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.
EnterLunarlon, 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.
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.
Here’s a loosie from Nordstrom photographer Barb Penoyar’s In/On White, a series consisting of portraits of models shot using 100% natural light. It comes with a fashion tip from us: white clothes look good in summer.
Normally Barb shoots product images for our website and catalog. With these photos, though, it’s art for art’s sake. No flashbulbs or Photoshop, all light courtesy the glowing orb in the sky.
To read about why Barb likes the challenge of shooting with sunlight, hit this link and check the technique.
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 sectionof our website. We think you will find them instructional and inspirational. You can sort our complete looks by:
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”?
Gaze into the eye-frying images above and below to see three pre-order pieces we’re feeling from the Moschino Fall 2015 collection. Hit this hyperlink to see everything Moschino we currently have on offer, some of which is 60% off.
If an item says “pre-order” on our site, you can find the estimated ship date by clicking the pre-order button on the product page. The Fall ‘15 Moschino items are all estimated to ship around Oct. 17, but could come earlier.
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