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Behind the Scenes

New York lifestyle photos & all denim flat and detail photos by Velvet Sea Media; San Francisco lifestyle photos by  Matthew Reamer; Seattle lifestyle photos by Thomas Akin; Los Angeles & Chicago lifestyle by Sean Klingelhoefer; animations by Studio 30

What does a year of wear and tear look like on a pair of jeans? If they’re Nudie jeans, really good.

Don’t believe? Peep the finale of the Swedish brand’s #breakingdenim campaign: five guys, five cities, five pairs of jeans, one year.

Here is post #1. This is post 2, with full documentation of a year in the field.

Shop: Nudie

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April 7, 2015

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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Here we have a little behind-the-scenes action from the photo shoot for Magic Hour, our new Pop-In@Nordstrom. For the uninitiated, Pop-Ins are recurring boutiques curated by our director of creative projects Olivia Kim, which exist in selected physical Nordstrom locations and of course online.

Magic Hour refers to the time at a music festival when the sun sets and tame gives way to turnt. Snapshots and a detailed statement from Olivia are below.

Shop: Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom

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March 18, 2015

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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Street League–our current streetwear collection–is built on a few key silhouettes and a rebellious shift in men’s fashion. What are those silhouettes and how did we get here? We sat with two of our in-house experts and had us a good long think.

Edited convo below with Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls and Lead Men’s Stylist Danny Mankin.  

jogger pants streetwear

Joggers

Nordstrom blogs: The jogger pant came to the streets from runways, right? Or did we get here through athletics?

Jorge Valls: From a designer level, Dries Van Noten was one of the first brands that I saw taking a pant silhouette and trying to make it new. I saw them put a cuff on a cotton pant or a wool pant. And drawstrings, too.

Danny Mankin: But there’s definitely an athletic influence.

Jorge: It’s very athletics-inspired, but it’s not what you wear to the gym. It’s athletic that you wear outdoors, on the street. But it’s elevated, an organic evolution. The current generation wears comfortable clothes all the time, so this is their version of dressing up. And the sneaker excitement right now? These are all fashion sneakers. You can work out in these, but they’re fashion.

Danny: I think the evolution of the jogger pant was influenced by the rise of the sneaker. The sneaker was rising so fast, it became a fashion statement. That influenced the gathering of the pant at the ankle.

Jorge: And some goth culture. That comes from Rick Owens, that goth-athletics aspect. He’s a body builder, and a lot of his clothes are built for movement. I would say any body type could wear this, though. It’s very forgiving.

Nordstrom blogs: What about the colors?

Jorge: Right, well, another big part of this look is the graphic element. High contrast. Black and white is perfect to create that. You’ll notice that the clothes tend to be black-and-white or tonal. But the sneaker is where most guys are unafraid to do crazy color and have it be a pop, a statement.

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street league

Topman hoodie | Topman bomber

Nordstrom has been pretty heavy into streetwear for a few years now, and we couldn’t be more excited about our head-to-toe Street League collection, just unleashed on the masses. It’s a spring thing, but we shot footage and photos for our website and catalog this past winter in Los Angeles.

Check out these behind-the-scenes snapshots by Dan Monick from that shoot, with individual hyperlinks. We think the images have a certain je ne sais quoi.

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Did you know Nordstrom creates tons of complete looks each month at our in-house Studio N, to help you learn how to put outfits together? It’s true, and they’re all right here.

February 3, 2015

Brands to Know: Vince

Vince started in L.A. in ’02 and has since gone worldwide, equipping man, woman and child with iconic essentials. We appreciate their menswear for never sacrificing comfort and, dare we say, coziness as it keeps us looking like we know what we’re doing.

Nicole Weismann, Vince’s VP of Men’s Design, spoke to us about the vibe of the brand, LeBron James and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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January 26, 2015

Follow Up: @SolesBySir

The series in which we hook you up with the feeds you need.

The outcome of Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots will certainly be measured in points–though in the larger game of life, you could argue that the true winner will be the team with the fewest concussions. But there is another competition afoot: Which player will have the illest shoes?

We spoke about what to expect on Super Bowl Sunday with Marcus Rivero, aka Soles by Sir, the custom-footwear king of the NFL. The Miami-based painter and designer says his shoes will be worn by players on both teams on February 1. Sales have been good since his status spiked this month after Instagramming a pair of gold-flake cleats commissioned by the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch, which were instantly banned by the NFL. 

Apparently there’s some league rule we don’t understand about shoes needing to match the color of uniforms. But we do understand banning a shoe is a sure-fire way to make it legendary and Rivero says business is better than ever.

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L-R: “Lance’s mom” (Gretchen Corbett), “Lance’s mom’s boyfriend” (Justin Long), “Lance” (Carrie Brownstein) and “Nina” (Fred Armisen); image courtesy Portlandia from “The Fiancée” episode 

As a business which started in the #upperleft corner of these United States, we at Nordstrom have a special appreciation for IFC’s Portlandia. That would be the sketch comedy TV show where stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein basically teach a master class in how to mock life in Portland, OR. It’s all there: the passive-aggressiveness, the self-righteous savior complex, the questionable style choices. And yet the show, currently in its fifth season, is a love letter.

“The Fiancée” episode aired Thursday, Jan. 15, and was partially filmed at the Lloyd Center Nordstrom. (That location is now closed, with every employee who wished to be relocated given a new home at a nearby Nordstrom.) Key scenes in the episode occur at Nordstrom and feature Armisen’s character Nina, with makeup done by Jessica Needham and overall style created by her sister, two-time Emmy winner Amanda Needham.

We spoke with the sisters while the two native Portlanders sat in their car in deadlocked traffic. Topics discussed: Nina, Portlandia and good versus bad style.

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