A blogger is a blogger is a blogger, right? Well, no. Not when the blogger is 4th and Bleeker’s Alexandra Spencer. We chatted with the model, stylist, artist, photographer and yes, blogger, during our recent Stuart Weitzman campaign shoot and got a window into her gorgeous world of creative cross-pollination. But it wasn’t all business. We talked boots, sandals, inspiration and outfits too.
The Thread: Tell us about 4th and Bleeker.
Alexandra Spencer: It’s where I share all of the different projects that I work on. It’s a place for all of my collaborations in whatever form they’ve come—whether it’s photography or modeling or art direction or styling or painting, it’s a home for all of that.
A new shoebox full of open-toed stiletto sandals, caged straps and goldtone hardware—our toolkit to glitz up the night.
The Brother Vellies springbok boots pictured above—part of our TMRW TGTHR Pop-In Shop—represent not one, but multiple acts of good karma. They create solid jobs for the skilled artisans who handcraft them in South Africa. They offer additional income for farmers providing the hides. They put materials to good use that would otherwise go to waste. They provide a consumer like you with high-quality footwear that will last for years. And, perhaps most importantly, they share a cross-continental story about people’s lives and cultures, which might otherwise go untold.
Keep reading to see more photos that Brother Vellies founder Aurora James (along with her stylish friends and their adorable offspring) shot just for us—and to hear Aurora’s thoughts on growing up in Canada, listening to your mother and the evolving definition of what it means to help people in need.
Announcing the arrival of Acne Studios: edgy, iconic shoes that are the footwear equivalent of a designer motorcycle jacket. Throw them on with any outfit for an instant infusion of streetwise cool.
Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1996, Acne (Ambition to Create Novel Expressions) Studios began as a cult denim brand. The label quickly gained notoriety with the help of inspiring runway collections—Acne shoes have been spotted adorning the feet of It Girls and MODs (Models Off Duty) everywhere. Check out the Acne Studios collection, and let your inner MOD out to play.
Tales of the gods have enchanted the imagination since Hermes flew to Mount Olympus in his famed winged sandals. Now the legend continues, thanks to Ancient Greek Sandals, a collection of handmade leather footwear. Designer Christina Martini and Nikolas Minoglou find creative inspiration in classical mythology and ancient Greek art. Step into their world with our Q & A, where old-world craftsmanship meets contemporary style.
A culturalist of cool, Keltse Bilbao globe-trots professionally, seeking creative inspiration from the people she meets and the places she explores. This native of Spain lives in New York City and is one half of the duo behind footwear brand Plomo, which literally translates from Spanish to “lead.” Keltse and her partner Galia Katz, who is based in Mexico, are part of a new generation of Spanish shoe designers who are leading the way in contemporary style.
Fresh from a trip to Kenya, Keltse tells The Thread about her adventures in Africa, celebrity fans (which include the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker) and what it takes to craft the uniqueness of Plomo shoes.
Sketched into Reality: Plomo ‘Nuria’ Bootie
THE THREAD: How did you enjoy Kenya? And will we see an African influence for your upcoming spring 2015 line?
KELTSE BILBAO: Kenya was both fun and empowering. I travel a lot with my husband, and for this trip to Nairobi, we did a mix of volunteering and tourism. My husband is a musician/composer, and I’m passionate about the universal rights of women, so we teamed up with the Power Women Group in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa and the third largest in the world, which offers a music program for youth as well as business development aid to artisans who are women and are living with HIV and AIDS.
As an entrepreneur and a woman, I deeply believe in supporting this type of community-building, where people can learn and then in turn teach others how to support themselves. I was so inspired by these women, so you’ll see accents of things we designed together for spring ’15—like a sandal with special stitching, or beading and accessory straps that you can add to the shoe.
“There’s no business like shoe business.”—Charlotte Olympia Dellal
Last week, London-based designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal spun a web of style at our Seattle flagship store as she presented the Purrrfect Collection, which includes an assortment of kitty flats that come in six Nordstrom exclusive colors as well as a ‘Kitty’ clutch and signature heels.
The mother of three happily greeted customers (and their pets too) while signing her name to the coveted collection. As a brand, Charlotte Olympia is known for fusing humor with girlie sophistication. When we asked the designer if she considered herself a cat person, she confirmed that she actually has a dog but added that she loves the “flirty and feminine” mannerisms of felines.
Show off your feline instincts by donning the Charlotte Olympia Purrrfect Collection.