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converse andy warhol

Andy Warhol
Converse Extra Special Value
c. 1985-86
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
116 x 180 inches

Check out Converse Extra Special Value, above. That’s artwork featuring classic Converse All Stars by the late pop master Andy Warhol, mimicking his own early work in advertising. As an illustrator and graphic designer, Warhol sometimes drew shoes for ads. As an artist, he brought elements of ads into his pieces shown in galleries and museums, challenging people to see them in a different light.

If that were the only link, Converse’s new Chuck Taylor All Star Andy Warhol Collection sneakers would make sense by themselves. But it gets deeper. Adorned with Warhol’s beloved Campbell’s Soup cans, the Converse x Warhol sneakers are a swirl of classic American products-for-the-people.

In conversation with Carrie Dedon, assistant curator at  Seattle Art Museum, we go even further. Among other things, we learn from Dedon that Warhol definitely saw himself as a product, and we find out what his exaltation of logo design had to do with his concept of democracy.

Images courtesy of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Converse

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‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but henceforth ‘tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or, at least, stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.


Image by Chris Cantino

We go hard on the elliptical machine to their DJ mixes and feel all emotional while playing their pop/hip-hop/dance album “Push Thru.” But at this moment, we mostly respect the hell out of the guys in the duo Magic Fades–Portland, Oregon, musician-athletes Mike Grabarek and Jeremy Scott–for their success as curators of Health Goth, the influential Facebook page that in 2014 propelled them to recent meetings as consultants with Adidas.

They’ve done it all with some in-house digital design (in partnership with Chris Cantino and Jan-Peter Gieseking) but mostly just their own taste and the belief that they know what’s dope, and a lot of passion for sneakers like the Nic Galway-designed Adidas Tubulars and these wet-looking Air Maxes. On the phone, Grabarek and Scott talked to us about their partnership with Adidas, fit-for-life attitudes and how Health Goth represents an attack on Portland’s dream of the 1890s.

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December 23, 2014

Gifted Giver: Lord Quas

We’ve been counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, but in this, the final chapter, we’ve gone a little rogue…

Through a spiritual medium in Los Angeles, we reached out to Quasimoto, a dirtbag, deadbeat, bad-guy rapper from the fictional city of Lost Gates, CA. The city is fictional but trust us, the rapper himself is real enough that there’s an NPR story on him. We wouldn’t normally seek the advice of such a low-down character, except for the fact that there’s some real genius and an utterly unique style to his music—the kind that makes Erykah Badu and Kanye West collaborators and fans.

Turns out Lord Quas was in a gift-giving mood for the holiday season, albeit mostly giving to himself. (And yeah, not quite giving enough that he could follow our customary Gifted Giver format.)

Seen here at his most festive, he cheers the world while drinking from the Das Horn Drinking Horn he gave himself and wearing a couple new Lego Brick Watches. They don’t really come in purple, but he wishes they did. Generously, he bought his homeboys Freddie Gibbs and Madlib each an oversized stuffed zebra from Melissa & Doug to celebrate their album Piñata. Quas also picked out Power Mama Maternity Panties and a Chiffon Short Robe by Naked Princess for his girlfriends. Things got real.

Illustration by Jeff Jank

SHOP: Holiday Gifts for Guys

–Andrew Matson

Swedish-born designer Johan Lindeberg took a bonafide life crisis that would send lesser men into a rock-bottom bender, absorbed its impact, and redirected its power into something positive: He founded BLK DNM, a clothing brand with New York City in its veins and dirt under its nails that, being the culmination of Lindeberg’s years of industry experience, feels like a time-tested authority for best-in-class leather jackets, despite its mere four years on Earth.

Keep reading to hear how he did it, how he bled in a castle, how he’s anti-punk, how jeans are like wine, and why he’s a fan of Hillary Clinton.

(Did we mention he also started taking photos only four years ago, and now spends his spare time photographing women like Gisele Bündchen, Kenza Fourati, Anja Rubik and Arizona Muse? Click through to see our favorites from Lindeberg’s rapidly growing photo oeuvre, too.)

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Culture Map is everywhere Nordstrom is, plotting out the best in arts, events and happenings.

A week and some change remain of Vienna-based artist Markus Schinwald’s first major American museum commission, which is on display at CCA in conjunction with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. And which is all about space, and invading it.

Schinwald is a painter who is a sculptor who is a video artist who once studied fashion design. His most iconic paintings are actually delicately altered classical, antique auction-house pieces and his sculpture generally involves denatured appendages from handsome Chippendale tables. The invaded CCA space combines both, and allows visitors the opportunity to stop time. Or at least pause it. And perhaps—perhaps—leave behind one’s bodily form too.

Is it just us, or is this precisely the kind of architectural, visual interlude that might make the difference between a harried holiday season and a placid one? If you’re in the Bay Area, you have until Saturday, December 13 to find out.

See upcoming events at Nordstrom San Francisco Centre; for events at a Nordstrom near you, see our Stores & Events pages.

