Summer’s upon us, and with it—thanks in part to our ahead-of-their-time, Hendrix-digging forefathers at Woodstock, above—a season rife with obscure music genres like chillwave, mathcore and grub-step (we made that last one up). In other words: Summer Music Festivals.
Depending on your fest of choice, the forecast is likely to include sweltering heat with a 97% chance of attractive people everywhere. Hence, you’ll need some warm-weather essentials like tank tops, T-shirts, shorts and sunglasses—and handsome ones at that, ideally with colors and patterns that stand out from the proverbial crowd. Click the images below to shop our Editor’s Picks for front-row festival style:
Now that you have your basic style needs covered, here are a few more things you’ll need before shipping out to Bonnaroo, Sasquatch or Lollapalooza:
1. A Plan. Starting at square one? Our friends at GQ put out a handy decision tree for finding the right fest for you a few years ago—which remains hilarious, and accurate, today. And, if you’re headed to this weekend’s festivities in Indio, California, you might want to pack Fuse’s mood-based cheat sheet.
2. A Camera. Because when you’re in the middle of a remote desert, your phone battery will probably deplete itself posthaste searching for a signal. And you never know when something like this might happen.
3. Protection. We mean sunscreen, of course. What’d you think?
4 & 5. A Lighter to Wave…and a Change of Clothes. Because if past music festivals are any indication, things could get epic—or messy—at any given moment:
Following yesterday’s post on SXSW cuisine, here are a few selected tracks from the innumerable artists who are making appearances at this year’s Mecca of small-venue music in Austin, Texas.
Highlights: Divine Fits, the new supergroup fronted by Britt Daniel of Austin-bred band Spoon; emerging rap virtuoso Kendrick Lamar; ’60s soul-inspired Pickwick (from our hometown of Seattle—more on them later); and deadpan soothsayers of the blues/gospel/art-punk faith for the past 30 years, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
On NPR last night (yes, we’ve been known to rock talk radio on the commute from time to time), one of their music correspondents noted that, while SXSW has its fair share of world-famous headliners these days (Prince is rumored to make an appearance)—you might spend your whole trip waiting on line just for a fleeting glimpse of one.
What sets SXSW apart from other festivals is the sheer amount and diversity of music available; the NPR expert said he researched about 1,500 bands while prepping for Austin—and suggested you could spend the whole week ONLY seeing metal bands, or ONLY music from, say, Asia. That inspired us to pull two disparate, but equally festival-ready outfits. Each will serve you well if you’re hopping a plane to Austin this week—or just grooving to public radio back home in Seattle (or wherever you call home).
Our social-media team was in Austin, Texas, this week for the ‘Interactive Festival’ that precedes the boozy, bluesy music-fest portion of SXSW you’re probably more familiar with. Featuring “five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology” (yes, the nerds are officially taking over), our team clearly had to stay satiated with brain-friendly dietary fats. And you’ll need to, too, if you plan to fully absorb the high levels of audio goodness set to occur at SXSW in the days to come. Below are a few finger-licking highlights from our own Lily Wyckoff.
1. Torchy’s Tacos — “Breakfast tacos are an Austin staple, and Torchy’s is unreal. I’m very pro any institution that encourages the consumption of tortilla chips before 10am. I think they should have a satellite truck in Seattle.”
2. The Salt Lick — “This place is the holy grail of BBQ. Cash only, byob, and about 20 miles outside of town—you gotta want it. I went for The Rancher: A sample platter of brisket, pork ribs, sausage and turkey, with a side of potato salad, coleslaw, beans, bread, and pickles. I left The Salt Lick in a meat-filled state of Levi’s-stretched-to-the-max euphoria.”
3. Banger’s — “If a country-music lovin’, exotic-meat aficionado and a beer snob had a baby, that baby would LOVE Banger’s. I had a BBQ shrimp sausage. A SHRIMP sausage! On a bed of white cheddar grits. Unreal. Unfortunately, I ate it before I had a chance to take a photo (bad guest blogger!)…But here are the delicious cheese fries.”
4. 24 Diner — “I reached a point in the trip where I needed veggies. Bad. At 24 Diner, I went for the veggie/egg-white frittata, and my coworker balanced my health concerns with chicken and waffles, which he described as a ‘total delight.’ I caved and ended up eating about half of his. Whatever.”
