Robin Stein

Saturdays-3108Images by Robin Stein

Surf-inspired brand Saturdays NYC started in 2009 with a staunch imperative to chill, selling espresso shots and hosting hang-outs in the storefront backyard. Years later the brand has become a serious fashion player, but the chill has not waned.

When we met with co-founder Morgan Collett at Saturdays’ showroom in New York, a zen glow hovered over him from the previous day, when he watched the sun rise and surfed in Japan with one of his idols, Kohei Chiba.

A hardcore fan of Swedish design who cut his teeth working for Acne and J. Lindeberg, Collett is also still that kid from Newport Beach, California, who got a varsity letter on his high school surf team.

Read on for our interview with Collett to learn how his brand truly represents a culture, how surfing is different in New York versus Cali–and to see images of prototype shoes in Saturdays’ SoHo showroom.

Shop: Saturdays

Full Q&A through this link

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Eton-3146Images by Robin Stein

Toward the end of our interview with Sebastian Dollinger, head of design at the Swedish brand Eton–makers of arguably the finest dress shirts on the market–he shared his love of lying:

“One time I told a reporter the whole collection was inspired by fish. And they printed it!”

So forgive us if we have doubts about the existence of his new EDM band, which he said is called Highly Sedated and appears to be un-Googleable.

Dollinger has a rock star personality regardless, and is a master designer with a deep history at Eton. He was practically born into the company and as an elementary school kid, used to sneak into his dad’s basement to watch him design Eton shirts.

Read on for a candid interview with Dollinger and photos from the Eton showroom in midtown Manhattan.

Shop: Eton

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On the final day of our history-making, all-menswear Pop-In @ Nordstrom: Heartbreakers Club, let’s take a moment to reflect on a glorious past few weeks, packed with legendary thugs, digital graffiti, and motorcycles in space. Also: interpretive dance. In case you haven’t seen it, check out our campaign video above (starring Seattle movement artist Matt Drews)—and keep reading for an expansive gallery of visually poetic photos from behind the scenes (and featuring rare wares from Mark McNairy, Hood By Air, LPD New York and more).

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Designer Shayne Oliver’s Hood By Air is an idea, an attitude, a movement, encapsulated in clothing. His runway shows blur gender roles and re-assess the meaning of clothing in society. The graphic-heavy Hood By Air T-shirts and hoodies in our new Pop-In Shop are not only interesting to look at—they signify a progressive mindset embraced by the wearer.

Sound like a lot for mere clothes to accomplish? Keep reading to watch video commentary from Oliver and others, and see what you think for yourself.

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Anatomy of a Schott Perfecto

Not unlike Nordstrom, Schott NYC has been around—and has remained family-operated—for over 100 years.

Through the decades, founder Irving Schott evolved a Lower-East-Side basement operation with his brother into an international success—securing contracts with Harley Davidson and the US Military along the way. He invented the ‘Perfecto’ leather motorcycle jacket as well as the bomber jacket, among countless other innovations. And his family continues to set trends rather than follow them, all thanks to staying true to a standard of quality, integrity, and self-determination.

Four generations later, the good people at Schott NYC shared with us a few of the details that set a ‘Perfecto’ leather jacket apart from the pack—as much now as in 1928, when Irving Schott named the creation after his favorite Cuban cigar. Keep reading to learn more.

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You might remember Gorgui Dieng from a previous post—in which we helped the 6-foot-11 Senegalese center get suited up for the biggest night of his life: the NBA Draft. Now that he’s in the league, he’s busier than ever, both on and off the court—and needs to look the part.

Luckily, Nordstrom Men’s Shop and brands like Hart Schaffner Marx make owning perfect-fitting suits easy—even if you’re not exactly an off-the-rack size. The key is our Made-to-Measure Suits program, which allows you not only to personalize your fit, but also to decide every detail, from rare fabrics and custom linings to adding grippers to the pants that keep your shirt tucked in. Starting at $795, custom suits are within reach for every man—whether you do your best work at a desk or in the paint.

