Art & Design

kanywestshowConsider carving out some of your existence for this video interview, in which Kanye West–style influencer extraordinaire–speaks candidly with Lou Stoppard from SHOWstudio and British GQ for two hours, mainly about fashion and inspiration.

To pick one of many entry points for future argument, Kanye likens himself in the interview to Michelangelo and says clothes are sculptures:

“Fashion, clothes are sculptures. Wearable art.”

Shop: all camo

Deep thoughts & Yeezy vid through this link


Jake Rosenberg shoots Coca Rocha for the Nordstrom Pacific Centre opening campaign

To celebrate our new store in Vancouver, we’ve been catching up with some of our favorite Canadians. One of whom we submitted to a friendly on-camera interrogation.

Cofounder of the closet-obsessed website The Coveteur, creative director, fashion photographer and Torontonian Jake Rosenberg fessed up during a session of our video questionnaire, 5 Ws. Rosenberg shot the other celebrities and personalities we interviewed in anticipation of the Nordstrom Pacific Centre opening. Then we turned the camera on this digital-media maestro.

The Coveteur's Jake Rosenberg answers Nordstrom's 5 Ws



Ready for a shot of ’90s hip-hop culture–aka one of the key retro influences in today’s menswear? Check the early rap journalism of Dao-Yi Chow, now half of the design team with Maxwell Osborne of the CFDA award-winning brand Public School.



Amid the white walls and clean lines of his office, Ryan Willms, editor-in-chief of the design magazine Inventory, cuts an equally crisp silhouette. His hair hangs in a sharp fringe just below his angular chin. His nose truly is aquiline. His selection of a white shirt and black pants might be austere if he weren’t so relaxed.

To celebrate the opening of our Vancouver store on September 18, we’ve been exploring the city through the eyes of its fashionable residents. Get a glimpse of what British Columbia’s big city looks like to Willms in the interview below.

Ryan Wiliams

Your job takes you all over the world. How does Vancouver stack up?

I always enjoy coming back to Vancouver. The air here is amazing. I try to appreciate these days. Being able to run the seawall or go to the mountains is certainly unique to the city. There are some interesting people and things happening in Vancouver, but you have to hunt them out on your own a little more than in bigger cities.

What three words would you use to describe Vancouver style?

Casual, comfortable, inoffensive.




It’s time for another scan from the vaults.



sango1Not that we advise throwing around slang you don’t understand or which is nonnative to you, but it’s cool to know what’s out there. To that end, check out Our Slang, a digital handbook put together by designer Kai Wright which breaks down current terminology from Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Toronto and the Bay Area.

We came to know Wright through his music as the producer Sango, which we recommend perusing. Check out Our Slang below, which will help you decipher the slang you see above–language you may have already encountered through that one Drake and Jhené Aiko song.



J.W. Anderson | Brands to Know

jwandersontshirt1British designer Jonathan Anderson is a restless and vital spirit in the fashion world, always at work on several projects at once and bringing a slightly “off” sensibility which intrigues rather than alienates. You can sense him working to expand what’s acceptable and normal, while appealing to traditional aesthetics everyone understands.



In which we look at old Nordstrom logo fonts and give them a close look. These are the fonts of our lives.


If you recognize the typeface above you are either a student of retail or a student of design. Or a Pacific Northwesterner, since this was the Nordstrom logo back in 1930 when we were a Seattle-only shoe store.

Now we’re national and international–with our third Canadian store opening September 18 in Vancouver, B.C. Next year we’ll add Toronto.

Learn about the features and history of this old-school Nordstrom typeface below, with commentary from Strath Shepard, our Creative Director of Designer and Pop-In@Nordstrom–hands-down the biggest font nerd we know.

–Andrew Matson



conversechuckIIRedesigning the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is a risky proposition. We’re talking about the most classic American sneaker, whose design has gone relatively untouched since 1917. A true shoe of the people.

Think about it. Which other garment is worn by young and old folks alike so prevalently? And in various stages of pristine or tattered? Chucks are like Levi’s 501s for your feet.

And yet: Converse designer Damion Silver was faced with a problem. Foot fatigue was an issue. Especially if you’re trying to wear them every day, All Stars have always been a little hard on your dogs.

Enter Lunarlon, Nike cushioning technology.

That’s just one way Silver–a visual artist who shows his own paintings at galleries all over the world–created the Chuck II, a stellar and more comfortable sequel to Chuck Taylor All Star.

We spoke with Silver on the phone at Converse headquarters in Boston proper about shoveling snow, his unrealistic fantasy of one day skateboarding on a frozen golf course–and the pressures of redesigning the brand’s #1 seller worldwide.

converselunarlonShop: Chuck II high | Chuck II low



CMRTYZ | Behind the Brand


A new brand for us, Seattle’s CMRTYZ (say each letter) operates in a downtown loft right around the corner from where Nirvana used to play. That would be about one mile south of Nordstrom headquarters. Because we’re 100% in love with CMRTYZ’s punk concert-poster aesthetic, which gets a streetwear twist in our exclusive mini collection of hockey jerseys and T-shirts, we dropped by the studio to learn more about designers CMR (Carlos Michael Ruiz) and TYZ (Ty Ziskis).

Inside, we found artwork and silkscreens on the floor and local punk band So Pitted carefully “hole-ing,” ripping holes in T-shirts for decoration. It made us laugh, looked cool and the band getting paid (“We’re huge fans,” said Ziskis) was a clear example of CMRTYZ’s ethos: support the scene that inspires you.

Nordstrom isn’t carrying CMRTYZ’s hole-y stuff. But there is a rough/degraded quality to our jerseys and tees due to Ruiz’s hand-drawn comics-style illustrations, quick cutouts and images processed via photocopier.

Check our interview below to learn about life-changing album art, how to make a bad impression during a business deal and what happens when the punks take marketing jobs–all filtered through Ruiz’s unique hand-style.


Shop: CMRTYZ | The Rail