Behind the Scenes

jorgevallsdetailsOur own Jorge Valls, Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director, was featured in a Details article yesterday about “Retiree Style”–a term which writer Alex Frank connects to the rise of unabashedly comfort-focused menswear.

Click here to read the piece.

To be clear: Jorge definitely has a job and is not retired. He’s actually doing his job in this image, headed into a runway show at Paris Fashion Week. When we see him in the halls today we’re going to remind him not to take the “retiree” tag too seriously.

But to keep it 100, jokiness of the term aside, Jorge’s personal style is a perfect example of what the article is talking about: breezy, sporty and perfectly accessorized, a mixture of designer and everyday items worn with an assuredness that comes with killing it over time. Because like Kanye West says: when you try hard, you die hard.

On a related note, click here to listen to Jorge talk about runway shows and overarching trends at the recent New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

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richardmacfarlaneipadImages by Andrew Volk

Since we’re opening our third Canadian store on September 18th in Vancouver, B.C., we’ve been renewing our love affair with the city, draping ourselves in wings + horns gear (it’s designed there) and cruising around with 1080p Collection music bumping in our headphones.

That would be the internationally respected dance music label run out of Vancouver by Richard MacFarlane, who releases cassette tapes and floods the Internet with chill vibes. (Sorry we just said “chill vibes” but it had to be done.)

We spoke to MacFarlane about the natural beauty and the music scene in his adopted hometown–he left New Zealand because he felt the country wasn’t cool enough, musically–and which 1080p releases convey the most Vancouverishness.

Check the interview and see images from 1080p headquarters below.

–Andrew Matson

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nytimesscan1This just in: Menswear journalist and commentator extraordinaire Tim Blanks has found a new writing home, leaving Style.com and joining Business of Fashion.

We read everything Blanks writes and also heartily recommend following him on Instagram, where his bio still says he works at Style.com–and where his 15-second reviews of Fashion Week runway shows are crucial.

Read the full story of Blanks’ career transition here via The New York Times.

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ycbts1We recently shot imagery out in New York City for Street Report, our upcoming fall streetwear campaign. The finished photos look amazing but we can’t show them to you yet.

However we can show you a glimpse of the future of streetwear at Nordstrom. Our stylists and merchandisers were on set during the Street Report shoot and laced us with behind-the-scenes snapshots.

Stay tuned for Street Report. You’re going to love the collection we put together.

ycbts2Shop: The Rail

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chastity-belt-team-shotPhoto by Jesse Codling

It’s been a breakout year for Chastity Belt, the Seattle band which has grown into its voice in the past few years and was recently written up in the New Yorker on the strength of its album Time To Go Home.

Musically, that voice is droning and jangly. Ideologically, Chastity Belt is feminist, with a viewpoint that is often funny but with songs that can also be serious and direct about everyday existential crises.

We took pictures at Capitol Hill Block Party and later phoned guitarist and sometime singer Lydia Lund (far right in the photo) to talk about “Lydia,” a what-does-it-all-mean song which lands someplace…indistinct.

Other topics of conversation included avoiding seasonal affective disorder by gardening, feeling the ocean’s power while surfing–and we learned about the taste of the Peperomia plant.

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

Nordstrom_Vintage_logos

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

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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

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tuxedo700
Photo by Kyle Johnson

Parties crack and moods lift to the sounds of Tuxedo, the west coast duo whose 1980s funk is inspired by the past and crystalized in the present by Mayer Hawthorne (Andrew Cohen) and Jake One (Jake Dutton). If the group’s eponymous album is not in your summer music rotation already, we recommend it.

The singer and producer are old friends and hip-hop collaborators. They’re both deejays, too, and initially bonded over mixtapes each had made focusing on artists like Bernard Wright and David Grusin. The shared affinity is central to Tuxedo.

We spoke to them on tour about how Tuxedo fits into this current retro moment in pop (Mark Ronson, Daft Punk) and which piece from their custom Klein Epstein Parker tuxedos Jake One accidentally left at home with 30 minutes to showtime.

Shop: tuxedos

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skylarWhile mobbing around the city during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, we made a point to connect with Four Pins, the irreverent and tasteful NYC-based menswear blog. We check it daily.

News editor Skylar Bergl agreed to an interview right outside the entrance to #NYFWM, and we decided to sit in an Escalade we’d been granted use of by one of the Cadillac representatives hovering around. Much to our surprise, when we opened the Escalade door we found none other than Gabrielle Union staring us in the face.

She looked pretty irritated and said: “HEY.”

Wrong Escalade!

We apologized, closed the door and stepped into the correct Escalade ten feet away.

Anyway, here’s Bergl on the meaning of #NYFWM, the leap from being a tumblr fashion enthusiast to full-time style writer–and which articles he’s writing next.

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coppens1Meet Tim Coppens (last name rhymes with opens), the talented designer who came up through the ranks at Ralph Lauren and adidas and is about to bring his CFDA award-nominated style to Nordstrom. You could call his look athleisure but you’d be better with athluxury.

After all, this is the Belgian designer who recently put 150,000 Swarovski beads on Vans sneakers at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

Tim Coppens will be shoppable mid-August on our website, and his wares sold in physical form exclusively at our Seattle headquarters and our new Canadian store in Vancouver, B.C.

We caught up with Coppens in his NYC showroom the day after his #NYFWM runway show to get to know him better through his spring/summer 2016 collection, his most personal work to date.

The collection is a memory-dive into his formative years skateboarding around New York City with his European friends in the 1990s, listening to hip-hop, watching Kids and VHS tapes of 411 Video Magazine. That crinkly nylon jacket above comes from Method Man. His red leather pullover is a Patagonia hijack. The magic mushrooms on his varsity jackets come from Tom Penny, the reclusive skater with the psychedelic public image.

Basically, Coppens dream of the ‘90s represents a magic part of his life when he hung with a tribe and followed his instincts, and which changed him forever.

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