Behind the Brand

Embracing his entrepreneurial spirit and Midwestern attitude, designer Matt Baldwin of Baldwin Co. has disrupted the fashion game by creating American denim smack dab in the middle of the heartland.
Downtown Kansas City

Photographs by Ryan Strong

Baldwin is Kansas City; it’s durable, it’s industrious, it’s modern. With exceptional classics and seasonless staples, this KC-based brand is poised to put its community on the map as a fashion force. Step aside Brooklyn cool.

KC—the City of Fountains—is revered for sports, the arts and its absurdly good barbecue–wait-in-an-hour-long-line-outside-of-a-gas-station good. That good. The popular Power & Light district is an nightlife hot spot, Westport is a low-key favorite and the Plaza always makes for a great day of shopping (with a stop at Baldwin, of course).

Matt Baldwin

Matt Baldwin

We chatted with Matt about creating a clothing company, the perfect pair of jeans and the barbecue capital of the world.

SEE MATT’S KC PICKS AND BALDWIN CLOTHES INSIDE THE CITY’S PREMIERE ART GALLERY

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Images by Suzi Pratt / Getty for Nordstrom

You know him from throwing the pigskin on TV, where he is simply one of the most electrifying quarterbacks to ever play the game. You know him also, perhaps, from his red carpet outings with the pop music star Ciara.

But did you know Russell Wilson is into fashion? Not only because he’s well-dressed but also because he has cofounded Good Man Brand, a collection of modern essentials made in Italy for guys who need to level up their style game.

During a public appearance at our Seattle flagship store, Wilson spoke with our own Pete Nordstrom about the philanthropic angle of his business, his perception of himself as a man dating up and the origin of Good Man Brand.

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SHOP: Good Man Brand

READ WHAT RUSSELL HAD TO SAY

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Collage by Donovan Nguyen; images by Avi Loud

Usually when you shop, you choose whatever quantity you want of a particular item. Not so with Foothills CA–the new Californian brand where there is only one of each thing.

That’s because Foothills, run by former skater Jonnie Henderson with J.P. Plunier, specializes in vintage. Particularly Native American, military and Western jewelry and gear–stuff which looks best mixed into modern outfits.

We spoke with Henderson and Plunier about their twisting paths in the vintage game, the unique cultural feedback loops connecting North American folk art with streetwear/style in Japan and Great Britain, and rejecting notions of vintage as old-timey dress-up.

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Shop: Foothills CA | Heartbreakers II

Click here to read the conversation

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Images by Canh Nguyen

We love Maiden Noir‘s streetwear-meets-menswear style, which can be borderline dressed-up and also extremely cozy, with a deft use of polar fleece. We’re psyched to carry the Seattle brand as part of Heartbreakers II, our Pop-In Shop this month focused on evolving menswear, curated by VP of Creative Projects, Olivia Kim.

So psyched, in fact, that we commissioned an exclusive reversible fleece jacket and fleece hat for the occasion.

Because Maiden Noir is based in Seattle’s International District, just a mile south of Nordstrom HQ, we thought we’d pop in for a visit. After all, how busy could designer Nin Truong and his partner Christa Thomas be? They only run Maiden Noir simultaneously with a coffee shop, a line of bags and Truong’s other job as design director of Stüssy.

They’re a power couple, for real.

Shop: Maiden Noir | Heartbreakers II

This way for the Q&A + studio tour

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Shop: Études Studio

As part of our deep dive into the world of Heartbreakers II—our Pop-In Shop focused on evolving menswear curated by Olivia Kim, VP of Creative Projects—we got to know the brands with a quick interview.

For the format we chose a handwritten questionnaire, which should delight fashion graphologists worldwide (we see you).

Check our Q&As below with designers and creative directors from an international selection of the Heartbreakers II roster: Études Studio, BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS, Maiden Noir, LONGJOURNEY, Kinfolk, Needles, NIKBEN, Stutterheim, XLARGE, Xander Zhou, Tim Coppens and COTTWEILER.

