With Christmas right around the corner, we asked three male colleagues here at Nordstrom HQ to share what’s on their gift radar this year. First up is Strath Shepard, our Creative Director for Custom Digital Content—a man who’s equally into outdoor excursions and obscure periodicals. If this sounds like someone on your own holiday shopping list, continue reading to find the perfect gift.
Time flies when you’re having fun-ukkah—and with the final night of Hanukkah sneaking up fast, even heroic dads might find themselves short a present or two. We have just the intergalactic ticket: a galaxy of Star Wars-themed gifts, from Darth Vader Pez dispensers to a Lightsaber night-light to a C-3PO phone case ideal for Dark-Side selfies.
Keep reading for our Star Wars gift picks—for kids large or small.
In the spirit of the holidays, we asked some of our favorite brands and designers a simple question with a rarely simple answer: What’s you favorite gift? Answers ranged from prized possessions they’ve received, to a signature item to give, to less-tangible ‘gifts’ that can’t be bought. Though they vary wildly, the answers below all have one thing in common: They give an unmistakable look into each brand’s ethos. Scroll down to get inside the minds of America’s best designers (and click the links to start deciding how to spend that Nordstrom Gift Card that Grandma gave you).
Heavy Medals from Legendary Friends. “My favorite gifts are from my friends Jimmy Page and Alice Cooper, who gave me their gold and platinum record awards, respectively. These are framed in my office and commemorate 500,000 and 1 million copies of albums sold—a phenomenal achievement that I get to hang on my wall and see every day.” —John Varvatos
Bulls Tickets, 1989. “The best gift I ever received came from my sister: my niece Isabella. The second-best I got from my parents in 1989 for Christmas: Two tickets to see Michael Jordan play at Chicago Stadium with my dad. I was 10. Jordan scored 42 points against the Golden State Warriors; I’ll never forget how loud it was when they announced his entrance.” —Andy Dunn of Bonobos
A Bronzed Artifact. “This is a gift I received from Michael Stipe after we collaborated on an art project of his. He took a Diana/Lomo camera (similar quality to lighting filters used on Instagram) and cast it in bronze. I love the idea of low/high art and technology. A low-tech, cheap plastic camera, immortalized in bronze. This gift I will have and appreciate forever.” —Rogan Gregory of Rogan
A Family Tree. “My favorite thing about the holidays is the huge tree we do every year. My wife is a Christmas ornament freak, so we load it down with white lights and tons of ornaments. My favorites are the homemade ones the children make. We decorate with all-natural clippings of pine, cedar, boxwood, holly and magnolia—using fresh keeps things simple. Most important is to relax and enjoy the family and special time of year.” —Billy Reid
Iowa’s Best-Kept Secret. “All of my friends and family get a bottle of Templeton Rye, a small-batch rye whiskey based on a Prohibition-era recipe that was made in Templeton, Iowa. Since I’m from Iowa, the connection is obvious—and there’s no better way to warm up a cold, holiday night than with a nice glass of Templeton.” —Todd Snyder
The Original Hand-Held Device. “Does this really need any explanation as to why it’s my favorite? I was 10. It’s a Game Boy. Nuff said.” —Sam Shipley of Shipley & Halmos
Christmas in Jamaica. “Last week, my wife treated me to a one-week getaway in Jamaica as my early Xmas gift. We stayed at a gorgeous private villa (Round Hill) overlooking the sea and Montego Bay. The gift included tennis lessons—definitely the best gift ever. The only downside is that now I have to treat her to something even more special!” —Dexter Peart of WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie
Late-’80s Pentax 67 Medium Format with Super Takumar 75mm 1:4.5 Lens. “Growing up, the Pentax 6×7 or 67 was one of the cameras I always lusted after but was never able to afford. With the advent of digital, these cameras are now extremely good value as vintage, in comparison to their original prices. I had been watching this camera on eBay as a ‘buy now’ option for a while, but not biting the bullet on it, and obviously boring my wife to death about it—so much so, that without my knowledge, she bout it for me. So I ended up getting one of my favorite presents and fulfilling a childhood dream at the same time.” —Cuan Hanly of Jack Spade
One-of-a-Kind Artwork. [It’s a tie. Left]: “White tiger…on a purple crystal…in fog…in space…on a collector’s plate…framed. The best part is the warning on the back that it ‘may poison food.’ I got it from a member of our creative team a few years ago—probably in an attempt to actually poison me.” [Right]: “The photo of a naked girl sitting in the woods with a unicorn is also in the running. Have you ever had a photo shoot with a unicorn? Those things never sit still. And they demand giant dressing rooms, and green M&Ms, and are total divas. They really just aren’t worth dealing with.” —Todd Masters of Toddland
[All photos shot by the designers/brands themselves, except Michael Jordan © Walter Iooss, Jr.]
