Redesigning 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.
Shop: Chuck II high | Chuck II low
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A new brand for us, Seattle’s CMRTYZ (say each letter) operates in a downtown loft right around the corner from where Nirvana used to play. That would be about one mile south of Nordstrom headquarters. Because we’re 100% in love with CMRTYZ’s punk concert-poster aesthetic, which gets a streetwear twist in our exclusive mini collection of hockey jerseys and T-shirts, we dropped by the studio to learn more about designers CMR (Carlos Michael Ruiz) and TYZ (Ty Ziskis).
Inside, we found artwork and silkscreens on the floor and local punk band So Pitted carefully “hole-ing,” ripping holes in T-shirts for decoration. It made us laugh, looked cool and the band getting paid (“We’re huge fans,” said Ziskis) was a clear example of CMRTYZ’s ethos: support the scene that inspires you.
Nordstrom isn’t carrying CMRTYZ’s hole-y stuff. But there is a rough/degraded quality to our jerseys and tees due to Ruiz’s hand-drawn comics-style illustrations, quick cutouts and images processed via photocopier.
Check our interview below to learn about life-changing album art, how to make a bad impression during a business deal and what happens when the punks take marketing jobs–all filtered through Ruiz’s unique hand-style.
Shop: CMRTYZ | The Rail
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With the Fourth of July nigh and men all over wanting to dress for the occasion, check these four different outfits created by our crack team at Studio N–aka the secret warehouse which creates much of our in-house imagery. One overarching guideline from stylist Morgan Dillon:
“Don’t be cheesy. Carry the aesthetic of the holiday in a non-obvious way.”
These images, while being Fourth-focused, are also early peeks at the summer edition of Nordstrom complete looks. What are those, you ask?
Seasonally-fresh outfits which Studio N regularly updates on this section of our website. We think you will find them instructional and inspirational. You can sort our complete looks by:
What we’re trying to say is: Don’t sleep on the complete looks.
Shop this look: Calibrate tee | 7 For All Mankind jeans | HUGO sportcoat | Schwood sunglasses | Stan Smiths
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Did you catch The New York Times’s feature on Vineyard Vines? The brand which “takes leisurewear to a colorful new dimension” and which writer Jon Caramanica gave the LOL-worthy distinction of being “the sea assault to L.L. Bean’s land war”?
Read the piece.
While we’re definitely beefing with Caramanica’s characterization of Tommy Bahama, we found his article thoroughly entertaining and informative. We can’t stay mad at one of our favorite style and music writers–check his piece on Kanye West’s position in the fashion world.
Shop: Vineyard Vines
Our 1980 spring catalog had so many polo shirts. Look at them! And that’s not even the full assortment. The turn of that particular decade was a great time for polos. We couldn’t get enough.
For a laugh, look closer and notice these guys’ pieces of flair: kite string, apple, buoy, soccer ball, frisbee and…dictaphone? We aren’t sure what the yellow-shirted guy is holding.
Anyway: Polos. Now’s a good time of year to be sporting them. We’ve had our eyes on this banded collar Kooples polo that is currently on sale, but you’ll want to do your own picking and choosing.
Shop: polo shirts
Last time our photography/style team Studio N told us what to wear to the beach, they GIF-ed up an animation that inspired us to mix beach gear with our street clothes, and introduced cool brands like Ambsn.
Now they’re at it again. This time their focus is on the Australian/European/American brand Rhythm. It’s a surfing and a lifestyle brand. We’re especially feeling Rhythm’s floral/stone shorts, above. And we’re not mad at all that the name made us re-listen to DJ Quik’s Rhythm-al-ism.
Check the rest of Studio N’s Rhythm-specific editorial images, below.
Photographer: Matthew Sumi
Model: Philip Muscato
Stylist: Grace Erdman & Morgan Dillon
Art director: Eric Bay
Hair & makeup: Tom Pollock
Shop: all swimwear | Rhythm
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Shop: Ray-Bans | Gant shirt | chinos | slip-ons
With the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy out now, we thought we’d let you know how to shop the Beach Boys’ look from the late 1960s.
This is how the band dressed early in its life–when all the musicians were still pretending to know how to surf*–before they grew out their hair and started wearing robes. Back then it was stripes, chinos and slip-ons. Classic California style.
The sunglasses are our addition. We swore we remembered Wayfarers as part of this ensemble. Google image search does not agree.
*Only drummer Dennis Wilson ever really surfed.
For more about Love & Mercy, check actor Paul Dano on NPR’s Bullseye below:
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This summer, we will recreate this 1980 Nordstrom spring catalog cover. Or versions of it.
We will enjoy long walks on the beach in a romantic mode. We will take off our shoes and socks as much as possible. And we will dress like cotton candy, wearing pink shirts and white pants.
Because this preppy/pastel aesthetic was one thing the ‘80s got right.
Shop: pink shirts | white pants
Especially when it’s hot out, we’re wearing white/bleached/blown-out colors. And as always, comfort is a must. To those ends, this sunny season, catch us in a crisp Zanerobe shirt and/or a pair of the Australian brand’s jeans, jogger pants or shorts.
That’ll be us at BBQs and on OPBs (other people’s boats), Zan-ed up, Zan-ed out, bumping Soulja Boy’s “Zan With That Lean.”
We’re loving the whole slouchy-yet-clean aesthetic.
One more note about Zanerobe shorts: we’ll have the “Sureshot” chino in heavy rotation for a few months, here. But we keep eyeing those perforated leather joints, as well–seen above and linked below–thinking maybe this is the year we lace ourselves with luxury shorts.
Shop: Zanerobe printed long-sleeve | Zanerobe long tee | Zanerobe jeans | Zanerobe leather shorts | all Zanerobe | The Rail
Shop: suits | all menswear
Below you will find our instructional video, How to Modernize Your Suit. Its raison d’être is to get you into the mindset that your suit is a versatile investment. Freak it like this; freak it like that. Your suit is not one outfit. Rather, it contains multitudes.
So we encourage you: Do not let your suit accrue dust in the closet. Do rock it with a sweatshirt and sneakers.
More styling ideas–as well as some guidelines about fit:
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