5. Gourdough’s — “I missed this excursion, but pictured are the ‘Sin-A-Bomb’ and the ‘Hipster’ (granola and banana on top of a warm Gourdough classic doughnut. The banana makes it a health food, right?).”
Lily, our eyes (and taste buds) in Austin, has purportedly sworn off meat for a
month following the trip. Do bacon-garnished Bloody Marys count?
[Photos by Lily and other members of our social media team, some via our women's @Nordstrom Instagram feed, except trailer shot via the Austin Chronicle.]
Naked & Famous Denim sources its fabrics only in Japan, at prestigious mills steeped in heritage and renowned for craftsmanship—and manufactures its jeans only in the brand’s homeland of Canada, on high-quality machinery run by well-trained staff.
The result is top-shelf, no-nonsense jeans, at a great price, for veteran denim-heads and newcomers alike. (Plus some freaky denim experiments—more on that later.)
The other result is that, after countless trips from Canada to Japan and back, Naked & Famous founder Brandon Svarc and team have become connoisseurs of both nations’ cultures. Below are Svarc’s travel tips (warnings?) for the next time you’re up North—or far East.
I. SPORTS Japan: Baseball. “We attended a Climax Series (that’s what they call Playoffs) in Tokyo on our last visit, and it was so much fun. The cheering is orderly and organized—it’s highly different from North-American fans. At the 7th-inning stretch, everyone simultaneously launches blue balloons in the air! It’s quite a sight.” Canada: Hockey. “Not shockingly, we love hockey. We love to play on ice, roller and floor. Funny enough, we actually once made denim-and-leather baseball mitts, so I guess the next sports creation from our brand should be denim-covered hockey gauntlets.”
II. FOOD Japan: Udon. “Okayama is where we buy our denim fabric, and there are many famous Udon restaurants that we hit up each time we visit. I prefer hot Udon with shrimp tempura. Mmm.” Canada: Poutine. “If you ever visit Montreal, you are not allowed to leave before eating poutine! It’s french fries with squeaky cheese curds and gravy poured on top! Also mmm.”
III. BOOZE Japan: Habushu. “It’s this crazy alcohol from Okinawa, Japan, that contains a venomous cobra inside the bottle! We have three bottles in our office. The Japanese say it makes your bamboo stiff.” Canada: Ice Wine. “To be honest, this isn’t our personal favorite to drink, but it is our favorite gift to bring each time we visit Japan. It’s made in Canada, and creating a wine out of frozen grapes makes a great story to tell.”
IV. ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Japan: Hostess Clubs. “Japanese adult clubs aren’t what you might think. In fact, there is no nudity allowed. Fabric suppliers love taking us to these places where cute Japanese girls sit and pour your drinks and talk to you about life, and anything really. You pay by the hour, but it’s all-you-can-drink.” Canada: Danse Contact. “Montreal is quite famous for its gentleman’s clubs. It’s said that we have more than Vegas! Personally, we only attend these places if one of our friends is having a bachelor party, but the veterans know that the best clubs to visit are the ones that say ‘Danse Contact’ in the window, which means it’s 100% legal to…” [Ed. note: The rest of this sentence omitted for the sake of decency.]
V. SCENERY Japan: Kojima Hotel View. “We always stay at the same hotel in Kojima, Japan, which is a beautiful city in the countryside near Okayama, where there are many fabric mills and denim companies. There is a stunning view of the Great Seto Bridge, which is the longest two-tiered bridge system in the world.” Canada: Whistler Blackcomb. “While in Whistler, BC, a few years ago, I ventured to the top of the giant Blackcomb mountain glacier. It took like three or four chairlifts and two buses to get there! But once at the top, it was one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life.”
Coming Soon from Naked & Famous. Here’s the brand’s founder Brandon Svarc talking up the styles we’ll carry at the Nordstrom Men’s Shop this coming spring.
Advanced Color-Change Technology. Did he say ‘thermo-chromic’? Here they are in action.
The Everest of Denim. Those freaky denim experiments we mentioned earlier? Here’s one from previous seasons: jeans so thick, they can stand up on their own. Watch to hear the method behind Svarc’s madness.
