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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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As part of our fall 2014 Men’s Shop Catalog, we profiled 4 real men of style and substance. Here, award-winning menswear designer Billy Reid.

The best clothing designers approach their craft like a mix of art and science: part aesthetic sensibility, part structural engineering. Louisiana-born Billy Reid excels on both counts, offering meticulously crafted, tangibly soulful classics for men of all ages.

Beyond informing our aspirations of what to wear, Reid also serves as a solid role model for how to live. Keep reading for wise words from a man who finds time to coach baseball, sip bourbon and dig Bob Dylan, all while doing the best and most rewarding work of his career.

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Whereas our first installment of “Sneakers in Your City” followed two hip-hop artists to their favorite spots in Seattle, episode 2 takes us to New York, where Ryan Plett—the photographer, consultant, and self-described “generalist” behind popular mood board blog You Have Broken the Internet—showed us the Big Apple through his own unique lens.

He also shot some damn fine looking photographs for us. Keep reading to watch a behind-the-scenes video, hear about five places to seek out in NYC, and get a closer look at fall footwear from The Sneaker Project, a curated selection handpicked by our buyers.

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As part of our fall 2014 Men’s Shop Catalog, we profiled 4 real men of style and substance. Here, Blue Note recording artist Robert Glasper.

Whenever we interview a world-class chef, a pro BMX rider—or, in this case, a Grammy-winning jazz composer who works alongside the best musicians in the business—our goal is not to offer you life hacks to follow in their exact career path. Instead, we aim to inspire you with a glimpse inside the mind of a guy who’s at the top of his game—and to discover and share wisdom of a more universal nature.

In chatting with multifaceted jazz man Robert Glasper, we found out a thing or two about conquering writer’s block, learning from your dislikes, and documenting ideas even at inopportune moments. Keep reading for the full Q&A, and to hear our favorite examples of Glasper in action.

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