Summer

eskimeauxImages by Manuela Insixiengmay

In a contemplative mood this summer, we’ve been reaching for OK by the New York City band Eskimeaux, an album that makes us believe again in the power of turn-of-the-millennium indie rock. We listen while we read Rookie Magazine and The Le Sigh, and think maybe it’s not a dead genre. Maybe instead it’s a not-broken, doesn’t-need-fixing staple.

We met with bandleader and sometimes solo performer Gabby Smith in an undisclosed greenhouse to talk about the weird ambient music she used to make, her upcoming video session for NPR and the value of tenacity in one’s artistic process.

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CMRTYZ | Behind the Brand

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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.

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Shop: CMRTYZ | The Rail

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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.

Shop: Vince baseball shirt | Bonobos shorts

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fourthofjuly3With 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 section of our website. We think you will find them instructional and inspirational. You can sort our complete looks by:

What we’re trying to say is: Don’t sleep on the complete looks.

Shop this look: Calibrate tee7 For All Mankind jeans | HUGO sportcoat | Schwood sunglasses Stan Smiths

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grill-strappedShop: briefcase grill | top 100 father’s day gifts

This charcoal briefcase grill by RS Barcelona is dead simple to use, clearly great-looking–and crucial for enjoying after-work dogs at the nearest park.

After falling under its spell, it occurred to us.

Surefire Father’s Day gift. 

True story: Last time we took it to the beach, a group of women eyed the grilling station and, eventually, Amy introduced herself to ask what the product was and where it could be purchased. We directed her to our Poolside Pop-In@Nordstrom, either in person or online. She said it would be the perfect Father’s Day gift for her husband.

Our thought exactly, Amy.

Check this bad boy in action:

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Vaadat Charigim: Dan Bloch (denim jacket), Juval Haring (hoodie), Juval Guttmann (black tee); images by Manuela Insixiengmay

In case of the summer bummer, we’ve been known to turn to shoegaze rock–the subgenre made from loops and layers of guitar noise–and travel to a place where pain is beauty.

It usually works.

When we caught up with Juval Haring, who fronts Israeli shoegaze band Vaadat Charigim, he described himself as “pessimistic” and “cynical.” He also deadpanned about his first name, which he shares with his drummer:

“Juval is a common Israeli name. I’m kind of like the Israeli Craig.”

Haring is funny. His band’s new album, Sinking As a Stone, generally, is not.

With little to no musical support system back home and yet over 1,000 concerts played so far, Haring explained what Berlin, Germany, and Portland, OR, have to do with each other, some of his more existential lyrics–and why he keeps on rocking in the free world.

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Looking for dreamy tunes to soundtrack summer hangouts? We thought you might be!

Check this exclusive mix from independent Brooklyn-based music label Mexican Summer–the brain trust which popularized Best Coast and Washed Out a few years back–compiled by the man in charge, Keith Abrahamsson. The music is a blend of the beautiful and the strange. You will find rock, pop and electronic music. Old styles and new ones.

And it all goes together fluidly.

If you like what you hear, we recommend spending more time with Mexican Summer and its sister labels Anthology and Software. In our opinion, Abrahamsson and his crew are 100% trustable.

Relatedly: Abrahamsson’s wife, Kate Young, is a fashion stylist we greatly admire and the designer of several Tura sunglasses featured in our current Pop-In Shop.

We spoke to Abrahamsson on the phone about getting style advice from his wife, the future of the music biz and the best swimming hole in New York.

And we had him take a few photos of his desk, so you know what it looks like to steer the good ship Mexican Summer.

Shop: Poolside Pop-In@Nordstrom

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what-to-wear-this-summer-white-zanerobe

Especially when it’s hot out, we’re wearing white/bleached/blown-out colors. And as always, comfort is a must. To those ends, this sunny season, catch us in a crisp Zanerobe shirt and/or a pair of the Australian brand’s jeans, jogger pants or shorts.

That’ll be us at BBQs and on OPBs (other people’s boats), Zan-ed up, Zan-ed out, bumping Soulja Boy’s “Zan With That Lean.”

We’re loving the whole slouchy-yet-clean aesthetic.

One more note about Zanerobe shorts: we’ll have the “Sureshot” chino in heavy rotation for a few months, here. But we keep eyeing those perforated leather joints, as well–seen above and linked below–thinking maybe this is the year we lace ourselves with luxury shorts.

Shop: Zanerobe printed long-sleeve | Zanerobe long tee | Zanerobe jeans | Zanerobe leather shorts | all Zanerobe | The Rail

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Image and animation by Studio N

Want to know the difference between a guy who shows up at the music festival, camping trip, or whatever summery group-hang situation with cool accessories, versus the guy without?

Guy #1 is the man. He’s got tunes, drinks, knows what time it is–and has a rubbery backpack where everyone can put their wet swimsuits for the journey back to _____.

Be that guy. Plan for the season.

Shop accessories:

Herschel backpack | Ray Ban sunglasses | Marc Jacobs sunglasses | Shinola watch | Klean Kanteen water bottle | Recover iPhone case | reusable red plastic cup | LSTN headphones | Gents hat | Jack Spade card holder | Bose bluetooth speaker

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In this series, we talk to artists and designers about their most personal works and the projects that are closest to their hearts.

Shout out to Dej Loaf: there’s just something godly about rocking white.

We’re especially feeling that vis-à-vis these recent portraits of model Magor M’Bengue by Nordstrom Senior Photographer Barb Penoyar–portraiture being something she does in her free time, after she’s shot the looks that our in-house Studio N needs for the day. Her current theme is In/On White. Expect to see more of Barb’s portraits on this blog, all shot with 100% natural light.

“This ‘In/On White’ thing might evolve over time,” she says, “but for spring I’m inspired by white on white.”

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