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“March 26, 1987 marked the release of the Air Max 1 and with it, a revolution began. In the form of a literal window to the sole, the invisible became visible, and Nike Air cushioning forever changed how Nike designed running sneakers.” —Nike Inc.

It’s not every day an aerospace engineer walks into your office with a history-making idea—even when you’re the CEO of Nike. Sparked from an Air-Sole prototype created by engineer Frank Rudy and brought to life through countless trials and errors by shoe designers Mark Parker and Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s iconic Air Max sneaker—the first to ever feature air cushioning you can see—turns 27 today.

Keep reading to see a timeline of vintage Nike ads (with a commemorative ‘Air Max Day’ twist), shop a selection of Air Max Editor’s Picks—and learn how to score a pair of extremely limited-edition sneakers from one of Nike’s elusive ‘Quickstrike’ releases.

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As proud as we are to have Nordstrom’s hometown of Seattle represented in this year’s Super Bowl, we have to admit: The Seahawks couldn’t ask for a more worthy adversary than the Denver Broncos and their legendary leader, 13-time Pro-Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning. Our favorite thing about Manning? Despite being extraordinarily competitive on the field, he happens to be totally hilarious when he’s off the clock.

Keep reading to see classic photos from throughout Peyton Manning’s illustrious football career—from the University of Tennessee Volunteers to the Indianapolis Colts to the Denver Broncos—plus our favorite clips of his other true calling: comedy.

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Love him or hate him, outspoken Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been the talk of the town since last Sunday’s Super Bowl-clinching win over the San Francisco 49ers. And by “town,” we don’t just mean our Nordstrom HQ home here in Seattle—we mean every media outlet from Sports Illustrated to CNN, plus the millions-strong, rant-happy Twitter-sphere.

Maybe we’re biased, but we’ll come right out and say it: We love this guy. And not just because he thinks nothing of busting a move with the Seattle Sea Gals after a big play (as pictured above).

Keep reading to see why Sherman’s football IQ far exceeds his smack-talking skills—plus, read a Q&A with the co-founder of Strideline socks, our favorite way to rep Seattle pride.

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If you find yourself moved by shapely posteriors, platefuls of hummus and selfies of guys (and girls) who could crush a normal human with a flick of their triceps, check out the #fitspo hashtag on Instagram. (That’s short for “fitness inspo,” or inspiration.) If, however, you’d rather be motivated by the more esoteric advantages of exercise—quiet sunrises, crashing surf, picturesque wilderness—look no further than the Insta feeds of some of our favorite Active & Outdoor brands.

Keep reading to fuel your New Year’s resolutions with photos from Nike, The North Face and more. (But first, check out the Nike clip above. Our takeaway: Humans possess an infinite capacity for greatness. But sometimes, you should just get out of LeBron’s way.)

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With temperatures plummeting and our Snow Shop open for business, we can think of no better way to set the stage for ski season than to gaze upon the stunning, strange, retro-futuristic glory of perhaps our favorite piece of Nordstrom memorabilia of all time. Behold, WinterSki ’77-’78: Saga of Light.

Continue reading for more skis in space, naked people modeling eyewear, and cryptic quotations. (Sample: “We drifted, transported through the essence, nearly weightless.” Huh? Long live the late ’70s.)

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Huge congratulations to our friend and one of our favorite designers, Todd Snyder, on scoring a cool feature in the New York Times’ Style section, below, as well as opening a brick-and-mortar pop-up shop, City Gym, in New York’s Nolita neighborhood.



As the name would suggest, City Gym centers around the Iowa-born designer’s Todd Snyder + Champion collection, a tough yet tailored take on archival pieces from the 94-year-old American athletic brand. You can also pick up some Snyder-approved accessories—like medicine balls by Leather Head, bike pumps from Kaufmann Mercantile, and a midcentury-modern Stephen Kenn couch made of Army blankets. As Snyder states in the article, “It’s not just about me and my brand, it’s about my filter and how I view things.”

Snyder’s accolades are adding up, with a recent full-page GQ spread devoted to the Champion collab under his belt as well. Check out a few shots from that article below, then shop our Editor’s Picks from the collection.



[Shop: White T-Shirt | Blue T-Shirt | Grey Shorts
Black Letterman Jacket | White Hoodie]

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Editor’s Picks from the Todd Snyder + Champion collection:



Top: White T-Shirt | Grey Shorts | Grey T-Shirt | Grey Sweatshirt | Red Patched T-Shirt
Bottom: Grey Hoodie | Blue T-Shirt | White Shawl-Collar | Red Sweatshirt | Black Wool/Leather Jacket

 

SHOP ALL:
TODD SNYDER + CHAMPION
TODD SNYDER DESIGNER COLLECTION

…And read our exclusive, in-depth Q&A with Todd Snyder here.

