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PACO’S WOMEN: The lighter side of Paco Underhill, the keen-eyed, ironic critic of the shopping scene, will be on display in his forthcoming Simon & Schuster book, whose working title is “The Female Factor: The Worship of Goddesses.” Underhill, whose name was often on the lips of fashion marketers following the 1999 publication of his book “Why We Buy,” believes women’s growing economic and social influence on spending makes the time right for another look at catalysts for consumer purchases. “It’s meant as a humorous look at an uncomfortable subject — how the status of women is changing the world we live in,” said the author, who is also managing director of consultant Envirosell.
The “Female Factor’s” narrative will examine the influence of women on a range of purchases, Underhill noted, like fashion, houses and hotel bookings, to name a few. Alice Mayhew — the Simon & Schuster editor who brought the feminist volume “Our Bodies, Ourselves” to the commercial marketplace in 1973 — acquired “The Female Factor.” Underhill anticipates it will be published by the house next fall or in spring 2010. Also in the hopper is a new edition of “Why We Buy,” which the author says he has “entirely rewritten” for a global economy, one increasingly shaped in cyberspace. Due out in January, Simon & Schuster says the updated version will evaluate what leading online shops such as Amazon.com and iTunes are doing right, doing wrong or could be doing better, and will review extraordinary shopping environments, from a South African mall with a wave pool for surfing to an indoor ski slope intended to draw people to a mall in Dubai. — Valerie Seckler