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basketball

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.]

Welcome to part two of Austin City Limits as seen through the analog lens of acclaimed music blog Gorilla vs. Bear—presented by Topman and Nordstrom Men’s Shop.

Catch up on GvsB’s Polaroids from part one here; and see their Instagram coverage of Austin City Limits 2013 at @NordstromMen.

[Pictured above: HAIM]


Killer camo. More ACL street style on our Instagram: @NordstromMen.


San Antonio Spur/sandwich enthusiast Matt Bonner | Festival veteran


Dj Sober


ACL pirate | The big screen


Gorilla vs. Bear photographer Faith Silva



Autre Ne Veut


The crowd at Grimes

 

Hand-selected by Gorilla vs. Bear—
a few favorite songs by bands mentioned above:


 

 
 

[Photos by Gorilla vs. Bear and Faith Silva—using film from The Impossible Project.]

hero

We spent a week this summer invading the offices and going inside the minds of six American menswear heroes. Well, technically seven, given that Shipley & Halmos consists of the right-brain/left-brain duo of Sam Shipley (left, above) and Jeff Halmos. Below, we talk vintage video games, pugs vs. killer whales—and how subtle, high-quality clothes can be kind of hilarious.

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: We heard you guys had a wild night last night.
SAM SHIPLEY: Well, we took the crew bowling. One of our employees is leaving to start her own business, so we took everybody out to go bowling over in Williamsburg, which was pretty fun. Pizza, beer, bowling—what’s not to like about that?

Did it get pretty competitive?
JEFF HALMOS: No, it’s usually pretty friendly. There was a lot of high-fiving, a lot of clapping. Everyone seemed to have some good rolls and some bad [note: rumor has it that Jeff somehow rolled a ball into his own ankle]. It looked like we were going have way too much pizza, but…All gone.

What toppings?
Jeff: We just went plain.
Sam: Regular old cheese.

Well that’s exciting.
Jeff: Plain-cheese pizza is the standard on which all pizza is built. You don’t have to get so crazy with the toppings—ham and pineapple and all this other stuff. Keep it simple.

Keep it simple. Is that like a metaphor?
Jeff: Very much so, as a matter of fact!
Sam: I would say it’s a metaphor for design in general. Restraint is the key to good design. So if you can make a pizza with only four ingredients…or whatever it is to make cheese…then you can probably put any topping on there and it’ll be good.

Would you say Shipley & Halmos is the ‘cheese pizza’ of clothing design?
Sam: I would hope that we are the standard of cheese pizza. The Ray’s or…who else?
Jeff: I like Saluggi’s right across the street.
Sam: Yeah, Saluggi’s is good.

Let’s go back for a moment. How did you guys meet?
Jeff: We met at the University of Colorado Boulder, our freshman year of college. We met in front of Sam’s dorm, hanging around like freshmen do when you don’t know anyone, looking for a party or something.
Sam: First couple weeks of school.

How did you guys start working together from there?
Sam: Well, we became friends first. We got a house with some other dudes off-campus, and then Jeff had a friend who was into starting a clothing company. It turned into a school project. So by the end of school, we were kind of applying our majors and organizing our thesis based on a clothing line. Web design, graphic design, business plan, figuring out financing—all that stuff. And then the result was that we actually made some product—and we sold it. And that’s kind of what kicked it off. When we graduated, we took some time off and then decided, what do we have to lose? So we started doing clothes.

What were you guys’ majors?
Sam: Fine Art.
Jeff: Finance.

What were the early days of your company like?
Jeff: When we started Shipley & Halmos, we worked out of Sam’s apartment in Long Beach, California. At that time, he was recording an album in the kitchen portion of his one-bedroom apartment. So there was a bedroom…the living room, which acted as the Shipley & Halmos office-slash-Sam’s living room…and then the kitchen, which acted as Sam’s kitchen-slash-recording studio. So there were amps, and tambourines, and fabric swatches. For a 600-square-foot little room, it was a very creative environment. Creativity per square foot, I would say…
Sam: Oh, jam-packed.
Jeff: That it was. You got a lot of bang for your buck.

