ALL POSTS Interviews Style

Nike Collector @ellaesco on Sneaker Swagger and Air Max Tattoos | Nordstrom x Nike


Images by Andy Oceans

Air Max Month is wrapping, but our permanent Nordstrom x Nike boutique is refreshed for spring and summer. For an excuse to chat about sneakers, we got in touch with friends and serious collectors Maria Elena Puschmann and Angela Marie Shaw, who both loaned sneakers from their collections to our store displays for Air Max Month in Chicago and Seattle.

Here’s Shaw—better known as @ellaesco—talking about her collection, competitive mindset and making Nike a permanent part of her life.


{ 1 comment }
ALL POSTS Men’s Fashion Style

GREATS’ Ryan Babenzien Talks Breakdancing, Dominant Silhouettes and Vachetta Calf


Ryan Babenzien and Nick Wooster at Nordstrom Toronto Eaton Centre

Brand new to Nordstrom is GREATS, the exciting Brooklyn-based sneaker brand shaking up the American luxury market, led by Ryan Babenzien. Perhaps you know the Babenzien family name because Ryan’s brother Brendon was the creative director of Supreme, the defining streetwear brand. Now it’s the other Babenzien’s turn to influence style.

Ryan is a visionary, pushing GREATS into the fashion consciousness with ambassador/consultant Nick Wooster at his side—a must-follow menswear icon—and designing with an open-source philosophy about silhouettes. He makes sure GREATS is competitive with other luxury brands (made in Italy with premium leathers) but sells at a lower price point. GREATS generally sells direct and does not wholesale its product—our partnership is an exception.

We just launched GREATS as a limited run in all our Canadian stores. They’re also available by phone: 1.877.794.5304*. You might want to place that order now; our initial buy will sell out.

Check out our interview with Ryan Babenzien below about his background, his business and his brother—and learn where the name GREATS came from in the first place.

*We ship free nationally. International orders are subject to customs and shipping fees.


ALL POSTS Men’s Fashion Style

Feast Your Eyes: Designer Sneakers for Fall

Gucci 'Bambi' High-Top Sneaker

The story of sneakers in the past few years has been that of the stampeding crossover, from athletics to streetwear and from fashion runways into your business-casual and weekend looks. Right now, with designers at the top of the chain focusing on this area of footwear, it’s safe to say the sneaker knows no bounds.

Four fall/winter styles worth your attention are by Gucci, Raf Simons and Rick Owens (both designing independently for adidas), and Giuseppe Zanotti.

Above, you see what happens when Gucci designer Alessandro Michele teams up with GucciGhost (some background on Mr. Ghost) for a graffiti-inspired high-top. Basically the story here is that GucciGhost went from spray-painting the Gucci logo on walls (an artistic act, if an illegal one) to making legitimate designer sneakers. See what we mean? The crossover is real.

SHOP: designer sneakers Gucci high-tops


ALL POSTS Men’s Fashion

Sneakers for All Budgets: Wear Them Proud


Photo courtesy @DJmustard

Just a quick PSA here to illustrate how clean sneakers can finish an outfit perfectly, whether they cost $500 or $50–give or take a nickel.

You probably recognize these guys from anything defining West Coast rap in the past few years. You probably recognize their shoes as well. If not, that’s DJ Mustard on the left in Balenciaga and YG on the right wearing Vans.

SHOP: Balenciaga Arena (in stores only) | Vans Authentic | all sneakers

—Andrew Matson

{ 1 comment }
ALL POSTS Interviews Men’s Fashion POP-IN@Nordstrom

Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans Exclusive Apparel Collection Lookbook | Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans


For Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans we partnered with Vans for an exclusive apparel collection for women and men, loosely based on the colors of our sneaker selection. We love the result and hope you do, too. In fact we were so impressed during the prototype-vetting process and seeing the finished products, we got Vans’ designer Vince Martinez on the horn to ask him about the collection piece by piece.

For this project, I was told it was a Pop-In Shop, which I was familiar with, so I got excited to do something extra creative. There weren’t strict parameters, just to tie back to the footwear and bring the design to life. It wasn’t a free-for-all, but I was allowed to do what I do. Usually I’m told, “Here’s your budget.” And I work with that. For this, there was no budget. I was like, OK, I’m just going to take everything to the next level: use the most expensive fabrics, work with the factories, make sure the hand-feel is good. All those things that I normally do, but I was able to give a lot more pushback.

–Vince Martinez

SHOP: Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans


ALL POSTS Fashion Week Street Style Style

What to Wear to Fashion Week: Sneakers

One thing fashion is not necessarily known for is practicality. Especially during the haute couture displays of Fashion Week, when the sky is the limit for designers’ imaginations and the shoes models sport to walk the runway are equally as elevated, one doesn’t see much emphasis placed on comfortable wearability.

