Art & Design

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

jae-yoo

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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Tarik-60507

The talent pool is deep over at Studio N, a warehouse space close to our Seattle headquarters where Nordstrom employees–stylists, art directors, photographers, tailors and hair & makeup artists–create imagery for our catalog and website. They do this amongst racks of choice product and models posing like perfect 10s. An inspiring environment.

Frequently they complete their day’s work and then create some more.

Photographer Matthew Sumi explains the impromptu photo shoot which yielded these shots:

“We shot a full day of men’s Anniversary looks on Tarik, then we decided to shoot more editorial images outside with this suit. I test often with all the models that come through the studio, to keep fresh and push myself artistically to always create new imagery. On this shoot I was playing with movement and black & white, specifically blur and focus. I’ve always loved trying different techniques. I think movement creates a strong visual element of mood. “

Shop: Calibrate suit | BOSS tie | Vince Camuto shirt | Magnanni monk strap loafer | all suits

Model: Tarik Lakehal

Photographer: Matthew Sumi

Stylist: Grace Erdman

Hair & makup: Pierra Lortie

Art Director: Brett Wiseman

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Behind the Brand: W.R.K

New season, new inspiration says Matteo Gottardi, leader of the menswear brand W.R.K–seen here at The WRK Shop showroom and design studio in New York City.

This spring: Formula One racecars and their drivers, a sport that is as visually striking and glamorous as it is punishing and dangerous.

Gottardi’s interest in speedy machines makes sense: he’s a motorcycle enthusiast, his mind moves racecar fast in conversation–and his general view with W.R.K is menswear should be high performance

Because we’re never static, are we? We’re always moving at the speed of life, word to David Bowie and Xzibit

On the phone, Gottardi talked to us broadly about men and style, and took us under the hood of a few of his designs, including the rare beast known as the summer sweater.

All photos by Brad Ogbonna

Shop: W.R.K

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Photos by Regina Garcia

You’ve probably heard the modern, headphone-y pop music of Toronto duo Majid Jordan without knowing it through Drake: they wrote and were featured on Drake’s hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” and on “Legend,” he shouts them out, saying their album will drop this year on his label OVO.

While you’re waiting for that, peep their earlier work Afterhours and A Place Like This

Jamie Webster handles the entire visual presence of the group (Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman) as creative director, in between his creative director and partner roles at the Common Good production company and design studio and co-owning the bar Dog & Bear. He took us site by site through the insiders’ tour of Toronto that is the music video for “Forever,” which he directed.

“The idea was to provide their audience with a glimpse of Toronto through Majid Jordan’s eyes. Not the CN Tower or cheesy buskers at Yonge-Dundas Square. It’s not a Toronto tourist video. It’s spaces that are cool or have a significance to us. We see the way the city is depicted and it’s often way off the mark.”

Get to know Majid Jordan’s Toronto below.

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Behind the Brand: Haspel

haspel

Haspel invented the seersucker suit in New Orleans, and not like Puff Daddy “invented the remix.” This is for real.

The classic brand goes a lot deeper than one fabric, and with two new designers steering its style, we figured it’s a good time to go behind the brand with interviews and photos from Haspel’s showroom in New York.

But for one sec, let’s appreciate their heritage.

Haspel was born in New Orleans in 1909. They’ve outfitted every United States President post-Coolidge, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird and Jon Hamm in Mad Men. Without Haspel, who knows if we’d have the idea of American suits that keep you literally cool. Or suits that you could wash and dry at home. (They pioneered wash-and-wear, too.)

These days, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos are the design force driving Haspel (you may know them from their own brands Shipley & Halmos and S&H Athletics). They were hired last year by Laurie Aronson Haspel, whose great-grandfather Joseph Haspel started the company and whose grandfather Joseph Haspel, Jr., remains something of a company spirit animal.

Jeff Halmos (on the right, above) spoke to us about taking a serious but light approach to handling so much history, about what’s fresh for Haspel for spring–and about what a rad dude Joseph Haspel, Jr., really was.

Shop: Haspel | spring suits | all suits | men’s style

Portrait courtesy Jeff Halmos; all other images by Brad Ogbonna

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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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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

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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)

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