What’s the Shipley & Halmos mantra?
Jeff: The first thing that we did was write a message for the label of all our garments. Sam drew the font. We carefully chose each word. It says, ‘An offering of some clothing and things crafted with hand, health and heart.’ The reason why we added ‘and things’ is because we always knew that we wanted Shipley & Halmos to be the vehicle that would allow us to create whatever we wanted.

Create whatever you wanted—like what?
Sam: If someone came to us and was like, we want you to design the interior of a car, or a series of drinking glasses, or work on a rug, or whatever the case may be—whatever kind of product design that we could get our hands on—that’s something that would be interesting. We consider the ‘things’ side of our label as being almost like a creative agency.
Jeff: Chocolate bars were pretty fun.
Sam: Right, we made some chocolate bars and created custom wrappers for them. We made beer. We fake-sold a dog [on our website]. We found foam fingers, and got a yellow one with black writing, and wrote ‘Taxi’ on it [for hailing cabs]. Just looking through the lens a little differently than you normally would.

What was the story behind the NBA player mini-hoops you made?
Jeff: That was in honor of the Dream Team. They had the anniversary of the [1992] Olympics recently. We’re both into basketball, and sports in general. We have these little hoops here in our office, so we thought it’d be a nice ode to that team. So we picked Barkley…
Sam: Barkley, Jordan, and Bird.

Does the concept of sports always play into your collections?
Sam: Sports are a common thread. We’ve done a varsity jacket since 2009 (a year after we started our brand). I think it keeps Jeff and me interested in being a part of the US, like as a whole. Through sports, you’re always reminded about places and not just being so New York-centric. You’re getting reminded about cities that have certain personalities, and their teams embody that personality. We took a store tour around the US and shot portraits of customers and then made a book out of that. Austin, DC, Boston, San Diego…
Jeff: Houston. We live in New York, but we’re not from here. We always try to remind ourselves that we represent other parts of the country, and our brand is sold outside of New York, too.

Who are some of your favorite athletes of all time?
Jeff: I mean, we both grew up in the ’90s, so every kid our age loved Michael Jordan. We do have a little bit of a rivalry around here, because I’m a Miami Heat fan and Sam is a Chicago Bulls fan. So that can get interesting on occasion.

Congrats on the Heat taking home another ring. What did you think of that play where LeBron got called for a charge on Roy Hibbert, in the Eastern Finals, and wigged out?
Sam: [Under his breath] I would call it poetic justice, that flopper.

 

How do you guys collaborate with each other?  Do you divide and conquer and have different roles, or do you work together on everything?
Jeff: We definitely divide and conquer. Sam has a Fine Art degree, and mine is in Finance. So Sam works mostly on sketching, technical aspects of design, goes to fabric appointments. He kind of leads the charge in the design aspect. I look over sales, marketing, bookkeeping, legal, a lot of the operational elements. We’re different in that aspect, but at the same time, we can sit down and talk about branding and accounting in the same conversation and both be speaking the same language. I think that’s really important when you have a business partner, to have someone that complements you.

Do you guys ever disagree?
Jeff: All the time. Yeah.

What do you do about it?
Sam: Best idea wins. The rule we institute is, if you don’t like something you have to be able to explain why. If you can’t, then you’re just being contrary. Then you get into really good practices—constructive criticism that leads to a good idea down the road.
Jeff: [If that fails], a decathlon of office games to see who wins. Paper football competition…
Sam: We’ve been photographed arm wrestling quite a few times.

Which one of you guys would win at one-on-one basketball?
Sam: Jeff.
Jeff: I’ve got the height advantage.
Sam: Jeff’s better at basketball than I am. He played in high school.

Who would win in a drinking contest?
Sam: I think we both can put up the numbers there. I would say we can both go hard on the paint on that one. It would depend on who wants it more.
Jeff: That’d be a close competition. It’s probably any given night, you know.

