Sad news, you guys. No more pro-Antebellum editorials from Blake Lively! Blake is shutting down her lifestyle/shopping site Preserve on October 9th. Blake teased the site for more than a year, then complained that Anna Wintour “made” her launch the site before it was ready (to coincide with a Vogue cover). Still, Blake shilled hard for Preserve. She even claimed she was a lot better at lifestyle-siting than she was at acting (that might even be true, in which case… sad). Blake announced the death of Preserve to Vogue:
“We have an incredible team of people who do beautiful work, but we launched the site before it was ready, and it never caught up to its original mission: It’s not making a difference in people’s lives, whether superficially or in a meaningful way,” Blake Lively says, on the phone from New York. “And that’s the whole reason I started this company, not just to fluff myself, like, ‘I’m a celebrity! People will care what I have to say!’ It was so never meant to be that, and that kind of became the crutch because it was already up and already running, and it’s hard to build a brand when you’re running full steam ahead—how do you catch up?” Which is why, in an attempt to do just that, all of Preserve (from objets to home decor, accessories and clothing) is currently on a very deep and very inviting sale, to prepare for its October 9th closure, so that Lively may rebuild, rebrand, and eventually reveal—on her own timeline—what her project was always meant to be. (See? Savvy.)
“It’s very exciting and it’s also incredibly scary,” says Lively of shuttering Preserve. “I never thought I would have the bravery to actually do that, to take the site dark and to say, ‘You know what? I haven’t created something that is as true and impactful as I know it can and will be. And I’m not going to continue to chase my tail and continue to put a product out there that we, as a team, are not proud of.’” While she anticipates a certain amount of backlash—“Failure! Folly! We knew she couldn’t do this, too!”—Lively feels ready this time around. “I know what it’ll look like, what I’m facing publicly, that people are just going to have a heyday with this. But it’s so much worse to continue to put something out there—to ask my team to put something out there—that isn’t the best we can do. I’m going to take this hit, and the only way I can prove all the negative reactions wrong is to come back with a plan that will rock people. And I have that plan. And I’m so excited about it, and that’s what gave me the courage to do this, to say, ‘You know what, I’m going to give myself one more shot at this, and I really have to do it as well as I can do it this time.’ And that is the only thing that will impact people. And that’s what I’m doing. And I’m totally terrified out of my mind!” She laughs, “I’ve asked my assistant to just play ‘Shake It Off’ on a loop—it feels really good to listen to it on a loop!”
There’s much more at Vogue – Blake is already shilling her mysterious comeback project which I’m sure will just be another hipster lifestyle site, only this time with slightly fewer pro-Antebellum editorials. While I think there is something to the idea of being brave enough to publicly fail, to publicly admit that you made a bad call (or a series of bad calls), I do wonder if Blake really learned much from this experiment, considering she’s probably going to do the same thing all over again, just six months from now (or whenever).
Photos courtesy of WENN.