All we want for Christmas is…pretty much everything in our Men’s Contemporary Clothing department right now. We haven’t been THAT nice this year though, so we’re happy to settle for five back-to-back basketball games—on regular TV! (NBA League Pass was another gift we didn’t quite hit the niceness quotient for)—on Christmas Day. If you have kids, make sure to wake them up bright and early so you can get all that present-opening jazz out of the way before the 9am tip-off. The lineup is as follows:
Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets — 9am PST (ESPN)
The Nets have youth on their side (and an enthusiastic new crowd, after relocating to Brooklyn this season with the help of part-owner Jay-Z)—but the Celtics have experience. Tensions will be high after the brawl that broke out during the Nets’ road victory last month.
New York Knicks at LA Lakers — 12 noon PST (ABC)
NY has been rolling (even with goggled behemoth Amar’e Stoudemire on the bench), while LA has had a tough time coalescing (a serious test of Kobe’s zen) due to new personnel. Their saving grace may be the return of legendary point guard Steve Nash (with a sharp new haircut, too boot).
Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat — 2:30pm PST (ABC)
A rematch of last season’s Finals—and potential preview of this year’s, as each team narrowly leads its respective Conference in the standings. Should be close…as long as Lebron and Durant don’t start comparing notes on whose movie was cooler.
Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls — 5pm PST (ESPN)
Last year’s Finals-favorite Bulls are faring admirably, despite still being sans MVP Derrick Rose—but are only a game ahead of Houston, who are surprising everyone thanks to acquiring phenom Jeremy Lin and former Sixth Man of the Year (and bearded wonder) James Harden.
Denver Nuggets at LA Clippers — 7:30pm PST (ESPN)
Griffin and Chris Paul are insane—but watch for agile big man DeAndre Jordan and off-the-bench killer Jamal Crawford to have highlights, too. Still, the defense-minded Nuggets (now with gold-medalist Andre Iguodala and block monster JaVale McGee) won’t make it easy.
To bring things back into a menswear realm, if we may, here’s the king of NBA-announcer swagger: hall-of-famer Reggie Miller. That dark, wintery plaid on broad, bold, peak lapels? The guy’s suiting game is as confident as his outside shot. Meanwhile, his finishing touches—a merlot repp tie (cinched in a nice, tight, four-in-hand knot—no ham-fisted double windsors for this pro) and green polka-dot pocket square—are an elegant nod to the holidays.
Pacific NW Shout-Out: The Miller pics above and below are from a game last week in our Seattle sister-city of Portland, Oregon, where the underdog Trail Blazers beat San Antonio on national TV. The icing on the cake? Craig Sager brought the broadcasting team a pink box full of locally legendary Voodoo Doughnuts at halftime:
[Commercial courtesy of the National Basketball Association; images courtesy of the NBA on TNT. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
[CLICK ABOVE to visit our one-stop gift destination.]
The countdown to Christmas is in its final stages, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology (and our hard-working shipping center), you have UNTIL FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21 AT 3PM EST to order gifts online, get FREE SHIPPING, and have them to your doorstep by Christmas Eve. (Just make sure your wrapping paper and scotch tape is at the ready when the time comes.)
Here’s a further breakdown of the key dates. As you can see, there’s still hope even after this Friday. Click here for more details.
And, since we’re on the subject, here are some selections from our ‘Favorite Gifts For Him’ categories that caught our eye. Happy hunting:
Here at Nordstrom, we may prefer to celebrate one holiday at a time—but when it is time to celebrate, we go all out. So, with Thanksgiving officially behind us, we popped over to our flagship store in Downtown Seattle to see how they decked the halls (or aisles, as it were). A couple indications that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas:
Walls full of festive sketches by our perennial favorite illustrator, Ruben Toledo.
Trees all aglow.
Ornaments the size of a small child (or large elf).
Mannequins prepping for a black-tie holiday soirée.
An interactive snowflake-catching experience.
Santa posted up in the corner window display, awaiting your kid’s wish list. (Or yours.)
Despite the festive decorations, we couldn’t help getting distracted by all the sumptuous winter wares festooning the mannequins in the Men’s Shop. Here’s the best of what we saw at the store—and links to help you get these looks online.
OR, SHOP ALL GIFTS
In the spirit of our long-running ‘One Holiday at a Time’ policy—in which our stores wait patiently until the day after Thanksgiving to unveil each year’s Christmas decorations—we decided to dig up some vintage Nordstrom gift catalogs to marvel at over your morning-after breakfast of leftover ham and a double-wide slice of pumpkin pie.
The illustration above opened the 1961 gift catalog from Best’s Apparel, the company Nordstrom merged with in its first foray into above-ankle fashion. (Remember, we started out as a shoe store.) Here’s a men’s spread from the same 1961 mailer—”…definitive pages that thunder with masculinity…”:
We couldn’t find a date on the catalog these next couple
pages came from, but we’re guessing…1970s?