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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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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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throwback thursday

Images by Studio N

Introducing the waviest streetwear/outdoor gear we’ve ever seen: the new capsule collaboration between Barbour and White Mountaineering. We’re biased because we sell it, but believe us when we tell you we love this stuff.

That anorak with those Timberlands? Too clean! The image above shows a Complete Look made by our stylists at Studio N. And if you thought that jacket might also look good with Stan Smiths, another of our Complete Looks confirms you are correct.

For the inside scoop on the English/Japanese team-up, we reached out to Barbour’s head of menswear, Ian Bergin, and White Mountaineering creative director Yosuke Aizawa.

throwback thursday

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OK, this is not strictly (or very much at all) menswear related. But if you have even one iota of interest in New York Fashion Week, we recommend keeping up with these fun, edifying, vibe-heavy, media-rich journal posts by Nordstrom blogs editor Laura Cassidy and copilot Jessica Carter.

Here’s one of their “Blank Book” images featuring photographer Nabile Quenum, along with an animated GIF from backstage at the Jason Wu show and a video interview with the designer himself:

blankbook02

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denim_slim_straight_how_to_rock_slim_straight_jeans

If you haven’t swooned today but are open to the possibility, try listening to “Windows” by Shortcircles X Parks Burton. These West Coast knob-twisters are kicked back, laid back and strummin’ on heartstrings. File next to How to Dress Well and the “Portlandia” theme.

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Shortcircles–also a professional video game scorer and recording engineer–spoke to us about how he teamed up with singer Parks Burton by accident in Los Angeles and where to chill on a Sunday in Oakland.

Images are courtesy of Shortcircles and Kristina Kassem.

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January 30, 2015

Listen Up! DJ Sliink

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ’tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

Jersey club is like a funny friend who is always doing the most at the venue–but that’s why you love them. With its anything-goes aesthetic of drums, bass and ridiculous vocal splicing, the musical genre is also perfect to propel you through those last ten minutes on the treadmill.

We spoke with Jersey club king and worldwide ambassador DJ Sliink–he of the Brick Bandits and Cartel Music crews–about his musical philosophy, dancing in New Jersey versus anywhere else in the world and the happy accident of recording a vibrating BlackBerry.

And he fully endorses the Thump documentary embedded below, so go ‘head and get your learn on.


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When I asked Kent Worthington to let me take a look inside his NYFW gear bag and tell me how he gets kitted out to support our Women’s team with their exclusive backstage reports, I wasn’t expecting him to say this: “I like to build a little shrine in my hotel room using some spiritual earth elements to ground, support and bring me energy during the week.”

Naturally, I needed to know more.

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(Images and captions via Jorge Valls; L: Marni finale. Beautiful new takes on traditional menswear ideas. R: Morning walk in Florence. Gorgeous!)

Here’s your chance to visit Florence and Milan for Men’s Fashion Week. (We’re gonna take you via IG, holmes!) Images with commentary are courtesy of Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Office Director Jorge Valls. Florence is above; everything else is Milan.

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January 16, 2015

Listen Up! DJ Diamond Kuts

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ‘tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

Don’t take our word for it, go ahead and ask Nicki Minaj or President Barack Obama–they’ll tell you DJ Diamond Kuts rules. Philly native Tina Dunham has rocked huge crowds on the Obama campaign trail and helped break Minaj in her early mixtape days, eventually producing original music for the superstar rapper.

More impressive to us, though, are Diamond’s regular radio mixes on hip-hop and R&B station Power 99 FM, each one a furious dispatch with flawless between-song cutting (hence the name). While her mixes come in many modes–hip-hop, reggae, R&B–her dance mixes are arguably her most exciting work and perfect workout soundtracks.

We caught up with Ms. Kuts on the phone and talked about exercise, the art of deejaying and things to eat in Philly which are not cheesesteaks (no disrespect to cheesesteaks).

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In this new series, we talk to artists and designers about their most personal works and the projects that are closest to their hearts.

How does an aspiring fashion photographer who shoots Santa photos at Nordstrom transition to award-winning fine art photographer in just five years? For Santa Fe–based Zoe Marieh Urness, the journey has been a storied one. Since April of this year, Urness, who is Tlingit and Cherokee, has been traveling the western United States, shooting the ceremonies, dances and regalia of Native Americans for her ambitious photo series, Native Americans: Keeping the Traditions Alive. Using her art to help preserve the traditions of indigenous people, she produces photos that serve to connect the old ways to the modern-day realities of the Native world.

The importance of passing on tradition through storytelling, dance and song is deeply ingrained in Native American life, and Urness has managed to not only participate in this sacred heritage in a stylish and contemporary manner, but through her diligent documentation is sharing the ways of those whom she honors with a wider audience. Gaining traction largely through word of mouth, the series has grown organically and exponentially as one subject leads Urness to the next, and what began as a solitary endeavor has blossomed into a communal effort, unconstrained by tribe or borders.

We spoke with Urness about Keeping the Traditions Alive to get a deeper sense of the adventures she’s encountered, as well as how this endeavor has impacted her personally.

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