The photos below document our latest fitting with Mr. Dieng—who carved out time to visit our store at Mall of America between rigorous pre-season practices with the Minnesota Timberwolves—as well as a trip to visit Hart Schaffner Marx in Chicago, where they’ve been making suits for over 100 years.







SHOP: HART SCHAFFNER MARX
ALL SUITS | MADE-TO-MEASURE SUITS

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For a deeper look at Gorgui Dieng’s inspiring origins in Senegal, Africa, check out the remarkable photo essay below. Shot by NYC photographer Alessandro Simonetti for innovative sports publication Victory Journal, the imagery documents life at Senegal’s SEED Project, “a non-profit that uses basketball and education as tools to develop responsible and thoughtful leaders committed to the betterment of themselves, their communities and their continent.” Dieng attended SEED (having not picked up a basketball until his teens)—and parlayed lessons learned there into an NCAA Championship, an NBA career, and a chance to encourage new generations of kids in his home country to dream big. Visit www.seedproject.org to learn more and get involved.












 

 
 

[Store and factory photos by Robin Stein. SEED Project photos by Alessandro Simonetti for Victory Journal, via Doubleday & Cartwright.]

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Back in 2007, Seattle’s Sub Pop Records started Hardly Art Records, a label within itself, with lower financial stakes and a pop-rock fixation. The two labels reside in the same building in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood on 4th Avenue. Rock duo Deep Time is a fairly recent addition to the Hardly Art roster—an outlier from Austin, Texas, whereas most other Hardly Art bands are from Seattle, the Bay Area, or New York City. Their oddly-shaped songs are worth a listen. They charm, puzzle, and then are gone.

Deep Time played the Hardly Art showcase at the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee. Band leader Jennifer Moore was kind enough to grant us a quick interview.

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Being from Austin, how do you feel about SXSW? Does it feel musically important to you, or is it one big Doritos ad?
DEEP TIME’S JENNIFER MOORE: “Big ol’ Doritos ad, with close-ups of the chips, and canned music playing very quietly in background.”

MSD: Austin seems to have a lot of ‘meat-and-potatoes’ rock bands. Does it feel like you are way out on a limb down there, with your left-field approach?
JENNIFER MOORE: “Austin is pretty rock-heavy, especially the garage variety. But there are tons of little scenes in Austin, and they do mix a bit. There’s a group of ten or so local bands we play with regularly. So we get a lot of support from that group, even if it’s tiny.”

MSD: How much pressure does Hardly Art put on you to make money?
JENNIFER MOORE: “Zero. It’s been really nice working with Hardly Art. They mostly just seem excited about putting out music they like.”


[Deep time drummer Adam Jones]

MSD: What was your favorite thing you experienced at the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee?
JENNIFER MOORE: “People watching was pretty satisfying! The concertgoers were all over the place, age-wise, with lots of weirdos, and parents, and teens that looked like maybe they were at their first concert. But everyone seemed especially pumped to be there.”

MSD: Please recommend some restaurants in Austin. Have you been to Paul Qui’s place, qui? What about tacos and Tex-Mex?
JENNIFER MOORE: “We have not been yet. We are saving our pennies, but we have been to Uchi, which is kind of an epic eating experience. Chapala off Cesar Chavez Street is our favorite taco/Tex-Mex place. It’s also very affordable. One meal at qui equals 70 at Chapala.”


 

Nordstrom Men’s Shop was proud to co-sponsor Sub Pop’s 25th-anniversary Silver Jubilee celebration. Don’t miss our Silver Jubilee Street Style recap and Q&As with King Tuff and Dum Dum Girls.

 
 

[Text and interview by Andrew Matson. Andrew writes about music and culture for publications including The Seattle Times, NPR, and The Stranger. Follow Andrew on Twitter here. Photos by Robin Stein—see more of Robin’s work here. Videos © Hardly Art and Deep Time.]

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Last week, we offered an overview of Sub Pop’s greatest hits, both legendary and recent. Today, in our continuing tribute to 25 years of Sub Pop, we dig deep into the rocky underground that gives the Northwest label its name (Sub Pop = Subterranean Pop). We can think of no better tour guide than Robin Stein, a killer photographer here in Seattle, a good friend of Men’s Shop Daily, and a lifelong follower of Pacific Northwest music.

