7 posts tagged "Nordstrom"
It’s been a decade since the ladies of Sex and the City last kicked off their stilettos. But even after all these years; a pair of blockbuster films; and a very real re-examination of what it means to live, date, and shop in New York, few women define our relationship with shoes like Sarah Jessica Parker’s Manolo-sporting Carrie Bradshaw. This week, the actress will launch a line of her very own with (who else?) Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus. The wares are simple, single-soled, everyday pumps, flats, and sandals that will retail in the $300 range at Nordstrom starting February 28. No sky-high spikes or flame-embellished mules here. Just Italian-crafted (save the Spanish-made espadrilles), warm-hued basics meant for the women looking for a taste of Carrie’s sartorial adventures. We sat down with Parker and Malkemus to talk about why color is the new neutral, what it takes to design the perfect—and not too cheap, not too pricey—heel, and how the SJP shoe philosophy has evolved over the years.
How did the collection come about?
Sarah Jessica Parker: The opportunities had been orbiting and I kept having a hard time saying yes—and that puzzled me. I would honestly lay in bed at night and think to myself, “What is the problem?” And I went to lunch one day with a group of successful women, and they were encouraging me to do a shoe line. They said, “Well, what’s the problem? You have all this money and all these opportunities.” And I said, “It’s just not about that, obviously. Do you know what? To be honest, what I would really love is to be a partner with George.” I didn’t know him super well, but we had spent the past twelve years working together on Sex and the City and I certainly admired his business and the way he conducted his relationship with Pat Field and me. And they said, “Why don’t you call him?” And I said, “You know what? Screw it. I’m just going to be brave. Because the worst he can say is ‘no.’”
George Malkemus: Which I didn’t!
SJP: And so began this thrilling conversation.
Can you tell me a bit about the concept behind the collection?
SJP: We wanted to revisit the single sole—where did it go? We found, much to our delight, that our reference points are the same, and we had an idea of this particular woman in our head. She wears color as a neutral and doesn’t think black totally is necessary. “Appropriate” footwear was not something that we were interested in. And we thought of all those great shoemakers from the late seventies, all those wonderful shoe stores…that’s how it all began. George found us a great shoemaker in Tuscany.
GM: Third generation.
SJP: We found a great person in Spain to make our espadrilles—to really make the shoes the way we wanted at a price point I felt comfortable with.
The shoes are an investment, but they’re not unobtainable.
GM: That’s the key word! Investment. That’s the thing we want to have. If you have a pump from Sarah Jessica’s collection, five years from now that pump will still be in our collection in many different colorways.
SJP: You shouldn’t feel regretful when you look in your closet and think, “Boy, that feels out of fashion.”
Well, these shoes are simple. There’s nothing super-trendy about them.
SJP: That wouldn’t be something I would do well.
GM: And I don’t think that’s what I would want us to do. I take personal offense when a woman spends huge amounts of money, and then after a certain amount of time, feels like she can’t wear it. Or, if she walks into a party and someone says, “Oh, my God! You wore those last wedding when so-and-so got married for the first time! And now they’re getting married for the second time and you’re still wearing the same shoes…and you’re still not married! Because you bought those shoes!”
SJP: Wow! What an amazing leap to those connections!
In hopes of promoting a calm and renewed start to 2014, Olivia Kim opens her third curated pop-in for Nordstrom today. “It’s the New Year, it’s a recharge, it’s time to regroup and get yourself together,” Kim says of the new project, which she’s aptly dubbed “New Beginnings.” “That’s really the premise behind [New Beginnings], to offer things that are a little more reflective, that feel a little more personal…things that could help people literally realize their resolutions.”
There are organic cleaning supplies and Dyson vacuum cleaners for those who have pledged to be tidier. For customers who have dedicated their 2014s to getting in shape, there are workout clothes with an edge from Michi, as well as Jawbone Up wristbands that track health patterns. And shoppers who want a full-on makeover need look no further than the colorful Manic Panic beauty products and KORA Organics by Miranda Kerr creams.
New Beginnings also pays homage to celestial movements and astrology with organic jewelry and energy crystals from Gia Bahm’s Unearthen, zodiac sweatshirts by VFiles, and, at a few lucky locations, free chart readings by celebrated astrologists Tali and Ophira Edut (aka The AstroTwins). “I’m a Virgo but a Capricorn rising, and my moon is in Aries,” Kim says, giggling. “Which means I’m a big hot mess, but then it all kind of makes sense!”
But lest we forget, Nordstrom is a clothing retailer, and Kim doesn’t skimp on her pop-in’s fashion. This time around, she’s stocking exclusive leather boots by Tabitha Simmons (complete with personalized notes from the designer), Sophia Webster clutches, Frame Denim jeans, and Kara leather purses.
All of New Beginning’s product selection remains true to Kim’s signature quirk, and will live in eight select stores (designed, again, by Rafael de Cárdenas) and online at Nordstrom.com from January 10 through February 9. As for next month, she’s looking forward to launching an “anti-Valentine’s”-themed pop-in curated around menswear called the “Heartbreaker’s Club.” Have a look at New Beginnings’ merch in Kim’s appropriately trippy film, which debuts exclusively here.
