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theesatisfaction

L-R: DJ Mursi Layne, Catherine Harris-White, Stasia Irons

Image by Elizabeth Rudge

The ever-stylish neo-soul/hip-hop group THEESastisfaction is back and baring it all on second album EarthEE (Sub Pop), a great spring record that principal members Stas and Cat (Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White, based in Brooklyn and Seattle) are calling their breakup album. It’s not a depressing listen, though. Instead it carries hopeful messages of renewal and lyrics about finding new ways to continue on.

Stas and Cat may have broken up as real-life romantic partners, but they are recommitted to their THEESatisfaction project together–now including the smooth DJ Mursi Layne and a community-building series of Black Weirdo dance parties–and the overarching goals of honoring blackness and a queer-positive viewpoint through free-form art. 

We think THEESat is rad, and luminaries agree: Grammy winners/nominees Ishmael Butler and Meshell Ndegeocello guest on EarthEE; feminist indie rock icons Sleater-Kinney are taking THEESatisfaction on their spring reunion tour; and Martin Scorsese said Cat was dope as hell. Basically. 

Here are Stas and Cat on music, Macklemore, Black History Month and working with Scorsese.

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Video via Mashable

Behind this boot is a man with a penchant for quality and an obsession with footwear, Joshua Bingaman, who got fired up about cobbler-style boots in Europe and has found his career sweet spot with his boot company HELM, based in Austin, Texas. Bingaman is passionate about blending European and American styles and making his products 100% in the U. S. of A.–and he loves nerding out on the details.

We spoke to Bingaman on the phone about the Muller, above, a boot that pulls off the trick of being shapely and rugged at the same dang time:

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February 3, 2015

Brands to Know: Vince

Vince started in L.A. in ’02 and has since gone worldwide, equipping man, woman and child with iconic essentials. We appreciate their menswear for never sacrificing comfort and, dare we say, coziness as it keeps us looking like we know what we’re doing.

Nicole Weismann, Vince’s VP of Men’s Design, spoke to us about the vibe of the brand, LeBron James and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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Did you know if a beard is grown for a year, it’s called a yeard? That if one is grown to the longest length a particular human body can push out, it’s a terminal beard?

Without getting too deep into the finer points of the subculture—let alone the #lumbersexual movement—Beardbrand founder (and Spokane, WA entrepreneur) Eric Bandholz educates us about Tree Ranger, our current favorite of his beard oil scents, and beards in general.

Images of Bandholz and Beardbrand production facilities in Spokane are courtesy of Bandholz.

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L-R: “Lance’s mom” (Gretchen Corbett), “Lance’s mom’s boyfriend” (Justin Long), “Lance” (Carrie Brownstein) and “Nina” (Fred Armisen); image courtesy Portlandia from “The Fiancée” episode 

As a business which started in the #upperleft corner of these United States, we at Nordstrom have a special appreciation for IFC’s Portlandia. That would be the sketch comedy TV show where stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein basically teach a master class in how to mock life in Portland, OR. It’s all there: the passive-aggressiveness, the self-righteous savior complex, the questionable style choices. And yet the show, currently in its fifth season, is a love letter.

“The Fiancée” episode aired Thursday, Jan. 15, and was partially filmed at the Lloyd Center Nordstrom. (That location is now closed, with every employee who wished to be relocated given a new home at a nearby Nordstrom.) Key scenes in the episode occur at Nordstrom and feature Armisen’s character Nina, with makeup done by Jessica Needham and overall style created by her sister, two-time Emmy winner Amanda Needham.

We spoke with the sisters while the two native Portlanders sat in their car in deadlocked traffic. Topics discussed: Nina, Portlandia and good versus bad style.

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Time was, only sneakerheads demanded spotless athletic footwear. You could find them obsessively toothbrushing their Jordans indoors while regular people walked through mud puddles outside. But now we all understand, with clean sneakers increasingly a part of our daily style and the adidas Stan Smith trending hard (the classic version best worn WHITE like burning magnesium)–freshness is a must when you care about your sneakers. So: How to keep your white sneakers white? It takes a little elbow grease. And tools.

Los Angeles-based Jason Markk is the go-to name in sneaker-cleaning for a reason: the brand’s stylish brushes, microfiber towels, protective sprays and cleaning fluids (made from coconut and jojoba extracts) get the job done handily, enabling you to breathe a sigh of relief the next time someone smudges your Smiths–or god forbid, the white suede on your Sambas.

The man himself was a cool customer on the phone–that would be Jason Mark Angsuvarn, aka JBoy, entrepreneur and also DJ in the Moodswing Crew going back to ’96. He shared a little backstory and a lot of useful info:

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Swedish-born designer Johan Lindeberg took a bonafide life crisis that would send lesser men into a rock-bottom bender, absorbed its impact, and redirected its power into something positive: He founded BLK DNM, a clothing brand with New York City in its veins and dirt under its nails that, being the culmination of Lindeberg’s years of industry experience, feels like a time-tested authority for best-in-class leather jackets, despite its mere four years on Earth.

Keep reading to hear how he did it, how he bled in a castle, how he’s anti-punk, how jeans are like wine, and why he’s a fan of Hillary Clinton.

(Did we mention he also started taking photos only four years ago, and now spends his spare time photographing women like Gisele Bündchen, Kenza Fourati, Anja Rubik and Arizona Muse? Click through to see our favorites from Lindeberg’s rapidly growing photo oeuvre, too.)

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The crown jewels of our latest Olivia Kim-curated Pop-In Shop, GIFT & GO, are a series of five blacked-out Rolexes customized exclusively for us in collaboration with Bamford Watch Department.

Make no mistake: Each watch is literally the only one of its kind in the world. Through advanced technologies, our friends at London-based Bamford take brand-new luxury watches, custom-color each individual component, and reassemble the watch to its original premium-grade specifications.

Keep reading for a closer look at our custom Daytona, Milgauss, Explorer II and more—and to hear the backstory of the brand from founder George Bamford.

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As part of our fall 2014 Men’s Shop Catalog, we profiled 4 real men of style and substance. Here, AG Jeans creative director Sam Ku.

In taking the reins at AG as the denim brand’s creative director, Sam Ku not only followed in the footsteps of his dad, who helped build the business from the ground up—he also took on the legacy of famed designer Adriano Goldschmied, AG’s original namesake.

In the years since, Sam has met and exceeded those high expectations, establishing AG as a leader in the technology that drives some of the most comfortable, stylish jeans on the market. Keep reading for his insights on USA manufacturing, keeping it simple, and the step-by-step craftsmanship that occurs at AG’s L.A. factory.

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As part of our fall 2014 Men’s Shop Catalog, we profiled 4 real men of style and substance. Here, prolific Chicago restaurateur Donnie Madia.

If you’ve had the pleasure of dining at Chicago restaurants like Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, Big Star, The Violet Hour or Nico Osteria, you know that Donnie Madia (the man behind them and co-owner of One Off Hospitality Group) has achieved a sizable portion of success in the Windy City restaurant biz.

Not bad for a guy who claims his first foray into hospitality was a trial by fire. Keep reading for insights on creating atmosphere, collaborating effectively, and learning the ropes while on-the-job—from the visionary behind multiple James Beard Award-winning watering holes.

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