punk rock

CMRTYZ | Behind the Brand


A new brand for us, Seattle’s CMRTYZ (say each letter) operates in a downtown loft right around the corner from where Nirvana used to play. That would be about one mile south of Nordstrom headquarters. Because we’re 100% in love with CMRTYZ’s punk concert-poster aesthetic, which gets a streetwear twist in our exclusive mini collection of hockey jerseys and T-shirts, we dropped by the studio to learn more about designers CMR (Carlos Michael Ruiz) and TYZ (Ty Ziskis).

Inside, we found artwork and silkscreens on the floor and local punk band So Pitted carefully “hole-ing,” ripping holes in T-shirts for decoration. It made us laugh, looked cool and the band getting paid (“We’re huge fans,” said Ziskis) was a clear example of CMRTYZ’s ethos: support the scene that inspires you.

Nordstrom isn’t carrying CMRTYZ’s hole-y stuff. But there is a rough/degraded quality to our jerseys and tees due to Ruiz’s hand-drawn comics-style illustrations, quick cutouts and images processed via photocopier.

Check our interview below to learn about life-changing album art, how to make a bad impression during a business deal and what happens when the punks take marketing jobs–all filtered through Ruiz’s unique hand-style.


Shop: CMRTYZ | The Rail

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The Met Gala is a high-profile party in NYC that marks the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual fashion-related exhibit at the Costume Institute.

It also produces a red-carpet spectacle that, whereas other red carpets engender class and decorum, encourages celebrities to dress and act as zany as possible.

The theme of this year’s Met exhibit is Punk: Chaos to Couture (check out coverage on our women’s blog). The first favorable outcome of this auspicious motif was a series of fashion films from event sponsor Vogue. Dubbed Punk Stories, they included British model-of-the-moment Cara Delevingne displaying her patented mix of good humor and bad attitude (above) and Ukrainian-Canadian bombshell Daria Werbowy, barely recognizable (but still stunning) in a bleached buzz-cut and various other punk-inspired transformations (below).

Then, there’s the wild red carpet and ensuing after-parties. We’re no fashion police when it comes to womenswear—but we know what we like. Here are the ladies (and a couple men) we thought went the most “punk rock” at Monday night’s Met Gala:

Nicole Richie spray-painted her coif grey for the night (and rocked some high-end Topshop).

Alexa Chung wasn’t afraid to push Gerard Butler around.

Kelly Osbourne, Cara Delevingne, Rita Ora—you guys look great, but Miley Cyrus, of all people, was the one who hit the punk-rock nail on the head.

Taylor Tomasi Hill of Marie Claire donned some serious spikes—and while Thom Browne didn’t exactly wear his punk-rock spirit on his sleeve, we know he has it in him.

We’re not sure about the blue faux-hawk, but Zachary Quinto’s eyebrow game, as usual, was on-point.

Rooney Mara’s attire for the evening wasn’t overtly punk—but if her anti-establishment Girl with the Dragon Tattoo character is permanently burned into your brain, like it is ours, you’ll agree that she’d look pretty tough even in a bathrobe and bunny slippers.

Kanye West performed, in his now-signature punk-inspired Givenchy gear.

Anne Hathaway went bleach-blonde, reportedly just for the night. For a girl-next-door type like her, that’s punk-rock enough to fit the theme in our book.

And then, there was the part where Jennifer Lawrence photo-bombed Sarah Jessica Parker. But Lawrence acts crazy even at the Oscars and on live TV, so “punking” SJP is par for the course. (Note Marion Cotillard and Lena Dunham cracking up in the background.)


For more punk-inspired fashion, go inside the Met’s exhibit
on our sister blog, The Thread.


[Photos and videos via Vogue.com, except for Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence via NYmag.com. Still photos by Pablo Frisk, except Cyrus and co. by Taylor Jewell, Kanye West by Kevin Tachman, Hathaway by Larry Busacca. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]


Half Steve McQueen (inspired by the rugged, wax-coated Barbour jackets he often wore racing), half Kanye West (the subtle sheen complements floor-length fur nicely), coated jeans are a little flashy, highly functional for anyone spill-prone, and a favorite amongst denim brands this Fall.

If you’re not familiar, coated denim is treated with a transparent resin material (usually acrylic or polyurethane) that gives the underlying cotton a protective, breathable veneer with stain-resistant properties and a slight luster. The coating is normally permanent, able to sustain multiple launderings, and protects the color of the jeans from fading.*

[Howe | Hudson | Comune]

One of our stylists, Carmella, mentioned she used to wear a pair while bartending at Seattle’s Sunset Tavern. Despite being busy shooting kids (with a camera, she clarified), Carm was kind enough to answer a few questions about bar etiquette, impersonating Robert Plant, and the best after-work cure for a boring Tuesday.

Favorite thing about your old job?
“Bartending gives you a sense of wielding great power.”

How did coated jeans come in handy?
“On a slammin’ night when beers go flying, a nice coated denim just needs a wipe-down and they’re still ready to go.”

[Joe’s | Hudson | Hudson]

Advice for staying in your local bartender’s good graces?
“Speak clearly, look them in the eye, and if you think they are worthy—tip accordingly. Oh, and always get out of the way for the next person in line.”

Should a male patron even bother trying to get to know a lady bartender—or are they inherently out of his league?
“Heck yeah! We are all there because we like socializing. Unless it’s super busy, then you must hang ’til the time is right. A good return customer with something witty to say is always welcome.”

You sing in several bands here in Seattle. Which ones, and how did you get into singing?
“I started at ‘Rockaraoke’ at the Sunset, where a live band played the covers you sang to. I would close the show with ‘Stairway to Heaven’ or ‘Black Dog.’ [Ed. note: Killer, early, live Led Zeppelin version below, complete with ‘Out on the Tiles’ intro.]

…Mr. Kurt Bloch of the Fastbacks asked if I would like to join a band with him. I tried out, and Sgt. Major was my first band. Since then, we have ventured into other kinds of music, and currently Mr. Bloch, Drew Church (of Hazlewood), the Sangster Brothers Jim and Johnny, and I are in a ’60s garage band called The Basements. I’m also in a new band called Hearts Are Thugs and an angry rock band called The Rags. I like to sing as much as possible.”

Your signature drink?
“I used to drink negronis—three equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. Nowadays, I like it even spicier and need micheladas wherever I go.”


[Nordstrom stylists, like Carmella, can pull off octagon specs with a satin peak-lapel and
Nosferatu tee like it’s not even a thing. Emulate at your own risk.]


[Top photo courtesy of our Fall 2012 Men’s Shop Catalog. *More info at mytextilenotes.com.]