Who is the Shipley & Halmos ‘guy’?
Sam: We think of him as the director, not necessarily the actor. The music producer, not necessarily the band. Kind of a behind-the-scenes type. That’s how we are here in New York. So there’s a subtlety to the brand that’s downplayed on purpose. We want to let a person’s style dictate [how he wears] our clothes, as opposed to our clothes dictating his style.

What’s new about this Fall’s collection?
Jeff: It’s probably one of my favorite collections that we’ve done. We have pieces that have been in our line since day one—the Belmont chino, Broome polo, Marine shirt—that have been staples of what we do. But for this particular collection, we wanted to kind of take it up a notch. A little bit dressier of a look, without being formal. Like this henley—it’s got kind of a varsity look to it, but it’s made out of a really, really nice pima cotton. That balance of casual and dressy is really important. There’s always a little bit of sporty in what we do, mixed with a little bit of tailored.

What do you love about a solid, reliable basic?
Jeff: I’ll wear like the same pair of pants for two weeks straight. I’m just like, ‘I’m real into these right now, and there’s no reason for me to change them.’ Once they get dirty, then I’ll change them. I think a lot of guys are like that. They have a rotation. So we make some of those staple products, like a great pair of chinos.

What’s special about the chinos in your Fall collection [pictured above]?
Jeff: This piece has been in our line since our first season. It’s called the ‘Belmont.’ Actually we talked about it earlier—Sam’s apartment/recording studio/office was in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach. So this is an ode to that shore.

Also: They’re green. How would you suggest wearing them?
Jeff: Yeah, they’re a really dark green, which is nice. I’d go brown shoes…shirt and tie, to work, with a blazer. You could also wear it with a white T-shirt, rolled up with a pair of Converse. One of the most versatile pieces in a man’s wardrobe, I think, is a great chino.

 

Sam, as a fine art major and accomplished artist—could you draw us something?
Sam: Uh yeah, I could probably draw something. It depends on what you want though. I’ll draw you a killer whale. You want a killer whale?

Sure. Why did that come to mind?
Sam: I don’t know, I’m good at it. Male or female?

It’s up to you.
Sam: Male, we’ll do male. All right here we go…There you go. See the tall dorsal fin? The female has more of a dolphin look.

Can you sign it so I can sell it on eBay?
Sam: Yeah, absolutely. You’ll get a ton of money for it, I promise. [See Sam's drawing here.]

Sam, for a story we did last Christmas, you said the best gift you ever got was your Game Boy. What’s your favorite Game Boy game of all time?
Sam:
God there’s a lot of those. I mean the original Tennis is just kind of a classic. It’s really fun, and you could link it up with another guy and play tennis against them. That was like—magical.
Jeff: I mean Tetris for Game Boy. I kinda feel like that’s the iconic game.

It’s like the cheese pizza of Game Boy games.
Jeff: Is your Nintendo still hooked up? He’s got a bunch of regular Nintendo games.
Sam: My NES, yeah.

What’s your favorite NES game?
Sam: Oh gee, well, Zelda, the original. Solomon’s Key is a classic. Ice Hockey, the original.
Jeff: Oh I love Ice Hockey.
Sam: An unbelievable classic.
Jeff: Soccer.
Sam: Double Dribble. I mean, you could go on forever. Russian Attack is a classic. That’s an early one. That’s kind of like what Contra came from. You could pick up and drop weapons. That was important.

Every time you turn on your NES, are you praying that it still works?
Jeff: Well everyone knows that [mimes blowing into a dusty game cartridge]—done. A couple bounces in there [mimes pushing spring-loaded cartridge slot].
Sam: Those video-game consoles don’t work like that anymore.
Jeff: No, I’ve played some of the new ones. It’s like things are happening everywhere! It takes a while to get used to it.
Sam: I went to the ‘Last Arcade‘ in New York, down in Chinatown recently, which is hilarious. It’s amazing. It’s just like a bunch of Dance Dance Revolution people that bring water and towels and are like, literally there to work out. They’re going there in gym clothes.

