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Image and animation by Studio N

Want to know the difference between a guy who shows up at the music festival, camping trip, or whatever summery group-hang situation with cool accessories, versus the guy without?

Guy #1 is the man. He’s got tunes, drinks, knows what time it is–and has a rubbery backpack where everyone can put their wet swimsuits for the journey back to _____.

Be that guy. Plan for the season.

Shop accessories:

Herschel backpack | Ray Ban sunglasses | Marc Jacobs sunglasses | Shinola watch | Klean Kanteen water bottle | Recover iPhone case | reusable red plastic cup | LSTN headphones | Gents hat | Jack Spade card holder | Bose bluetooth speaker

Images by Manuela Insixiengmay

We’re big Robert Glasper fans here at Nordstrom, Glasper being the Grammy-winning musician doing the most–the most, we tell you–to keep the sound of jazz piano fresh, relevant and connected to the youth.

He’s all over the rap album of the year, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. And further indicating his breadth, Glasper’s upcoming album on Blue Note Records, Covered, includes live versions of songs by Miles Davis, Jhené Aiko and Radiohead.

Glasper is not Kanye-famous, though Yeezy has joined Glasper on stage to kick some freestyle raps. Nor is he trying to be. We caught up with him while the 37-year-old artist was taking the biggest year in his career in stride, touring, being excellent.

Keep scrolling to read Glasper’s thoughts on where an uninitiated person should start with Miles’ albums, the courageousness of Kendrick Lamar, his top five emcees–and listen to him extemporaneously rap Tupac’s verse from Digital Underground’s “All Around the World.”

Shop: leather jackets

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Image by Studio N

‘Tis the season when we begin to spend multiple hours outside in the sun, sometimes forgetting to take care of our fragile human shells. You know, music festival season.

And not to be a huge bummer, but we should talk about sunstroke and sunburning.

These things happen. They are serious. And like dehydration, they are dangerously easy to allow. Please be careful out there, OK? Don’t wriggity wreck yourself.

Check yourself: Drink water. Wear sunscreen. And bring a hat.

If we may guide you, our whole collection of Brixton hats is worth your perusal. That’s the Tiller, above.

Shop: Brixton

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Perhaps you’ve been following the True Religion premium denim brand since its inception in the early 2000s in Manhattan Beach, CA. If so, you already know some designs: the name-making bootcut jean and maybe also the more recent jogger silhouettes–though the boot fit is definitely still in the building.

The brand is growing its audience with new official spokespeople, basketball star Russell Westbrook and supermodel Joan Smalls. But let’s talk about unofficial spokespeople for a second.

Because there’s a good chance you learned about True Religion from rappers.

In the last decade and change, rappers have shouted out “Trues” 50 billion times in their lyrics, including heavyweights such as Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz and Jim Jones.

To sate our curiosity about how and why this came to be, we sent one of our favorite music journalists and rap experts–the uncommonly thoughtful David Drake–deep into the True Religion/rap music overlap.

This is his report.

–Andrew Matson

Shop: True Religion

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Music festival season is upon us and to stand out in the crowd of normies, we recommend hitting the Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom–it’s full of slightly bugged-out festi-gear curated by our director of creative projects Olivia Kim.

But we’re also wondering: Who’s likely to look freshest on stage?

We’ve got seven ideas, including country star Nikki Lane at Stagecoach, April 24-26, in Indio, CA–where Nordstrom will be on the grounds, representing on our How We Roll tour.

Lane’s known to rock sheer, ruffly dresses and can stand on two bulls at the same dang time. Her 1970s cowgirl punk style gets a thumbs up over here.

Six more picks, in chronological order:

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 All images courtesy Kandace Springs; car images straight off her iPhone

Nashville, TN, vocalist/pianist Kandace Springs sings like she could be Sade’s sister. Her music is smoooothed out and jazzy, with elements of throwback soul and modern hip-hop. We’re feeling it.

We’re expecting big things from Springs’ debut album out this season on Blue Note Records, based on the strength of her self-titled EP from 2014 and her choice collab with Ghostface Killah, “Love Don’t Live Here No More.” And because she’s working with a murderer’s row of hot producers and songwriters.

We’re talking Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Brandy) and Malay (Frank Ocean), as well as Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers who run Rihanna’s production company. Throw in people like Dan Wilson who wrote “Someone Like You” for Adele, and that’s heavy artillery. 

One thing we did not expect: Springs was selling a few cars during our interview.

We talked to her about flipping cars, her album and the coolness of accompanying Ghostface on solo piano.

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The brand Pintrill, out of Brooklyn, NY, answers the question: What if you took the collectible world of pin culture, and speared it through your phone and into your text messages?

Jordan Roschwalb started Pintrill in April 2014 with his girlfriend Doni Gitlin and homie Andrew Yung. He talked to us on the phone about the communal power of pins and future possibilities for the Oxford English Dictionary.

After speaking with him, we’re even more certain that these pins will get you noticed at a music festival or on the street. And maybe bartered with.

Shop: Pintrill | Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom

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If you’re at all susceptible to the spastic charms of festival-grade EDM, you probably already know and love Major Lazer, the electronic band with a superhero aesthetic–and which has its own cartoon premiering April 16 featuring John C. Reilly. If not, come check out the global dancehall party via this custom Nordstrom mix and get your learn on. These sounds are crazy, son!

Several Nordstrom-exclusive previews and remixes in there, too, of music by Diplo, DJ Mustard, Machel Montano, Sean Paul, Stromae, Nyla and Ariana Grande (*airhorn*).

It’s the perfect soundtrack to Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom, our collection of apparel and accessories that puts a non-#basic spin on festival gear and updates classic rave aesthetics from the 199os. Pop-In, of course, is the rotating themed shop within selected physical Nordstrom locations and online, curated by our director of creative projects Olivia Kim.

Much props to mixmaster and Major Lazer producer Walshy Fire, coming out of Miami. We’re looking forward to his new music label, Planet Raux, and fully expecting the upcoming Major Lazer album “Peace Is the Mission”–which he’s all over, including the sleek single “Lean On“–to dominate dance parties this spring and all through festival season.

Shop: Major LazerMagic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom

 

Back in the early-/mid-’90s, rappers had a serious taste for Polo gear in bold primary and secondary colors. I mean, witness Raekwon and Ghostface Killah in the video for the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple.”

‘Lo-ed out!

With that history in mind, we look at this shot from the 1992 Nordstrom holiday catalog and think back fondly on classic street-yacht menswear.

Shop: Polo Ralph Lauren

The Sneaker Project is a curated selection of sneakers handpicked by our buyers, and forgive our immodesty here, but it rules. Twice a year we give it an extra dimension with atmospheric videos shot in various cities. We pick a sneaker enthusiast and make them our tour guide. So far we’ve profiled Seattle, New York and now Los Angeles.

Our L.A. video was made by and stars Dan Regan and his actor friend Spencer Lofranco. Regan is a downtown L.A. dweller and Venice neighborhood local, an artist/photographer/director we admire–someone whose professional title could probably be something nebulous like “creative strategist and digital fathomer,” but that’s obnoxious and he’s not.

In fact, he’s pretty much the man for steering us away from #basicstuff in Venice and recommending a few crucial spots to chill and eat. Check out our Q&A and some behind-the-scenes snapshots below.

Shop: The Sneaker Project

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