Embracing his entrepreneurial spirit and Midwestern attitude, designer Matt Baldwin of Baldwin has disrupted the fashion game by creating American denim smack dab in the middle of the heartland.
Photographs by Ryan Strong
Baldwin is Kansas City: it’s durable, it’s industrious, it’s modern. With exceptional classics and seasonless staples, this KC-based brand is poised to put its community on the map as a fashion force. Step aside, Brooklyn cool.
KC—the City of Fountains—is revered for sports, the arts and its absurdly good barbecue—wait-in-an-hourlong-line-outside-a-gas-station good. That good. The popular Power & Light District is a nightlife hot spot, Westport is a low-key favorite and the Plaza always makes for a great day of shopping (with a stop at Baldwin, of course).
We chatted with Matt about creating a clothing company, the perfect pair of jeans and living in the barbecue capital of the world.
SEE MATT’S KC PICKS AND BALDWIN CLOTHES INSIDE THE CITY’S PREMIER ART GALLERY
Mei Kawajiri is into fingernails the way Michelangelo was into marble muscles. Trained in Japan and currently making house calls to some of New York’s most illustrious bloggers, It girls and fashion photographers, Mei has taken full advantage of the nail art renaissance that fortuitously coincided with her arrival in the States.
Wielding a whisper-thin brush and some techie tools you might be surprised to find in your manicurist’s bag (hello, 3D printing pen), Mei offers clients a unique avant-garde art that includes not only an astounding range of freehand illustration but also encompasses the mind-boggling subgenre of nail sculpture—all done on a miniature, moving canvas.
Mei (Instagram @CiaoManhattan2012) has collaborated with Google on finger-themed art for the Android watch (she cheerily points out that when she’s not making art on nails, she’s making art about nails), runway nails for the Nicopanda Fall 2016 show and now she’s lending her talent to the in-store launches of AGOLDE denim at Nordstrom. Impeccable tailoring underpins the artful laid-back vibe of the LA-designed-and-made jeans, making them the perfect pair for the awesomely proficient and gracious Mei.
We chatted with the charming celebrity manicurist at the AGOLDE launch event at our Michigan Avenue store about her tips for keeping your nail art fresh for weeks, her Magic 8 Ball trend predictions and more.
What was the first piece of nail art you did?
I painted fingers on my own nails. 🙂
What is your least favorite nail trend?
I know people love it, but the classic French manicure is just not my cup of tea. I think it makes nails look shorter!
MANICURE ADVICE AND THE AGOLDE x MEI EVENT SCHEDULE
Skinny jeans and leggings have dominated the fashion and music scenes for over a decade. But just as the pendulum swings, so does the pant leg. Volume was bound to bounce back on denim hems. In recent seasons, we’ve been noticing an abundance of flare jeans on the streets of the world’s most fashionable cities. Here are some of our favorite looks, along with shopping and styling tips.
SHOP: flare jeans
YOU WEAR THE PANTS: READ HOW
Comme des Garçons (Junya Watanabe) dress, repurposed denim, Spring 2002, Japan,
museum purchase. Photograph: William Palmer.
Once the uniform of gold prospectors and laborers, denim has become the go-to workday and weekend getup for most everyone. Anthropologist Danny Miller estimated that about half the world’s population—including countries as diverse as Turkey, India and Brazil—wears dungarees on any given day. Even the runways the last two seasons have swelled with oceans of indigo.
Just as denim is having yet another moment, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is opening an exhibit (beginning December 1) examining the fabric’s place in fashion history. With over 70 denim constructions from the museum’s collection, Denim: Fashion’s Frontier takes a long (almost two centuries) look at the ways and reasons jeans have wooed the world. Featuring denim jumpsuits worn in factories during World War II and Tom Ford’s notoriously expensive plumed pair for Gucci, Denim shows how this is truly the fabric of our diverse lives.
Roberto Cavalli ensemble, embroidered denim, Spring 2003, Italy,
gift of Roberto Cavalli. Photograph courtesy of The Museum at FIT.