It’s on the books that you guys love Commando. What are some other favorite movies?
Jeff: Terminator, Terminator 2.
Sam: Predator.
Jeff: End of Days. Last Action Hero.
Sam: Kindergarten Cop. Twins.
Jeff: Just to name a few. Conan the Barbarian.

What does Shipley & Halmos do better than any other brand out there?
Jeff: I think we pay attention to all aspects of our brand…and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Sam: I was gonna say kicking a–.

Like metaphorically speaking, or…?
Sam: I mean both. Yeah. But I think Jeff’s answer about not taking ourselves too seriously—we try to put that in the clothes as much as we can.

What are some product details that express that—your sense of humor?
Sam: Labels. Like, varsity jackets always have a nametag, so ours has spaces for ‘nickname,’ ‘class,’ and then ‘power animal.’ But you would never really notice this until you got the jacket home. This is a very classic design philosophy for us, where you buy this really great jacket, you try it on, you look at it in the mirror—and you go home and you put your hand in the pocket, and it has corduroy. So there’s a texture that registers, like Oh, they didn’t have to use that. And then there’s a small label in there, you read it, and then ultimately you’re like Oh, this company’s awesome. Or hopefully you’re like that, because it relates to you. It catches you off guard, or it relates to you as a person. It has a message behind it that gives a personality to whoever intended that label to go in there. So all of a sudden, you have the designer speaking directly to the person, who is supporting the designer’s ability to design clothes in the future.

Sam:…There are more littered throughout here. Our knits all have like a little fancy message. Or not fancy, but like a quote from a movie.

Are they all from Schwarzenegger movies?
Sam: There are a few from Schwarzenegger films. I think there’s some Dazed and Confused. There are some other movies.
Jeff: We vary.
Sam: Oh definitely some Top Gun. Oh yeah, see like this label here [on the back of the 'Belmont' chino above]—this label says, ‘We are using this space to let you know the name of our brand is Shipley & Halmos. —Sam & Jeff.’ On a really nice, vegetable-dyed leather label. It’s kind of like graffiti to some degree. The label is kind of making fun of ourselves, but also creates a memorable experience.

What would your power animals be—if you filled out the label you mentioned in your varsity jacket?
Sam: I think I drew you mine. The orca.
Jeff: Pug. Very different animals.
Sam: They’re relatable. They both look like they’re having a good time.
Jeff: They’re both black and white. Or your pug is black.
Sam: Yeah, so they’re both black and white. Both have a roundish shape.
Jeff: Cherubic.
Sam: Yeah. A streamlined design.
Jeff: And a blunted nose. Both mammals. They both have teeth.
Sam: And both can be vicious, vicious killers if they so choose to be.

 
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Key items from the Shipley & Halmos Fall collection:
‘Ralphie’ Varsity Jacket | ‘Belmont’ Slim Fit Pants | ‘Earnest’ Wool Shawl Collar Sweater
‘Marine’ Plaid Shirt‘Brett’ Henley | ‘Spaniel’ Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

SHOP ALL: SHIPLEY & HALMOS

 
 

[Photos by Robin Stein. Interview by Justin Abbott.
Special thanks to Shipley & Halmos and team.]

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Gorgui Dieng, who entered the NBA as the 21st pick in the 2013 draft last night.

Our Nordstrom Men’s Shop team was there with him the whole way—from early-morning fitting sessions at Joseph Abboud HQ in NYC, to styling out Gorgui’s perfect Draft-night look inside his hotel room mere hours before the event, to cheering him on from the stands at Barclays Center in Brooklyn last night.

Things we saw: Diehard NY Knicks fan Spike Lee repping orange and blue in the front row, rowdy fans booing NBA commissioner David Stern every time he stepped on-stage to announce the next team’s pick (and Stern egging them on to boo louder), and scores of dapperly dressed draftees—of whom we are hands-down confident Gorgui was the most well-appointed.

Admittedly, we might be biased—but just look at that subtle windowpane-plaid suit, crisp white shirt, smart mix of patterns between his tie and pocket square, perfect pant break…we could go on, but just see for yourself.

