Blog Posts by CNBC

  • Retailer Seeks Hit with 'Dragon Tattoo' Clothing Line

    By Courtney Reagan,

    "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" has been a blockbuster book for Swedish author Stieg Larsson that's sold more than 60 million copies in 48 countries worldwide.

    The Girl With the Dragon TattooThe Girl With the Dragon TattooSony now hopes its motion picture based on the book will be a global blockbuster as well when it's in theaters Dec. 21.

    But can fictional character Lisbeth Salander sell clothes? Swedish specialty retailer Hennes & Maurtiz (H&M) is banking on it.

    According to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA), licensed products are a $180 billion a year retail market, and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" film costume designer Trish Summerville is adding her "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" inspired clothing to the mix.

    H&M and Summerville have partnered to design and sell the exclusive - and limited - collection, available for purchase starting today in 100 H&M stores around the world and in some markets through the retailers' website.

    The collection features 30 pieces of

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  • 12 'Secondary Lines' of Luxury Fashion Houses

    By Bianca Schlotterbeck,

    Luxe Fashion for Less

    This holiday season, with uncertainty prevailing in the global economy, shoppers may be searching for cheaper alternatives to the high-end fashion houses, while still wanting to retain a feel for their favorite brands.

    Luxury fashion houses are tapping into this sentiment through less expensive, secondary lines that allow them to reach out to a younger consumer, without compromising their reputation. The "main line" or "first line," which establishes the brand, is usually much pricier than the second line or even third line. Often the second line will contain many similarities to the main collection, but be produced in a different country and overseen by a different designer.

    Luxury retailers are also continuing the trend of collaborating with more affordable stores, offering a taste of their brand to a wider consumer segment.

    See the full slideshow: 12 'Secondary Lines' of Luxury Fashion Houses

    Pierre BalmainPierre BalmainPierre Balmain
    Parent brand:

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  • Divorced Couples Who Worked Together

    by Daniel Bukszpan,

    When a couple divorces, it's rarely as simple as one person packing a suitcase and sleeping on a friend's couch. Lawyers are hired, assets are divided and child custody is negotiated. A painful process, to be sure, but those enduring it can sometimes escape at work, an oasis of distraction where personal problems can be ignored for eight hours a day.

    See the Slideshow: Divorced Couples Working Together

    This is not an option when a divorced couple works together. As stressful as this situation likely is, some divorced couples roll up their sleeves, put on a stiff upper lip and deal with seeing the ex at the office every day. Yes, some couples who have ended their marriages have also decided to hang on to their exes in a professional capacity.

    Some of these couples are coworkers in name only, sharing ownership of a business entity and communicating strictly through lawyers and underlings. Others have adjoining desks. And some go on 300-day international

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  • Tips for the Office Holiday Party

    By Cindy Perman,

    How Drunk Can You Get?

    It's that time of year again - A time for twinkling lights, holiday carols, the crackle of the fire - and, wait, what's that sound?

    Ah, yes. It's the sound of your co-worker getting too drunk and embarrassing himself in front of the boss at the office holiday party.
    If it's the right co-worker, and by right I mean THAT GUY who drives everyone insane, it can make you feel all warm and fuzzy. If it's you, it can feel like a slow-motion crash - the faint tinkling of broken glass and metal scraping metal.

    So let's review a few ground rules for the office holiday party, so we can all look each other in the eye tomorrow, OK?

    First, let's adjust the attitude. Enough with the eye-rolling and complaining about having to spend more time with co-workers. Let's look at it for what it is: The company doing something nice for you, with free food and drink, and a chance to talk to co-workers, bosses and people from other departments in an informal

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  • Sitting on a Small Fortune

    By Paul O' Donnell,

    Sitting On a Small Fortune

    While stock markets have mostly marched crabwise for the past decade, the trade in fine modern furniture has boomed.

    A Jean Prouve banquetteA Jean Prouve banquette"There were five stores like mine in the city 10 years ago," says James Elkind, owner of Lost City Arts, a purveyor of 20th century furniture in New York's Greenwich Village. "Now there are at least 50 in Manhattan alone."

    These businesses are still bustling for a good reason, adds Elkind. "It's one of the few areas that didn't decline as precipitously as other forms of investment."

    It might seem strange to consider furniture collecting - furniture made in recent memory, especially - as an alternative for active investors. Isn't the point to hold onto the stuff until it's an antique?

