Sam Shipley

It’s a busy week for the Seattle-based Nordstrom Men’s Shop team, as we find ourselves out in NYC amidst oppressive humidity and curious aromas to which we’re not accustomed. Of course, we’re having a blast nonetheless.

Follow us on Instagram—user name @NordstromMen—to catch daily updates as we spend the next several days crisscrossing New York City and catching up with some of our favorite menswear designers. First up was a visit to the rad Tribeca loft/office/showroom that serves as a second home to Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos of Shipley & Halmos.

Sam sketched his power animal for us (to anatomically correct precision—check the dorsal), while we did our best to ignore onlookers in their dapperly wallpapered water closet. And these are just the outtakes. For additional photos from our Shipley & Halmos visit—plus more to come as we continue to drop in on our favorite designers this week—follow @NordstromMen on Instagram.



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.]

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A Shipley & Halmos Guide to New York

Shipley & Halmos designers Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos offered us some NYC-native intel on where to eat and explore on your next trip to the Big Apple.

The brand’s vintage inspiration and thoroughly modern fit is always spot-on for city life, in NYC or elsewhere—but the sturdy cotton shirts, immaculately cut blazer in camel corduroy, and sleek, solid boots they crafted for Fall 2012 are especially ideal for braving concrete landscapes in the brisk conditions ahead.

Shop Shipley & Halmos—but first, take note of the guys’ six favorite spots in New York City.


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A Guide by Shipley & Halmos

“Of course we do more than just eating and shopping. We also drink a lot. Kidding (kinda)! But seriously, it seems that whenever anyone comes to visit us from out of town, that’s all they want to do. Everyone knows to check out the MoMA, Central Park, Times Square (God help you), etc. We’re just giving you what you all want—eat delicious food, burn calories (and holes in your pockets) while walking around shopping, then eat more!”
—Sam Shipley & Jeff Halmos


Lupe’s East LA Kitchen is one of our favorite lunch spots during the week. Very low-key atmosphere with very authentic Mexican food. And the people are friendly, which goes a long way in our book.” [110 Sixth Avenue at Watts Street]


“Sam’s girlfriend is the co-owner of a great shop in Nolita called Thomas Sires. They design their own women’s line and stock an assortment of incredible accessories and home items from around the world. Ideal spot to score a gift for that special lady in your life.” [243 Elizabeth Street]


“In Williamsburg (where Jeff lives), Marlow & Sons is the go-to restaurant and general hangout. Their market offers coffee, pastries, dry goods, and even some accessories. The small dining room is in the back half of the space. The menu changes frequently—two staples are the brick chicken and the salted caramel tart (addictive!) for dessert.” [81 Broadway, Williamsburg]


Amarcord is, in our opinion, the best bet for vintage menswear in the city. It’s primarily European (Italian and French). Think Saint-Tropez 1965 instead of Seattle 1991. Clean it up, fellas!” [252 Lafayette Street, between Prince & Spring, SoHo]


“Sam’s a cheeseburger connoisseur. Like almost any cuisine you can think of, NYC foodies take great pride in their burgers. Although there are many top-notch options (from Shake Shack all the way up to Peter Luger), our favorite spot is the Ear Inn. The building (a house built in the early 1800s) is about as old school as it gets. On a nice day, take a stroll along the Hudson River up to the High Line after lunch.” [326 Spring Street, between Greenwich & Washington]


“You can browse the bookstore and gallery at Printed Matter for hours. All the titles are independently published, many directly by the artists themselves, and most you will not find anywhere else in the world. Each year, they host an Art Book Fair, too. Very inspiring store!” [195 Tenth Avenue]



[Main text and photos for Lupe’s and Amarcord by Shipley & Halmos. Additional photo credits: Thomas Sires courtesy of Marlow & Sons via here and here. Ear Inn courtesy of Printed Matter via.]