Frances Valentine

Image by Susanna Howe.

There is a lot of laughter on the other end of the phone line when the call goes through. All the principal members of the Frances Valentine team are gathered in their New York headquarters to talk about their reunion and the launch of their new footwear line. Well, except one. Andy Spade is running late—”Am I in trouble?,” he asks when he finally enters the room. To which the three women—his wife Kate Valentine (formerly Kate Spade), Design Director Paola Venturi and Head of Operations Elyce Arons—respond resoundingly “yes!”

The four were intimately involved in founding Kate Spade, now an international fashion label bought by Liz Claiborne, Inc. in 2007. Nearly 10 years later, the band is back together, and Kate has taken a new surname to associate herself with her new line, not, she assures, to distance herself from the handbag empire they once led.

Kate Valentine, Paola Venturi, Elyce Arons and Andy Spade

Clockwise from left to right: Kate Valentine (formerly Kate Spade), Paola Venturi, Elyce Arons and Andy Spade.

Frances is a family name, passed down for generations on Kate’s father’s side. And Valentine was her father’s middle name. Andy and Kate’s daughter’s name is Frances Beatrix Valentine Spade, which would be a mouthful for merchandising. During their intermission, both Kate and Elyce spent time raising their children. Paola went to work for Prada. And Andy founded several creative ventures. Until it came time to reunite.

We spoke with all four about Frances Valentine, reinvention, advice for working moms and their friendship. Plus the quartet shared images from their new pre-fall campaign shot in Kate and Andy’s townhouse.



Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer, makeup artist and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Blogger, chef and cookbook author, Heather Christo models for Nordstrom with family.

Meet Heather Christo, a classically trained French chef, erstwhile high-end caterer, two-time cookbook author, popular food blogger and enviably polished mother of two. When she and her children were diagnosed with a slew of collective food allergies, Heather (not without a heavy sigh) threw out the butter and eggs and set about using her professional experience to create new dishes that were safe for her family but just as delicious–if not more so–as the food they were accustomed to.

Along the way, she documented her experience on her blog and poured it all into her recently released one-of-a-kind book, Pure Delicious–full of helpful information and tasty recipes she developed that are free of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, peanut, shellfish and cane sugar. No small feat! Find out how she does it (she’s sharing recipes!), read about her style and see her modeling some of our favorite dresses while being an impeccable hostess in her beautiful home and garden.

Heather Christo models an Eliza J fit and flare dress for Nordstrom.On work and play: Well, I really have several jobs and divide my time between them.

1. My blog,, where I publish five days a week and do everything from the recipe development to the food styling–including photography, postproduction and writing.

2. My company, Heathermade, which is currently sold in select Costcos and hitting retail this fall. We make fresh, vegan baked goods that are certified gluten-, soy-, nut- and peanut-free.

3. My book. A year ago I would have been focused on editing it, but now I am focused on the promotion of it. So I’m doing press trips, book signings and (my favorite) public speaking about our family experience with the power of food as medicine.

And … Ha! I don’t think I am getting in nearly enough play time! But I try to enjoy any and all time that we get to spend as a family–even if it is just going on a walk on the weekend or all sitting down to dinner together. We also have great friends, and my husband and I love to go out for drinks or entertain at home.



Classic Shrimp and Crab Louis Salad Recipe from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

While which genius chef actually created the Crab Louis (aka Louie) Salad is debatable, it definitely originated on the West Coast, and it’s been a restaurant classic for over one hundred years now. We keep our version (served at Nordstrom Grill locations) pretty traditional with a generous amount of succulent crabmeat, tangy Louis Dressing and hard-boiled eggs—but throw in a helping of crispy fried shrimp, because, crispy fried shrimp. Top it all with height-of-their-season tomatoes and a flavor-brightening squeeze of lemon, and you have a perfect summer dinner in this seafood lover’s salad.


