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Racked Longform: Everything You Should Have Read in 2014

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.


This year, like every year, we wrote a lot of things. Thousands and thousands of things. But what made 2014 a little different here at Racked was that, among those thousands of things, were in-depth features that investigated your favorite (and not-so-favorite) brands, people doing truly interesting stuff, and more than a few juicy controversies.

Maybe you missed a story or two? Or you're looking for some year-end reading material? Well, this rundown of Racked longform is for you.

Okay, let's talk #brands. We went deep on all sorts of companies, from the super secretive (Goyard, anyone?) to the soon-to-be mass (Uniqlo, coming to a town near you). We found out that Brandy Melville employs actual teens behind the scenes, Anthropologie totally kills the retail experience game, and Bath & Body Works won't ever die. We drew up a history of A&F Quarterly. We even devoted 6,800 words to the consumerist brilliance of Hello Kitty. You're welcome.

Now: dudes. This was the year of BroCyclers and Lulule-men, of peak NBA style and near-peak male model status (we wrote about the WNBA too, FYI). Also, man beauty is a thing, but would guys smear animal fat on their faces or pick up a ubiquitous Eos lip balm pod? Unclear.

One of our favorite things to do in 2014 was to peek into little corners of the internet, the ones filled with online sweepstakes obsessives and Instagram yogis. We also went offline to hang out with female bodybuilders and learn about obstacle course racing. Bloggers held our interest when it came to buying social media followers and handling all that hate, but the personalities that really got us going were a Fashion Week model toe whisperer, a perfume guru, and the woman behind Neiman Marcus's bonkers Christmas catalog.

And lastly, essays are something you're going to see even more of in the months to come, but this past year we published musings on man pants, postpartum shopping, and adult sleepaway camp. Got all that loaded up on your Instapaper (or Pocket or whatever it is you use to read all the things)? Good, enjoy, and catch you on the flip side.