[Above: Earth photographed by Art S. Aubrey.
Below: U-Men by Rachel E. Tillman.]

 

While Sub Pop is widely known for its massively successful releases from bands like Nirvana, The Shins and Fleet Foxes, the legacy and scope of the label cannot be simply summarized by those artists alone. Sub Pop has long been a true promoter and purveyor of the decentralized underground world of Subterranean Pop. Here are some highlights from their back catalog that you may have never heard—but should. They’re selected to represent the legacy of music in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the grand scope of Sub Pop’s output. In no particular order:


1. The U-Men – ‘Dig It a Hole.’  Performing throughout most of the 1980s, The U-Men predated anything that anyone would or could call Grunge. Their song ‘Gila’ is featured on the first Sub Pop compilation, Sub Pop 100. The U-Men draw on the sludge and aggression of LA hardcore bands, the jarring start-stop rhythms from post-punk bands like Wire, and the wacked-out insanity of twang-weirdos The Cramps. ‘Dig It a Hole’ is on the aggressive side of the U-Men, and was never released by Sub Pop until many years later on the soundtrack to the film Hype. Nevertheless, this particular track foreshadows much of the aesthetics embraced by many Seattle bands in the years to come.


2. Green River – ‘Ain’t Nothing To Do.’ Green River might be the best example of the musical tension that went on to form the style that came to be known as Grunge. They’re a fast, heavy, punk band but with an overlay of glam-metal guitar solos. While this tension was ultimately the band’s demise (Mark Arm and Steve Turner went on to form Mudhoney, while Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament formed Pearl Jam), it just might be that Green River is the perfect blend of punk’s aggressive carelessness and metal’s heavy virtuosity. ‘Ain’t Nothing To Do’ is a classic teen-boredom anthem. Listen for the lyric that calls out being bored by the University of Washington’s old college radio station, which is now KEXP:  “… I’m so sick of FM, even KCMU…”


3. Girl Trouble – ‘Wreckin’ Ball.’ Go back into the history of music in the Pacific Northwest, and you’ll find it deeply rooted in classic garage bands—The Sonics, The Wailers, The Kingsmen, Lollipop Shoppe—mostly coming out of Tacoma, Washington. Twenty years later, Girl Trouble continued this tradition of Tacoma’s classic Northwest garage rock. ‘Wreckin’ Ball’ comes from their first Sub Pop release, Hit It or Quit It from 1988. Also worth checking out is their song ‘Neko Loves Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ about their good friend, former Girl Trouble go-go dancer and Tacoma native, Neko Case.


4. Steven Jesse Bernstein – ‘Come Out Tonight.’ Bernstein was essentially the poet laureate of Seattle’s music community throughout the 1980s. While suffering from mental illness and drug addiction, Bernstein gained legendary status as an intense and outrageous performer and poet. His writing reflected the gritty character of Seattle before the tech boom of the ’90s. Bernstein often took up residence in the hotels and boarding houses of Georgetown, the location of this year’s Sub Pop Silver Jubilee. This recording, featured on Sub Pop’s 1988 compilation Sub Pop 200, is a filthy pop-culture diatribe with the repeated, haunting refrain of “Cheri, Cheri, baby, won’t you come out tonight?” and the wonderful, barked line: “I am secretly an important man.”


5. Dead Moon – ‘Johnny’s Got a Gun.’  The members of Dead Moon have been playing in bands throughout every era of Pacific Northwest music, starting with Fred Cole’s 1960s psych-garage band Lollipop Shoppe, to their most recent incarnation Pierced Arrows. What’s most notable about the band is that Fred and Toody Cole, both grandparents in their 60s, are still one of the best touring rock bands out there, possessing a rabid and dedicated fan base all over the US and Europe. Most of the Dead Moon catalog is recorded, pressed, and released on their own label, Tombstone Records (they run their own record cutting lathe). Sub Pop released a posthumous Dead Moon discography, Echoes from the Past, covering highlights from the band’s nearly two-decade run. ‘Johnny’s Got a Gun,’ sung by Toody, is a revolutionary warning song. Also check out the hard-to-find Cat Power cover of the song above, a 7″ definitely worth digging for.


