Okay, the pic above is a re-gram from our friends at @Sub_Pop—the top of the Space Needle isn’t very big, so for one of our Nordstrom peeps to get up there last night, a member of Mudhoney was going to have to leave. Which just wouldn’t do.
However, our entire Nordstrom Men’s Shop crew will be on the ground TOMORROW for Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee—a free music festival in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, celebrating 25 years of subterranean sounds from our hometown’s most iconic record label. So, you can expect plenty of live updates throughout the day. Follow @NordstromMen on Instagram for real-time glimpses of Built to Spill, Mudhoney (yes, again), J Mascis, METZ, Father John Misty, Shabazz Palaces and more. Visit Sub Pop’s blog for the full lineup.
Our friends across the pond at Topman were kind enough to provide us with some fest-ready clothes, so you might see a street-style snap or two, as well. Speaking of Topman—in collaborating with them over the past year, we’ve noticed England and Seattle have a lot in common. We both get our fair share of rain (and kind of like it). We both have cool accents (not really). And we both birth some killer bands. So we were delighted (but perhaps not surprised) when their fantastic blog team published Topman’s top-five Sub Pop albums the other day. Check them out, from Nirvana to Beach House, here.
Fashion Rewards, by the way, is the awesome points/perks system for Nordstrom credit and debit cardholders. It’s like getting paid to shop. Plus, you get VIP access to killer events such as our best sale of the year: Anniversary Sale.
Anniversary Sale, by the way, is a sale like no other. It’s NOT a clearance of unwanted leftovers—it’s a sneak preview of our Fall delivery, on sale before it hits the floor at full price. No one else does this. If you haven’t experienced Anniversary Sale before, definitely check it out—it’s your chance to get a head start on Fall, and save some cash in the process.
One more thing, and then we’ll leave you to it: Check out the Nordstrom company retrospective we posted during last year’s Anniversary Sale—and see how our heritage reaches back to 1901, when John W. Nordstrom opened his first shoe store in downtown Seattle.
Back in a more rugged Seattle in 1993, Sub Pop Records had a Mega Mart. It was located on 2nd Avenue in the Belltown neighborhood, which is a place where you see a lot of folks staying up all night or sleeping outside, and you get propositioned for a cigarette even if you are clearly not smoking.
The Mega Mart was a physical retail space that sold the kinds of things labels now sell on their websites. It was sarcastically named. It was a shoebox. On a similar tip, the same year, Southern California punk label SST opened their very small “Superstore.” Looking back, these names were kind of middle fingers to the Virgin Megastore. Like Mudhoney sings: “I like it small!”
The original Mega Mart ran until 2000. By the end of its life, it had migrated to the touristy but still classic and awesome Pike Place Market, where they throw the fish. It was never a fantastic moneymaker.
Steady vibes emanate from the new, 2013 version of the Mega Mart in Seattle’s brick/concrete Georgetown neighborhood, the last remaining place where artists can live cheaply. The new Mega Mart is a pop-up shop, only open in the weeks before and during the 25-year Sub Pop Silver Jubilee, Saturday, July 13. Shopkeep Tim Hayes is there. He’s chilling, playing drone rock by the band Earth, one of the acts on Sub Pop whose music has aged particularly well. He can talk to you about records if you want, or not. You are free to browse.
The new Mega Mart feels like it should be permanent. Maybe a satellite wing of the conjoined Fantagraphics Books and Georgetown Records, across the street. Hey, while we’re wishing, maybe we could all be communists! Then money wouldn’t matter!
In this sentimental mood, we pass the mic to Kerri Harrop, pioneering employee of the Mega Mart, currently in charge of making money at Seattle’s crucial radio station KEXP. She always has a story to tell:
“It was before cell-phone cameras, and I don’t have any personal photos from that time at all. I have maybe a few Polaroids, buried. I know Sub Pop doesn’t have any good pictures of the Mega Mart itself. But we did have a Polaroid camera there, and when people would come and visit, we’d take their picture. I took so many of them. They’re all framed together in the Sub Pop offices now. It’s cool to see Krist Novoselic…with hair! Everyone looks super young. Obviously. It was 20 years ago.
“Ones that are memorable to me: John Doe from X—which if you told me when I was a 16-year-old girl that I’d be working at a record store and John Doe would walk in, I’d’ve been like ‘no f—ing way’ because I loved X, so much. And he totally ripped his shirt off! I wasn’t expecting that. Ripped it open, I should say. He was bare-chested in his photo.
“The Soundgarden one stands out because they were doing promo for Superunknown at the time, and at the Sub Pop office, that record was getting non-stop play. They were huge and about to get huger. They came in with an MTV crew, and it was just an exciting time.
“Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick came by, and I was like holy sh–. Jonathan [Poneman] was a huge Cheap Trick fan. So I hit him up, and let him know. And I’m chatting with Bun E., and he’s talking about all these records on the wall, saying he was playing a show that night at Under the Rail. Three significant things happened because of this. He put me on the list for the show, plus one, which totally ruled. Second thing is I played him Soundgarden, which he had never heard before, and he loved it. And third, Sub Pop got to do a 7” with Cheap Trick.
“I worked there from opening day in ’93 for a year and a half, and then moved across the street and worked at Sub Pop for around four more years. The beauty of Sub Pop was and is that they promote from within. It was like going to indie rock college. I worked in the sales department, then band merchandise, R&D, international product development…”
“The beauty of the store was it was across the street from [correction] next door to the Moore Hotel, which was in a lot of ways a flop house. Crazy sh– would happen all the time. And the Mega Mart became the water cooler. Jonathan [Poneman] would always come over, and talk about whatever story happened that day. It was tiny. Hence the name Mega Mart. We tried to do in-store concerts, and we did the Spinanes, and the store was so packed that someone fainted. I was like, ‘wow, this rules!’
“I always remember Bruce [Pavitt] saying his concept for the Mega Mart was for it to be a Christian Science Reading Room. We got so many tourists. The label was huge, Nirvana was huge. So, you couldn’t get access to the label, but you could get into the store. There were so many Japanese tourists. Always something charming about these young, cool Japanese kids who would travel all this distance to show up, and ask a million questions, because they loved Seattle bands.
“The tourists that came after Kurt died, that was kind of gruesome. Even more so for people who were connected to the fabric of Nirvana.
“Opening day of the store we were giving away copies of Nirvana’s Bleach. It was bonkers. It was such a different time in Seattle. You used to be able to walk down 2nd Avenue and be able to see the water on every block. Now there are high rises blocking the view of the ocean. You know you’re old when you start missing parking lots.”
[Below, watch Sub Pop’s Lacey Swain eat a sandwich—and discuss the finer points
of the new Mega Mart and its retrospective art installation, along with
Sub Pop art directors Jeff Kleinsmith and Sasha Barr]:
The current incarnation of the Sub Pop Mega Mart is open
for a limited time at 6003 12th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108.
Not in Seattle? Shop Sub Pop merch the old-fashioned way: online.
[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. Vintage Mega Mart ad courtesy of Sub Pop’s official Tumblr page. Video courtesy of Sub Pop’s Youtube page.]
The Nordstrom Men’s Shop is extremely proud to be a sponsor of Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee. Dubbed, fittingly, by Sub Pop as “A 25th Anniversary Public Display of Affection,” the proceedings set to occur this Saturday, July 13, in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, promise not only to be a super fun (and loud, and FREE) party—but also a culmination and public observance of what continues to make music in our Northwest neck of the woods so great: the bands, the fans, and in large part, a small but massively influential record label called Sub Pop.
Founded in Seattle in 1987 by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, Sub Pop was the original home to Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney—bands that defined the musical and cultural landscape of the 1990s, and continue to be relevant today. Twenty-five years later, proud of but never pigeonholed by quote-unquote “grunge,” Sub Pop continues to release visionary, genre-bending, top-selling music: from Shabazz Palaces’ abstract hip-hop to Father John Misty’s deviant folk to METZ’s kinetic noise rock.
Here, some of Sub Pop’s “elder statesmen”—Jack Endino, Mark Arm, Kim Thayil, and Tad Doyle—offer a heartfelt, vaguely accurate account of this Saturday’s upcoming events and performance lineup [click the image to watch the video]:
The full lineup (as of now) is below. Note the “more to be announced” part at the end. Any lip-readers in the house? Any guesses what Mr. Tad Doyle emphatically mouthed during the inaudible portion of the video above?
Men’s Shop Daily will be there in person, sipping local beer, sampling food carts, digging in crates, and of course catching all the shows. Watch for exclusive interviews and photo portfolios of the bands and key Sub Pop personnel in the weeks to come—by Robin Stein, one of our favorite photographers, and Andrew Matson, a music and culture writer for publications including NPR, The Seattle Times, and The Stranger.
You know how a lot of product crossovers are woefully misguided? Like green ketchup, or clear Pepsi? Then, there’s that rare individual who can do no wrong—one minute, his records are going multi-platinum; the next, he’s acting in Oscar-worthy films, hostingSNL every five minutes, and making out with Mila Kunis on-screen.
Well, Jack Spade is basically the Justin Timberlake of the menswear game. The brand started in 1997, selling durable bags (in hardware stores—a telling detail) that were the epitome of form-meets-function. Today, they produce a full line of apparel that’s every bit as ruggedly stylish as their cult-favorite briefcases and duffels.
We had a chance to visit Jack Spade’s showroom in New York recently, for a preview of the Fall/Winter 2013 collection. Check out a few snapshots below (click to enlarge):
…While you’ll have to wait a few months before the Fall goods above land online, you can pre-order items from Jack Spade’s Pre-Fall Collection right now. A few of our favorites are below—along with killer Jack Spade accessories that are available for purchase immediately. (Know your camo: That cool geometric motif on the card case is inspired by Swedish M90.)
