Sub Pop

ALL POSTS Interviews Men’s Fashion Style

Low Flex Zone: Subversive Spring Designer with Porter Ray


Nordstrom is based in Seattle right down the street from Sub Pop Records, the label that originally introduced the world to Nirvana. We’re big fans and old friends. Lately, rap music is ascendant in Seattle and now Sub Pop is working with one of the stars of the scene, the literary-minded Porter Ray.

To capitalize on the timing of Ray’s new album Watercolor and our new spring selection, he came through our Seattle flagship to see what was good. Turns out: a lot.

Ray prefers a uniform of tapered pants, hoodies and bomber jackets. Within that framework, he picked graphic designs from brands that are a little underground and not especially glitzy – J.W.Anderson, known for androgyny; Tim Coppens, known for ’90s-era skate style – along with this season’s hottest jackets from Gucci and Givenchy.

We appreciate that in his dressing, as with his music, Ray is traditional yet fearlessly artistic. There’s a frame, and he’s flexing within it.

Below, see more looks as well as quotes from Ray about how and why he raps. Plus: a video about forming his view of style through the lens of a private school uniform.

–Andrew Matson

SHOP: Gucci jacket* | Lanvin pants | J.W.Anderson polo* | adidas Gazelles | Givenchy bomber | Maison Margiela sneakers* | Tom Ford sunglasses | Tim Coppens hoodie* | all men’s designer | all men’s designer sneakers


Music Video

Listen Up! 5 Questions for Artist Stacey Rozich

We liked last week’s spooktacular video so much, we’re keeping the Halloween theme going with this week’s pick: a slightly creepy (and 100% cool) video from enigmatic experimental Swedish band Goat. In the Sam Macon–directed clip for Goats’ psych-folk single “Hide from the Sun,” a beautiful woman is transformed into an otherworldly queen by a cast of animal-like beings, all of which were dreamt up by L.A.–based artist Stacey Rozich.

The ultra-talented Rozich—whose colorful style you might recognize from album art for other bands, such as Earth and Kaylee Cole, or for her spot-on representations of common music-fest personae for Refinery29—happens to be a buddy and was nice enough to answer our questions about her work, the video and more.

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Music Video

Listen Up! 5 Questions with Palaceer Lazaro of Shabazz Palaces

Shabazz Palaces is one of those musical endeavors that stretches the concept of musical genre from what it is toward what it can become. If you looked for them in a record store, you’ll find ’em filed under hip-hop, but Palaceer Lazaro (Ishmael Butler) and Fly Guy ‘Dai (Tendai Maraire) are pioneers of a new, as-of-yet undefinable sound, which in this age of classification and dissection makes it easier to just listen for a change.

Naturally, music that’s this far ahead of the curve would coalesce perfectly with like-minded clothing designers, so it’s not surprising that a cut from from Shabazz Palaces’ latest release, Lese Majesty, soundtracked a short film from KENZO in support of their SS14 collection earlier this year. Butler also appears in the video, along with model Grace Mahary.

We took a quick minute to chat with Butler, who, true to form, turned the usual interview questions on their heads with answers that were honest and charismatic.

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Music Video

Listen Up! 5 Questions for Chad VanGaalen

O Canada, we’re on our way! On September 19, we’ll open our first-ever Canadian location just east of the Rocky Mountains, in the stunning city of Calgary.

As we eagerly anticipate that day, we’ve been checking out all kinds of things that make Calgary cool. Take, for instance, singer-songwriter Chad VanGaalen. The Calgary native is a creative juggernaut; not only does he have several mind-expanding albums to his credit—the latest, Shrink Dust, was released on Seattle’s very own Sub Pop Records—he’s also an illustrator, filmmaker and producer. (His home studio is brilliantly named “Yoko Eno.”) Oh, AND he directed a video for label-mates The Head and the Heart earlier this year. So, yeah… NBD.

Read on for our concise yet illuminating interview with the hyper-productive VanGaalen.

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Music Video

Listen Up! Nordstrom Honors Sub Pop Records

It started as a scrappy local label known for breaking some of the biggest names in grunge (Nirvana, anyone?), but in the last couple of decades, Seattle-based Sub Pop Records has grown into a mega-force in the music industry, known across the planet for releasing killer music that spans a variety of genres. For example, current releases include the layered harmonies of The Head and the Heart, the experimental noise punk of No Age, Lyla Foy’s delicate dreamy pop and the recent (awesome) album from German electro-popsters The Notwist, whom you might recall from their super-popular release Neon Golden way back in 2002.

To celebrate Sub Pop’s continued world domination, Nordstrom is honoring its two founders, Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt, with bronze footprints in front of our Downtown Seattle store and a live performance from Sub Pop’s own Helio Sequence. If you’re in Seattle and want to check it out, the event takes place Wednesday, April 9, at 3pm. Until then, play around with our Sub Pop window (also at the Downtown Seattle store): an interactive touch-screen experience that allows the user to choose and watch videos from various Sub Pop bands over the years.

—Jenny Yule


Listen Up! Blouse

The holidays were so much fun–tons of food, family and party times, but after all that revelry what we want to do now is chill. On a couch. With our cats.

Enter Portland band Blouse. Their moody, melodic PNW sound is precisely what we want to throw on (in addition to our comfiest, coziest jammies) while we hunker down and wait out winter.

And if you want to sway back and forth to Blouse in person, they’re touring with Dum Dum Girls beginning in March.

–Jenny Yule

Street Style

Street Style: Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee

Last Saturday, under beautiful blue skies, venerable Seattle record label Sup Pop celebrated 25 years in the biz with a free, all-ages festival in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. The day-long event took over several city blocks, with continuous music on multiple stages, a convoy of food trucks and lots and lots of people.

The musical line-up showcased Sub Pop’s diversity—from the smooth hip-hop of Shabazz Palaces to the metal madness of METZ to label vets Mudhoney (who played atop the Space Needle on Friday to help kick off the weekend’s festivities).

Our very own Men’s Shop co-sponsored the whole shebang and set up a photo booth manned by ace photographer (and frequent Nordstrom collaborator) Robin Stein, to document the local style set. We also had some fresh new gear from Topshop for people to try on. Check out some of our favorite looks below.


Heavy Metal: Senior Features Writer, Mary O’Regan, celebrated her birthday (and the event) by repping some cool Topshop style, including this insane necklace.

Pretty Tough: Girly dresses get a serious dose of downtown cool with edgy accessories and street-wise attitude.

White Light, White Heat: Despite temps in the ’80s, this Topshop faux-leather jacket in pristine white was a major hit.

Leader of the Pack: We were also lucky enough to have Dee Dee, lead singer of all-girl group Dum Dum Girls, on hand to model some Topshop looks.

Check out more coverage from Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee, including street-style shots and exclusive interviews (there’s one with Dee Dee) in the Men’s Shop.

[Photos by Robin Stein. Styling by Ashley Helvey and Margaret McMillan Jones. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]