Interviews

Pride month at Nordstrom

Ever notice that people are super heart-happy these days? It’s almost too easy to furiously tap that little heart emoji on photo after photo as you scroll through your Instagram feed or casually send it through a text or comment. And when you see a streaming video of puppies napping? LOVE plus heart-eyes. Except that these digital displays of affection lose something along the way. We want to bring the analog version back in 2017, where an emoji transforms into emotion, a hug is real and when you laugh out loud, you do it with someone sitting across from you.

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, Nordstrom is partnering with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to create the Love & Peace 2 You T-shirt to support friends and colleagues participating in Pride parades around the country (proceeds will be donated to the HRCF). And to kick off the celebrations, we wanted to get back to the basics and talk to some of our favorite people in fashion, beauty and entertainment on what love and peace mean to them.

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Reese Witherspoon has always struck us as the kind of woman who would give pretty solid advice. So when she tells us that one of the tote bags in her Draper James (new to Nordstrom!) summer collection has the question, “What Would Dolly Do?” on it, our impression of her feels accurate. After all, if our celebrity idol uses the choices of our country idol as her decision-making criteria, we’re in good company. And that’s another thing about Reese: with her cheerful confidence, well-earned success on and off the screen and group of good gal pals, she just seems like a pleasure to know.

Reese Witherspoon, Draper James

We became better acquainted with the actress and fashion entrepreneur during our conversation about Southern influences, her adorable Draper James collection and her admirable career goals. And it was a pleasure, indeed!

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At the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards Gala on April 7, Jenny Bird walked the red carpet in a muted canary-yellow gown, accompanied by her mom, whom she affectionately refers to as the original birdgirl. That night the designer took home some new hardware: the prestigious Accessory Designer of the Year Award.

We’re not surprised. Jenny Bird’s beautifully proportioned hoops, slender bangles and chokers are bold yet simple. They master the art of the slender line and weave in streetwear-influenced details like pebbled leather and fringed chains.

Jenny Bird

This kind of aesthetic balancing act leads to pieces full of personality, capable of versatility and promising longevity. You can wear them in heavy rotation, yet they easily hold their own when worn solo.  

We caught up with Jenny Bird to talk about her artsy hometown, memories of childhood crafting and her growing flock of birdgirls.

BIRD IS THE WORD: READ THE Q&A

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The idea behind Mizzen+Main is simple: provide great-looking dress and casualwear made from performance fabric. Cut for freedom of movement, it’s no wonder the American-made brand is popular with pro athletes.

Want proof? Check out reviews from football heroes J. J. Watt and Ryan Fitzpatrick, hard-serving tennis star John Isner and CrossFit Games champion Jason Khalipa.

Images via Mizzen+Main

J. J. Watt

“I’m still trying to figure out my personal style and that’s the fun of it. So if I put something on and I feel good, I like it. If I wanted to, I could play a basketball game [a favorite spare-time activity] in Mizzen+Main clothes—it would be easy to do. It kind of combines both of my worlds. I don’t really love the tight feeling of dressing up. Mizzen+Main doesn’t give me that feeling and that’s why I like it.”

SHOP: Mizzen+Main

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Following last year’s espionage-themed “Mission Impeccable,” London brand Ted Baker is back with another shoppable video experiment. This time it’s a 360-degree experience where you can hang out with the Baker family in their perfect surburban home and shop their looks.

Check out the shoppable video here. The version embedded above is not shoppable but still offers a chance to poke around the world of the Bakers.

Just in case you don’t know: Ted Baker is not a real person and the Bakers are a fictional family. Ted Baker is the hero figure, invented by brand founder Ray Kelvin, whose world is flawless on the outside and ever-so-slightly messed-up underneath.

For a chance to get further into the shoppable 360° video, we’ll have Google cardboard VR viewers on hand March 26 in our Oakbrook Center store in Oak Brook, Illinois, and our NorthPark Center store in Dallas. Come check it out. To us, virtual reality storytelling is a brave new world, and every step forward is exciting.

Keep reading for our conversation with Craig Smith, Ted Baker London’s global brand communication director, about “Meet the Bakers” and why storytelling is part of the Ted Baker DNA.

SHOP: Ted Baker London

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prom1

Perhaps you noticed: it’s prom season. For guys that means suits and, generally, a fair bit of uncertainty. That’s normal. Many teenagers are unfamiliar with suits. What’s a cool suit? There will definitely be photos taken, so you want to come correct. Should you purchase or rent?

Let us make this simple. You should definitely buy. And you should buy from the British brand Topman – which is distributed in the U.S. exclusively through Topman and Nordstrom. Forget tuxedos. Get a hip, affordable, easy-to-wear Topman suit. Done.

