Echo Chamber” premiered yesterday, apparently from his Malibu pool house, with the first instalment of a two-part chat with Ezra Koenig. (The second will air tomorrow on Ezra’s “Time Crisis.”) Listen to clips below. “The Echo Chamber” airs every two weeks on Fridays at 3 p.m. EST on Beats 1.

Read our interview with Mike D about his recent collaboration with Cat Power and Cassius.

Listen to them discuss whether “entry level” Serge Gainsbourg song “Je T’aime” is “too horny”:

Hear them talk record stores:

Watch Vampire Weekend on Pitchfork.tv’s “Over/Under”:

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The Slits’ Viv Albertine Defaces Male-Focused Punk Exhibition

The Slits’ Viv Albertine Defaces Male-Focused Punk Exhibition

Last night, Viv Albertine, the legendary Slits guitarist, spoke at the British Library’s punk exhibition Punk 1976-78. While there, she took exception to an introductory placard that overlooked women’s role in punk, instead centering Sex Pistols, the Clash, and Buzzcocks. Having crossed through their names, she wrote, “The Slits, X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie & the Banshees. (What about the women!!).” See tweets from the event below.

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Watch Kamaiyah’s A Good Night in the Ghetto Documentary

Watch Kamaiyah’s A Good Night in the Ghetto Documentary

Earlier this year, Oakland rapper Kamaiyah dropped her debut mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto. Now, she’s shared a new documentary of the same name that films the run up to her first headlining gig in support of the project. Watch it below. Directed by Chris Simmons, it follows Kamaiyah around East Oakland as she recounts stories from her life, including what it was like to lose her best friend James to cancer in the middle of her breakthrough.

The nearly 17 minute doc also shares behind the scenes footage of KMEL Summer Jam with cameos from YG, Kehlani, and DJ Mustard along with footage from her headlining show. In May, she released the “For My Dawg” video, which pays respect to her fallen friends.

Read “Supa Dupa Fly: Kamaiyah Bosses Up.

 

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M.I.A. Dropped From Afropunk London

M.I.A. Dropped From Afropunk London

M.I.A. is no longer performing at the inaugural Afropunk London festival. When M.I.A. was initially announced as the headliner in June, the news was met with backlash due to comments the artist made in April about the Black Lives Matter movement. “It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter,” M.I.A. told Evening Standard magazine. “It’s not a new thing to me — it’s what Lauryn Hill was saying in the 1990s, or Public Enemy in the 1980s. Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That’s a more interesting question.”

Afropunk organizers initially defended M.I.A. and kept her on the lineup, stating, “The debate is healthy and as people who have long been silenced, we refuse to participate in silencing of other voices.” Today, Afropunk announced that M.I.A. will no longer perform at the festival, in a decision that was “agreed upon by all involved.” The festival will announce a new headliner as well as a second set of artists on July 19. Read the full statement from Afropunk’s organizers below.

AFROPUNK has always stood side by side with the thousands of people globally who are involved with our events each year, from the fans attending an AFROPUNK showcase for the first time, to the headline artists playing for capacity crowds on our main festival stages. 

A key part of the AFROPUNK ethos has always been educating one another, breaking down boundaries and sparking conversation about race, gender, religion, sex, culture and everything that makes life worth living. This exchange has meant receiving wisdom, as well as imparting it in the most respectful way possible, with the participation of our entire community of fans, creators and artists. This community is something we are incredibly proud of, and this community will always be a priority for us.

We are excited and honored to do our first AFROPUNK Festival in London and want to do it right. After discussing the situation with the artist and the community, a decision was agreed upon by all involved that M.I.A will no longer headline AFROPUNK London. 
AFROPUNK will be releasing a new headliner and the second wave of artists on July 19th.
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Ryan Adams Covers Oasis’ “Morning Glory,” “Supersonic” After Noel Gallagher Opens For Him: Watch

Ryan Adams Covers Oasis' “Morning Glory,” “Supersonic” After Noel Gallagher Opens For Him: Watch

Ryan Adams has a longstanding relationship with the Brothers Gallagher. He opened for Oasis multiple times when the band was still together, and recently Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds played a pair of shows with Adams in Michigan and Pennsylvania. At the latter show in Pittsburgh, Adams covered a pair of Oasis hits: “Morning Glory” and “Supersonic.” Watch the performances below via Stereogum.