Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Lilly Pulitzer gets busted for fat-shaming, Hillary is selling an “everyday pantsuit” t-shirt, and we finally get some hard data on the ranks of female startup founders. Plus, Fortune is launching a new series on the most influential women behind the 2016 presidential campaigns. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
• Another reason to shame fat-shamers. Preppy fashion line Lilly Pulitzer set the Internet on fire yesterday when photos from its headquarters revealed fat-shaming comics on display. And as if the tasteless drawings weren’t enough, the incident has rekindled criticism that Lilly Pulitzer has discriminated against plus-size consumers before. Not smart: Sales of clothing sizes 18 and up generated $17.5 billion in sales over the past year.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Number crunching. In this fascinating analysis, TechCrunch runs the numbers on female founders in its database. The heartening results suggest an increase in the number of women founders over the past five years, and reveal where you’re most likely to find female-led startups, how large they are, and how much VC funding they’re received.
• Meet the team. Fortune is launching a new series of profiles on the most influential women involved in the 2016 presidential race. Senior Washington editor Nina Easton kicks off the series with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 team. And first up, Mandy Grunwald, Clinton’s senior communications director. The series will continue with stories about the female power players in the GOP.
• If the pantsuit fits. In a lighter piece of Hillary news: With a tweet that read “Pantsuit up,” the Clinton campaign launched its online store, which features an “everyday pantsuit” t-shirt and a stitched pillow that reads: “A woman’s place is in the White House.”
• Can we chat? Fortune is launching a new video interview show, The Chat, at Facebook, with senior editor at large Pattie Sellers and assistant managing editor Adam Lashinsky as co-hosts. This Thursday at Facebook in Menlo Park, California, Pattie will sit down with General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, who will take questions from a live studio audience of Facebook employees as well as Fortune readers across the Facebook universe. What do you want to ask GE’s chief? Go to Pattie’s new public Facebook page to tell her your question for Immelt.
• Lifting the veil? More than 10 years after France passed its first anti-veil law, the head coverings of observant Muslim women have become a political flash point. Critics say the laws have encouraged discrimination against Muslims in general and veiled women in particular.
New York Times
• Carly’s quotables. Republican presidential candidate and sound-bite machine Carly Fiorina strikes again. This time, Fiorina, who claims she’s “been doing business in China for decades,” made headlines for statements alleging that the Chinese cannot innovate, aren’t entrepreneurial and are stealing American’s intellectual property. What will she say next?
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Mary Ellen Elia, a former schools superintendent in Florida, will become New York’s education chief. No other woman has ever held the job.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Reshaping Re/Code. Online news publisher Vox Media is acquiring Re/Code, an influential tech news site, in the latest in a wave of recent consolidations in the tech media world. Re/Code founders and well-known journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg say they will stay on. The move will give Re/Code more access to capital and a larger audience, but shows the difficulty of staying afloat as a small player in today’s media landscape.
• Merkel marker. Forbes’ annual list of the 100 most powerful women in the world is out. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the top spot, with Hillary Clinton at No. 2.
• Attention, discount shoppers. Where the heck are women buying their clothes these days? Sales are down at Ann Taylor and Loft, Chico’s is closing stores, and even J. Crew is struggling. The answer, it seems, is that shoppers are flocking to off-price retailers like T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s.
• Gaining on McCain? Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) said that she will challenge Republican Senator John McCain in 2016. While she’s a long shot, some speculate that shifting demographics could give Kirkpatrick the bump she needs to win.
• The art of being Ann. This profile of conservative gadfly Ann Coulter asks: “Is this performance art or is she for real?” While the writer never quite comes down on one side or the other, Coulter insists her views–including her latest claims that the U.S. is being ruined by an influx of immigrants–are 100% legit.
The Daily Beast
• Women behind the wheel. Aston Martin, the car maker that famously provides wheels for James Bond, wants to reposition itself as a luxury lifestyle brand–and ramp up its appeal to women.
• Up close and powerful. Want a peek behind the scenes of a Fortune Most Powerful Women event? Here are photos from last week’s 2015 MPW dinner in Manhattan, plus some of the best career (and life) advice we heard from superstars who attended.
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ON MY RADAR
“The Netflix of X:” How startup jargon has evolved
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How to survive being an overnight success
Misogynists are totally right to be mad at Mad Max
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|Until the guys can legitimately complain, 'Hey, you're making more money than us,' that's when we can stop talking about feminism.|
| -- Nick Offerman, former Parks and Recreation star and author of Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers |