Jeffrey Kalinsky

If you’re in Atlanta wearing Prada, it’s basically Jeffrey Kalinsky’s doing.
The retail icon and Nordstrom’s vice president and fashion director runs two namesake boutiques carrying high fashion, and is  and today, he tells Fashionista all about the happy accident that first led him to “put [his] name on the door.”

Not that it was happy at the time. Or, well, unhappy either, it was just … complicated.

Which makes for a good story, of course. Go read How Jeffrey Kalinsky is Competing in a Changing Retail Landscape on Fashionista.com now.

Kalinsky and Anna Wintour at Jeffrey Fashion Cares

Side note: Fashionista, one of our top industry and scene go-to sites, also reported that yesterday was a sort of beach-and-pool equivalent of Black Friday/Cyber Monday. That is: the “most popular day of the year to buy swimwear online.” If you’re behind on the suit game, you better get on top of it now by shopping our Poolside Pop-In and the rest of our bikini, maillot, and related offerings.

—Laura Cassidy

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Nordstrom was thrilled to host the Tonys Red Carpet this year and–in case you missed it–we live-blogged the entire thing. Our own Jeff Powell reported live from the red carpet, where the Nordstrom Red Carpet Photo Booth invited nominees and other notables to snap shots with their costars and friends.

Read on for the recap, and come back tomorrow for an overview of all the amazing fashion trends from the awards c/o the Nordstrom Fashion Office.

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8:20pm ET | …And that’s a wrap. Thanks so much to all who gave us their time on the red carpet, and to all of you who followed the action with us here on The Thread. 

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Broadway’s biggest night is Sunday, June 7, and we couldn’t be more excited to be the official sponsor of the Tony Awards Red Carpet. We’ll be on the ground at Radio City Music Hall bringing you real-time coverage of performers, presenters, celebrities and industry notables as they show us their best right here on The Thread, on Twitter and at our exclusive Nordstrom Red Carpet Photo Booth!

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And from 5:30PM to 8PM EST, tune in right here (below) to the first-ever red-carpet live stream cohosted by stage and TV star Darren Criss and two-time Tony nominee Laura Osnes. Besides watching the action on the carpet with correspondents like George Takei and costume designer Emilio Sosa, keep an eye out for special guest commentary from our very own Designer Fashion Director, Jeffrey Kalinsky.

READ MORE & WATCH THE LIVESTREAM >

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Fashion loves a good cause—and a good runway show! Industry insiders flocked to Art Beam in Chelsea on April 6 to put up some coins for a good cause: this year’s Jeffrey Fashion Cares bash.

On behalf of Jeffrey Kalinsky, Nordstrom’s EVP of Designer, Zachary Quinto hosted a raucous live auction and men’s fashion show following a cocktail reception/silent auction. The auctions featured some pretty hot ticket items, including invitations to Elton John’s Oscar viewing party and a Paris Fashion Week package that includes front row tickets Dries Van Noten and Lanvin’s shows.

The runway show sampled from thirteen of the best in the business: Dries Van Noten, Lanvin, Raf, Baja East, Bobby Abley, Christopher Kane, Valentino, Loewe, Haider Ackermann, Ashish, Christopher Shannon, Saint Laurent, and Givenchy all lent menswear threads to the catwalk to help raise funds.

Who was there? Everyone was there—including Prabal Gurung, Narciso Rodriguez, Joseph Altuzarra, Carole Radziwill and Anna Wintour. Now in its twelfth year, the Jeffrey Fashion Cares team has raised over $5 million dollars for non-profits and charity organizations benefitting the LGBT community.

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Front Row at Rodarte

We cruised the front row at Rodarte’s spring 2014 show on Tuesday, coming across some Fashion Week regulars. (See also: Our runway photos from this show.)

Vogue‘s Grace Coddington and model Karen Elson

Giovanna Battaglia and Anna Dello Russo

Nordstrom PR director Pamela Lopez and executive vice president of designer Jeffrey Kalinsky

Marie Claire‘s Taylor Tomasi Hill

Miroslava Duma of Buro 24/7

Mary O’Regan

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Jeffrey Kalinsky, our resident designer authority, fills us in on his style inspiration, industry mentors, favorite fall shows and more:

HERO

Who are your style idols?
The Rat Pack, James Dean, Jack Kennedy. I like the whole late ’50s/early ’60s clean, classic look. If you were wearing a suit, the lapel was narrow, the jacket was fitted and the pants were straight. I also like the idea of jeans and a white T-shirt. There was nothing tricky.

How has this affected your style?
When I need to look nicer than a T-shirt and jeans afford, I wear a fitted blue button-down shirt. I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and was very preppy. As an adult, I wanted to stand out and not be so conventional, but I’m still rooted in my preppy upbringing.

How are you not conventional?
I’m in a vintage T-shirt every day. And I only wear white socks, like they did in 1959. When you’ve got a pair of white socks on with your navy suit, some people think that’s unconventional, yet it’s rooted in something very classic.

Where do you get your vintage T-shirts?
Wherever I can find them. It’s always a treasure hunt. My friend Philomena gave me one of my favorites—it’s a heather gray T-shirt that says, “Bakersfield High School.” I’m also partial to light-blue ringer tees.

How is your closet organized?
By classification. I have all of my jeans in one place. I have all of my sweaters in one place. I have all of my T-shirts in one place. I have all of my shorts in one place.

How did growing up in Charleston influence you?
It shaped me in every which way—my style, personality and ethics. It’s an ultra-preppy city that’s absolutely beautiful. I love the way people embrace color there and dress conservatively in that chic kind of way.

Do you go back very often?
Yeah, like two times a year. But it’s always in my heart.

You worked in your father’s shoe store as a kid. What was that like?
My best memory is that I was not allowed to “walk” a customer, which meant letting a customer leave without buying something. That was a lot of pressure for a teenage boy. It gave me performance anxiety. If I was waiting on you and was going to “walk” you, I was supposed to tell you to stay put and not leave because I was going to get my daddy. The thought of that was beyond embarrassing.

But you stayed in the business.
I actually found my love of selling when I went to college and worked for other people, selling part-time. I saw that I was good at it but had to find that out for myself, which I couldn’t do under my father’s thumb.

Who are some of your mentors in the industry?
When I was first starting out, I worked for Donna Karan and learned so much about the relationship between a woman’s clothing and her accessories. Donna was so passionate about providing clothing for a woman by a woman. I also had a close relationship with Stuart Weitzman in the ’90s. He taught me to really believe in myself, which was invaluable.

Tell me about a person you admire.
Probably the most inspirational person I can think of is Steve Jobs. I loved how he saw the future. I believe in staying true to a vision and hoping people want to be a part of it. I love that he did that in an uncompromising way, because every time we compromise, we dumb something down.

How about a brand you admire?
The brand that always seems to stay at the top is Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld has a real curiosity about popular culture. He’s very tuned in and connected to everything, so he’s had tremendous success in keeping the brand relevant to customers of all ages.

When was the last time you were starstruck?
I met Emma Stone recently and I think she’s fabulous, so I didn’t know what to say. The same night, I was seated for dinner next to Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones. Her character is very masculine and tough, but in person, she’s so beautiful and feminine and the opposite of the character she plays. I fell in love with her.

What were your favorite shows for fall 2013?
Junya Watanabe, Céline and Givenchy. The collection and show at Givenchy were just amazing. It was in this huge setting, with the models walking in a big circle and Antony Hegarty [of Antony and the Johnsons] singing live.

Where do you like to vacation?
I love going to the south of France.

What do you do when you’re there?
Nothing.

Sounds perfect. What TV shows have you been enjoying lately?
Mad Men, The Newsroom, Game of Thones, Homeland. I started watching The West Wing recently. That might be my favorite thing to watch right now.

Last but not least, what’s your favorite guilty-pleasure snack?
Pizza-flavored Goldfish.

Mary O’Regan

[Photo Credit: Emma Stone image from Zonters.com]

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Congratulations to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2013 finalists, who were just announced earlier this month. As an underwriter of the program for seven years, we’re proud to be a part of the Fashion Fund, which provides financial support and business mentorship to emerging designers.

(Image courtesy of the CFDA)

The winner(s) will be announced November 11 at a gala dinner, after a careful review process by the Selection Committee. This year, the committee welcomes Marcus Wainright and David Neville of rag & bone. Also on the committee is Jeffrey Kalinksy, our EVP of Designer, who had this to say about the experience:

“I absolutely love being a judge. I learn so much every year, not only from my fellow judges and the process but also from the nominees. This year’s nominees are very creative; it’s a strong group.”

Here are the 10 finalists:
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne | Public School
Jason Jones and Mike Feldman | Parabellum
Juan Carlos Obando | Juan Carlos Obando
Marc Alary | Marc Alary
Misha Nonoo | Nonoo
Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin | TOME
Shimon Ovadia and Ariel Ovadia | Ovadia & Sons
Tim Coppens | Tim Coppens
Todd Snyder | Todd Snyder
Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard | Veronica Beard

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Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2013

Last night, fashion’s most fabulous boarded the Intrepid on Pier 86 in New York City to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Jeffrey Fashion Cares, an annual charity benefit created by Jeffrey Kalinsky, our EVP of Designer.

Twenty years ago, Kalinsky established Fashion Cares in Atlanta, Georgia, with the goal of bringing awareness to the plight of people living with HIV/AIDS and members of the LGBTQ community. In 2003 he brought his benefit to Manhattan and has since raised over $4 million for LGBT and LGBT-youth charities in NY that include ACRIA, the Hetrick Martin Institute, Lambda Legal and the Point Foundation.

“I live for the day when there will be a cure for AIDS and equality for every man and woman in this country. Tonight is about gay rights and even in a greater context human rights,” said Jeffrey (pictured left).

The evening was hosted by Showtime’s Shameless star Emmy Rossum (pictured right), who dazzled in a beaded gold Naeem Khan resort ’13 dress. “I grew up singing in the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, surrounded by costumes and creative people. So fashion has always been a form of creative expression for me,” said the Golden Globe-nominated starlet. “I style myself, and I love everything about fashion—it’s just fun. I’ve been looking forward to the runway show and lots of cute boys.”

Attendees were treated to a menswear fashion show that included 41 looks handpicked by Jeffrey from the likes of Dries Van Noten, Burberry and Valentino. Head over to the Men’s Shop Daily blog for complete runway coverage.

Pop star and longtime LGBT activist Cyndi Lauper (pictured right) was on hand to present the Jeffrey Fashion Cares’ Community Leadership Award to Broadway legend and Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (pictured left), who directed and choreographed such shows as Legally Blonde: The Musical; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and The Full Monty.

Australian model Andrej Pejić and reality TV star Kelly Bensimon (pictured right) mingled and sipped champagne aboard the Intrepid.

Noted designer Thakoon Panichgul walked the red carpet in support of this milestone.

The industry’s biggest models were on the scene. L to R: Jasmine Tookes, Zach Stenmark, Ireland Baldwin, Jordan Stenmark and Chrissy Teigen.

The event raised $811,735 through ticket sales, donations and a live silent auction. We want to congratulate Jeffrey on being not only a fashion pioneer, but also a community leader.

Qianna Smith

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Planning a sun-drenched holiday? Let Jeffrey Kalinsky, Nordstrom’s EVP of Designer, guide you through the most ultra-wearable looks from Resort 2013. From stripes to prints to zesty colors, practical elegance will give you a uniquely feminine look.

Jason Wu Stripe Crochet Sweater: “Jason’s use of color and stripes this season feels fresh,” says Jeffrey. “And at the same time, each piece works easily on its own.”

Marni Edition Belted Stripe Dress: “This look combines everything that’s current right now: print mixing, bold stripes and a cool silhouette.”

Stella McCartney ‘Falabella’ Faux Python Handbag: A lavishly scaled handbag ups the chic ante, and Jeffrey says, “This is one of the coolest totes around. I particularly love it in the faux python.”

Get resort-ready! Check out all of Jeffrey’s picks in Jeffrey’s Edit: Resort 2013.

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“Who wants to fade into the woodwork? If I had to wrap up what the season was about, it was about individuality.” –Jeffrey Kalinsky, EVP of Designer Merchandise

Jeffrey Kalinsky walks you through his favorites from the fall 2012 designer collections and his must-have looks for the season—all set to footage from our designer shoot. For even more, browse and shop our Portraits of Style Designer Lookbook. It’s all so luscious, we almost can’t stand it. Almost.

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