Perhaps most impressive is the fact that our friends at Joseph Abboud turned Gorgui’s two suits (one for draft night, one for the next-day media frenzy) around in just two days—an impressive feat, especially considering the star center’s 6-foot-11 frame. Better still, the suits were crafted right here in the USA, in Abboud’s factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Score a made-to-measure suit of your own at any Nordstrom store.

Amidst all the excitement, we also had the great opportunity to sit down with Gorgui to discuss his humble beginnings in Senegal, his admirable work ethic, and his experiences as a Louisville Cardinal—which of course led to an NCAA National Championship last season. Watch our exclusive video up top, and read on for the full Q&A.

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Where did you grow up?
GORGUI DIENG: “I’m from Kébémer, Senegal. It’s in West Africa. A little town, about 22,000 people.”

MSD: What kinds of values did your parents instill in you?
GORGUI: “Oh, I think I’m very blessed to have the family that I have. They are great and they support me in whatever, and I think my dad and my mom spent a lot of time to raise me and make me the person I am today. I am very happy that they did that for me, because I left them six years ago, fairly young, and in this big country—if I wasn’t educated to have morals, if they didn’t instill cultural things in me, I probably would be lost. I probably would be today on the street, or in jail, or doing some crazy stuff. So I feel very lucky to have the parents I have.”

MSD: What were some challenges you faced in Senegal?
GORGUI: “It was fun growing up there, but when it comes to economy and school and stuff, it’s tough. Things that I wanted to do, I could not do back home because there was no stuff to go to school and play basketball or go to school and play a different sport, so I was home, but I didn’t have much help. We didn’t have a lot of infrastructure up there and it was just very tough. School is nothing compared to here. When I came to this country, I had everything I needed. People take care of me, I have tutors and studied on computers, and everything is completely different.”

MSD: How did you first start playing basketball?
GORGUI: “Honestly, when I first saw people playing basketball I thought it was just a good sport. I thought, ‘It’s not hard, you just catch the ball and put it in the basket.’ You know? [Laughs]. And then a lot of my friends that I used to play soccer with—the soccer field and the basketball court were close, so my friends, they started quitting playing soccer, and playing basketball instead until there were just a few guys left. So I just joined all my friends and started playing basketball.”

MSD: How did you continue from there with your basketball playing?
GORGUI: “I just got taller, and someone saw me and said, ‘Do you want to go to school and play basketball for free?’ I said ‘Yeah.’ They said, ‘I will take you to the United States.’ And I said ‘I would love to do that.’ And I went to SEEDS [Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal] Academy for one year, and I went to Basketball Without Borders in South Africa, that’s an NBA camp, and after that, they brought me here. I went to one year of prep school at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, then I went to Louisville for three years. So I’ve played like six years overall, of organized basketball.”

MSD: What do you love about playing basketball?
GORGUI: “It’s very fun and I always enjoy it. I love playing basketball more than anything. I like just playing basketball and making friends.”

MSD: What was it like when you first moved to the US?
GORGUI: “When I first got here, it was very tough. I could not speak English. Like, when you say ‘Hello’ to me, I just stare at you, you know? [Laughs]. I wouldn’t know what you were saying. It was very hard, and I knew I had to go to prep school and make a great score for my SAT to go to college—and I wanted to go to a big school. So I just would spend all of my time studying. And sometimes, I would just stay in my room and get very frustrated and start crying. I was just young, and I couldn’t see my family, and I couldn’t talk to anybody. I wasn’t scared, but I was just frustrated. And I fought through all of that, and I went to college, and today I’m talking about getting my degree—and I think that’s pretty exciting.”

MSD: What was it like the first time you met Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino?
GORGUI: “The first time I met him, we could not talk, because I could not speak English. [Laughs]. I just shook his hand, and he was talking to my coach and stuff, I didn’t get it. Everybody was laughing. Two months later, he came to see me, after I started to speak English a little bit, and that’s when he started recruiting me.”