You might remember Gorgui Dieng from a previous post—in which we helped the 6-foot-11 Senegalese center get suited up for the biggest night of his life: the NBA Draft. Now that he’s in the league, he’s busier than ever, both on and off the court—and needs to look the part.

Luckily, Nordstrom Men’s Shop and brands like Hart Schaffner Marx make owning perfect-fitting suits easy—even if you’re not exactly an off-the-rack size. The key is our Made-to-Measure Suits program, which allows you not only to personalize your fit, but also to decide every detail, from rare fabrics and custom linings to adding grippers to the pants that keep your shirt tucked in. Starting at $795, custom suits are within reach for every man—whether you do your best work at a desk or in the paint.

The photos below document our latest fitting with Mr. Dieng—who carved out time to visit our store at Mall of America between rigorous pre-season practices with the Minnesota Timberwolves—as well as a trip to visit Hart Schaffner Marx in Chicago, where they’ve been making suits for over 100 years.







SHOP: HART SCHAFFNER MARX
ALL SUITS | MADE-TO-MEASURE SUITS

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For a deeper look at Gorgui Dieng’s inspiring origins in Senegal, Africa, check out the remarkable photo essay below. Shot by NYC photographer Alessandro Simonetti for innovative sports publication Victory Journal, the imagery documents life at Senegal’s SEED Project, “a non-profit that uses basketball and education as tools to develop responsible and thoughtful leaders committed to the betterment of themselves, their communities and their continent.” Dieng attended SEED (having not picked up a basketball until his teens)—and parlayed lessons learned there into an NCAA Championship, an NBA career, and a chance to encourage new generations of kids in his home country to dream big. Visit www.seedproject.org to learn more and get involved.












 

 
 

[Store and factory photos by Robin Stein. SEED Project photos by Alessandro Simonetti for Victory Journal, via Doubleday & Cartwright.]

Broncos versus Colts. Bengals versus Lions. Patriots versus Jets. You versus your girlfriend for control of the nacho plate.

Are you ready for a weekend filled with intense match-ups? Get your snack strategy locked down with Bon Appetit magazine’s Five Keys to Nacho Nirvana, and launch a dual-pronged attack of team spirit and coziness with one of the Mitchell & Ness NFL hoodies pictured above.

SHOP ALL: NFL GEAR | SPORTS FAN GEAR


[An excerpt from Bon Appetit's article on nacho architecture.
Photo by Christina Holmes.]

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And now for a moment of hometown pride: Aka bragging. Our local-hero Seattle Seahawks beat Arizona last night through feats of sheer strength and zen-like focus. Although it aired on a non-basic station, those of us cutting back on cable bills were still able to enjoy the game via animated GIFs, posted in real time on killer sports site the Bleacher Report.

Click below to see the best ones—and watch an impressive trick throw by Seattle QB Russell Wilson in the short video above.

Seahawks animated GIFs >

Style Profiles. In honor of our twice-a-year Men’s Shop Catalog dropping this month, we decided to profile 6 real men of style and substance. Here, Big-Apple BMX rider Nigel Sylvester.

Growing up in Jamaica, Queens—where dirt tracks are a rare sight, to say the least—a young Nigel Sylvester says few people supported his obsession with BMX bike riding. He doesn’t mind though, insisting it just gave him a thicker skin for criticism.

After getting his start pulling daredevil burnouts on Big Wheels, Sylvester soon graduated to two wheels—helped pioneer and popularize a unique East-Coast, in-city, free-form riding style that grinds on NYC concrete rather than launching off So-Cal clay—and despite (or perhaps because of) his alternative approach, has risen to the forefront of his sport.

We caught up with Sylvester to find out what every man can learn from a BMX master—like how to fail with dignity, sweat the small stuff, and follow your gut at all costs.


[Pro BMX rider Nigel Sylvester, photographed at Gas Works Park in Seattle.
Kenneth Cole New York leather jacket | 1901 shirt
Naked & Famous jeans | Nike sneakers]

STICK WITH IT. “With BMX riding, you want to be the first one in your neighborhood, or even in the world, to land a trick. You’re going to fall down. It’s all about getting back up. I feel like those setbacks just help build character. If you’re determined enough, you’re going to get back up and do it again.”

LEARN NEW TRICKS. “I’m competitive by nature, mostly with myself. I always want to outdo myself and be better than yesterday. So I’m always looking at, how do I progress? How do I learn new tricks—on and off my bike? Be a better brother, better son, better person in general.”

KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL. “Being a pro BMX rider means that you ride on a professional level. You’re doing tricks on a professional level. And you conduct yourself in a professional manner off your bicycle, as well.”


VISUALIZE SUCCESS. “Bike riding, for me, is very mental. I like to think about what I’m doing, envision what I do before I do it. I want to make sure it looks good. Presentation is so important. The details are what separate the good from the great.”

