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Here we see metallic Nike sneakers in the 1984 Nordstrom holiday catalog. Man, do they rule.

The wrestling shoes? Fire. We’re might start wearing wrestling shoes to the office, now. And they’re called the Hi-Jack, which is super tough.

The Vandal Supreme model in the back? With the ill nylon quilting? From the Air Force 1 design similarities to the fact that they look like a tracksuit, to the name, which connotes graffiti: these shoes are very hip-hop. Suitable for park jams, writing sessions, everything “from break dancing to basketball.”

But it’s really about the ones in front. Nike Snow Waffle. Early high-top/running shoes combo. Too fresh.

Factoid: The Snow Waffle lives on today, in slightly altered form, as the reflective Internationalist.

Shop: Men’s Nike | All Men’s sneakers

Check out these guys from the 1995 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog, especially the guy on the left in his deep teal fleece. Looks pretty cool, right?

People hate on fleece but they’re tripping. It’s not all the same. You can’t just write off all fleeces. That’s material-ist!

Peruse our collection of fleeces and be real with yourself. Legit freshness abounds. Like, for example, this slammin’ Patagonia pullover.

Shop: Fleece

Back in the early-/mid-’90s, rappers had a serious taste for Polo gear in bold primary and secondary colors. I mean, witness Raekwon and Ghostface Killah in the video for the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple.”

‘Lo-ed out!

With that history in mind, we look at this shot from the 1992 Nordstrom holiday catalog and think back fondly on classic street-yacht menswear.

Shop: Polo Ralph Lauren

Hoo boy. We try our best to wax philosophical on here about important life instances when the situation so demands, but man. Moms? There’s not much we can say that you don’t already know. The woman birthed you, bathed you—and for many of you, babied you well into your 30s. The least you can do is buy her a present and give her a call (CALL YOUR MOM, FOR PETE’S SAKE) this Mother’s Day—which happens to be this Sunday, May 11. But you knew that already. Right?

Do you know what would really make her day, though? Digging up some old photos and reminiscing with her—as several of our Nordstrom HQ colleagues were kind enough to do here. Keep reading for our collection of throwback photos, plus gift tips for every kind of mom.

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Whoever coined the phrase “Never look back” clearly hadn’t heard of Grayers, a brand firmly rooted in the fact that inspiration is everywhere—especially in the past.

Keep reading to see the the vintage gems (from a 40-foot boat to a Japanese blanket) that sparked four key items for spring 2014—as selected, shot, and discussed by Grayers creative director Kenny Thomas.

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As proud as we are to have Nordstrom’s hometown of Seattle represented in this year’s Super Bowl, we have to admit: The Seahawks couldn’t ask for a more worthy adversary than the Denver Broncos and their legendary leader, 13-time Pro-Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning. Our favorite thing about Manning? Despite being extraordinarily competitive on the field, he happens to be totally hilarious when he’s off the clock.

Keep reading to see classic photos from throughout Peyton Manning’s illustrious football career—from the University of Tennessee Volunteers to the Indianapolis Colts to the Denver Broncos—plus our favorite clips of his other true calling: comedy.

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Reflecting on the rough weather thus far in 2014, and our New Year’s resolution to get some fresh air in spite of it, we decided to take a closer look at one of our favorite outdoor brands: The North Face.

You probably know that The North Face protects you from frigid conditions so that you can enjoy all manner of al fresco pursuits—from extreme sports to a corner-store beer run—in comfort and style. You might also guess that the brand has outfitted explorers, researchers, and daredevils on journeys to the furthest (and highest) reaches of the planet, from the Arctic Circle to Mount Everest. But did you know The North Face’s roots reach back to 1960s San Francisco, and that The Grateful Dead helped launch the brand’s first store?

Keep reading to learn more about The North Face’s nearly five-decade history of counterculture, innovation and environmentalism.

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With temperatures plummeting and our Snow Shop open for business, we can think of no better way to set the stage for ski season than to gaze upon the stunning, strange, retro-futuristic glory of perhaps our favorite piece of Nordstrom memorabilia of all time. Behold, WinterSki ’77-’78: Saga of Light.

Continue reading for more skis in space, naked people modeling eyewear, and cryptic quotations. (Sample: “We drifted, transported through the essence, nearly weightless.” Huh? Long live the late ’70s.)

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French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg was kind of like the Kanye West of his time—you know, a creative genius. A jack of many trades. A genre-hopping musician, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. His lyrics utilized styles of wordplay that would make most rappers (and even self-described word-nerd copy editors—we checked) scratch their heads. (Mondegreen? Spoonerism? Check Gainsbourg’s Wikipedia page for definitions.)

Gainsbourg also managed to sweep some of the best-known bombshells of the 1960s and ’70s off their feet. Check out his 1968 ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ duet with then-ladyfriend Brigitte Bardot above, for example. The song is based on a poem entitled The Trail’s End, written by Bonnie Parker herself just weeks before her Depression-era crime spree with Clyde Barrow came to a grisly end. Gainsbourg’s apparent fascination with American culture is interesting—especially as we find ourselves paying homage to all things French, with our limited-time French Fling Pop-In Shop. (And, as Monsieur West is zealously requesting croissants and collab’ing with minimalist French label A.P.C.)

Below, find some favorite photos of Gainsbourg and guests—all via the essential repository for all things vintage and jaw-dropping: The Impossible Cool.


Perhaps he was not classically handsome. And legend has it that he passed out drunk after taking Jane Birkin to some questionable venues on their first date. But what Gainsbourg lacked in other areas, he made up for in his keen ability to wear a suit like he was born in it. Check out those fitted shoulders, wide lapels, and devil-may-care shirt collar.


Brigitte Bardot, Gainsbourg’s partner in crime in the song above, cleaned up pretty nice, too.


…But who wore it best? Invented in England, perfected by the French—Gainsbourg makes a trench coat look almost as good as Bardot. Note his expert use of accessories: gloves, smoke, icy stare.


Not a bad run: After breaking up with Bardot, Gainsbourg rebounded with English singer/actress Jane Birkin—but’s that’s a whole other story. Here, he rocks the “jacket-as-cape” look about 40 years before the current crop of street-style stars attempted it.

 

SHOP: FRENCH FLING POP-IN SHOP
READ MORE: FRENCH-THEMED ARTICLES

Leave it to The Selvedge Yard—online repository of all things vintage, virile, and generally badass—to sum up today’s Fourth of July holiday in one perfect image. Visit The Selvedge Yard for more Marilyn Monroe, and check out our tribute to TSY, from last Independence Day, here.

Beware the bad kind of danger today—and cheers to the good kind.