In this image we see music/fashion boss Taylor Swift on a brief break from punching people in the face (have you seen “Bad Blood”?) to preview her Nordstrom exclusive sneaker for Keds at a private party in New York.
Nobody moved and nobody got hurt.
Seriously, though: Swift doesn’t really punch people. In fact she was gracious with her time at Canoe Studios in Chelsea and excited to meet her fans: a handful of BP. Fashion Board high schoolers, top Nordstrom customers and Refinery 29 contest winners.
Swift shot the breeze about this and that, talked about her pet seagull who lived in her swimming pool at her old Hyannis Port home–and enthused about her Keds. Especially the Nordstrom exclusive “Welcome to New York” sneaker, based on her song of the same name.
And speaking of the BP. Fashion Board: it’s worth investigating. If you know a teen girl or boy who wants to work in fashion they should sign up. They’ll learn about the industry, gain skills and maybe meet a pop icon.
Shop: Taylor Swift for Keds
Although you wouldn’t figure him to be any older than, oh, say, your favorite older brother, Gilles Assor, U.S. head of the super-chic heritage footwear brand Robert Clergerie, has been around—in the best way. If you’re lucky enough to spend an afternoon hearing about his career in fashion, you’ll get an earful. From Galliano-era Dior to Jean Paul Gaultier’s JPG line (“before streetwear was streetwear”) to Paco Rabanne (“Balmain now is Paco Rabanne back then”) to the first time Birkenstocks were cool (and sanctioned by the Parisian boutique Colette), and from Barbara Bui to Margiela to Marc Jacobs in the era of baby discos at the Palais de Tokyo. Assor’s narrative résumé is just plain killer. If he weren’t so sweet and fun, he’d be pretty darn intimidating.
And as much as he knows about fashion (in case that isn’t clear yet, it’s A LOT), he’s also a pretty good resource for all things Chelsea. He’s lived in New York’s art gallery–studded neighborhood for four years, and the Robert Clergerie showroom, Assor’s “office,” has been in the Chelsea Arts Tower for two.
We were lucky enough to while away a few hours there with this fine Frenchman a few weeks ago. He snuck us up to the showroom’s rooftop event space, The Glasshouses, and pointed out the sites from on high: the seemingly singular one-story building where Donna Karan is said to be hosting her next runway show, the Frying Pan, the condos with drive-in, elevator-up garages (!).
“Realtors around here are now buying the sky,” he said in his spot-on, deadpan way. We left it at that—except for the following download on galleries, cocktails, coffee and, naturally, summer’s best shoes. (And some other stuff too.)
READ MORE >
Earlier this spring, Pedro Garcia brand ambassador Andreas Kurz set off for a tour of Nordstrom stores where he would meet with fans of the made-in-Spain line and help them customize new looks from a special bespoke selection of four styles and five colors. We asked Kurz to take pictures and keep notes from his travels because, hey—it’s the next best thing to tagging along.
READ MORE >
We’re loving Janie Bryant’s 1960s-inspired shoe collection for Shoes of Prey–that’s Emmy-winning Janie Bryant, costume designer for Mad Men. And Shoes of Prey, for the uninitiated, is the Australian brand where all the shoes are customizable by height, heel type and color.
Currently the Janie Bryant X Shoes of Prey collection is available in three physical Nordstrom locations–Bellevue, WA; Fashion Island, CA; San Francisco Centre, CA–with three more to come by the end of 2015: Paramus, NJ; Pentagon City, VA; and Oakbrook, IL.
We spoke with Bryant on the phone about the inspiration behind her collection, about what was considered vintage cool in the 1960s–and about this rad, old band she’s into called The Cake.
[We also spoke to Bryant about Mad Men. Read that part of the interview here.]
READ MORE >
For adventure-ready sunglasses, we’re loving the TOMS Traveler: clean design, bendable SOLAFLEX construction. Throw them in your bag and speed off into the horizon, no hard protective case necessary.
