We’re excited to collaborate once again with our friends at acclaimed menswear blog Street Etiquette. The site’s founders, Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, touched down this morning at Heathrow Airport in London for a week of sightseeing, people watching, and touring the facilities of our favorite brand for British style—Topman.
The pics above are a glimpse at their first morning in the UK. Follow @NordstromMen and @StreetEtiquette on Instagram for real-time updates from London during the next seven days.
One of our favorite menswear designers, Michael Bastian, will be sending photo dispatches from his trip to Italy throughout the day today. Follow @NordstromMen on Instagram to tag along as Michael sees the sights, tours factories and enjoys the local flavor.
On Tuesday, September 24, menswear maestros and eternal pranksters Shipley & Halmos will take over our @NordstromMen Instagram feed. We’re very excited, and marginally frightened, to see what they come up with. (Judging from their own Insta antics, it might involve classic cars, sock puppets, cold ones, handsome canines, and donut-fueled feats of strength.)
Whatever goes down tomorrow, we trust that Sam Shipley (R) and Jeff Halmos (L) will adhere to the tenets of @NordstromMen, and “Keep it classy, people.” Tune in tomorrow and see for yourself.
In the meantime, read our exclusive Shipley & Halmos Q&A, which covers cliché arm-wrestling poses, blood-thirsty pugs and much more.
The last time we talked about AMC’s roller coaster of a suburban drug-lord drama, Breaking Bad, the photo we posted depicted partners in crime Walter White and Jesse Pinkman seated side by side, dressed to the nines in matching haz-mat suits, cold ones in-hand.
At this point, so much has gone so wrong for every single character, leaving the show’s legions of fans equal parts stupefied and riveted, that we’re not even sure what an appropriate visual—directly pertaining to the show and not rife with spoilers—would be. So instead, here’s Pinkman’s alter ego, aka two-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul, by all indications having the time of his life.
It’s good to know that our favorite Breaking Bad character—a small-time crook in a shark-tank of very bad guys, who’s been in over his head since approximately episode two, spent most of the past season alternately sobbing and attempting to give millions in morally tainted cash away to strangers, and attempted to triple-cross Mr. White for most likely the last time—is faring better in real life than he is on the show.
Even though he’s, you know, on it, Aaron Paul seems to be one of the show’s biggest fans. Follow him on Instagram (@GlassOfWhiskey) for a steady stream of the very best Breaking Bad inside jokes—like the false revelation and fun with fake babies above. He’s even hosting a contest in which a lucky winner can watch the series finale with him, VIP-style, in LA.
— — —
Further Breaking Bad reading—because, if you’re like us, you’re into it:
1. Red-Carpet Criminals. Despite Pinkman’s oversized, skull-emblazoned, mall-thug duds—and Walter White’s unusual tendency toward beige-on-beige-on-beige (and tighty-whities)—Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston clean up incredibly well when duty calls. More here.
2. The One Who Knocks. Read GQ’s interview with the show’s leading man, Bryan Cranston, here. [Photo: Nathaniel Goldberg.]
3. One Hell of a Trip. Evidence that Cranston (right, in 1977) has been into Winnebagos for a while now. More here.
4. Don’t Try This at Home. It’s never been easier to build your own meth lab! Except for the fact that this unauthorized, comically accurate Lego set sold out even faster than Heisenberg’s coveted narcotics.
TWO EPISODES LEFT. Breaking Bad’s penultimate episode airs this Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
Previous seasons are on Netflix.
Having knocked the collective socks off the menswear industry last week (no small feat when most of whom are still clutching at summer sockless-ness) with his impeccable vision of Spring ’14 (look toward the bottom of this post), what do you think Iowa-born designer Todd Snyder immediately did? A) Sleep for 50 consecutive hours; B) Go to Disney World; C) Cross the pond for a little R&R—and of course, more work.
If you guessed C, treat yourself to an extra Guinness on this glorious Wednesday. While the self-professed workaholic’s shot of Europe’s finest shearling, above, first caught our eye (and got us jazzed for Fall) this morning, the pics below kept us scrolling. Check out the view from Snyder’s Paris hotel, the designer’s favorite London hat shop, an epic victory in the form of actor Justin Theroux rocking Todd Snyder + Champion on the cover of GQ, and much more—all on Todd Snyder’s official Instagram feed.
…And while those Autumn tones match our current mood to a T, a pop of color is always welcome:
Here’s a recap of the latest from our NYC correspondents Street Etiquette, via their Fashion-Week Instagram journal exclusively for @NordstromMen. Stay tuned for more visuals from their recent New York Fashion Week endeavors in the days to come.
