Campfire OK

Last week, Men’s Shop Daily had the distinct pleasure of catching up with Marcus Wainwright (left) and David Neville, co-founders of Rag & Bone, at their in-store appearance at Nordstrom Bellevue Square, near our Seattle headquarters.

Below, the two British designers—who met in boarding school in England, before starting Rag & Bone more than ten years ago in New York—discuss their fashion baptism in rural Kentucky, smashing guitars, and style advice that every man should swear by.


[Shop: Rag & Bone Men’s Sneakers]

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Welcome to Seattle. Have you been out here before?

DAVID NEVILLE OF RAG & BONE: “We’ve been a few times, but only ever to see the people at Nordstrom. It’s worth the trip. It’s an amazing company.”

MSD: That’s great to hear—what makes you say that?

NEVILLE: “I think that when you look at the history, and the legacy of how it was started, and what it is now…I’ve actually read [Bruce Nordstrom’s] book, Leave It Better than You Found It. The fact that it’s still run by the family, and the approach to customer service, and differentiating themselves as a store…The success that’s bred is kind of amazing. It’s 130 stores in America. I should be like a spokesperson.” [Laughs.]


[Shop: Rag & Bone ‘St. Regis’ Sportcoat]

MSD: You’ve noted the photography of August Sander as an inspiration for your Fall ’13 men’s collection. What drew you to his work, and are there any favorite photographs that stick in your minds?

MARCUS WAINWRIGHT OF RAG & BONE: “I’ve got a lot of his photography. I like photography—I collect [it] and like taking pictures myself. Part of it is just the subject matter—apart from the photographs themselves, the clothes are really cool, and very relevant to Rag & Bone. We do a lot of workwear, we do a lot of tailoring, and the August Sander pictures capture a lot of people working—and he captures them in a period where people were working in suits. If you look at the early pictures of rag-and-bone men, after the Second World War, they’re working day-to-day in tailored clothing. There’s no T-shirts, there’s no just shirt-and-jeans. And there’s a sort of beauty in that handmade clothing that’s been disheveled and rumpled and rained on and worked in.

“So the subject matter of the pictures is amazing. There’s a German aspect to it, which is pretty cool—it’s quite sort of different from the English stuff; it’s less sort of ‘dandy.’ There’s an amazing picture of a baker…and one in particular of a guy in a street in the most beautiful coat, which we made a sort of version of, which closed the show. It’s just great photography.”


[Shop: Rag & Bone Wallets]

MSD: Does Michael Pitt [the actor in Rag & Bone’s fall campaign] have the best hair in Hollywood?

NEVILLE: “We were actually a little bit worried about his hair in a couple of the pictures—it just looks a little bit too sort of retro, kind of Johnny Cash, which wasn’t really the reference, you know. But he’s a cool dude.”

WAINWRIGHT: “He does have good hair.”

NEVILLE: “We had fun. He was awesome. He came to the shoot really sort of enthused, and there’s an amazing moment where he smashes his guitar in the middle of 6th Avenue. That was his idea, and it was fairly impromptu—it wasn’t staged or anything. It was cool content to just be able to create.”


[Seattle band Campfire OK played a killer set at our in-store
event—decked out in Rag & Bone, of course.]

MSD: When the two of you first decided to start a clothing company, you visited a legendary denim factory in Kentucky. What was that experience like, and what did you learn there?

WAINWRIGHT: “It was the birth of Rag & Bone in many ways. It was a very old denim factory in Tompkinsville, Kentucky. It had been a massive factory at one point, but everything had shifted—been bought or invested in by a Mexican company, and a lot of denim [production] had moved to Mexico. So it basically shut down most of it, and it was just sort of 60 people, as a sample room for the Mexican production—but it was the best sewers and pant-makers that they had.