During recent Fashion Weeks, however, one trend that literally hit the streets of New York, London, Paris and Milan was the sneaker. Some of the most stylish women and men in the industry were sporting tennies as they rushed to runway shows. It’s the ways in which they wear them that make these sneaks chic.

Spring 2016 Street Style sneakers

Images by InDigital

Here are some of our favorite styles and street style shots paired with shoes you can shop now.


ALL POSTS Interviews Men’s Fashion POP-IN@Nordstrom Style

Olivia Kim Explains Her Fuzzy Custom Vans, Back-to-School Anxiety and the Rise of the Fashion Sneaker

OliviaKimVans OliviaKimVans

Our Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans Vans selection includes Old Skools and chukkas designed by our own Olivia Kim, a project she undertook with designer Alex Dymond. You’ll be able to tell which ones they are. They’re fuzzy.

Available for adults and kids, Olivia’s faux-shearling and velvet shoes aren’t available anywhere else on the planet except for Nordstrom. They are exclusive and “fashion” (Vans also exists in the fashion world now, if you didn’t know), but above all else, fun.

Here she speaks on Kurt Cobain, cringing when brands try too hard to be down with the kids and how getting her shoes clowned in fourth grade scarred her for life.

—Andrew Matson

SHOP: Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans


{ 1 comment }
ALL POSTS Street Style Style

Throwback Sneakers Pay Tribute to Iconic Kicks

On the runways and FROWs of Fashion Week and in corporate offices around the world, sneakers are becoming acceptable footwear. These casualwear shoes have become more fashionable—and even outrageous—in recent years, and yet many still opt to sport the retro styles that put the brands on the street map decades ago. Whichever style they choose, tottering women are gratefully kicking off their heels to slide into a soft sole.

Preetma Singh in sneakers at Fashion Week

NYLON fashion director and street-style star Preetma Singh in a pair of tennies during Fashion Week shot by Crystal Nicodemus 

Here are some of the coolest, most inventive kicks around this spring, and the classic styles that inspired them.

Feiyue Fe Lo classic and platform sneakers

Iconic: Feiyue. Fe Lo Classic sneaker | Inventive: Feiyue. Fe Lo Platform sneaker

This tennis shoe company was founded in Shanghai in the ’20s. Famed for its careful construction and flexible canvas, the shoe was prized by Shaolin monks and other martial artists for their agility. In 2006, Feiyue. was acquired by a French company, which continues to make these lightweight and durable sneaks but with some artful innovations.


ALL POSTS Culture Film & Television Men’s Fashion Music Style

The Weekend Guide: April 8-10

Logan Marshall-Green in The InvitationSEE: The Invitation
Our imaginations and paranoias are often more horrific than any boogeyman. This seems the premise of Karyn Kusama’s newest film. Set at a Hollywood Hills dinner party, The Invitation causes us to question whether Will’s (Logan Marshall-Green) ex-wife and her new husband are hiding something behind their serene hospitality or whether we are yoked to an increasingly troubled protagonist. The chills derive from the subtle uncertainty sown in their interactions.

HEAR: Sept. 5th by dvsn
Pronounced “division,” this R&B duo on Drake’s OVO Sound label received a warm, lingering embrace from the music community for their sparse but sultry jams. Echoing rhythms lay the groundwork for a careful crescendo of sound and emotion on songs like “Hallucinations.” Ultimately the seduction of their music rests on its ability to retreat into the background or command attention, depending on one’s mood.

Love Streams by Tim Hecker
Working with Oscar-winning Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, veteran electric musician Tim Hecker created a delicate album featuring the sounds of an Icelandic choir, a harpsichord, bass clarinets, strings and electric guitars along with his usual boards and mixers. It’s a pastiche of orchestration, resembling church choral compositions, suitable to a digital age when novelty can derive from our nostalgia.

Ology by Gallant
The debut of another emerging alt-R&B act, Gallant, eviscerates with so many feelings, from the frustrated hopelessness beautifully rendered on “Bourbon” to the bargain striking of “Bone + Tissue.” Gallant’s “Weight in Gold” rightly gained acclaim and some popularity. This collection of new tracks will doubtlessly grant more airtime for his mesmerizing vocal range and to air his fuzzy emotions.


ALL POSTS Men’s Fashion

Canvas Sneakers for Spring: Scuffing Season


Here’s a thing: we understand having a healthy obsession with cleaning one’s sneakers. It’s always satisfying to brush Jason Markk premium shoe cleaner on a midsole and watch it come back to life. But we’re also of the opinion that some shoes look great dirty.

Canvas sneakers fall in that category. Don’t worry if they’re scuffed. That’s life. Make them part of your spring rotation with ripped jeans and an optional bomber jacket. You will look good.

Here are five canvas sneakers for your consideration which we believe look excellent (dare we say better than new?) with wear.


Shop: men’s shoes | Vans slip-on | Tretorn Racket | Sperry Striper CVO | Tretorn Nylite | Converse high tops