Sarah Jessica Parker Will Re-Open Treasure & Bond For Her Pop-Up


For everyone who is waiting to find out where Sarah Jessica Parker will be appearing in New York to launch her new SJP shoe collection, WWD is reporting that the 3-day pop-up store will be located in the space that used to be Treasure & Bond at 350 West Broadway in SoHo. The actress/perfumer and now cobbler will reportedly be on-site for all three days to meet and greet customers and sell some shoes, so prepare yourselves for a crush of loyal Sex And The City fans to inundate the shop. The line is to be exclusive to Nordstrom stores, so it is not terribly surprising to see that the pop-up store will be in the space of the now-shuttered Nordstrom-owned boutique, which the retailer, apparently, still controls. After the New York appearance, Parker will be visiting Nordstrom stores in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Dallas through March 9th. The line will initially launch on February 28th on the store's website as well as in only 25 out of 117 Nordstrom locations including Garden State Plaza and Cherry Hill in New Jersey and Roosevelt Field on Long Island in the New York City area.

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Pop-up February 28 - March 2 at 350 West Broadway between Broome & Grand Streets, SoHo
Sarah Jessica Parker Teams With Nordstrom (WWD)
Pop-Up Alert: Sarah Jessica Parker's Shoe Line SJP Gets A 3-Day Pop-Up


Sarah Jessica Parker Returns To Fashion With A New Shoe Line

SJPvogueThere's no need to encourage her to try, try again. Sarah Jessica Parker seems determined to make her mark on the fashion industry as more than just the style icon role that "Sex And The City" thrust her into. Starting early next year, Nordstrom will exclusively debut the SJP collection of shoes, handbags and a few trench coats for good measure. Parker may have learned to play to her strengths having seen her popularly priced sportswear line Bitten fizzle as retailer Steve & Barrys imploded her her creative director job at Halston come to little after that label once again went in another direction. Now, Parker will be focusing on the item most associated with her and her alter ego, Carrie Bradshaw: Shoes! And to ensure success, she has teamed up with George Malkemus who as CEO at Manolo Blahnik has had years of valuable experience keeping the actress and countless other women well-shod in fanciful footwear. At the very least, she and her future customers can feel confident that she has surrounded herself with people who really know what they are doing.

While not quite as bargain-priced as Bitten, the new line is planned to retail relatively affordably between $200 and $300, with handbags under $700. It will takes its design cues cues from the late 1970s and 80s, a time before shoes and bags became so embellished as to be hazardous for the wearer. Parker tells Vogue.com,

“We’re putting new colors together that people don’t typically do, just beautiful combinations that you wish existed in your closet. And in terms of bags, thinking about that period of the seventies into the eighties, what those women were carrying, taking away the bells and the whistles and hardware and really making it about the bag.”

Leading shoe designers of the time like Maud Frizon and Charles Jourdan serve as inspiration, and Parker promises that everything will be produced in either Europe or New York City —so, no collapsing Bangladesh factories for her, thank you.

Heart and Sole: Sarah Jessica Parker Launches the SJP Collection (Vogue Daily)


Why The GQ's SoHo Pop-Up Store Is Important For Nordstrom

Above, you can see the camouflage-covered couch that sits at the center of the GQ & Nordstrom Pop-Up shop that has taken up residence at SoHo's Treasure & Bond store through this coming Sunday. Without showing any actual merchandise, this piece of furniture tells you almost everything you need to know about the store, It is a tribute to that guy (or, more likely fashion editor) for whom there can never be enough camouflage print. It's that raw-denim-heritage-brand-longwing-brogue-stack-of-bracelets-double-monkstrap-shoe-sprezzatura-worshipping guy who has captivated the American menswear culture. It's the guy who loves anything authentically American, but loves it more if it comes by way of Tokyo or Milan.  It is, in many ways, like a current issue of GQ encapsulated in retail form, brought to life by Nordstrom.

GQ-Nordstrom-CamoDisplayWhat it doesn't look like is Nordstrom's men's department —but that appears to be changing. People who know Nordstrom know that it has one of the largest upscale menswear businesses in the retail industry. It has nearly three times the number of locations as Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue, and menswear vendors who sell to Nordstrom will tell you that it is their biggest account by far. What Nordstrom hasn't had, however is a strong fashion image for its men's department. For decades, the direction there has been classic and conservative, and that has been extremely lucrative, but, in case you haven't heard, Nordstrom is coming to New York in a few years, and what plays as traditional in much of the rest of America can come off as bland in New York where Nordstrom aims to compete with Saks, Barneys and Bloomingdale's more than Lord & Taylor and Macy's.

