Two huge moments in Nordstrom history just happened today, April 12: One, we opened our first ever Nordstrom store in the fashion capitol of NYC! And two, it’s our first store dedicated entirely to menswear! (Double exclamations!!) You’ll find three floors full of the clothes, accessories and services you need (including a Nike shop, a tech bar, a Levi’s alteration station and more) at 235 West 57th Street in Manhattan, with a full bar overlooking Columbus Circle next to Central Park. Check us out.
Ilaria Urbinati is feeling a real ’70s vibe right now. “I love the exaggerated proportions—higher-waist trousers, wide notch lapels and printed shirts,” says the stylist, citing an article which calls this craze “the ’70s Sleaze.” Considering how well Urbinati dresses famous gents, we’re keen to trust her judgement.
The most in-demand celebrity stylist for men, Urbinati has major styling prowess that reflects in her clientele list—a starry roster that includes Tom Hiddleston, Rami Malek, Armie Hammer and Riz Ahmed. “I take a lot of pride in the fact that each of my clients have their own look as opposed to my look,” says the stylist, who encourages men to take more risks on the red carpet. Recall Donald Glover’s velvet Gucci ensemble at the 2017 Golden Globes, where he accepted an award for Best Actor in Atlanta while simultaneously nabbing the night’s “Best Dressed” title. As one of her favorite red carpet looks ever, the latter was Urbinati’s win, too.
‘Asking for a Friend’ is our style advice series.
Nowadays, offices everywhere are touting a ‘business casual’ dress code, but the term itself is vague and means different things in different industries. If you’re confused about whether or not to denim up, you’re not alone. To help a guy out, we’ll explain the basics, but it’s up to you to get final guidance from your friends in HR.
The general gist: business casual is less formal than the traditional three-piece suit and tie but more polished than your average casual-Friday attire (i.e., no sports jerseys). Think of it as balancing out two parts dressy with one part laid-back. Our men’s editorial stylist suggests losing the tie, working a smart pair of jeans into your look or pulling on an unscuffed pair of dress sneakers. The primary objective is to still look professional, but with an effortless, sportswear-leaning vibe—like you could present to the board, then roll up your sleeves and kick back at a BBQ.
Because the days are getting longer and warmer, we’ll show you the lighter side of business casual. Ahead, three solid staples to work into your spring/summer workwear wardrobe.
When LA furniture designer Stephen Kenn and his wife Beks moved into their industrial loft on McGarry Street in downtown Los Angeles, the roll-up garage door—a holdover from the space’s furniture factory days—came with an unexpected perk. When it was up, says Stephen, “it made it really easy for people to walk in off the street and have coffee or hang out.”
And so Backdoor Coffee and Cocktail Club was born. One morning every month, Stephen opens the door and pours coffee for anyone happening by in the mood for a cup and a chat. And one Friday night a month, the door rolls open for artisan cocktails. But it isn’t just the free beverages that draw the crowds; people come for the conversations and connections.
We were drawn in, too. The authenticity and attitude of the space (and its owner) made it the ideal scene for the spring 2018 Treasure & Bond campaign photo shoot. Plus, it came with a dreamy rooftop, gorgeous interiors and great conversation.
Nike Air Max day is March 26, but let’s be honest—a single day is not enough. To kick things off, we asked our sneaker buyer to share his top pick (which is a little bit like asking someone to choose his favorite kid). After some hard negotiating, he submitted his top two, both totally innovative and both available in head-turning colorways.
Why our buyer loves it: “The 270 is the perfect mix of fashion and function, it’s that Nike innovation in action. The Hot Punch colorway makes it a natural for street style.”
Bijon in the front, fellow Nordstrom buyer Tulio Salcedo in the back; photo by Thig Gishuru.
Fashion Week has become a spectator sport both IRL and online. But its original purpose was to show clothes to retail buyers. And that’s still the case.
Our buyers sit front row at shows, and more importantly, visit showrooms to see and feel the products up close. That’s where they make big decisions and place orders, choosing what we’ll sell in months ahead (for this season’s fashion weeks, that would be for the fall and winter of 2018).