Style Profiles. In honor of our twice-a-year Men’s Shop Catalog dropping this month, we decided to profile 6 real men of style and substance. Here, our own Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director, Jorge Valls.
The shelves at your local Nordstrom? And the stylish cyberspace on Nordstrom.com? They don’t stock themselves. Dozens of dedicated buyers hand-pick every piece—and one man sets the tone and coordinates all their efforts: Jorge Valls, the Nordstrom Men’s Shop Fashion Director.
We caught up with Jorge (it’s pronounced the same as “George,” by the way) recently, to learn a bit about his worldly background, hear which fall trends he’s looking forward to, and get a sense of what it’s like hopping from show to show during Fashion Week. Read our Q&A below—accompanied by some of Jorge’s own Instagram shots from the spring/summer ’14 shows in Milan and Paris this past summer.
MEN’S SHOP DAILY: What does your job as Men’s Fashion Director entail? JORGE VALLS, NORDSTROM MEN’S FASHION DIRECTOR: “It’s a mixture of things. I work with our product development team, as well as our merchant teams, to get everybody following the same vision. Working with the buyers involves deciding trend direction, color palettes, key items for upcoming seasons, and working with them at market, walking shows, and going to vendor appointments to see what kind of product is available that matches what we’re trying to say at Nordstrom.”
How did you get to this point in your career? What did you study in college?
“I had a double major in English and French literature, then I got a master’s in business after that. As far as favorite authors…I really like the old British classics—Thomas Hardy, but even Shakespeare. My favorite Shakespeare is probably one of the comedies, like Twelfth Night.”
How did you get started at Nordstrom?
“I started with Nordstrom as a temp, working odd jobs. I worked in the mailroom. I worked as a receptionist. Eventually, I worked in the PR department as the assistant; that was my first full-time role, and that opened the door for me to get into advertising and marketing…eventually, I became the men’s designer buyer, and now I have this job.”
What do you think Nordstrom Men’s Shop does better than anyone else?
“We have something for every customer out there, from traditional to more fashion-forward. We have in-house tailors, personal stylists, a lot of our stores have shoe-shines. We try to offer everything a man needs.”
What would you say to a guy who thinks our Personal Stylist service is not for him?
“A Nordstrom Personal Stylist is an expert on everything we have to offer. They’ll set up a room for you with everything you need. They make your life easy. And it’s free.”
We’re doing this Q&A, in part, to help kick off our Fall 2013 Men’s Catalog [hitting mailboxes and online soon]. What else is special about this year’s catalog? “We [compiled] Ten Essentials—classics that every man needs to have in his wardrobe, that’ll last forever. We also wanted to acknowledge some real men out there who are doing it right, and share their insights with our customers. And, we’ve touched on some trends that are of-the-moment, but at the same time, totally timeless.”
One of those timeless trends is “University.” Any insights?
“I associate the ‘University’ look with preppy styling, heritage, plaid shirts, navy blazers. Classic items every guy should have in his wardrobe, but updated and new.”
Another fall trend is “Moto.” Can guys who drive four wheels to work pull this off?
“The ‘moto’ trend is a classic, too. It’s a leather biker jacket, it’s denim, it’s T-shirts…It’s very James Dean, very Steve McQueen. It’s cool, it’s accessible, it’s very masculine.”
[L: Marais Arrondissement, Paris | R: Diesel Black Gold spring/summer '14, Milan]
Your title being Fashion Director, what does the word “fashion” mean to you—especially in the context of menswear? “Fashion, or style, is how you present yourself to the outside world. I think men understand that now. They’re not afraid of it, and they want to express themselves. They want to look appropriate, but they also want to look like individuals.”
[Canali spring/summer '14, Milan | R: Tables turned on the fashion-week photographers]
What are you seeing as a key color for this fall ’13?
“Grey. It’s a very masculine color, and also a neutral one, so you can wear it with black, with brown, with navy, with camel—any broad range of colors. So it’s a good basic. And with grey as a main color, it’s good to maybe have a pop of something a little bit bolder.”
[L: An ivy-covered building in Milan | R: Gucci spring/summer '14, Milan]
You often attend fashion shows in Paris and Milan. What do you enjoy about Fashion Week? “The shows, the production, the vision of what the designers want to show you is all very exciting to experience in person. And now, the street scene is also a big thing. People really dress up. There’s a lot of people trying to express themselves and get photographed…It’s almost as big of a circus outside when you leave the show, as it is inside the show.”