Nordstrom has always had a strong women's designer business in it's top-ranking locations, which it bolstered seven years ago by buying the boutique Jeffrey and making the shop's former owner Jeffrey Kalinsky its chief merchant for men's and women's designer merchandise. Kalinsky seems to have mostly concerned himself with the women's side of the business, but a year ago, the Seattle based store hired former Bergdorf Goodman Men's Fashion Director and President of Simon Spurr, Tommy Fazio. This pop-up store and the company's recent partnership with GQ can be seen as a result of Fazio's presence in the company, and perhaps a glimpse of a more fashion-forward Nordstrom men's business of the future.

GQ-camobaseballsThe Shophound's recent visits to a couple of high-profile Nordstrom branches has seen the addition of some designer labels like Dolce & Gabbana and Rag & Bone for men that have not been seen in the store in the past and don't yet blend in so easily with the rest of its relatively conservative men's department, but the pop-up store pulls together the kind brands that can bridge that gap between traditional and stylish. Taking advantage of a fashion moment in menswear that is centered around new interpretations of classic American style, Nordstrom has an opportunity to lure in the kind of customer who might have thought the store was a little too conservative for his taste. To that end, and with GQ's guidance, this shop has been filled with a mix of heritage brands and designers like Michael Bastian, in both his main and Gant labels and Todd Snyder as well as specialty lines beloved by fashion insiders like Warby Parker eyewear and Miansai bracelets. There are shoes aplenty —this is a Nordstrom project, after all, and lots and lots of camo. There are even some camouflage patterned baseballs. When the Shophound stopped by last Friday afternoon, the store was buzzing with customers, so when Nordstrom finally opens on West 57th Street in 2018, don't be surprised to see a camouflage couch in the middle of the men's department.

GQ & Nordstrom at Treasure & Bond through September 16th
350 West Broadway between Broome & Grand Streets, SoHo



Nordstrom Officially Taking West 57th Street Location —In 2018

Well, we said don't believe it until it's confirmed, and yesterday's press conference at the company's Treasure & Bond specialty store in SoHo with Mayor Bloomberg in tow should be confirmation enough for anyone. Seattle based department store chain Nordstrom has finally chosen the base of yet to be built skyscraper planned for 225 West 57th Street at Broadway for its first New York City store. Here are the facts you have been waiting to hear:

The store will be Nordstrom's tallest at seven floors encompassing 285,000 square feet. That's bigger than Barneys and Bergdorf's Women's Store, but smaller by half or more than Saks, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale's and certainly Macy's Herald Square. The site extends through the block to 58th Street and is expected to have a main entrance on Broadway. So far, no architect has been chosen for either the store, or the building it will be anchoring which is being built by Extell Development. Interestingly, Nordstrom will not be paying rent, but will buy its space as a commercial condominium for a price that was not disclosed, but is sure to be breathtaking. Ultimately, store executives found the 57th street tower to be a less risky location than the Hudson Yards site the company had long been rumored to be circling according to Nordstrom’s director of merchandising, Peter Nordstrom who appeared at the conference as well as Extell President Gary Barnett.

There will be endless discussion about the effect Nordstrom will have on the neighborhood and the city's shopping scene in general, particularly in regards to the chain's famous high service ethic, but the store is not expected to open its doors for six years, so that will give competitors plenty of time to up their game.

Nordstrom will have a bit of work to do as well before it sails into Manhattan, particularly in securing vendors. While many customers know Nordstrom as moderate to high end store, it's flagship locations carry designer collections comparable to Saks, Bergdorf's and Barneys top offerings. The chain will want to put its best merchandise in the New York store, but many of those exclusive designers operate with very exclusive distribution strategies. It may take six years to convince some of the vendors they will want to carry to add another point of sale in midtown Manhattan without cannibalizing strong businesses thay have developed at Saks, Bergdorf's and Barney's along with their own boutiques.

But now the game of speculating where Nordstrom will go is officially finished. Now we have six years of watching the skyscraper and store go up and waiting to see what happens when everyone's favorite store from the Pacific Northwest goes up against a team of native New York retail powerhouses.

