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.
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 Centerstore 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although 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.
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.
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.
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.
Some occasions are too important to fête just once. Take it from Jason Wu, the launch of a new collection is cause to celebrate again and again. On the advent of his new diffusion line, Grey Jason Wu, the American designer decided to host a series of dinner parties. Wu is a consummate entertainer. His elegant and lively functions usually include any number of New York artists, literati and fashion luminaries, inventive menus and impeccable decor. And, of course, gorgeous clothes.
Jason Wu bartending at his July 20 party at the Lucky Bee in New York. All images courtesy of Grey Jason Wu.
Coolly feminine with a slight edge, Grey Jason Wu, his namesake designer collection’s sister line, is perfect for the New York society with whom Wu runs.
We got a glimpse inside two launch parties Wu has hosted to date—more will follow, we’ve been told—and a look at the comely guest list dressed in Grey. Additionally, the designer imparted some party hosting tips and a recipe for French vanilla bean ice cream—so good.
Scenes from the July 20 dinner party at The Lucky Bee in New York.
Do you have one simple tip for entertaining that you can share?
Make guests feel welcome. I think the best dinners have a great ambiance and are not too fussy. I love using creativity to cook and prepare for guests. Try to curate a meal that encourages guests to get involved.
Jessica Alba is a busy lady. Between her acting career, devoted parenting of two daughters and running the Honest Company, her business of earth-friendly, non-toxic household products, she still somehow finds time to lend her entrepreneurial and fashion savvy to collaborations.
For example, this fall, Alba is the face and toned body of a denim collection for DL1961. It’s a partnership that strikes one as sincere. Both Alba and DL1961 favor environmentally conscious practices and technological innovation. DL1961’s fits, too, flatter a curvaceous figure; Alba is famed for her own.
We spoke with the actress turned entrepreneur about denim’s enduring appeal and her favorite way to style her jeans, the go-to uniform of ladies on the go.
Recently, we had the delightfully direct and vivacious Rose-Marie Swift at a beauty photo shoot working her magic. And when you have a world-class makeup artist on set, you don’t miss the opportunity to grab a few minutes to chat with her about anything and everything—from her unexpected beauty regimen to her secrets to beautiful, glowing skin. Plus, we couldn’t resist asking her about her innovative line, RMS Beauty—a new-to-us collection of all-natural, organic and cruelty-free cosmetics formulated to hydrate and illuminate, with health-driven skin care as its guiding principle. Read on to learn a thing or two about Rose-Marie’s down-to-earth and refreshing approach to beauty. Spoiler alert: less is more.