Line

CRAVE ONLINE: Where’s the line between pursuing women and “douchebaggery?”
Eric Rogell: Here’s a good litmus test: A douche bag sees a woman as an enemy to be conquered, while a man who pursues women sees them as a worthy adversary who may end up becoming a valued ally if he handles the situation with diplomacy and finesse.

And it’s not as fine a line as you would think. While doing my research for the book, and talking to guys all over the country, I was surprised to learn that the vast majority weren’t looking for a quick way to trick women into bed or to sleep with hundreds of chicks. They just wanted a realistic, useful, proven strategy to meet that ONE great woman they could have a relationship with. So the douche bag potential was low.

Still douchebaggery exists everywhere. Women have developed pretty keen Douche-dar. That’s not to say the techniques and strategies in the book can’t be used for evil. But so can lasers…

CRAVE ONLINE: If there was one lesson to take from your book — one thing with which to leave the reader — what would like it to be?
Eric Rogell: The hidden “ah-ha!” of the book, and the real way to get the women you desire, is simply by being a better man… Being the kind of man the women you’re after WANT to date, WANT to have fun with, WANT to spend time with. It’s not about pickup lines and canned routines. Those simply help you break the ice, get over your fears, and get in the game. It’s really all about the art of attraction and being “attractive,” not in the sense of looks or physicality, but in the sense of how you carry yourself, your attitude, your strength—the things that women are truly attracted to in men. And, yeah, that takes more work than just learning a few indirect openers.

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Singles

Now, dating website for couples to spice up their love life.

A New York-based dating website is reaching out to rev up the love lives of city slickers who are already matched up, by providing pre-planned dates.HowAboutWe caters to couples who are too busy — or too lazy — to plan their own dates.

“We’re a modern love company,” co-founder Brian Schechter told the New York Daily News.HowAboutWe for Couples is a spinoff of the company’s popular HowAboutWe dating site for singles, where date-seekers pitch a date idea and see if anyone bites.

Schechter got the idea for the couples’ site after noticing singles were deactivating their accounts once they met someone.
But he said that they kept coming back because they were looking for inspiration for their own dates.

They realized that people who are in relationships are still looking for wonderful date ideas.
On HowAboutWe for Couples, the dates are already planned.Favorites include “Peanuts About You,” a date to a peanut butter specialty shop in the West Village, and “Scratch That,” a DJ lesson for two.

For 18 dollars a month, couples can choose from a selection of pre-planned dates.Some are free, but more extravagant dates — like a two-night getaway in the Finger Lakes region — cost extra.
Since it launched in November, more than 2,000 couples have signed up for the service, which is only available in New York, with plans to launchsoon in San Francisco.

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New

Fashion store chain Esprit pins hopes on new CEO.
Fashion retailer Esprit, which recently said it had “lost its soul” as it lost customers to rivals such as H&M and Zara, has hired a former Zara manager to turn its fortunes around.
Jose Manuel Martinez, a 42-year-old Spaniard and former manager of Inditex, the world’s leading fashion retailer which owns the Zara brand, is to take over as Esprit’s new chief executive replacing Ronald van der Vis who quit in June.
The announcement sent Esprit shares, which are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, soaring by as much as 28 percent.
But analysts warned investors against pinning their hopes too high.
“The appointment is positive, but it’s still only a first step,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Anne Ling.
And her colleagues at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch predicted that Martinez has a “long and bumpy road” ahead of him.
Esprit is, indeed, not doing well.
Last year, its operating profit shrank to just 70 million euros ($86 million) from close to 400 million euros a year earlier, owing to the cost of a 1.7-billion-euro restructuring programme which will weigh on profits again this year and next year.
At the same time, rivals Zara and H&M are continuing to grow.
On its website, Esprit boasts it is “an international youthful lifestyle brand offering smart, affordable luxury and bringing newness and style to life.”
It operates more than 800 directly managed retail stores in more than 40 countries worldwide.
But outgoing CEO Ronald Van der Vis complained that the group has “gradually lost its soul in recent years.”
In its drive to expand internationally, the “brand’s heritage has been neglected and customers were no longer the centre of attention,” he said.
Esprit is indeed a long way from its beginnings in 1968 when its founders, hippies Douglas and Susie Tompkins — who also set up the North Face brand — sold their clothes from a VW camper van in California.
But the Tompkins left long ago. And Esprit has been listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange since 1993, with its dual headquarters in Ratingen near Duesseldorf in Germany and in Hong Kong.
Sales have been in decline since mid-2008, with its fashion collections failing to capture customers’ imagination.
The departure of its main designer, the Korean-American Melody Harris-Jensbach, in January 2008 has not helped.
Ronald Van der Vis tried to pull the group around by launching a worldwide restructuring last year, including the closure of more than 170 unprofitable stores, notably in North America, Spain, Sweden and Denmark.
At the same time, Esprit is focussing its energies on its main European markets where it plans to open 185 new stores in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the Benelux countries by 2015.It is looking to rejuvenate its image with new concept stores.
Another part of its offensive will be China, its second national market after Germany, where the number of sales outlets will be increased to 1,900 by 2015 from around 1,000 at present.Finally, Martinez is hoping to recapture some of Esprit’s “soul” with the return of designer Melody Harris-Jensbach.

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