“It was an amazing place with 50 years of knowledge about how to make proper jeans. It was an incredible place to go to, when you had no experience in fashion at all, and never really been to a factory to speak of, and you were sort of baptized into the fashion and sewing world by these women who were in their 60s, sewing jeans all day, proper salt-of-the-earth ladies from Kentucky—in a dry county, so there’s no booze. It’s rural Kentucky, and they take great pride in their work, and they’re just lovely people. They taught us the meaning of quality and authenticity and the value of that history of craftsmanship—and the value of that experience, and how easy it is for that to disappear.

“They were the last of 3,000. They shut down within two or three years of us working with them. The ladies who’d been sewing their whole lives went to work in the local outboard motor factory, or Walmart, or waiting tables. Never to sew again. The American-invented and American-owned skill of sewing jeans just disappeared from that factory forever, and it’s happened across this country. And that’s sad. So I think our company has a lot to thank that experience—to thank them—for what they taught us about the importance of maintaining that, and not just shipping everything to a factory that’s chosen based purely on price.”


[Shop: Rag & Bone Ties]

MSD: If you could give male readers one style tip for Fall 2013, what would it be?

NEVILLE: “Don’t try too hard. Do what feels right; what you feel comfortable in. Menswear should never really feel like you’re trying to make a fashion statement. I think that can go desperately wrong. You should just be wearing what you feel comfortable in—and what your wife tells you you should be wearing is maybe a good tip.” [Laughs.]

WAINWRIGHT: “Guys should take pride in their appearance. I think when guys go wrong it’s when they try too hard or they don’t try hard enough. And you get a guy who just doesn’t think about it, and buys a pair of ill-fitting, cheap jeans and a cheap shirt. There’s a lot of inherent beauty in clothes, and clothes can make you feel great, and I think clothes are worth investing in. It’s worth buying the perfect leather jacket, for example, because it’s something that will be with you forever. It may seem like a lot of money, but it’s worth it, and it makes you feel good. And I think it’s important that you take pride in your appearance.”


[Shop: Rag & Bone ‘Officer’ Boots]

MSD: What’s changed, since you founded Rag & Bone in 2002, in your approach to designing menswear?

WAINWRIGHT: “Not a lot. Menswear doesn’t change much anyway. We’ve been through periods of being more or less adventurous with men’s design, and we learned a lesson as men’s designers, quite quickly, that if you go too far out of the box, guys don’t get it. Girls are way braver—and way more willing to take a risk. You couldn’t get a guy into a white, leopard-print jacket, for example. But that looks cool on you [nodding to our female video producer in the room]. You’ve got to reference things that a guy is familiar with, whether he’s conscious of it, or subconsciously, something he’s seen in a movie, or seen his dad wear, or seen in photographs. That’s what menswear is really about: beautiful fabric, and detail, and making clothes that guys are familiar with—but at the same time, pushing it gently forward in terms of design, and the fashion part of it.”

MSD: After growing up in England, you’ve both lived and worked in New York for more than ten years. What do you appreciate about each place you’ve called home?

NEVILLE: “New York City is an amazing place. The energy of the city is intoxicating, and it’s very different to London in that regard. We thank New York for really giving us the platform to start our company—not just from a practical standpoint, but also from an entrepreneurial sort of enthusiasm, which I don’t think you find in many places in the world. We’ve been in New York a long time, and we feel sort of like adopted New Yorkers now, so that’s great. We miss London, miss our friends, miss the pubs…but I think both of us are very happy where we are, and don’t really have any intention of moving back.”

MSD: Do you visit London often?

NEVILLE: “We have a store in London now, which is exciting—and I think made our parents quite proud.”

—  —  —

In Their Own Words. Here’s a short clip of Rag & Bone founders Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, filmed before their personal appearance at Bellevue Square Nordstrom last week:

 

SHOP ALL: RAG & BONE

 
 

[Photos by Kirby Ellis. Interview by Justin Abbott. Video by Angela Sumner & Sean Dutton.
Special thanks to Marcus, David and the Rag & Bone team.]