Nothing comes between you and your denim: READ MORE
Undisputed kings of cool Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of rag & bone are visiting our Nordstrom Pacific Centre store in Vancouver today. The founders of the London-meets-New York line of urban casual wear are cult favorites with laid-back celebrities (their clothes have just recently been spotted on Sienna Miller, Derek Jeter, Demi Lovato and every model and social media darling sporting the brand’s ubiquitous personalized bomber jackets from their fall 2014 runway show).
Even if you can’t meet the dashing Wainwright and Neville for a personal look at their fall 2015 men’s and women’s collections during their Vancouver visit, catch up with them in this Q&A. For those lucky enough to be in the area today for this catered party with live music, personal styling and photo booth, get the details below.
As rag & bone men, do you personally collect anything? What attracted you to these collections?
Wainwright: I have a few collections going on: cameras, sneakers and watches. I’m an avid photographer, and in my opinion Leica makes the most perfect, timeless cameras.
My dad got me into watches when I was younger, so I’ve a few that I love. My favorite is a Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph, which my wife got me for Christmas. It’s just beautifully designed. I’m also a bit of a sneakerhead and have built up quite the collection over the years.
Neville: I collect antiques for our farm in Bedford, New York, and I also seem to be collecting animals as well—we recently added some horses to the family!
As you’ve probably heard, we’ve been rounding up our favorite versions of iconic life essentials for Pop-In@Nordstrom New Classics, and really, what’s more timeless than denim?
vale denim shirt and skirt
We had the pleasure of trading missives with creative directors (and bonafide jeaniuses) over at vale and Cartel Handbags for more insight on this perennial favorite—and how these bosses are fraying the denim standard.
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Catherine Ryu is on a mission to save your butt from saggy denim. Citizens of Humanity‘s latest line, Sculpt, includes body-contouring jeans that shape and lift without losing their stretch. Sure, it sounds like a mythological material—a golden fleece or Firebird feathers wrought by a jean genie—but we assure you it’s real and will be in stores mid-September.
We got the scoop on Sculpt—plus, word on Ryu’s personal denim collection and spiritual beach reading.
What about the Sculpt fabric makes it so good at shaping and lifting?
Ten years ago, a polyester yarn that’s much, much stronger than cotton and elastic came into play. That technology has evolved a lot and is one of the components that gives the Sculpt fabric its power stretch and recovery. There’s also the component of it being a blended fabric. It’s a cotton-rayon blend that can drape luxuriously yet stretch and recover really well.
Fit is also a big factor.
From the waist measurement to the rise to the thigh measurement—we calculated all those things to make the fabric work. For the Sculpt capsule launch, we have our iconic Rocket skinny, which is our number-one fit, and our Fleetwood flare. The fabric is so drapey, we felt like it would give the flare a more trouser vibe versus a casual boot-cut feel.
Flares are huge right now. What’s Citizens’s take on the trend?
Flares are from the ’70s, so we wanted to explore ways of reinventing them. We added flares to Sculpt to give them a more performance aspect and dressier expression. We also did some really authentic flares with worn washes and holes to give them attitude.
READ MORE >
The Nordstrom Fashion Office identifies the biggest trends on the spring ’16 runways with links to shop them now in our stores and online.
New York Fashion Week is off and running with a major denim story, heralding the return of head-to-toe indigo in a range of washes styled raw or refined in easy, chic or more-tailored silhouettes.
Shop this trend:
Save: Cartel frayed denim zip pouch | Spend: See by Chloé denim shirtdress | Splurge: Marques’Almeida collarless denim jacket
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Remember when the only acceptable day to wear jeans at work was Casual Friday? How far we’ve come since denim was strictly off-duty. Lately our office hosts denim-on-denim (sometimes -on-denim) showdowns—and we don’t mind one bit.
The material has been assimilated into all lifestyles, evolving from its workwear roots to become a staple of an elegant wardrobe. To that end, we can’t wait to wear these jeans this fall. When it comes to just-right denim that works at work and on the weekends, these brands have earned their reputations through innovation.
READ MORE >
What’s the best thing about this image from the 1986 Nordstrom catalog? Well, all that denim is certainly not to be undervalued.
But check out what homegirl all the way on the left is doing with her shirt tails through her belt loops. Tying a knot in the front is an established style move. But going through the loops and knotting to create a smallish exposed triangle–that’s next-level.
Shop: Men’s jeans | Women’s jeans | Men’s denim jackets | Women’s denim jackets