MSD: What lessons have you learned from Coach Pitino over the years?
GORGUI: “Coach always said, ‘There’s a lot of people that go in the gym and work, but there are few people that go in the gym and work hard.’ He said, ‘I just want you to be one of those.’ And since then, I get it—and he pushed me hard, and kept pushing me, and always asked the best from me. And that’s what I’ve been doing. On the court, when I’m the one that just got yelled at and pushed hard, or something happened on the team and I’m the one to blame—he just wanted to prepare me, you know. And I can’t thank him enough for that.”

MSD: There’s a famous video clip where you’re on the bench, it looks like Coach Pitino shouts in your face, and after he walks away you kind of laugh—do you remember what he said to you?
GORGUI: “Yeah I remember that. But I don’t think I can repeat it! [Laughs]. You know, I don’t take Coach too serious because I know how he is. When he’s on the court he just wants to go all out—he doesn’t care what he does to win the game, he will do it. He has so much passion for the game. But, the player needs to understand that, too. So, even when he says some stuff, you know, I just laugh, because I think that’s the best way I can handle it.”

MSD: Who was your roommate on the road with Louisville, what’s his nickname…and did he have any strange habits?
GORGUI: “When we’re on the road I room with Russ Smith. You know him—he’s crazy. ‘Russdiculous.’  He’s my guy. He’s like someone I will really miss in college, and I miss him already. He is always fun to be around. Like when you’re on the road, he doesn’t sleep. He would take my iPad and my laptop, and his phone in his hand, and would have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sitting on the desk until 4:00 in the morning. I would go to sleep and wake up and be like, ‘Russ, what are you doing? We have a game tomorrow!’ He’d say, ‘No, I’m good.’ He just doesn’t sleep. He has a lot of energy—especially in the way he plays.”

MSD: What are some lessons you learned from Louisville’s championship season last year, that you think might help prepare you for the NBA?
GORGUI: “Just to never quit, no matter what happens. We won like 14 games in the beginning of the season, then lost three in a row, and we never hung our heads. We played a game that started at 9pm and went until 1am—five overtimes—never quit. It’s just mental toughness. I think guys need that in the NBA—if you’re not tough in the NBA, you won’t survive. And I think I will be ready for that.”

MSD: How important is it to look good and feel confident on a night as important as the NBA Draft?
GORGUI: “It’s very important. It’s all about showing people who you are. If I just go there with shorts and a T-shirt, people will never forget that. If I go there and look very nice, people won’t forget that either. It’s all about your legacy. That’s how I take everything I do—whether it’s playing basketball or not, I want to carry myself as a professional and do everything in the right way.”

The Nordstrom Men’s Shop is thrilled to have the opportunity to assist Gorgui Dieng—star center of NCAA national basketball champs the Louisville Cardinals—as he preps for the biggest night of his life: The NBA Draft.

With pro basketball players stepping up their style game across the league, this is no time to go half-hearted in the sartorial department. That’s why we teamed up with famed American suit-makers Joseph Abboud to create two impeccable, made-to-measure suits for Gorgui (who happens to be 6-foot-11)—in a span of only 48 hours.

Our Men’s Shop team met with Gorgui Tuesday morning at the Joseph Abboud showroom in New York, to select fabric swatches, see him through the fitting process, and ensure he has all the tools he needs to pull it together—from ties (he prefers slim) to custom shirts to size 16 shoes.

We’ll also be there for him this afternoon, when the finished suits (one for Draft Night, one for the whirlwind press tour the following day) arrive at Gorgui’s hotel room, to help him suit up for his big night with the utmost confidence that he’s never looked better.

CHECK BACK TOMORROW for an in-depth Q&A with Gorgui,
to see his custom suits in all their splendor, and to find out which NBA team
will be lucky enough to have him on the roster next season.

It’s a busy week for the Seattle-based Nordstrom Men’s Shop team, as we find ourselves out in NYC amidst oppressive humidity and curious aromas to which we’re not accustomed. Of course, we’re having a blast nonetheless.