[Top grid of photos courtesy of the official Naked & Famous Denim Instagram feed: @NFDenim. Videos courtesy of the brand's official YouTube channel, and the Montreal Gazette. Additional photos via Wikipedia, except as noted here: Japanese baseball fans via; Demi Moore from Striptease movie poster courtesy of Castle Rock Entertainment, Lobell/Bergman Productions, Columbia Pictures; Great Seto Bridge via; Whistler Blackcomb via. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
Following his recent tour de force in Italy, it’s time to check in once again with Karl-Edwin Guerre of Guerreisms.com. Earlier in the month, we brought you his pre-trip packing tips (and offered a sneak peek of his immaculate photography). Today, we’re honored to present the fruits of the first leg of his travels: The best-dressed men of Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. Guerre (pronounced ‘Gear’) was kind enough to answer a few questions as well; read on to hear the thought process behind his world-class street-style photography.
[Members of 'The Coal Project' by Art Comes First, shot by Guerre for Esquire.com.
Top image: via Guerreisms.com]
MEN’S SHOP DAILY: When is the first time you remember picking up a camera? GUERRE: “The first time I picked up a camera with the intention of doing something serious was when I wanted to write a book. I remember looking for a photographer to capture scenes for me, but I soon learned that no one shares your passion when it’s your project. So I was forced to try to do it myself.”
How did your interest in photography progress from there?
“After realizing I could capture a photo (not very well), I simply put the camera away. It wasn’t my passion, so I moved on to other things. A few years later I saw images of street style on a web publication and felt that I could contribute and bring something fresh to that scene. At the time there were only a small handful of sites geared toward street style.”
[Shot by Guerre for Esquire.com.]
Was there a turning point when you realized you might do this as a career? “I started street style when it wasn’t about money. Maybe one or two people were making money from it, but it certainly wasn’t what led me to photography. At some point, a publication in Toronto gave me a chance to showcase my work, and little by little other publications became receptive. Is it my career? I’ll simply say I have been fortunate to make some money from street style. I’m an artist, do artists have careers?”
How has your photographic career evolved since then?
“My photography has evolved as I have as a person. Once I found what I liked to shoot, I focused on it, and decided to stay true to it even if that wasn’t the norm. I started to focus on details when 95% were shooting full-body shots.”
[Shot by Guerre for Esquire.com.]
Could you briefly explain the meaning and concept of ‘Guerreisms’ for readers?
“Consider Guerreisms as the theory/study of a constructive antagonism as pertaining to style. Guerreisms is about the details, the little things—especially those that tend to be contradictory—that, combined well, make the big things. It’s about knowing when to use imperfections and turning that into the perfect painting.”
[Shot by Guerre for Esquire.com.]
What, to you, are elements of a truly great photograph?
“Any element that evokes emotion is great—be it in photography, theatre, life.”
[The inimitable Bruce Pask—Men's Fashion Director at T Magazine and frequent contributor to our Men's Shop catalogs. Shot by Guerre for Esquire.com.]
Who are your favorite photographers (from any era), and why?
“I really enjoy Jamel Shabazz. He captured hip-hop at the beginning, when no one else did. To me, his street style is timeless. You won’t find shots like his anywhere; now that’s an icon.”
[Shot by Guerre for Esquire.com.]
Your own personal style (though far from boring) has a timeless feel to it. What ‘style icons’ inspire you, from any era—and why?
“I’d like to believe that I’m not inspired by the way a person dresses. Dressing is a personal thing (at least it should be), so inspiration should come from within. In terms of liking someone’s style, I really like Miles Davis – he had style behind the trumpet and in his dress. Frank Sinatra exemplified cool. And I liked the progression of Andre ’3000′ Benjamin. These three men have styles that seem to mirror their personas—or at least the little I know of their personas.”
You must have to react very quickly to photograph someone on the street. How do you make that determination—to shoot or not to shoot?
“If I look twice, it’s a go. If I look just once, I let it go by. While you have to be quick, I’ve trained my eye to see the details. I see the details, actually, before I see the whole outfit.”
[Shot by Guerre for Esquire.com.]
How do your interests in photography and style relate? Is one primary, or fuels the other, or are they inextricable?
“Style is not one-dimensional. It encompasses everything one does—how you walk, speak, dress, work. I had elements of style long before photography was a thought, but since it’s something I do, it’s natural that my style is reflected in it.”
What’s a specific item or general idea you’d like to see more men incorporate into their appearance?