    For most of the 20th century, that proposition was true. "Blue chip" furniture was equated with FFF, or fine French furniture - not just old, but ancien regime. You inherited the stuff, or else you announced that you arrived by

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  • Are We Safe Drivers? Americans Say Yes

    By Phil LeBeau,

    Are We Safe Drivers? Americans Say Yes

    Progressive Insurance has a new poll out that reveals what Americans think about their own driving.Progressive Insurance has a new poll out that reveals what Americans think about their own driving.Given the steady flow of headlines about distracted driving and how American drivers seem more interested in everything but staying focused behind the wheel, a new study on how we see ourselves paints an interesting picture.

    Progressive Insurance commissioned Harris Interactive to poll just over a thousand Americans about their driving habits.

    Here's how those drivers view themselves behind the wheel:

    -84 percent of drivers define themselves as cautious (49%) or defensive (35%)

    -82 percent of those surveyed said they either leave at least two car lengths between their car and the car in front of them (49 percent) or follow the 2-3 second rule (33 percent).

    -Approaching a yellow light, two-thirds of drivers (63 percent) say they slow down and prepare to come to a full stop.

    -In the past three years, 72 percent of drivers have not been in an accident or received a moving -violation.

    Progressive Insurance says the

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  • Successes that Almost Weren't

    By Colleen Kane,

    It's Business 101.

    Anyone who has ever tried to achieve a goal knows rejection and failure are a normal and healthy part of the process. It's more prevalent in some occupations, especially in the arts (and particularly among, ahem, writers).

    The following examples show a pattern: Persistence pays off. Woody Allen said, "Ninety percent of life is just showing up." But judging from the tales ahead, perhaps an amendment to this quote is in order: "Ninety percent of success is showing up, and showing up and showing up."

    See the Slideshow: Successes That Almost Weren't

    As for the parties doing the rejecting, for those who shy from the new and different, refusal to look ahead can mean being left in the dust. When a struggling Bell Telephone offered the sale of its patents to Western Union, the famous reply rejecting the offer makes for an entertaining read today: "Why would any person want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can send a messenger

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  • Sur La Table Stokes the US Food Obsession

    By Margo D. Beller,

    Couples DiningCouples DiningAmerica's obsession with food and restaurant-style meals they can make at home are cooking up some fine holiday sales at Sur la Table, CEO Jack Schwefel told CNBC Tuesday.

    Unlike Williams-Sonoma, which he said is a great place to buy a cooking-related gift, his privately held company is "a hardware store for cooks, where people who really get excited about cooking come because of our breadth of assortment" and the employees who show them how to use the products.

    Television's Food Network, supermarkets including Whole Foods and the ubiquitous Martha Stewart "opened up everyone's eyes for what could be and what you can do at home. Many people go out to eat, have a great meal and say, 'I can do that at home now,' and we're here to help provide the tools to do that."

    He said the company, with 92 stores, did very well over the Black Friday weekend.

    "It's been an interesting season so far," he said. "It remains to be seen how strong this holiday season is"

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  • Vintage Makeup: A Thing of the Present

    By Coeli Carr,

    "I want to preserve the idea of makeup as a ritual." - Gabriela Hernandez CEO, Besame Cosmetics

    Bésame Cosmetics is ready for its close-up.

    Vintage-inspired cosmetics.Vintage-inspired cosmetics.The vintage-inspired cosmetics company couldn't have asked for a more authentic platform to display its products. They are in full view, displayed on a vanity table in "The Artist," a film that was recently voted this year's best movie by the New York Film Critics Circle and by many accounts is on the fast-track to an Oscar nomination.

    "It was an authentic vanity, and our products looked like they belonged there," said Bésame Cosmetics CEO Gabriela Hernandez. She said the movie's props manager, who knew about Bésame, had approached her for products and historical information during the production of the film and decided to use her products in a scene. The film is set in 1927 Hollywood.

    It was the products' authentic packaging that helped seal the deal to get her products in the film, which have also been featured in the

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  • Holiday Gifts....That Give Back

    By Valerie Reiss,

    Gifts That Keep On Giving

    Are you looking for more meaningful gifts this holiday season? One way to do that is to pick a present that not only surprises your loved ones, but also gives back by helping those in need.

    We've rounded up gift ideas that will be enjoyed by a range of recipients - from women to men to the kiddos - that also donate to a wide array of charitable causes. These charities use a portion of the profits from their products to support causes, such as employing women in war-torn Uganda, teaching kids in U.S. cities to write, finding medical cures, and more.

    See the slideshow: Holiday Gifts That Give Back

    So that pretty necklace? It makes her look great and gives people hope. Now that's a trend worth following.

    Check out some ideas for holiday presents that keep on giving, and double your generosity with a single gift.

    TOMS SunglassesTOMS SunglassesA Bright Future

    You may have heard of TOMS one-for-one footwear program: The company has donated more than one million

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