Q&As: Detlef Schrempf, Brian Canlis & More

During last week’s Nordstrom Men’s Shop x GQ Magazine fall fashion show (benefiting the Detlef Schrempf Foundation for kids in need), we had the distinct pleasure of catching up with Mr. Schrempf himself—as well as a few local celebrities, who were good enough sports to brave the runway themselves in the name of a great cause.

Read their words of wisdom below—and see our exclusive backstage photos here.

DETLEF SCHREMPF—Philanthropist; Retired NBA All-Star.
[Pictured at left, with wife Mari, GQ’s Peter St. John, and Nordstrom men’s buyer Eric Akines.]

Men’s Shop Daily: How long did you play in the NBA?
Schrempf: “I played 16 years in the league, so that was a good career, but like everything else, life in sports ends sooner or later, so I’ve been fortunate to be in this market, and still have a strong presence with our foundation.”

MSD: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Schrempf: “Clothes make the man? [Laughs.] I’d say knowledge is power. You can never take what’s in your brain, so keep stimulating your brain. Keep studying, keep reading, keep looking at different things.”

MSD: You mentioned you were out of the country recently—what were you doing?
Schrempf: “I was in Nigeria 24 hours ago. I just did a trip for the US State Department, so we did a diplomatic trip doing camps, clinics, visiting schools, orphanages, things like that.”

MSD: Could you say a few words about your organization, the Detlef Schrempf Foundation?
Schrempf: “This is our 20th year, so we’ve been around awhile. We’ve raised over 14 million dollars. Our mission is pretty simple. We want to support children in need, and children’s families in need, in the Northwest. We try to have a large impact on some of the smaller organizations that are very vital to our community, supporting kids and families that otherwise don’t really have that support. We’ve been fortunate to have really strong sponsors and supporters over the years, even after my playing days. Even with Nordstrom, we didn’t start this [yearly fashion show] until I was done playing, and this is our seventh year. So we just have great, loyal supporters, and great partners, and we’re fortunate in that regard.”

 

ISAIAH THOMAS—Sacramento Kings Point Guard; Former UW Husky.

Men’s Shop Daily: Any words for University of Washington fans reading this?
Thomas: “Go Huskies. I bleed purple. I love the Huskies.”

MSD: How was it walking on the runway tonight?
Thomas: “It was great. Definitely out of my comfort zone, but once I started walking, and I got a few cheers here and there, I felt like I was on the basketball court. It’s for a great cause—the Detlef Schrempf Foundation. [Detlef] is a great friend of mine—one of my mentors that stays on me throughout the season. He asked me to do it, and I didn’t even think twice.”

MSD: Any gym tips for guys at home?
Thomas: “The only exercise tips I do, other than playing basketball, is I’ll be on the treadmill and the elliptical. I don’t do too much more. I just try to stay a little fit—because I already eat bad. Fried chicken. Bacon cheeseburger and some fries. I eat fast food all the time! So I gotta stay in the gym.”

 

MYCHAL COHEN—Frontman of Seattle Band Campfire OK.
[Pictured at right, with guitarist Andrew Eckes.]

Men’s Shop Daily: Where did your band name come from?
Cohen: “I was learning how to tattoo. I was making little silly drawings, and one of ’em was a campfire, and underneath it I just wrote ‘OK’ for some reason, and it was really dumb, and I was like, ‘that’s so funny!’…and then I ended up tattooing it on my leg. The lady who was apprenticing me was like, ‘You should name your band Campfire OK.’ And I was like, ‘Maybe!’ And two years later, I did. I was like, ‘It doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t make any sense, it sounds kind of ridiculous–let’s do it.’ I mean, band names are ridiculous in general. The Beatles? The Monkees? Pink Floyd? What the hell does that mean?”

MSD: What are you most excited about tonight?
Cohen: “I’m actually really excited to walk on the runway. It’s really cool. None of us have really walked on a runway before. Well, most of the good-looking guys have.” [The celeb guests appeared alongside pro male models.]

MSD: Any thoughts on the cause we’re here to support?
Cohen: “Yes, the Detlef Schrempf Foundation. As they say: They inspire hope for children. They do a lot of good things for children in need, and this is a really cool way to give back. It’s nice to be a part of a cool foundation, with a really cool guy, and his wife is really sweet, too.”

