New York City Ballet dancers Gretchen Smith, Sara Mearns and Megan Fairchild; image courtesy Cole Haan
Two things you need to know about Cole Haan’s collaboration with New York City Ballet, which has yielded the excellent Zerogrand flats:
1.) There is a meet & greet Monday, October 12, with the three real-deal ballerinas who contributed to the design of the Cole Haan/NYCB line, at the Nordstrom in Short Hills, New Jersey, from noon-2 p.m. That would be Gretchen Smith, Sara Mearns and Megan Fairchild. Talk to these artist-athletes, take a photo with them, try on some shoes–and since there’s no school that day, consider bringing along a little dancer who might like to meet some new sheroes.
2.) We spoke with Smith, Mearns and Fairchild about their input into Cole Haan’s designs and the future of ballet in general, and that conversation is below.
Shop: Cole Haan Zerogrand Ballet Flat | all Cole Haan
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British brand Hunter has transitioned in recent years from complete dedication to functional rubber boots to mattering on fashion runways, and has done so largely under the creative directorship of Alasdhair Willis—the distinguished brand builder who happens to be wedded to Stella McCartney.
On the phone, Willis told us everything began to change for Hunter when Kate Moss wore Hunter Wellies to Glastonbury in 2005. Fashion capital accrued forthwith.
We talked about Hunter walking the tightrope of emphasizing heritage while avoiding calcification, how BLITZ magazine saved a young Willis’s life—and we finally learned once and for all who made the first wetsuits (spoiler: it was Hunter).
Related: Hunter’s spring ’16 collection
Hit this hyperlink to go behind the boot
Hear ye, hear ye: Steve Madden and Nordstrom are running a contest to see who can put together the best outfit while rocking a pair of ’90s-inspired shoes. You shall know this contest by its social media hashtag: #SMxNordstrom.
All you have to do to enter is take a picture of yourself flossing in some ’90s-esque, chunky Steve Maddens. Style yourself most excellently. Post to IG, the Twittersphere or wherever you like to update the whole Internet about what you ate for breakfast. Then BOOM. You’ve entered.
The winner gets to fly to Steve Madden HQ in New York City, tour the Steve Madden showroom and meet Mr. Madden himself. Our own Fashion Office will be scoping #SMxNordstrom and narrowing down applicants to a handful. Team Madden makes the final call.
We called on some favorite Insta queens to model what we’re talking about and get this hashtag rolling. That’s @FeralCreature above. More inspiration below.
Shop: Steve Madden | Fjällräven backpack
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Skinny ankles? Extra-curvy calves? Buying boots—especially online—can sometimes feel like you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. No more: Our crack video team hooked up with our amazing in-house shoe experts to answer the question once and for all, and well, the headline pretty much says it all.
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Fendi’s calling these “Bugs”–and while we’re honestly seeing birds, not bugs, either way they’re fly. They’re part of a larger Fendi collection of Monster handbags and Bug shoes. This particular sandal is the current favorite footwear of Jodi Taylor, Nordstrom Senior Stylist, who enthuses about it and gives styling tips, below.
Shop: Fendi Bugs shoes | Fendi Monsters bags | all Fendi
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In this image we see music/fashion boss Taylor Swift on a brief break from punching people in the face (have you seen “Bad Blood”?) to preview her Nordstrom exclusive sneaker for Keds at a private party in New York.
Nobody moved and nobody got hurt.
Seriously, though: Swift doesn’t really punch people. In fact she was gracious with her time at Canoe Studios in Chelsea and excited to meet her fans: a handful of BP. Fashion Board high schoolers, top Nordstrom customers and Refinery 29 contest winners.
Swift shot the breeze about this and that, talked about her pet seagull who lived in her swimming pool at her old Hyannis Port home–and enthused about her Keds. Especially the Nordstrom exclusive “Welcome to New York” sneaker, based on her song of the same name.
And speaking of the BP. Fashion Board: it’s worth investigating. If you know a teen girl or boy who wants to work in fashion they should sign up. They’ll learn about the industry, gain skills and maybe meet a pop icon.
Shop: Taylor Swift for Keds
We’re loving Janie Bryant’s 1960s-inspired shoe collection for Shoes of Prey–that’s Emmy-winning Janie Bryant, costume designer for Mad Men. And Shoes of Prey, for the uninitiated, is the Australian brand where all the shoes are customizable by height, heel type and color.
Currently the Janie Bryant X Shoes of Prey collection is available in three physical Nordstrom locations–Bellevue, WA; Fashion Island, CA; San Francisco Centre, CA–with three more to come by the end of 2015: Paramus, NJ; Pentagon City, VA; and Oakbrook, IL.
We spoke with Bryant on the phone about the inspiration behind her collection, about what was considered vintage cool in the 1960s–and about this rad, old band she’s into called The Cake.
[We also spoke to Bryant about Mad Men. Read that part of the interview here.]
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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.
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