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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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Last night marked a special occasion for the Nordstrom Men’s Shop, in collaboration with GQ magazine, and a charitable partner we’re honored to work alongside: The Detlef Schrempf Foundation.

Since 2006, Nordstrom has had the distinct pleasure of working with this inspirational organization (founded by former Seattle Supersonics basketball player Detlef Schrempf and his wife Mari) to put on yearly fashion shows—with 100% of ticket proceeds benefiting important children’s charities here in our hometown of Seattle. This year, we’re thrilled to say the event raised over $200,000 for local charities including Bellevue Youth Theatre Foundation and Inspire Youth Project.

Of course, beyond helping some amazing causes—the evening was a great chance to see some dapper fall clothes, enjoy a refreshment, and even see some local celebrities walk the runway. Read on for our exclusive photos from backstage to under the bright lights.













Left: Seattle Sounders midfielder Andy Rose.


Right: Mychal Cohen, frontman of Seattle band Campfire OK.


Campfire OK—who played live in our downtown Seattle store last year, and opened last night’s fundraiser festivities.







Guest models Michael Gspurning (left) and Andy Rose of the Seattle Sounders.


Sacramento Kings point guard, and former University of Washington Husky, Isaiah Thomas.

 

Huge thanks to the Detlef Schrempf Foundation, GQ, the models and special guests, everyone behind the scenes and everyone who attended. Cheers!

 
 

[Photos by Kirby Ellis. Check out his blog here.]

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Local band Campfire OK walked into our Flagship Store in Downtown Seattle this past August, pulled up a chair at our beloved in-store piano, and belted out a radio-ready impromptu performance. Curious shoppers gathered ’round with camera phones and craned necks, but it was the pro filmmaker they brought along who captured the video above.

Fast-forward to late September. We loved the band’s guerilla minstrel maneuver so much, we asked them to come back—this time, plugged in and performing inside our corner window display for hundreds of sidewalk passersby to see and hear. This marked the kick-off to our month-long photography exhibit, the Seattle Music Project, which celebrated Northwest bands from the Sonics in the ’60s to Soundgarden and Pearl Jam in the ’90s to new-school balladeers like Campfire OK and Shabazz Palaces. Here’s a photo of COK’s window performance:

In the spirit of the holidays (and rock & roll), we asked Campfire OK frontman Mychal Cohen to choose some items from our site that he’d love to find under the tree. Consider these gift ideas for the rockstar brother, nephew or husband in your life—whether he’s actually on-stage or just always finds his way to the front of the crowd:


Mychal’s picks, from left:
1. Shipley & Halmos Shirt. “Having a nice-looking button-up is key—and short sleeves are priceless for stage attire.” (shop now)
2. Levi’s 511 Slim-Straight Jeans. “These things last for so long, and in my opinion are the best cut they have.” (shop now)
3. A.P.C. Henley. “A comfortable henley is important on- and 0ff-stage. It’s like a T-shirt, but a little more handsome.” (shop now)


Mychal’s picks, from left:
4. Nixon Nylon-Strap Watch. “The only thing I have to say about this watch is, YES.” (shop now)
5. Rag & Bone Cardigan. “Cardigans are the definition of classic, and you can wear them with any kind of shirt underneath.” (shop now)
6. Ben Sherman Chukka Boot. “Finding a nice-looking, flat-soled shoe that’s not a sneaker is a necessity for performing.” (shop now)

 
 


Resident rocker, piano crasher, and gift picker, Mychal Cohen.

Campfire OK performs TONIGHT (Thursday, 12/13/12) at Neumos in Seattle.
Find details here, and a cool Q&A with Mychal at the Neumos site here.

If you can’t catch the show, get up to speed at Campfire OK’s official website, where the band will be releasing a new video single off their forthcoming second album each month.

 
 

[Video by Christian Sorensen Hansen, performance photo by Jesse Codling, portrait photo by Brandon Milner.]

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