“This is hard to answer. I don’t think there’s one thing all men should do or follow. We are all different in terms of personality, and it’s important that that’s reflected in style. If everyone wore a suit, I’d long to see many in jeans. At the end of the day, all I know is that I always enjoy seeing the chap who exudes his true personality.”
The man, the myth, the street-style visionary. Karl-Edwin Guerre, photographed by Jason Jean of Citizen Couture.
[All photos, except the last, are by Karl-Edwin Guerre of Guerreisms.com. Photos taken for Esquire.com except where noted otherwise. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
Stop us if this sounds familiar: Amongst the endless Facebook stream of mundane anecdotes and pics of quasi-cute kids, one ‘friend’ consistently surprises with casually snapped masterpieces. Around Nordstrom HQ, that person is Toby, our E-commerce Creative Director. Having relocated fairly recently from Dallas, he’s wasted no time exploring the Great Northwest that surrounds our Seattle headquarters. Here are some breathtaking highlights from his Facebook/Instagram feed—click images to enlarge, and scroll down for Toby’s gear picks from the Nordstrom Men’s Shop.
Steel Your Resolve. The man behind the images above insists he’s an amateur hiker—but that hasn’t stopped him from taking in some world-class scenery. If 2013 finds you resolved to get some exercise, fresh air, and killer snapshots to prove it happened, here are Toby’s gear picks from our Active & Outdoor Shop to get you started:
Helly Hansen Half-Zip. “A base layer that works: wicks away moisture and packs up easy.” [shop] Burton Knit Cap. “Perfect for your friends to spot you when you’re separated.” [shop] Randolph Engineering Polarized Shades. “Lightweight and classic aviator style.” [shop]
The North Face ‘E-Tip’ Gloves. “Snap iPhone photos without taking your gloves off.” [shop] ECCO ‘Biom Hike’ Boot. “Waterproof and a good traction sole are must-haves for hiking.” [shop] The North Face Backpack. “Solid, holds everything, and lightweight—perfect for a day trip.” [shop]
Tune in next week for a care package of killer Pitti Uomo photos from our foreign correspondent Mr. Karl-Edwin Guerre. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of the trends Tina Aniversario, our National Merchandise Manager for Men’s Designer Sportswear, has spotted while in Florence for this most illustrious of menswear tradeshows:
California-based outdoor brand Patagonia stakes its roots in rock-climbing—and an undying commitment to the environment. The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard, who began climbing in 1953 at age 14: He was a member of the Southern California Falconry Club, and first learned to rappel down cliffs to falcon nests.
[Above: Canadian Rockies. Photo by Honza Franta.]
A few years later, unsatisfied with single-use, soft-iron climbing pitons during multi-day ascents in Yosemite, Chouinard decided to make his own reusable hardware. He picked up a forge, anvil, tongs and hammers at a junkyard, and taught himself how to blacksmith.
[Above: Photo by Marko Prezelj from the book Unexpected: 30 Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography.]
After spending several years living on slender means, traveling between Yosemite, Wyoming, Canada and the Alps in search of adventure (and supporting himself by selling pitons for $1.50 each out of the back of his car along the way), the demand for Chouinard’s gear surpassed his DIY production process—so he set up shop in 1965 with Tom Frost, a climber-slash-aeronautical engineer.
[Above: Mike Epstein from page 25 of the 1988 Chouinard Backcountry Catalog.]
By 1970, Chouinard Equipment was the largest supplier of climbing hardware in the US—but the duo also realized the toll that pitons (which had to be repeatedly hammered in and out of rock walls) took on once-pristine rock walls. They phased out the piton business completely, focusing instead on aluminum chocks that could be wedged by hand rather than hammered into cracks. It was a risky business move that displayed a deeper commitment to the environment than to financial success. Chouinard even opened its 1972 catalog with a 14-page essay on ‘clean climbing.’
[Above: Photo by Barbara Rowell from the book Unexpected: 30 Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography.]
A quote from Chouinard Equipment’s October 1974 catalog on clean climbing:
“No longer can we assume the Earth’s resources are limitless; that there are ranges of unclimbed peaks extending endlessly beyond the horizon. Mountains are finite, and despite their massive appearance, they are fragile.” Read the rest here.
[Above: Page 95 from the Patagonia Spring 1988 Catalog.]