Mark your calendars for our biggest sale event of the year: Anniversary Sale, your rare chance to save on Fall goods before they ever hit regular price, starts July 19.
Sound like a ways off? Trust us, it’s coming up quick—our team was already pulling together Anniversary-Sale outfits to photograph for the website last week. Here’s an exclusive glimpse at some of the rich fall textures and patterns you have to look forward to.
Chalk stripes x longwings? Check. Patent x camo? Why not.
Yes, our Men’s Team looks good even while locked in a conference room all day.
(That’s one of our female stylists on the right—don’t worry,
we’re not hopping on the meggings trend quite yet.)
Stay tuned for more Anniversary Sale updates as they become available.
If you think it’s tough facing the decision of loafers vs. monk-straps in the morning—try facing a day with no shoes at all.
On Tuesday, April 16, join Nordstrom and TOMS (the ground-breaking company that matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need—One for One®) by going barefoot to raise awareness for the millions of children around the world who don’t have shoes—a difficult reality that not only prevents many kids from meeting their local school’s dress code and receiving an education, but also exposes them to serious health concerns.
Watch the video below to learn more…find additional info on The TOMS Movement here…and give your kicks the day off tomorrow for a good cause.
Celebrating 10 years raising funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS- and LGBTQ-related causes, Jeffrey Fashion Cares held its annual runway show and silent auction in NYC Tuesday night.
The evening brought out supportive celebs, the industry’s most in-demand models, and killer clothes from some of our favorite menswear designers—and most importantly, raised over $800,000 for an amazing cause. Jeffrey Kalinsky (the event’s founder as well as Nordstrom’s EVP of women’s designer—he’s pictured above in a pale-blue button-down and tie) had this to say: “I live for the day when there will be a cure for AIDS and equality for every man and woman in this country. Tonight is about gay rights, and in a greater context, human rights.”
Congrats to Jeffrey and everyone involved, and here’s to breaking a million at Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2014. Scroll down for a look backstage and on the runway—and pop over to our women’s blog, The Thread, for more.
Emmy Rossum, star of Showtime’s Shameless (as well as an enthusiast of opera and hotdogs), hosted the event.
Model Tip #1: Barring the opera and the Oscars, a leather jacket and T-shirt are usually all you need for a night out.
Model Tip #2: Lounge around in Lanvin and Valentino like it ain’t no thing (left). Model Tip #3: Grow hair like this guy (right—easier said than done).
Model Tip #4: Rad eyebrows are a sign of virility. Thou shalt not tweeze.
From ZZ Top gigs to rubbing elbows with menswear elite, there’s always something interesting happening at our philanthropic concept store in New York City, Treasure & Bond. If you’re in the NYC area between now and the end of March, pay them a visit at 350 West Broadway, and check out new spring plaids, sweaters, jackets and more by Vince. It’s for a good cause, after all.
If you feel stiff in a suit…You’ve probably never had one made just for you.
Take a cue from Sean Connery (above)—or rather, his director in 1962 Bond film Dr. No, Terence Young. To convince James Bond creator Ian Fleming that Connery, a former boxer, was right for the role of a debonair member of Her Majesty’s secret service, Young contacted Fleming’s own Savile Row tailor (the late Anthony Sinclair, above right). The story goes that Connery wore the suits around the clock—even slept in them—until he felt utterly natural wearing them. The rest is history.
We’re not going to recommend taking a nap in your notch-lapel. But we will say that investing in a Made-to-Measure Suit is the way to meld boardroom body-armor with a barely perceptible second-skin. In other words: You’ll look, and feel, like a million bucks. Bonus: During store events throughout the month of March, you can score a Made-to-Measure suit for the same price as one off the rack. Yes, really.
Why go Made-to-Measure? First, the pleasure of picking every detail. Choose from dozens of fabric swatches, linings, buttons. Most of our stores offer this service from several renowned brands like Joseph Abboud, Canali, Hart Schaffner Marx, Hickey Freeman—so you’ll have tons to choose from.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly: the fit. We caught up with Brooke Foxworthy, a rep for Joseph Abboud, who noted some of the finer points Abboud can accomplish with their custom models: “You can taper the leg, lower the rise, add functional buttons on the sleeves, shirt grippers in the pants, get higher armholes, a shorter point-to-point in the shoulders.” For a modest price increase, Abboud (whose factory is right here in the USA, in New Bedford, Mass.) even offers luxury fabrics from Italian mills like Loro Piana, Zegna, and Barbera.
Check our Store Locations page to find Made-to-Measure events near you, and get a great deal on a custom suit. (Who knows, you might be the next 007—or at least put the fear into saggy-suited villains around your office.)