6. Hazel – ‘Day-Glo.’ Hazel was a band from Portland, Oregon, featuring the paired vocals of Pete Krebs and Jodi Bleyle (Team Dresch, Free to Fight), along with bassist Brady Payne and full-time, free-form dancer Fred Nemo (I was once told that Fred could recite vast James Joyce passages on request). Hazel played throughout the Northwest all through the late ’90s. I probably saw this band perform more than any other while growing up. Side note: My first AOL screen name (dayglo269) is a reference to this song—perhaps embarrassing, but telling.


7. Eric’s Trip – ‘Girlfriend.’ This track is from the first album I ever bought on vinyl. Eric’s Trip (named after the Sonic Youth song) was a fuzzy four-piece from Moncton, New Brunswick. Their simple, distorted pop songs encapsulated a low-key blissfulness. This band always made me idealize the magic of Canada’s Maritime Provinces. Julie Doiron and Rick White of Eric’s Trip each went on to release music individually in later years; both of their solo albums are well worth a listen.


8. Beat Happening – ‘Red Head Walking.’ While Sub Pop is known for being a Seattle record label, all of this really started in Olympia, Washington, around the Evergreen State College’s free-form radio station KAOS. Bruce Pavitt started writing his Subterranean Pop ‘zines and releasing tapes with Calvin Johnson as a contributor. Johnson’s pivotal lo-fi group Beat Happening released several records on Sub Pop over the ensuing years. His iconic vocal style and the simple instrumentation from collaborators Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford embraced the DIY methods and ideals of punk, and transposed it into something far less aggressive, yet still transgressive. Beat Happening laid the groundwork for so much music to come; their influence is unmeasurable. Johnson continues to run Olympia’s K Records, and maintains a complete online digital version of all of the original Sub/Pop fanzines.


9. The Monkeywrench – ‘Great Down Here.’ If there ever was a ‘supergroup’ for Seattle, it was definitely The Monkeywrench. Featuring Mark Arm and Steve Turner (Green River, Mudhoney), Tom Price (U-Men, Gas Huffer), Tim Kerr (Poison 13, Tim/Kerr Records) and Martin Bland (Bloodloss), The Monkeywrench is a straight-up garage-punk band. Awesome. If you’re on the tour of ‘grunge supergroups,’ by all means start with The Monkeywrench—and you might as well forget about Temple of the Dog.


10. Earth – ‘Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine.’ While Earth maintains a legendary status amongst fans of Drone and Doom Metal, the average Sub Pop fan is likely unfamiliar with the long legacy and influence of Dylan Carlson’s musical career. I’d recommend approaching this 27-minute track more as a meditative and minimalist dirge. Earth is truly a product of the environment here in the Pacific Northwest—reflecting the wet and uniform grey skies of winter, with a slowly roiling undercurrent of volcanic activity. We are living on the Ring of Fire after all…

 

By Robin Stein. Check out Robin’s photography in our recent Rick Owens and A.P.C. lookbook posts, and Dum Dum Girls and King Tuff interviews.

Nordstrom Men’s Shop was proud to co-sponsor Sub Pop’s 25th-anniversary Silver Jubilee celebration. For more Sub Pop content, check out our Festival Recap and Silver Jubilee Street Style.

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Last week, we showed you the fruits of our labor during Seattle record label Sub Pop’s 25th-anniversary music festival—by way of some first-class Seattle street style. Today, we have a subset of those shots that our team wanted to present separately as a special report: Below, individuals who are doing their part to foster a new golden age of Seattle music.

Photos by Robin Stein (pictured above right). Words by Andrew Matson.

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Ian Judd. “Seattle’s vibey-est, smallest concert venue (and vintage store) is Cairo in Capitol Hill. Judd is the genius who books the music there. While he’s at it, he hand-picks some of the best bands for his label, Couple Skate (Naomi Punk, The Numbs, Weed). Basically, come to Cairo on any given Saturday night and see what will be happening next year in Brooklyn.”
[Pictured with a friend who looks kind of like this guy. Click small photos to enlarge.]