Images via California College of the Arts Twitter (top) and Yvon-Lambert.com (bottom)

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

How does an aspiring fashion photographer who shoots Santa photos at Nordstrom transition to award-winning fine art photographer in just five years? For Santa Fe–based Zoe Marieh Urness, the journey has been a storied one. Since April of this year, Urness, who is Tlingit and Cherokee, has been traveling the western United States, shooting the ceremonies, dances and regalia of Native Americans for her ambitious photo series, Native Americans: Keeping the Traditions Alive. Using her art to help preserve the traditions of indigenous people, she produces photos that serve to connect the old ways to the modern-day realities of the Native world.

The importance of passing on tradition through storytelling, dance and song is deeply ingrained in Native American life, and Urness has managed to not only participate in this sacred heritage in a stylish and contemporary manner, but through her diligent documentation is sharing the ways of those whom she honors with a wider audience. Gaining traction largely through word of mouth, the series has grown organically and exponentially as one subject leads Urness to the next, and what began as a solitary endeavor has blossomed into a communal effort, unconstrained by tribe or borders.

We spoke with Urness about Keeping the Traditions Alive to get a deeper sense of the adventures she’s encountered, as well as how this endeavor has impacted her personally.

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November 11, 2014

Follow Up: @IronandAir

New series! In which we hook you up with the feeds you need.

 

Ah, the open road. There’s almost nothing as attractive—especially when you’re scrolling through a smart phone app while waiting for your dental hygienist. Or your project manager. Or a stop light. Not that we condone app-surfing while engaged in the driving task but let’s just say we know from experience that it happens from time to time.

Whenever it is that you find yourself in need of a transportive fix, Iron & Air Magazine’s Instagram feed will hook it up. Gregory George Moore, Brett Houle and Adam Fitzgerald smartly repurpose and repackage great-looking original content from their Manchester, New Hampshire-based bi-monthly print and digital motorcycle lifestyle journal and serve it up in a swiftly moving stream of “bikes, autos, outdoor adventure, art, design, music and craft.” 

Should you find yourself actually transported to Iron & Air’s historical mill town home base near Boston, Moore and Fitzgerald recommend the vintage oddities at Modern Gypsy. They tell us there’s also a great speakeasy, but you’ll have to call them directly when you’re there if you want the details on that. For now, make your own martini and enjoy this brief conversation.

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November 4, 2014

Bookmarked: Designtripper

We’ll show you our bookmarks if you show us yours. Tell us about your favorite blogs in the comments section.

A seventeenth-century Italian flat with restored original terrazzo floors. A lush and airy Bahamian cottage tricked out by a renowned interiors visionary. An inn on Fogo Island in Newfoundland with sleek, modern architecture and a commitment to social good. Serious fodder for escapist daydreams, yes, but the real tie here is Meghan McEwen, who writes about these properties and more for Designtripper.

Upping the promise of the best design and travel blogs and nullifying long, often frustrating searches on sites like Airbnb and VRBO (and maybe equally frustrating discussions that begin with “Where should we go this year?”), McEwen’s small team of contributors explore the history, aesthetic and allure of privately owned vacation rentals all over the planet. If you’re the sort of traveler who places equal weight on journey and destination, and if majestic stone hearths in cliff-built five-story cribs seem like reason enough to cash in some frequent-flier miles, chances are good that Designtripper’s digs-centric globetrotting will appeal to you.

And, yeah, if you’re just into virtual escapism, they’ve got you on that too.

The minimal, efficiently organized interface includes filters for location, rental type (homes vs. hotels and inns), food-centric destinations, family-friendly havens and even socially conscious travel. Have a good trip.

Image of Mazzini 31 via Designtripper

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Travis Gumbs (left) and Joshua Kissi—two of our favorite photographers, stylists, travel journalists, fashion historians and the masterminds behind globally influential men’s interest blog Street Etiquette—are always up to something.

This time around, it’s a travelogue/lookbook in cahoots with Australian brand Zanerobe (progenitors of some of the best jogger pants in the biz, along with next-level shirts, shorts, jackets and more). The photographic essay, titled On the Road, took them out of their standard stomping ground of New York, and up the West Coast—hitting Los Angeles, Portland and our hometown of Seattle along the way.

Keep reading to see the results, and to shop selected items from Zanerobe’s ‘ZNRB’ fall collection.

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These visually striking and subliminally comedic portraits (seriously, when’s the last time you saw Jerry Seinfeld mug this meanly?), commissioned by New York brand rag & bone, came across our desk a few weeks ago. But today—with the launch of our latest limited-time, Olivia Kim-curated shop, Pop-In@Nordstrom x rag & bone—seemed like an ideal time to call them to your attention.

Keep reading to see more of this series by talented English photographer Andreas Laszlo Konrath (a former avid skateboarder and punk band bass player who has since shot for high-profile publications like Vogue, Wired and Rolling Stone). The impressive body of work includes GQ’s deftly sardonic “Style Guy” Glenn O’Brien, NBA badass Carmelo Anthony, and many more men and women of all ages—a testament to the universal appeal of rag & bone’s modern-meets-heritage menswear.

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