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We are continually inspired by Creative Growth, the Oakland nonprofit arts center for adults with disabilities, and have built a relationship with the organization going back to our 2014 Tomorrow Together shop.

Last April, Olivia was back at C. She saw artists prepping apparel for the annual CG fashion show fundraiser. Some artists were decorating shoes. That was an a-ha moment for Olivia, who was planning our Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans shop at the time.

Now lo and behold we have an exclusive collection of custom Vans designed by CG artists, each pair a one-of-one, available online and in limited quantities in-store at our San Francisco, Seattle and Bellevue locations.

See a selection of our styles below and read stories from Jennifer Strate O’Neal, CG’s
partnerships and communications manager, about four specific pairs of Creative Growth-designed Vans.

–Andrew Matson

SHOP: Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans



Our series about wanderlust-worthy, slightly off-the-grid vacation hotspots, with local picks (and gorgeous pics) from our intrepid Nordstrom crew.

Travel Diary, Lake George

GLOBETROTTER: Amy Belledin, Multi-Channel Creative Director

WHY THERE? Glenburnie has been my family’s getaway for nearly 80 summers. It’s a small hamlet off Blairs Bay on Lake George in upstate New York. Originally it began as a community for fine upstanding Scottish families (read: blue bloods from New Jersey) and featured a classic lakeside hotel and club right by the water. The club is long since gone, but a handful of the original houses are still standing.




Photos by Kristin Yamada

Copenhagen Fashion Week wrapped up last week, but great style never really leaves the Scandinavian metropolis. So many independent fashion designers have their headquarters there, amid the design centers, schools and architecture offices that heavily populate Denmark’s capital. On an average day, the fashions on its residents are enviably cool in a kicked-back way. But when the fashion world descends on this small country, it makes for serious street-style spotting.

Here are just a few looks from CFW that we plan on emulating, and here’s how.



Last year about this time, we chatted with Alex Chantecaille, vice president of sales and promotions for Chantecaille, about her company’s work to protect the wolves of Yellowstone National Park and her travels to Istanbul. It’s been another busy year for Alex.

We spent some time learning about Chantecaille’s newest endeavor to support conservation and hearing about her favorite places from her extensive, enviable travel calendar. Catch up with Alex, pick up a few new beauty secrets and learn more about the new Protect the Lions Collection, from which 5% of proceeds will be donated to Lion Guardians in Africa.



For lots of brands—particularly those in the emerging designer realm—the runway is no longer on the runway. More and more forward thinkers are walking away from the traditional conventions of Fashion Week and doing their own versions of theater, presentation, experience and the big reveal.


Scenes of Olivia Kim and the crew in Koché’s runway/alleyway during the fall shows in March.

Here’s an amazing example: when SPACE designer Christelle Kocher unveiled Koché’s current collection in Paris last March, she did so not in a staid, classroomlike setting but in a bustling, multilingual alleyway in the middle of the city.

The result felt something like the French version of a glamorous flash mob, with the pranksters dressed in patchwork velvet and bejeweled tomboy silhouettes. We’re lucky enough to have video footage of it—in anticipation of the next season of Paris Fashion Week. We’re sharing it here.




Good trends don’t die. They endure, season after season, year after year. Sometimes they come back more developed, as in the case of the World War I flyboy uniform and early ’90s outerwear staple, the bomber jacket.

The style returned in a big way two years ago when it landed on the runways of Balmain, Salvatore Ferragamo and Phillip Lim. We haven’t seen the bomber craze wane since. Truthfully, we kind of hope it never goes off our radar again.

So here is our ode, in pictures, to a truly great jacket and some tips, in words, on how to wear one.



Geena Rocero interview with Nordstrom.

We’re highlighting the women behind the faces in our fall beauty campaign and trend event video; it’s beauty in real life. First up: Geena Rocero, who sat down with us to chat about growing up in the Philippines, her beauty secrets (including the best mud bath location) and how to turn an airplane into a spa.


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