[L: Cerruti spring/summer '14, Milan | R: Walking into the Thom Browne show, Paris]
How often do you travel for work?
“Quite a bit. I’m home, I’d say, 50 percent of the time—maybe 60 percent, depending on the season. I spend a lot of time on the road.”
[L: Outside the Lanvin show, Paris | R: Givenchy spring/summer '14, Paris]
You work at Nordstrom HQ in Seattle. Have you always lived around here? “I’ve lived all over the world. I was born in New Jersey. I moved to Portugal when I was two. Then I moved to Mexico, then Belgium, then Pennsylvania, then Spain, then back to Pennsylvania. Then, my family moved to Italy, and I went to graduate school in France. I moved to Seattle in 1991.”
[L: Dries Van Noten spring/summer '14, Paris | R: Jean Paul Gaultier showroom]
Fashion shows, at times, can verge on the bizarre. How do you suggest the average guy interpret some of the things designers send down the runway? “Fashion Week is a show. I don’t want to say it’s theatre, but—it’s the purest expression of the designer’s vision, so sometimes there will be things that are, you know, hard to wear for the average guy. But those are the ideas that develop into a new proportion, or something being a bit shorter, or tighter, or looser. When you go to a showroom after a show, they have the runway collection, which is the ‘pure’ statement, but the rest of the showroom supports that—usually with more digestible ideas that the average guy can buy into, and maybe dip his toe into some of those [emerging] concepts.”
— — —
Read Jorge’s insights from the spring ’14 trade shows in Las Vegas here.
Okay, the pic above is a re-gram from our friends at @Sub_Pop—the top of the Space Needle isn’t very big, so for one of our Nordstrom peeps to get up there last night, a member of Mudhoney was going to have to leave. Which just wouldn’t do.
However, our entire Nordstrom Men’s Shop crew will be on the ground TOMORROW for Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee—a free music festival in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, celebrating 25 years of subterranean sounds from our hometown’s most iconic record label. So, you can expect plenty of live updates throughout the day. Follow @NordstromMen on Instagram for real-time glimpses of Built to Spill, Mudhoney (yes, again), J Mascis, METZ, Father John Misty, Shabazz Palaces and more. Visit Sub Pop’s blog for the full lineup.
Our friends across the pond at Topman were kind enough to provide us with some fest-ready clothes, so you might see a street-style snap or two, as well. Speaking of Topman—in collaborating with them over the past year, we’ve noticed England and Seattle have a lot in common. We both get our fair share of rain (and kind of like it). We both have cool accents (not really). And we both birth some killer bands. So we were delighted (but perhaps not surprised) when their fantastic blog team published Topman’s top-five Sub Pop albums the other day. Check them out, from Nirvana to Beach House, here.
A few key members of our creative team were in Hong Kong last week for Art Basel—soaking up culture, gathering inspiration, and snapping photos all the while. The pics here only represent the best of day 1, shot by graphic designer Gloria Chen. Check back soon for more photos from our team’s Hong Kong Instagram journal.
[Gloria's caption for the image above: "Peter's hair, day 1."
Peter is another designer...with notable hair.]
Arriving in Hong Kong. | Cool product display.
Simple packaging of soy milk. | Vertical garden store front.
Hong Kong subway system. | Mail boxes.
The most expensive district in HK. | Lots of tall apartment buildings.
The deadline is drawing near for J Brand’s #TylerChallenge (in which Nordstrom employees all over America compete to break in their J Brand ‘Tyler’ Raw Selvedge Jeans as creatively as possible—and capture the process via Instagram).
Check out our first batch of #TylerChallenge pics here—and in the coming weeks, keep an eye out for the winner, who will get a chance to tour J Brand’s factory in California. In the meantime, here are our latest favorite images of J Brand’s raw jeans in action. (Check out many more on Instagram, under hashtag #TylerChallenge).
One of our Rail buyers (@Yellow_Govna, left) takes his J Brands high-low with wingtips and camo—while another Rail buyer (@DanDrewes, right) airs his out after a day of yard work.
[First image up top: @TamerlaneJunior, the legend continues.]
Kick flips and nose grinds are an effective way to loosen up stiff, raw denim (@NBozich, left). Jeans, T-shirt, Chucks—classic off-duty uniform with @Eric_Eugene (right).
We always appreciate women in menswear—and @OliveJuiceJay (left) does it with the best. Elsewhere, @SamuraiGeek accelerates the breaking-in process with a dip in a salt-water pool.
Two guys who are not afraid to put their J Brands to work: @SamuraiGeek rock-climbing, and @DanDrewes building a deck.