Larry Mizell, Jr. “It’s safe to say Larry is the voice of Seattle hip-hop. The host of weekly show ‘Street Sounds’ on Seattle’s crucial (and streaming worldwide) radio station KEXP, he’s also the columnist behind ‘My Philosophy’ in Seattle’s alt-weekly The Strangeran emcee in the band Don’t Talk to the Cops, and an artist manager. Fun fact: Mizell, Jr. is also the son and nephew of Larry and Fonce Mizell, legendary jazz-fusion producers.”


Erik Blood. “This is the guy who records your albums in Seattle, if you want someone who will actually vibe with you on your weird idea and bring it to fruition. As a bandleader, Erik Blood is a My Bloody Valentine devotee. As a producer he’s done hip-hop (Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction), folk rock (The Moondoggies), and ‘swirl’ (Stephanie), to name a few. He also knows more about Prince than anyone else, ever.”



Sasha Morgan & Alex Kostelnik. “Sasha works in radio relations at Sub Pop and promotes concerts on the side. Alex runs 20/20 Cycle—a bike shop where pricing can sometimes be negotiated, and intimate concerts occur by Sub Pop-related acts including Mount Eerie and White Rainbow. As far as independent culture in Seattle goes, you’re looking at a power couple.” [Click small photos to enlarge.]

 

Nordstrom Men’s Shop was proud to co-sponsor Sub Pop’s 25th-anniversary Silver Jubilee celebration. Watch for continuing Sub Pop content in the days to come—and in the meantime, catch up on Silver Jubilee Street Style and our Top 5 Sub Pop Albums Ever.

 
 

[Text by Andrew Matson. Andrew writes about music and culture for publications including The Seattle Times, NPR, and The Stranger—follow him on Twitter here. Photos by Robin Stein—see more of Robin’s work here. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom. Intro photo by Melia McGee.]

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Arguably the best-dressed band signed to Seattle record label Sub Pop, California rock group Dum Dum Girls plays a particular style of music that could be described as bubblegum deadpan. Their music follows the example set by The Ramones and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and perhaps above all, Richard Gottehrer—their producer, and the songwriter responsible for retro-rebellious classics like “My Boyfriend’s Back.” Below, the all-girl quartet’s frontwoman, Dee Dee, test-drives some Topshop and answers a few questions:

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Is it true that Dum Dum Girls were partly named after the Vaselines song “Dum Dum”? Is that your favorite act signed to Sub Pop (besides your own)?

DEE DEE: “Yes, indeed true on both accounts—although Nirvana, Dead Moon, Beach House, Male Bonding, and David Cross are also favorites.”

MSD: What attracted you to working with producer Richard Gottehrer? Can you give an example of something he did in the studio that you felt changed your sound for the better?

DEE DEE: “I recorded the entire first album (I Will Be) myself, and it would’ve sounded like my first EPs and 7-inches without his initial ‘intervention.’ Aside from all the obvious reasons he’s a good match for me, I most value his lifelong enthusiasm. I don’t believe there’s a jaded bone in his body, which is saying a lot, considering how long and varied his career in the music business has been.”

MSD: How strict is the wearing-all-black part of being a member of the Dum Dum Girls? If someone wears blue jeans, do you kick them out?

DEE DEE: “It’s a non-issue at this point. And for my band, it doesn’t have to be anything more than an on-stage aesthetic. One hour of darkness.”

 

Nordstrom Men’s Shop was proud to co-sponsor Sub Pop’s 25th-anniversary Silver Jubilee celebration. Watch for more Sub Pop posts coming soon—and catch up on Silver Jubilee Street Style and our Q&A with King Tuff.

 
 

[Text and interview by Andrew Matson. Andrew writes about music and culture for publications including The Seattle Times, NPR, and The Stranger—follow him on Twitter here. Photos by Robin Stein—see more of Robin’s work here. Styling by Ashley Helvey and Margaret McMillan Jones. Videos © Sub Pop and Dum Dum Girls.]

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