The company began selling and later producing clothing around 1972. It began when Chouinard brought back a regulation rugby shirt from a climbing trip to Scotland. Built sturdy to stand up to abuse (on the mountain as well as on the field) and with a collar that protected from hardware slings chafing the neck, the shirts flew off shelves when Chouinard tried stocking them stateside. The name ‘Patagonia’ was adopted for the quickly growing clothing line, so as not to dilute Chouinard Equipment’s reputation as a tool company.
[Above: The cover of the 1988 Chouinard Backcountry Catalog.]
Patagonia was still in its infancy when the company began devoting considerable time and money to environmental efforts in the early ’70s. Over the years, they’ve turned their attention to cleaning up the Ventura River, de-urbanizing Yosemite Valley, and have used only organic cotton since 1996.
[Above: Company founder Yvon Chouinard kicking back and relaxing in the Chouinard Mountain Lounger in the 1987 Chouinard Backcountry Catalog. Photo by Rick Ridgeway.]
Watch the video below to learn about Patagonia’s latest environmental campaign, Our Common Waters—and visit Patagonia.com for further exploration.
[Above: Snow camping on Mt. Hood. Photo by Richard Hallman.]
With the elite menswear trade show Pitti Uomo commencing today in Florence, Italy, there’s little doubt the internet will soon be rife with sprezz-laden street-style shots of the world’s best-dressed gents.
Luckily, one needn’t look further than this very site to spot the cream of the crop. We’re honored and privileged to have one of the best international correspondents we could ask for, Karl-Edwin Guerre of Guerreisms.com, on deck to send back snapshots of everything that catches his refined eye in Florence this week—as well as at Milan Fashion Week later this month.
Known simply as Guerre (pronounced ‘Gear’) to those who know him, this world traveler and pro photographer is a man of timeless taste. Intentionally impervious to fluctuating trends du jour, he prefers to shop for fabric and have custom clothing made to spec. His worst vice? A sip of port and top-shelf chocolate after each major accomplishment (which we’ll point out, if he won’t, are numerous). His best advice for fellow gentlemen? The simple things: Master the omelet, buy an antique, vacation solo.
In other words, Guerre’s personal mantra, ‘The art of details,’ applies to all aspects of life—from what he wears, to how he shoots, to how he prepares for a stylish business trip to Italy. Below, Guerre shares his thoughts on packing well while traveling abroad:
“Packing is one of those things that can be tedious when getting ready to travel. It’s about getting everything needed while still minimizing the load. There remain a few constants on every trip regardless of the city: For starters, I take two bags—my carry-on and a bag that gets checked in.
“Among my favorite items and must-haves that reside in my carry-on: A fountain pen, a Moleskine or other journal, a good book (I refuse to do e-books), quality sunglasses, my watch case from Quood, and a sentimental watch. The computer and camera accessories are always near, as are a bag of (plantain) chips and—being an East Flatbush, Brooklyn boy—a few photos that remind me that there’s nothing better than what awaits me at home (when not traveling with me).”
“How do I pack? Efficiently. It’s all about the right pieces, blazers folded well, and camera always handy.”
As much as we’ve said about Mr. Guerre, his work really speaks for itself. Here’s a taste of what you can expect from Pitti and Milan in the weeks to come, courtesy of Guerre’s past work at Guerreisms.com. (Click each image to enlarge):
[Portrait of Guerre by Elisabetta Marzetti of The Chic Beat. Read her Q&A with Guerre here. Quotes and all other photos by Karl-Edwin Guerre of Guerreisms.com. Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
With the launch of our new Snow Shop, we’ve been investigating the louder side of snow sports lately—from the innovation of ’80s extreme skier Scot Schmidt to the bravado of gold-medal boarder Shaun White.
This week, we chose to take a more cerebral approach by highlighting Vancouver, Canada, outdoor brand Arc’teryx. In fitting with the lofty allegory behind the brand’s prehistoric namesake (Archaeopteryx lithographica, the first reptile to develop feathers for flight, “freeing itself from the constraints of the horizontal world”), Arc’teryx’s latest video series, A Skier’s Journey, uses obscure ski destinations as a context in which to explore nature, culture, and the human condition. The end result is a thought-provoking, heartwarming, visually incapacitating treatise on what it means to play in the snow.