We think you will find they are rich texts.

And you’ll notice one question is about music. Songs mentioned are compiled here.

Shop: Heartbreakers II

Click here to meet our designers by hand

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7 For All Mankind designer Steve Romero and president Barry Miguel; image courtesy 7 For All Mankind

The challenge was simple: make a pair of jeans that don’t shrink in the dryer. Because you know how jeans are, right? You wash and dry them, they get tighter.

That shrinkage, however endemic though it would seem to all cotton-based garments, was unacceptable for 7 For All Mankind designer Steve Romero and president Barry Miguel.

Two years later—20 prototypes, 150+ dryer trials and 1 winning recipe for the weave and the yarn—enter FOOLPROOF Denim, 7 For All Mankind’s newest innovation.

We got on the horn with Miguel for a FOOLPROOF overview and with Romero for a drilled-down conversation about what they’re calling the best denim ever.

Shop: 7 For All Mankind

Let’s pop the hood on these jeans, shall we?

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In a convergence of favorites, one of our favorite style writers, Jian De Leon, wrote about one of our favorite trends, the rise of fashion sneakers, for one of our favorite publications, Business of Fashion. We suggest you read the piece.

In it, De Leon asserts that the Platonic ideal of the fashion sneaker is Common Projects (which we sell in-store only) and goes into detail about Amsterdam-based brand Filling Pieces.

More broadly, De Leon makes the case (correctly and astutely, we think) that fashion sneaker customers are not necessarily status seekers, but intelligent people who care about quality and design.

Read: Jian De Leon on Filling Pieces for Business of Fashion
Shop: Filling Pieces

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All images by Colin Tunstall

Where will you go in 2016? Perhaps after reading this blog post, you’ll consider a trip to Bondi (bond-eye) Beach in Sydney, Australia.

It’s definitely on our list after chatting with photographer Colin Tunstall—also the cofounder of the surf-inspired, casually luxurious brand Saturdays NYC.

Read our interview below with Colin about his recent Australian vacay/store opening with Saturdays cofounders Morgan Collett and Josh Rosen, and scope his photos of majestic yoga poses, killer karaoke and perfect waves.

Shop: Saturdays NYC

Click here to dive into your virtual, vicarious Australian vacation

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Depending on where you hang your (rain)hat, winters have a well-earned reputation for grey, wet weather. While there are crisp, clear blue days on occasion—we promise—our style usually has to fight the rain while our moods battle the gloom. But you get used to it and you make it work.

Coffee, sunboxes, alcohol, vitamin D and raincoats help.

Stutterheim Stockholm raincoat
A good water-resistant jacket seems to protect your clothes and your soul when the climate is particularly dreary. New, design-minded companies like Stockholm-based Stutterheim are creating contemporary coats that not only stop the wind and rain from dampening clothes, but, with handmade craftsmanship and clean silhouettes, also look good even when the weather is rearing its ugly head. And that, in turn, makes us kind of happy.

Here’s what you need to know about the company that has as its motto “Swedish Melancholy at Its Driest.”

COME IN OUT OF THE RAIN: READ MORE

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Photos by Matthew Sumi

Filson began 118 years ago in Seattle and the brand never intended to appeal to anyone but hunters, fishers and outdoorsmen. But sometimes you can’t control who’s into you, you know?

Now that it’s cool for urban and suburban men to dress like they’re chopping logs in the woods, it’s boom time for Filson. And the brand’s expansive, newly remodeled showroom and manufacturing facility just south of downtown Seattle speak to that prosperity.

Photographer Matthew Sumi snapped the action at the grand re-opening party for the Filson facilities. And Filson’s creative director Alex Carleton spoke to us about talk about stewarding the brand, favorite hikes and the importance of being earnest.

See images below interspersed with the interview.

Shop: Filson

READ MORE >

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