 

STEVEN HAUSCHKA—Seattle Seahawks Kicker.
[…who kicked a game-winner in overtime on Sunday! Nice one, sir. He’s pictured at left.]

Men’s Shop Daily: Any words for Seahawks fans at home?
Hauschka: “I mean, they keep bringing it, there’s not much else to tell ’em. They’ve been so great the past couple years, and that 49ers game was amazing, setting a world record. So the sky’s the limit.”

MSD: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Hauschka: “Trust yourself.”

MSD: Is this your first time walking on a runway?
Hauschka: “No, actually, I did an equine fashion show two years ago—it was a horse fashion show. It was to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, so it was a great cause. I was wearing some westernwear. It was in a stable, too.”

 

BRIAN CANLIS—Owner, Canlis Restaurant.

Men’s Shop Daily: We heard a few members of our team paid you a visit at your restaurant.
Canlis: “Yes, a whole group of them. There was like, eight or nine. It was so much fun—we went up on the roof and we hung out and took photos, trying not to fall off. Then we went in the wine cellar and drank whiskey in the middle of the day.”

MSD: Was this a work day?
Canlis: “That’s the beauty of the restaurant business—I get to drink and call it work, in the name of the profession! Your co-workers were quote-unquote ‘off work’ that day.”

MSD: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Canlis: “What the heck?! [Thinks for a moment.] If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I think it’s really easy to stop growing, or to get stuck, or to stop taking risks. So I think to always push yourself, and to always lean out, outside your comfort zone. I’m actually going skydiving next week. Someone dared me, and I was like, ‘Yes! I have to do that.’ Because it’s growth, because it’s scary…and I don’t wanna do it. Actually in biology, scientifically, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. You’re either doing one or the other. So I think to always challenge yourself to keep learning is the most exciting thing to wake up to.”

MSD: What’s a kitchen essential every man should have?
Canlis: “A great copper pot. Spend money. Falk is my favorite. You should have a beautiful pot that always lives on your stove, not under, because A) it’s beautiful, B) it’s so beautiful you want to use it, and C) the best type of cooking is the cooking you do long and slow, over the entire day. So if you get a beautiful pot, you’ll want to fill it with delicious things. And when you cook long and slow, it’ll taste better—plus, your place will always smell great.”

 

MSD: What’s a meal you recommend cooking for a date?
Canlis: “Besides breakfast? No I’m just kidding. [Laughs.] Ham and eggs! My favorite is a little bit cheesy, but I like doing homemade pizzas. I like having it be interactive, not me cooking for her—but like, making the dough together, getting a whole bunch of ingredients, and being able to actually get your hands dirty. And you get to make individual, custom, miniature things, which is really fun.”

MSD: What was your favorite part about tonight?
Canlis: “I was shocked by the logistics. I had no idea that for a 20-minute show, there’s a thousand moving parts. I couldn’t believe it. I also didn’t know so many beautiful men could be in so small of a space at one time. And it’s really intimidating. It’s like being in the middle of the movie Zoolander, and not belonging. I kept asking other male models…working on my Le Tigre or my Blue Steel…So when I finally hit the runway, I just had to burst into laughter in total embarrassment. I couldn’t…I smiled like a small child receiving a bowl full of candy because I couldn’t be serious. But it was really fun. I mean, everyone is laughing and taking pictures. You’re supposed to stay serious during that? That’s the hardest work of a male model right there: not breaking a smile. I lasted about three seconds.”

MSD: Canlis restaurant has been in your family for a long time, right?
Canlis: “Sixty-three years. I started for my dad, washing dishes. I was bussing tables. And then he had me go work at other restaurants around Seattle. And then I left home for about 12 years, and I went all over the world, and I never thought I’d come home. But I was drinking whiskey, for breakfast, in Scotland, with my brother Mark, and he convinced me to come back to Seattle and run the company with him. I’m not quite sure how he did that, but I’m glad he did. That was about seven or eight years ago, and it’s been so much fun ever since.”

 

CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM OUR NORDSTROM MEN’S SHOP
x GQ FASHION-SHOW FUNDRAISER.

 
 

[Photos: Schrempf, Thomas and Canlis by Justin Abbott; Campfire OK via @campfireok on Instagram; Hauschka by Kirby Ellis. Interviews by Justin Abbott.]

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