Follow us on Instagram—user name @NordstromMen—to catch daily updates as we spend the next several days crisscrossing New York City and catching up with some of our favorite menswear designers. First up was a visit to the rad Tribeca loft/office/showroom that serves as a second home to Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos of Shipley & Halmos.

Sam sketched his power animal for us (to anatomically correct precision—check the dorsal), while we did our best to ignore onlookers in their dapperly wallpapered water closet. And these are just the outtakes. For additional photos from our Shipley & Halmos visit—plus more to come as we continue to drop in on our favorite designers this week—follow @NordstromMen on Instagram.

 

What happens when you lock buyers, stylists, tailors, models, video crew, and a rack full of dress shirts in a room for three days straight? For one thing, they churn out 30+ dress-shirt fit videos (more on those later). Secondly, they lose their minds a little. We showed you Cara Delevingne and fellow bored British models do the ‘Harlem Shake’ a few weeks ago—now it’s our dress-shirt video team’s turn.

Watch for detailed fit videos on more than 30 of our most popular dress shirts coming soon—they’ll show up on the product detail pages, along with all the other vital stats you need to know before pulling the trigger. We’ll also debut a video outlining our three dress-shirt fit categories (regular, trim, extra-trim), featuring tips from Jaime Fernandez (above), shirt and tie buyer for Nordstrom.com. From the look of that spread-collar and top-notch four-in-hand knot, dude knows his stuff.

SHOP: DRESS SHIRTS | TIES & POCKET SQUARES

 

In other important ‘Harlem Shake’ news, none other than LeBron James and the Miami Heat put their own spin on the internet fad recently. With the best record in the league, we’d say they earned the right to drop their game faces and have fun for 56 seconds.

Did you realize the NBA Playoffs start this weekend? Time flies. The Heat start the road to defending their title on Sunday—but tune in to ABC and ESPN all day Saturday, 4/20, for killer Round 1 match-ups like Celtics v. Knicks, Warriors v. Nuggets, Bulls v. Brooklyn (is Derek Rose back yet?) and Grizzlies v. Clippers in a rematch of last year’s brutally physical 7-game series. And clear your schedule for the next month or so, while you’re at it.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Adidas’s camo-infused college basketball uni’s made major waves a few weeks ago, as six decked-out teams (Kansas, Baylor, UCLA, Louisville, Notre Dame and Cincinnati) prepped for the post-season. (Read an article about the controversial jerseys—with insights from GQ Editor Will Welch and Jeff Halmos of Shipley & Halmos, among others—here.)

Most teams ditched the loud kits (or at least calmed them down) once March Madness commenced last week. But whether you’re on the court, at the gym, or just kicking back with your flat-screen to watch Sweet Sixteen games play out today and tomorrow, you can show your own true colors with the Adidas ‘Edge Camo’ shorts below. (Click images to shop.)


Two of the original six camo-clad teams remain in the tournament. Watch them both tomorrow (Friday, March 29): Louisville faces Oregon (a school that’s used to making headlines for its style endeavors) at 7:15pm (ET) on CBS, while Kansas takes on Michigan at 7:37pm (ET) on TBS. With odds for both games extremely close, you might need to set up two TVs in your living room—or at least fire up that ‘PIP’ function on your remote.

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On the eve of March Madness, we could do something creative like pit clothing items against each other in a fantasy tournament for style supremacy. (Our money would be on the Tennessee Raw Denims. Or maybe the Michigan Wolverine Boots.) But corny jokes aside, we’d rather just remind you to get your college basketball predictions in order, because brackets are due tomorrow (Thursday, 3/21) by 12:15 EST.

While betting actual US currency amongst your friends, family, and office frenemies is of dubious legality, wagering for a year’s worth of bragging rights is not. And, despite our better judgment (because it will reduce our own chances of winning), we’ll also encourage you to visit our friends at Shipley & Halmos, where you can enter their March Mayhem Challenge for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.