There was no Topman in 1981, which is when Nordstrom Senior Designer Tim Haywood went to prom. Things were more complicated then. Feeling the spirit of the season, he took us on a walk down memory lane.

–Andrew Matson

SHOP: Topman

STEP FURTHER INTO THE 1980s

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Emma Gedde and Khloe Kardashian of Good American

We spoke with Khloé Kardashian and her cofounder and friend Emma Grede about their denim collection, Good American, which comes in sizes 0 to 24, how social media is changing body ideals, Rihanna as a denim icon and Instagram blocking.

Why create a denim line?

Khloé Kardashian: I’ve always thought there’s been something missing from the denim industry. Whenever I buy new jeans it’s hard for me to find a pair that fits my body type, and even when I do, I always need alterations. I knew if I’ve had this problem, there must be tons of other girls who do too.

Emma Grede: We started Good American because we want women’s shopping experiences to embrace the new body ideal. It’s just crazy that we still have plus sizes and are splitting up friends who go shopping together into different departments based on their size.

MORE THAN JUST GOOD (KARDASHIAN) JEANS: READ MORE

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We’ve been crushing on J.Crew since high school. Before Normcore even existed, the company’s classic tees and V-neck sweaters were our unofficial school uniform. And like any enduring relationship—sartorial or schoolmates—evolution is a natural part of growing together. As our clothing tastes matured, J.Crew, too, seemed to become more sophisticated and fashion-oriented. In no small part that’s due to creative director and president Jenna Lyons.

Now that J.Crew has arrived at Nordstrom, we feel like we’re entering another phase in our ever-blossoming clothing companionship. We took a minute to catch up with the busy and beautiful Jenna Lyons to take stock in this new partnership and hear what she has in store for us this fall. Like running into the cool girl on the first day back at school, we got a little giddy.

Jenna Lyons

Why does it make sense for J.Crew to be at Nordstrom? 

Nordstrom is the quintessential American company. They have maintained a unique place in the American customer’s mind. Nordstrom prides themselves on first-rate customer service as well as relevant fashion and classic pieces. J.Crew shares that same ethos and for that reason, we are immensely excited and proud to be working with Nordstrom.

J. Crew Sketch – by Somsack Sikhounmuong

Sketch by Somsack Sikhounmuong for J.Crew

Is there a single item from the collection that you feel really encapsulates fall 2016? 

For us, there is never one piece alone that sums up a collection. The magic is in the mix: denim paired with something unexpected, cashmere with chinos, a vibrant pink in a classic blazer.

WHO JENNA FOLLOWS ON INSTAGRAM AND MORE

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Among the fantasy occupations that continue to enthrall us into adulthood, spies loom large. Maybe it’s the ability to go undetected that appeals to our desire to pass unnoticed through life’s messiness. Or the duplicity of the missions that reminds us of what we’re each hiding from the world. Or, as in the case of 007, it’s likely the enticement of a jet-setting lifestyle full of high-tech gadgetry and high-touch intelligence gathering.

tower-bridgeAlthough our pop culture-absorbed imaginations have been thoroughly infiltrated by spies from novels, comic books and movies, perhaps nowhere does this fascination prevail more than in Great Britain. Some of the best story spies hail from England: James Bond, Harry Hart, George Smiley, and John Steed and Emma Peel of The Avengers.

With that national legacy in mind, and with the cinematic producing powers of Guy Ritchie—no stranger to the British spy genre—Ted Baker London created Mission Impeccable, a shoppable video that constructs a seedy underworld of sartorial espionage. Of the many villains and heroes who partake in this fashion film caper—Manny Quinn, Minnie Skirt, Penny Loafer and Dr. Essmaker, to name a few—TED is an enigmatic leader whose real life counterpart isn’t so far from the fiction.

Ray Kelvin, CEO and Founder of Ted Baker London

Played in the film by Ted Baker London CEO and founder Ray Kelvin, this mastermind sets the action in motion when he deploys his agents on a mission to uncover who breached TED Quarters. Since we managed to discover his true identity, we took a minute to talk to Mr. Kelvin about the film and his favorite elements of spy style.

I SPY STYLE: READ MORE

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Aamito Lagum Interview with Nordstrom.

We’re highlighting the women behind the faces in our fall beauty campaign, which is all about beauty in real life. This week: Aamito Lagum–who left her native Uganda almost two years ago to pursue her passions here in the U.S. She gets honest about her thoughts on what makes someone beautiful, her tricks for keeping her eyes on fleek and more.

GET REAL WITH AAMITO

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