BP. Fashion Board

Hot-Weather Leather

I don’t know about you guys, but the weather has been ridiculously hot lately, especially for us Oregonians who are used to rain and temps varying from 50 to 70 degrees in the summer! Lately we’ve had a hot streak of 80- to 100-degree temperatures, but after 39 days with no rain, Portland finally got some summer showers that lowered things down to between 70 and 80.

So after I’d finally gotten used to the hot weather … I got cold and ended up wearing a leather jacket at night.

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Get the look:

Ted Baker London moto jacket | BP. tank | Floral joggers | Mules

Mahal,
Bella

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The May 1 deadline for the 2015 Nordstrom Scholarship is right around the corner. That means you have just a few more weeks to pull together your application for a $10,000 college scholarship! Making your application stand out from the crowd can be tough, so we decided to get some tips from the experts, previous Nordstrom Scholarship recipients Tiara Jones and Hannah Yoo.

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Nordstrom Scholarship Winners Hannah Yoo and Tiara Jones

What made you want to apply to the Nordstrom Scholarship?

Hannah: I learned about the scholarship on the Nordstrom website. I was so happy to see the video of all those deserving people being rewarded for their service and hard work both in and out of school. The Nordstrom scholarship seemed like a great opportunity, but being selected as one of the 80 recipients out of thousands of applicants made me believe my chances were microscopic. But, as quoted in one of my favorite movies, “A Cinderella Story”: Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

Why do you think your application stood out?

Tiara: I think my application stood out because of the details I was able to share about my involvement with community service organizations, the extracurricular activities I’ve participated in, and my academic achievements.

Hannah: Throughout the entire application and interview process, I wanted to be genuine. I wanted to accurately paint the picture of who I am as a person by sharing details about the activities I loved to participate in, as well as being extremely truthful and honest in my personal statement, which described my lowest as well as the highest points in my life.

What was the most memorable part of the application process?

Hannah: The whole journey was unbelievable. The interview was fun—I was eager to answer questions and even made them laugh as I reenacted the celebratory dance I did when I got the finalist notification email. The interview was definitely the most memorable part because I loved that I got an opportunity to show them who I am.

What tips do you have for students who are planning to apply for the Nordstrom scholarship?

Tiara: My first piece of advice would be to apply early so that you have more time to work on your essays, which are important since they’re a reflection of who you are as a student. Have an updated resume close by as you’re working on the application so you can include information about all the things you’ve done in your school and community. Lastly, it’s important to believe in yourself—you can do it!

Hannah: Don’t make excuses. Just apply! Take a chance. You’ll never know how absolutely perfect something could turn out to be. In fact, applying for this scholarship (writing a personal statement, interviewing and asking for recommendations) helped me a lot with my college application process. Even though this may seem a little clichéd, it’s true: be genuine and authentic. Write about something that you are passionate about. Show who you are. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be in my shoes, writing for the Nordstrom BP. blog and giving advice to hopeful Nordstrom scholars.

Tell us about your plans for college!

Tiara: I love fashion and design. I’m planning to attend the University of Cincinnati to study Fashion Design and Makeup/Wig Design.

Hannah: I plan on majoring in business and perhaps getting a minor in social entrepreneurship. I’m interested in a lot of subjects and activities, such as mathematics, writing, fashion, and different cultures and perspectives. I would love to pursue social entrepreneurship. No matter which college I end up at, I know I’ll have a lot of fun seizing opportunities, meeting new people and learning so much.

Want $10,000 of your own for college? Applications are due May 1. Learn more and get started!

Win $10,000 for college

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In this month’s BP. Fashion Board meeting, we learned how to merchandise the clothing line that we are designing. (Designing our own line is our year-long project!) We learned what merchandise tables are (they’re where you display your products), and we learned how to create aesthetically pleasing displays that follow a company-wide calendar of priorities/themes that we got from the Nordstrom head office.

To help us learn, we actually got to design some merchandising tables in our BP. department. My team was given the theme: Relaxed Casual, a.k.a., California Dreamin’. Our top priorities to support this theme were: items from the Sun & Shadow brand, knits, screen tees, and boyfriend and deconstructed denim. First we came up with two outfits that both featured destroyed denim, then we found accessories that went with both outfits.

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The coolest part is that our merch tables were on display at the Nordstrom in downtown Portland, so people got to shop our tables all weekend long.

Mahal,
Bella

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Sneak Peek into the Fashion Board

This year on the Nordstrom BP. Fashion Board we are designing our own clothing line. For our October challenge we created style boards, for our November challenge we sketched our designs. At our December meeting we presented our sketches, so I thought it would be fun to share a few of the great designs from my fellow Fashion Board members.

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Since it was the December meeting, people brought Christmas cookies and wore Christmas sweaters.

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Mahal,
Bella

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Now, the title of this post might be a little misleading because in no way have I “made it” in the fashion industry quite yet (give me a few more years). But being a blogger for a huge company such as Nordstrom has given me a taste of what the fashion industry is actually like and what it takes to succeed in it. You guys loved my more personal post, and I thought this would be a great sequel to that. If you’re interested in a career in the fashion world, keep reading because I have some tips and tricks for you!