MY TRAINING REGIMEN. “Riding is my training. I don’t go to the gym and life weights or whatever. I do some cardio, a bunch of stretching, push-ups, sit-ups, but mostly bike riding is the actual exercise and training. When I go out on a ride, let’s say I’m bunny-hopping. I’m lifting up my body weight, plus the weight of the bike—so that right there is 200-plus pounds every time—and I may do 100 bunny hops in a day.”

MIND & BODY. “Riding is a full-body exercise. You need your full body to go out and ride. As well as your mind—so it’s like [exercising] everything.”


FULL CIRCLE. “It was crazy for me, because the first time I saw the X Games on TV, Dave Mirra won. And I guess it kind of came full-circle for me when it was him who turned me professional. He signed me to his company at the age of 18. This is my childhood idol, and then he comes and starts off my professional bicycle career. I’ll never forget that.”

SEE WHAT HAPPENS. “The advice I give people is to follow your heart and do what you love. Don’t let anyone deter you from your dreams and your goals—because you already know what’s going to happen if you don’t do it. So you might as well find out what’s going to happen if you put your mind to it.”

GOING GLOBAL. “As professionals, we strive to be the best at what we do and to do things that stand the test of time. So if I do a trick here in New York that people in Japan or Beijing or Africa are going to go on YouTube, watch it, and then talk about it around the world, that’s an incredible feeling. There’s nothing better than going to a new country, and people are like, ‘I saw your video, and you did this trick, and it was awesome.’ You’re touching people all around the world.”

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BLAZING A TRAIL. “Growing up in New York, we didn’t have many [BMX] competitions. New York City riders, our style is a little bit different. We’re more just about going out free-riding, filming video parts, and kind of just doing whatever feels right. That’s one of the best things about action sports—that you can be a contest rider or a video-part rider, and still be successful.”

IN THE ZONE. “I listen to music all the time. Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, Lauryn Hill, Young Jeezy, Kanye West’s new album. Most of the time when I’m riding, I have my headphones in. Music helps me just zone in and block out all the other distractions around me—planes, ambulances driving by, people talking sh–. Music helps me just zone out and focus on the task at hand.”

NO PLACE LIKE HOME. “I wanted to do a video series that gave my fans a different perspective of my life. We did a series called Get Sylvester—we shot in Chicago, Barcelona, Dominican Republic…[But] there’s no feeling like coming back home. Go see my mom, see my friends, go hang out. It makes you appreciate the things that you have in life that you can’t buy.”


LIGHTS OUT. “One essential item, whether I’m riding, going out, or going to a meeting, is black jeans. I wear black jeans almost every day. They’re a definite staple in my closet.”

PROPER FOOTWEAR. “Sneakers—I got a lot of those. I probably have, in my house right now, maybe 300 pairs of sneakers. In New York, you pull up, one of the first things that a lady looks at is your sneakers. Yeah. Sneakers are important. Got to have a good sneaker game.”

MY MOST PRIZED POSSESSION. “My bicycle, first and foremost…I’m going to ride my bike until I can’t ride it any longer. BMX riding is such a big part of my life that I will never, ever take it for granted. I put my heart into it as much as I possibly can. I wake up thinking about it. I go to sleep thinking about it. It just makes me feel like nothing else on this earth can.”

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Check out Nigel’s YouTube channel for his full library of riding videos.

Shop: Nigel Sylvester’s favorite items
Read more: Style Profiles

In important sports news, our guy Russell Wilson made the pages of GQ. The star quarterback of our home team, the Seattle Seahawks, overcame crazy odds last season (he was a third-round pick) to tie the record for most passing touchdowns by a rookie, throw for three TDs in the Pro Bowl, lead his underdog team on a valiant playoff run, and be named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. Seriously though…GQ!

Oh, and Wilson also made the cover of ESPN magazine this month. (Read the article about coach Pete Carroll’s new-wave school of hard knocks here. Hint: It involves more yoga and less yelling. How Seattle.)

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Not to brag, but people are even predicting Seahawks for a Super Bowl win. First things first, though: We’ll be tuned to CBS tonight at 8pm ET, to watch the ‘Hawks take on Green Bay (in a preseason grudge match sure to pick up where last season’s substitute-ref debacle left off).

Which team are you pulling for? Check the full schedule here, and pick up some new gear to show your allegiance. Our current favorites are these understated fitted caps, in a wind-stopping wool blend ideal for frigid bleachers (or your living room).



Seattle Seahawks | Pittsburgh Steelers | San Francisco 49ers | Baltimore Ravens
Atlanta Falcons | New York Giants | New England Patriots | Green Bay Packers

SHOP ALL: NFL GEAR | SPORTS FAN GEAR

 
 

[GQ photo by Benn Watts. ESPN photo by Peter Yang. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]