Shop: graduation gifts

Graduation season is upon us, which means plane flights, parking lots and life milestones. And commencement speeches. Real talk, this is one of our favorites genres of literature. The frequent comic asides, the existential spring cleaning: we’re just suckers for the whole shebang.

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When it comes to summer shoes, have you thought about going the patterned route? It’s kind of like wearing a loud shirt on your feet. Definitely a fun way to reconsider your outfit. Recommended for resisting anonymity.

These adidas Fluxes are very hot and a good place to start.

Dig a little deeper through our offerings, though, and you’ll find smaller, high-quality brands which your friends might not be up on–until you lace the function with conversation-starting footwear: California-based Thorocraft is worth checking out; so is Filling Pieces, out of Amsterdam.

Shop: adidas ZX Flux | all sneakers

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Where have you seen Araya Nicks before?

Perhaps you know the SoCal stunner as the face of Nordstrom’s summer shorts campaign. Or maybe you remember her wearing electrodes on her head and negotiating a vine-covered labyrinth in Chris Brown’s “Don’t Wake Me Up” music video?

Here’s a new context in which to view her: solo recording artist.

Nicks is currently working on her own album as a vocalist, and we’ve been turning up on the bus ride to work lately to her cut “One Good Reason.” Check that out below–and get the low-down on her favorite jams, movies and travel bucket list.

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Shop: golf apparel | striped polos | chinos | fabric belts

From the 1980 Nordstrom holiday catalog, we present this scene of brotherly togetherness on the golf course. You might not consider golf a team sport, but think about it this way:

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In this series, we talk to artists and designers about their most personal works and the projects that are closest to their hearts.

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Shop: Alexander Simai tee

Nordstrom photographer Barb Penoyar is back with the third installment of her series In/On White: portraits of models shot using 100% natural light. We remain psyched on this series.

Read about the origin of Barb’s “white period”–as it will be known by art historians of the future–and see round one here. Round two is here.

We caught up with Barb, who has a new website by the way, to ask about her new work:

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Anthony Thomas Melillo has our full respect as a fashion designer and creative individual, for the shape and hang of his clothes and for believing in himself over time. Basic casual wear with a tailored fit? Not common in the late 1980s/early 1990s. But today, his sports luxe style is everywhere and his brand ATM at the forefront, making, for one, arguably the perfect t-shirt.

We spoke to the West Chester, PA, native on the phone at his New York showroom about the importance of fit, feel and drape. And about how decades spent editing in the publishing industry at mags including Vogue and Esquire tuned him into the world and honed his instincts.

Shop: ATM | men’s designer collections

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Shop: Diesel jeansZanerobe sweatshirtBoss shirt1901 wingtip

These five denim washes/styles are perfect for right now–distressed, white wash, dark slim, bleached gray and black skinny. Here they are contextualized in five different outfits, shot at our own Studio N.

Consider this all FYI (for your inspiration). For more complete looks, hit this link.

Styling: Chad Christensen and Morgan Dillon

Photography: Joel Ramirez

Art Director: Eric Bay

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Video portrait by Elizabeth Rudge | makeup by Jenny Verador | hair by Eric Wennberg

Legendary drummer, bandleader and fiercely proud Bay Area native Sheila E. was the hardest of hardcore divas in the 1980s. It broke her down. Now she uses music to build people up.

Back when she ran with Prince and his crew, the timbale expert enforced 12-hour rehearsals for her band and gave commands, not suggestions. She had hits (“The Glamorous Life,” “A Love Bizarre”) and built a lasting work ethic into countless musicians, like Raphael Saadiq who joined her cohort when he was 14. She also became a cold, unfeeling person. She details the transformation in her book The Beat of My Own Drum.

Now that’s all behind her and she’s found the love of music again. You can hear it in her album Icon from 2014 and see it in her music-therapy foundation Elevate Hope. We caught up with her while she was coaching a bunch of young players in Seattle for More Music at the Moore Theatre, teaching them to find their own voices.

We did not talk to her about Prince. We did talk about her dad, Latin jazz heavyweight Pete Escovedo; her godfather, Tito Puente; Krush Groove, the classic hip-hop movie she co-starred in with Run-DMC; and the fact that it took her leaving her family cocoon of supportive musicians to learn about the sexist notion that women shouldn’t play the drums.

Shop: T by Alexander Wang jacket | rag & bone dress

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Shop: spring suits | beer glasses

We have a few thoughts about this image from our 1976 Christmas catalog…

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Have you peeped the Herschel Supply Company Studio Collection? These matte black & white bags are fresh, functional and weirdly addictive to touch: they’re made from rubbery tarpaulin which is both soft and hardcore.

Shop: Herschel backpack | duffel | tote bag | pouch | travel kit | all Herschel

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