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Tip #1: Be Unique, Be Yourself.
To put it quite bluntly, no one likes a copycat. It’s perfectly OK to take inspiration from other people, but at the end of the day, whether you’re a blogger or aspiring designer, people will be drawn to you because they haven’t seen your style anywhere else. Bloggers like Leandra Medine and Tavi Gevinson are awesome, but the world doesn’t need a million versions of them. Now’s your chance to shine, so make your mark! Be unapologetically yourself.

Tip #2: Be friendly, Get Involved.
I’m a firm believer in karma, and I believe your good deeds will come back to you in some way, shape or form. Be polite, be courteous, offer to help out in the fashion community near you. To quote the great philosopher Drake, everyone has “started from the bottom” and you can’t be successful unless you’ve done some work. I feel like “be nice” is just a life rule in general, but I think it’s especially important to remember when talking about success in the fashion industry. Movies and TV shows often portray members of the fashion community as catty and snobby, but luckily I’ve found that’s not the case at all.

Tip #3: Network, Network, Network!
I can’t stress to you all how important networking is, even as a teen. Everyone you meet could be a potential employer or coworker. I find myself handing out my blogger business cards all the time. People are interested in what I do, because let’s be real: being a blogger for Nordstrom is not your typical teen job. When you’re meeting someone, make eye contact, give firm handshakes and tell them your full name so that they remember you if they’re ever looking to hire. Attending fashion events, store openings or launch parties are super important if you’re looking to meet people who already work in the industry. If you have a blog, don’t be shy to make business cards with your URL, name and email.

Tip #4: Put Yourself Out There.
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one, but something I’ve had to learn through being a blogger is that it’s key to be fearless. Introduce yourself! Strike up conversations with stylish strangers! If you’ve got a blog with a good enough following, approach smaller companies and offer to feature their product on your blog, if they in turn promote you. Promote your blog on social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Be shameless about marketing yourself, because it won’t happen unless you do it.

Tip #5: Educate Yourself.
I saved the best for last because this, in my opinion, is the most important tip out of all of these. It is absolutely crucial to educate yourself. I started learning about the fashion industry through reading magazines. I would read each issue over and over until I could identify designers, brands, writers and photographers. Books are also great, I have a whole bookshelf of fashion-related books that I read because the advice and stories are so valuable. If you look up to someone in the industry, learn everything you can about them. I’m a fan of fashion documentaries, too, as well as YouTube videos and podcasts. Learning is awesome!

I know this was a wordy post, but I hope at least some of my advice was helpful. Work hard, dolls.

xoxo,
Clare

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My Fashion Board Project

Although the 2013-2014 BP. Fashion Board year is over, I thought it’d be fun to share the final project that I did. Our ongoing task throughout the year was to concept our own store. We picked our target market, selected merchandise, created a visual identity and even picked out the store’s decor. My boutique was called Nova Soho and I wish it really existed so I could shop there.

We kept track of our ideas and inspirations with a Pinterest board that we presented to the group at the last meeting. For the presentations, some of my fellow Fashion Board members also made creative video ads and posters, but I opted for a binder filled with different pages that had to do with the varying aspects of my store. Consider this a cleaner, more streamlined version of a mood board or inspiration board!

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This little project was so fun for me to do! Although I’ll probably never have my own boutique, it was fun to get creative and pretend.

xoxo,
Clare

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I joined the BP. Fashion Board when I was a sophomore in high school. I had always loved fashion,  and I obviously love Nordstrom, so I thought it was a perfect fit. Since I’ve completed almost two years on the Fashion Board I thought I’d share what a typical meeting is like.

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This is the whole Fashion Board for my region at our holiday party in December. At most meetings there are typically around 25-30 members and the manager of the BP. department. I’ve gotten to know a lot of these lovely ladies and have made a few new friends who love fashion just as much as I do.

Each meeting is different and we cover a new topic each time we meet. We’ve had guest speakers from companies like Me to We, who come and talk to us about their jobs in the fashion industry. Sometimes we have more hands-on challenges, such as dressing mannequins as a way to learn about visual merchandising. Another thing the Fashion Board does is discuss trends we love and clothes we’d love to see in BP. The manager takes notes on the trends we’re liking and sends them to Nordstrom buyers so they know exactly what their customers want.

If you’ve already applied, I’m so excited for you to experience Fashion Board for yourself! You’re going to have a blast learning about fashion while surrounded by people who love it just as much as you do. 🙂

xoxo,
Clare

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Are you a high school fashionista who loves fashion and shopping at Nordstrom BP.? Check out the BP. Fashion Board, a one-of-a-kind group that meets once a month, every month, between August and May at your local BP. Nordstrom. Learn the ins and outs of the industry, work on fashion projects and events (like fashion shows!), and tell our buyers what items you most want to see in your BP. department.

Hurry, applications are due Monday, 3/31! Learn more about the board and get that application in.