“Not many retailers are willing to disrupt their business,” said Nordstrom’s director of creative projects, Olivia Kim. “But Nordstrom is, and to me, that’s what makes this job so fun and exciting.”
Kim, the former VP of creative at Opening Ceremony, has now graduated to her second full-fledged pop-in installation at the behemoth department store, where she injects equal parts cuteness, quirk, and novelty. Aptly titled 4U: Brite Lites_Gift City, the pop-in, as Kim put it, is “Santa’s Workshop for the twenty-second century.”
“I wanted the design to be cold, austere, and metallic, but referential to holiday,” she said. To help bring her vision to life, Kim solicited the help of her dear friend Rafael de Cárdenas of Rafael de Cárdenas Ltd. / Architecture at Large. “He and I have this incredibly in-tune sense of environment,” she proclaimed. It’s a creative partnership that goes back to her time in New York.
As for the concept behind the staggering high-low product selection, Kim considered, “What do you get someone who has everything?” She wanted to offer those hard-to-find discoveries—and she’s succeeded. The democratically priced range of gifts includes Keith Haring skis by Bomber Ski, charity RxArt’s collaborative gifts designed by notable artists like Ryan McGinley, Vanessa Arizaga jewelry, tomes from Abrams Books, Illesteva eyewear, black-out Bamford Rolexes, Chinti and Parker knits, and much more.
Brite Lites_Gift City is the next step in an overarching plan for Nordstrom, where Kim has worked since early 2013. She aims to educate, engage, and inspire Nordstrom’s large customer base by introducing plenty of buzz-worthy merchandise. “I want to be able to create something sexy, and I want people to get excited about shopping again,” she explained.
But are customers responding in kind? “Yes,” Kim confirmed with confidence. “It’s exciting for us as a brand to be able to say we’ve got a customer who is interested in niche products and young designers. I’m here to take risks. I’m here to push something new and adventurous in front of the company, and in front of our customers.”
4U: Brite Lites_Gift City will be open at twelve Nordstrom locations nationwide beginning November 15. Merchandise will also be available online at www.nordstrom.com.
Although she’s been absent from the runway of late, Freja Beha Erichsen estimates that she’s walked over one thousand runways in her career. And while we’d love to see the veteran catwalker make a return to the shows next month, we’re not holding our breath. “It just felt natural, at a point, not to do as many shows,” she tells Style.com. “At the moment, I am not planning to do any shows this fall. I wouldn’t say I would never do a show again, though.”
In the meantime, she’s trying something new on for size: designing. Erichsen paired up with Mother cofounders Lela Becker and Tim Kaeding for a capsule collection, debuting in September. The Danish supe worked closely with Kaeding on the fits, washes, and prints for the wares, which include classics like the Muse skinny jeans in black and faux leather, and the Foxy Boxy chambray shirt—all signatures of the stunner’s much-loved personal style. “I felt like doing something I wear all the time was much more in my power, because, clearly, I am not a designer,” she admits. “I wanted them to be the thickness jeans should be, but also comfortable. We got the first pair really right, and I’ve been wearing them ever since.”
Here, Style.com has the exclusive first look at the offerings (which range from $145 to $300) before they hit Nordstrom this fall. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Borders, the international humanitarian organization the do-good model has been working with for the past few years (in between posing for Prada ad campaigns and British Vogue covers, that is). “Obviously, I would love to do more projects along these lines,” she says. “I need to come up with something else!”
Jason Wu’s new contemporary line, Miss Wu, is all about girlish whimsy. So it’s fitting that the designer came up with a free-spirited, feminine film to showcase his first collection. “As my main collection has evolved to be sexier and more evocative, I wanted the sweeter side of my design sensibility to be preserved,” says Wu of his new range, which, priced between $190 and $800, launches today at Nordstrom. Inspired by iconic couples—like Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger, and Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg—the collection’s easy striped sweaters, laid-back cardigans, flirty frocks, and floppy hats have a decidedly French feel. So, too, does the short, which, directed by Todd Cole, was influenced by French New Wave films, specifically those made by Jean-Luc Godard.
Debuting exclusively on Style.com (above), the film stars Meghan Collison as Miss Wu. Swathed in printed silks, smart separates, and a ladylike LBD, she playfully dances around a loft, trying to capture the attention of a love interest who is—at first—frustratingly indifferent. “The fact that we can get a glimpse into her life immediately creates interest in her character,” says Wu. The designer also wanted there to be an element of “fantasy” about his spring woman, so, naturally, during her improvised dance, Collison is able to fly. “I always believe that a bit of fantasy makes fashion more interesting,” says Wu. The designer is flying himself these days, working to finish his Fall ’13 collection, as well as his second offering (and, he hints, perhaps even some accessories) for Miss Wu. “I very much look forward to writing the next chapters in her life,” he says.