Below are a few classic photos of college players to inspire you while you ponder your bracket picks. Good luck, and may the best team win. (We’ll be pulling for home-state heroes Gonzaga. Go Zags.)


Michael Jordan


Charles Barkley


Jerry Lucas


Larry Johnson


Oscar Robertson


Allen Iverson


Julius Erving, aka Dr. J


Clyde Drexler


Lew Alcindor (before he was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)


“Pistol” Pete Maravich


David Robinson


Artis Gilmore


Earvin “Magic” Johnson


Patrick Ewing


Wilt Chamberlain


Michigan’s infamous “Fab Five”:
Ray Jackson, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King.

 

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…And fill out your bracket, invite friends to compete and more at ESPN.com.

 
 
 

[First photo: Earvin 'Magic' Johnson vs. Larry Bird in the 1979 Championship game between Michigan State and Indiana State, by James Drake via Sports Illustrated. Remaining photos via GQ.com, except Michael Jordan via, Larry Johnson via, Allen Iverson via, David Robinson via, Patrick Ewing via, Michigan Fab Five via. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

All we want for Christmas is…pretty much everything in our Men’s Contemporary Clothing department right now. We haven’t been THAT nice this year though, so we’re happy to settle for five back-to-back basketball games—on regular TV! (NBA League Pass was another gift we didn’t quite hit the niceness quotient for)—on Christmas Day. If you have kids, make sure to wake them up bright and early so you can get all that present-opening jazz out of the way before the 9am tip-off. The lineup is as follows:

Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets — 9am PST (ESPN)
The Nets have youth on their side (and an enthusiastic new crowd, after relocating to Brooklyn this season with the help of part-owner Jay-Z)—but the Celtics have experience. Tensions will be high after the brawl that broke out during the Nets’ road victory last month.

New York Knicks at LA Lakers — 12 noon PST (ABC)
NY has been rolling (even with goggled behemoth Amar’e Stoudemire on the bench), while LA has had a tough time coalescing (a serious test of Kobe’s zen) due to new personnel. Their saving grace may be the return of legendary point guard Steve Nash (with a sharp new haircut, too boot).

Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat — 2:30pm PST (ABC)
A rematch of last season’s Finals—and potential preview of this year’s, as each team narrowly leads its respective Conference in the standings. Should be close…as long as Lebron and Durant don’t start comparing notes on whose movie was cooler.

Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls — 5pm PST (ESPN)
Last year’s Finals-favorite Bulls are faring admirably, despite still being sans MVP Derrick Rose—but are only a game ahead of Houston, who are surprising everyone thanks to acquiring phenom Jeremy Lin and former Sixth Man of the Year (and bearded wonder) James Harden.

Denver Nuggets at LA Clippers — 7:30pm PST (ESPN)
Griffin and Chris Paul are insane—but watch for agile big man DeAndre Jordan and off-the-bench killer Jamal Crawford to have highlights, too. Still, the defense-minded Nuggets (now with gold-medalist Andre Iguodala and block monster JaVale McGee) won’t make it easy.

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To bring things back into a menswear realm, if we may, here’s the king of NBA-announcer swagger: hall-of-famer Reggie Miller. That dark, wintery plaid on broad, bold, peak lapels? The guy’s suiting game is as confident as his outside shot. Meanwhile, his finishing touches—a merlot repp tie (cinched in a nice, tight, four-in-hand knot—no ham-fisted double windsors for this pro) and green polka-dot pocket square—are an elegant nod to the holidays.

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Pacific NW Shout-Out: The Miller pics above and below are from a game last week in our Seattle sister-city of Portland, Oregon, where the underdog Trail Blazers beat San Antonio on national TV. The icing on the cake? Craig Sager brought the broadcasting team a pink box full of locally legendary Voodoo Doughnuts at halftime:

Check out our past posts on the NBA’s best- and worst-dressed announcers—and coming soon, look for a retrospective on Reggie Miller’s style highlights from last season.

[Commercial courtesy of the National Basketball Association; images courtesy of the NBA on TNT. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]