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BP. Fashion Board Applications

Hello all of you glorious, fashion-fascinated lasses and lads! Good news: The application period for the 2014-2015 BP. Fashion Board opened yesterday. What’s the Fashion Board, you ask? The Fashion Board is a group of high-school students that meets once a month at your local Nordstrom BP. department. At the meetings you get to go behind the scenes in the fashion industry, connecting with fashion pros and making stylish friends your own age.

Part of the application process requires you to complete a fashion project. Last year I created a leather-bound lookbook of some of my favorite outfits, and decorated it with fake flowers, confetti stars and sketches. To inspire you as you consider your own application project, here are a few shots from my 2013 masterpiece:

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The first section of my lookbook was a vintage-inspired spread featuring my letterman jacket and velvet loafers. The movie Super 8 inspired me to take pictures down by the train tracks with me holding my own super 8 camera.

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The second section was inspired by Marc Jacobs. Here I showed my more Margot Tenenbaum-y side (who, as we all know, is the daily inspiration for my life).

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I encourage you to apply for the fashion board, it is truly an incredible experience that allows you to make wonderful connections and friendships. Be inspired by your fashion icons and favorite movies, and put your heart into your fashion project.

Remember, the application period is open now! Find out more about the Fashion Board and get ready to apply.

Stay golden,
Lily

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Go Behind the Scenes at TOMS

Ever wonder what it’s like to win a contest, have your design sold internationally AND spend the day behind the scenes at TOMS? Well, wonder no more, gentle readers. BP. Fashion Board member Brooke tells us all about her fabulous day in the winner’s circle:

“‘TOMS Monday’ was literally the best day of my life! I was sitting in biology when my friend came in and told me that my parents were at school. I was kind of nervous, because right after she said that all of the administration came in with my parents and some other people I didn’t recognize. They all had cameras and Ryan Gilmore, one of the TOMS marketers asked, ‘Is Brooke in this class?’

Reluctantly, I answered, ‘Yesss…’

Then he made me stand up and walk to the front of the class and he presented me with the TOMS shoe that I had designed. He also told me that I would be going with him and the TOMS crew to Los Angeles for the day to go visit TOMS and meet the people who made my design into a shoe. I changed out of my uniform and headed excitedly over to their van where there was another surprise waiting for me: my two best friends, Hunter and Bri! I was so shocked that they’d kept the secret for about a month.

After that surprise we were on our way to L.A. We stopped at Randy’s Donuts for breakfast—the donuts were the best donuts I have ever had. Once we arrived at TOMS I met more marketers and designers and we talked about new designs to come. They surprised each of us with our own sweatshirt and journal. After touring TOMS and meeting many people, they kindly took us to a very nice lunch in Venice Beach. The food was absolutely amazing, by far the best lunch I have ever had. To continue the day, we went to the Flagstaff building which is a TOMS merchandise store and also a quaint coffee shop. The people there were very friendly and were so enthusiastic about my shoes. Then, to make the day even better, we went and got gelato. They had chocolate hazelnut and it was absolutely delicious.

We walked around Venice for a little bit, then went by the apartment where TOMS began. It was amazing to know that such a huge company started in a tiny place that you can only enter through a back alley. After looking at the apartment, we went back to TOMS and played ping-pong while Ryan and Micah talked in the building. Then all of a sudden we saw them walk out with two huge brown boxes and set them on the table. A few minutes later there were several boxes of TOMS on the table and Sharpies and paint pens. We each got two pairs to decorate! Then Ryan told us that he had another surprise for us: sunglasses! They were so cool! Bri and I chose purple and Hunter chose the yellow ones.

Then, Casey (the photographer and videographer) asked if he could take some pictures of my feet. I found this funny because as a soccer player my feet aren’t that pretty, but luckily the TOMS crew covered that. When it was time to do my interview they told me to just be excited and tell them everything that I told them earlier, just on camera. It was such a cool moment to be filmed by such an amazing company and hopefully I can spread the word about their company to everyone I meet. I love how the basis of their company is to help those in need. I asked Ryan how old you have to be to work there and he told me college. So hopefully I can get an intership there when I go to college!

To end the day we headed back to Nordstrom in Brea for our BP. Fashion Board final meeting. Micah and Ryan brought shirts for all of the girls in the Fashion Board, which I thought was really kind of them. The day was just full of kind, funny people and I loved it and soaked in every minute I could of it, because something like this doesn’t happen every day. I am so blessed to have been given a day devoted to me and I thank TOMS for that, and also my friends and family for keeping such a wonderful secret, and also God for blessing me with artistic ability that can benefit other people.

I want to end with something Ryan told me. He said, ‘Think about the fact that because you made such an amazing shoe design, we are going to sell thousands of pairs of your shoes and in turn we are going to give thousands of pairs of shoes to children who need them somewhere in the world and you will probably never even meet them.’ That struck a chord in my heart and I hope that one day I WILL be able to meet these people that I am, by the grace of God, able to have an impact on.”

Check out Brooke’s winning design and score a pair for yourself, only at Nordstrom:

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Watch Brooke’s interview here.

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