Plus, built into every purchase is the brand’s famous one-for-one philanthropy.
Just like how buying a pair of TOMS shoes helps a person in need, TOMS ensures each pair of sunglasses sold results in sight-giving assistance to a different person who could use help paying for glasses or ocular medical attention.
We spoke to travel hounds and witnesses to TOMS’ good works John Whitledge, creative director and designer for TOMS eyewear, and Darin Dennee, TOMS eyewear director. They gave us insights (pun intended) into TOMS’ programs in Paraguay, which islands they’re surfing next and where to go when you’re in Shanghai.
And they confirmed the virtual unbreakability of these shades.
Shop: TOMS sunglasses
READ MORE >
Here we have a little behind-the-scenes action from the photo shoot for Magic Hour, our new Pop-In@Nordstrom. For the uninitiated, Pop-Ins are recurring boutiques curated by our director of creative projects, Olivia Kim, which exist in select physical Nordstrom locations and, of course, online.
Magic Hour refers to the time at a music festival when the sun sets and tame gives way to turnt. Snapshots and a detailed statement from Olivia below.
Shop: Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom
READ MORE >
Converse Extra Special Value
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
116 x 180 inches
Check out Converse Extra Special Value, above. That’s artwork featuring classic Converse All Stars by the late pop master Andy Warhol, mimicking his own early work in advertising. As an illustrator and graphic designer, Warhol sometimes drew shoes for ads. As an artist, he brought elements of ads into his pieces shown in galleries and museums, challenging people to see them in a different light.
If that were the only link, Converse’s new Chuck Taylor All Star Andy Warhol Collection sneakers would make sense by themselves. But it gets deeper. Adorned with Warhol’s beloved Campbell’s Soup cans, the Converse X Warhol sneakers are a swirl of classic American products-for-the-people.
In conversation with Carrie Dedon, assistant curator at Seattle Art Museum, we go even further. Among other things, we learn from Dedon that Warhol definitely saw himself as a product, and we find out what his exaltation of logo design had to do with his concept of democracy.
Images courtesy The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Converse
READ MORE >
Easy. No question. Can they make these harder, please?
The brand new fringe-front boots from Hunter take the fever for vintage-riffing, decorative edging out in the elements where, we have to assume, they help make the most of stomping in puddles and powering through urban snow drifts. Pair them with a ’20s frock or a pair of skinnies—either way, you’re vibing with Atlantic City showbiz hopefuls and aristocratic ice queens, and showing the weather who’s boss.
Shop: Hunter boots
The fashion world was rocked by the recent news of shoe designer and Nine West cofounder Vince Camuto’s death. Today, and going forward, Nordstrom remembers the man and his work.
“Many of us have had the opportunity to work with Vince over the years and we all feel fortunate to have known a true icon in the industry. He was an amazing partner to Nordstrom and was honored with our Partners in Excellence award in 2012. There are a couple things that come to mind when I think about Vince. He firmly believed that the people were the most important factor in building a successful business. He had a tremendous passion for helping his team to learn, grow and achieve their full potential.” —Scott Meden, General Merchandise Manager, Shoes, in an email to his team.
“What a great loss to our industry.Vince put the customer first and he valued his team and had great humility. He was a teacher and a mentor.” —Tacey Powers, Women’s Shoes Buyer
“We have lost a special person within the footwear industry. He was as talented a person as I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know. Interestingly, as each year passed he literally got more enthusiastic about the customer and the business. He loved being on the floor, talking to the customer, and because of his rich background and innate skills, he instinctively—season after season—came up with great product. We would talk every couple of months and I always got a huge lift from being on the receiving end of his infectious spirit for the business. Our family and team extend our thoughts and prayers to Vince’s family and co-workers.” —Blake Nordstrom, President, Nordstrom Inc. (in Footwear News)
“Something I admired the most is his enthusiasm for the business. He was really into the business. He was engaged and always strived to do more and to do better.” —Pete Nordstrom, President of Merchandising (in WWD)