With the European fashion weeks just finished and only New York to go, our men’s designer buyer Bijon Javadzadeh has already seen all the clothes and made his orders. He spent January in Europe, and last week previewed the men’s collections showing in New York Fashion Week, even though NYFW:M officially starts today.
We caught up with him to get his impressions after three weeks of showroom appointments—and to hear his view of the future of fashion.
SHOP: men’s designer
Death to Tennis’s Theatrical Reintroduction and Fall ’18 Collection, at New York Fashion Week: Men’s
Photos by Mike Chard
Death to Tennis is not a brand Nordstrom sells yet, but one we’re following closely. Specializing for the past five years in classic menswear with urban and modern twists, designers Vincent Oshin and William Watson had only done presentations before (where models stand around in the clothes). They went all out for their first-ever runway show at Pier59 Studios, bringing music and theater, and reintroducing themselves as conceptual artists.
Their show, The Great Style War, used a soundtrack of drums that hit like bombs. First, it was hip-hop remixes played live by Asen James and DJ Prince. Then everyone watched (including famous rappers Joey Badass and Smokepurpp, who smoked a blunt in the front row), as men and women models walked to more frenzied beats, in floral jacquards and a preponderance of utility pockets.
In the third act, lights dimmed and a bandaged bride strode out, followed by the lurch of an almost dead-looking groom. Violinist Jungwon Kim played Bach’s Partita No. 2. The effect was transporting. What was this story of damage and desire?
Backstage, we caught up with Oshin and Watson to ask about the collection and show—which feels like a turning point for the brand.
SHOP: men’s designer
Photos by Mike Chard
Over the years, Todd Snyder has become one of the marquee designers at New York Fashion Week: Men’s—a chill, Midwestern guy and a reliable player in both the designer world and in daily-use sportswear. While he doesn’t get much credit for it, he’s also a trendsetter. His long-running collaborations with Champion, for instance, preceded fashion’s fascination with athleisure. So when he speaks on the future of menswear, we listen.
Backstage moments before his Fall ’18 show, in between making last-minute adjustments to models’ outfits and chatting with his friend Hasan Minhaj, Snyder told us that he envisioned athleisure waning. According to Snyder, it’s not that sweats and sneakers are out, period, but at this point we have an issue of saturation. And his idea about how to break that up is for guys to start wearing classic British styles with loose American tailoring.
SHOP: Todd Snyder
Photo by Mike Chard
At New York Fashion Week: Men’s, one recent development is brands deciding to show collections out in the city, at non-fashion venues. And why not? Designers are always talking about their influences. Sometimes it’s best to take that classic writer’s advice: show, don’t tell.
For Ovadia & Sons’ punk rock–influenced fall 2018 collection, twin brothers Ariel and Shimon Ovadia booked the concert hall Irving Plaza. The venue, a former community center converted to a rock venue in 1978, holds fond memories for Ariel – who designed the collection with his brother Shimon. He saw a ton of shows there in the late ’90s.
The brothers have always been inspired by music and worked it into their designs. Last season, Ariel and I were talking about how their clothes reflected a love of Fabolous mixtapes and Lexus coupes. This season we talked about emo, hardcore and post-hardcore punk.
The soundtrack to the show was the soundtrack to young Ariel’s life: Alkaline Trio, Rancid, Pennywise, and My Chemical Romance—a disaffected, guitar-loving teen’s playlist from 1999. And the clothes were some of Ovadia’s best.
Check out our interview with Ariel Ovadia below and get inside his electric guitar nostalgia.
SHOP: Ovadia & Sons
As gentlemen continue to venture further into the fashion avant-garde, styles shift from commercially driven monotonous dress shirts and trousers to artistic self-expression with an almost-anything-goes flair—that’s almost anything.
Nordstrom Men’s Buying Director Jorge Valls knows there is a lot to be excited about in men’s fashion. Beyond New York Fashion Week trends—which he predicts will be centered around ’90s street style and fine tailoring—Valls has his sights set on the grand opening of Nordstrom’s standalone New York men’s store this spring, for which he curated a diverse collection of the most exciting names in menswear.
In an interview for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), which appears in “Words with Fashion Friends,” Valls shares which shows excite him most this season and hints at what’s in store for the highly anticipated Nordstrom Manhattan flagship store just before men’s week gets going in New York!