Nordstrom To Open First Full-Line Store In NYC (Nordstrom.com Press Release)


Latest Nordstrom Rumors Focus On West 57th Street

1780BwayAt some point, Nordstrom will build a full-line store in Manhattan, but, for more than a decade, the question has been where? The chain has been placed at numerous sites in the city from the former Drake Hotel site at Park Avenue and 56th Street to the Hudson Yards development on the far West Side to any number of other spots around town WWD tells us that the latest location under serious consideration is in a skyscraper set to be built at 225 West 57th Street with a main entrance at 1780 Broadway. In a point of confusion, WWD has mistaken the building for another being developed by the same landlord at 157 West 57th Street between Sixth And Seventh Avenues which was also under serious consideration by Nordstrom. This more recent choice is reported to be under rapid development, and expected to be completed by the end of 2013, which could put a Nordstrom opening as early as Spring 2014.

There are pros and cons in many of the sites Nordstrom has considered, but this one looks like it may be  among the most favorable. Nordstrom almost always insists on its own buildout with its own very specific store design. This would be one of the rare sites in midtown Manhattan that would allow for this requirement. The corner store on Broadway and West 57th Street would put the chain in an area with a golden combination of wealthy residents, high tourist traffic and hotel density and close proximity to numerous subway lines. Nordstrom may never get an opportunity for a better location. Drawbacks may include the fact that the site is far west of Manhattan's luxury sweet spot which begins at 57th and Fifth and extends East to Park Avenue. Moving West on 57th street, one finds a less prestigious mix of stores heading toward Broadway, though Nordstrom's strength as a draw could ultimately change that. The Shops at Columbus Circle has already improved the area's retail mix somewhat. Still, its neighbors would include a TJMaxx and a (possibly faltering) Daffy's, not Chanel and Prada. The store ultimately could serve as a West Side counterpart to the Bloomingdale's Flagship at 59th and Lexington Avenue, creating a new luxury shopping corridor between Fifth and Broadway. After all, if there's any city that loves a new shopping corridor, it's New York.

As with any Nordstrom news, this is to be taken with more than a few grains of salt, but this rumor seems to have a lot of traction. Nothing is official without an announcement from the family-controlled company, and they have been notoriously picky, so stay tuned, and expect a twist or two.

Nordstrom Search for Manhattan Flagship Continues (WWD)
Nordstrom selects different West Side Extell space for its New York City flagship (The Real Deal)
Nordstrom finally coming to Manhattan (NYPost)


Nordstrom Takes A Bite Of Bonobos

BONOBOS-1It's a win for both sides as Nordstrom has made a $16.4 million cash investment in Bonobos, the New York based men's sportswear company. For the online-only brand, it will be an opportunity to launch their product in one of America's most popular department stores with a perfectly matched target customer. Bonobos made its reputation by banishing the baggy khaki pant and creating upscale men's trousers that fit so well that they could be purchased online without being tried on in person. Now expanded to a full sportswear collection, the label will be make its retail debut exclusively in Nordstrom's infuential men's departments.

In addition to launching a popular line, Nordstrom's investment will also allow the seattle-based chain to take advantage of the prodigious online retailing expertise cultivated at Bonobos to enhance its own evolving web business. Quiet, clever acquisition has been a business strategy for Nordstrom for a few years now. While it has not purchased Bonobos outright, the store recently got into the online flash sale business by buying HauteLook, and many customers remain unaware that the exclusive Meatpacking District boutique Jeffrey is also owned by Nordstrom, and its founder, Jeffrey Kalinsky is the chain's Executive Vice President of Designer Merchandising. There is no word that Bonobos co-founder Andy Dunn will be taking on an official role at Nordstrom, but should the 116-store chain increase its investment by buying the company, it's hugely successful but extremely conservative men's business could benefit from the fashion shot-in-the arm that Dunn could offer.

As for us in New York, we still don't have our own Nordstrom yet (though we are the only city with the chain's Treasure & Bond division and there are rumours of another Rack coming to Sixth Avenue in Chelsea). This news continues to keep Nordstrom's status as the most fascinating store we can't shop at just yet.

Stores Go Online to Find a Perfect Fit (NYTimes)


Off-Price Stupor Edition

Z-CRITIC-B-popup This week's Thursday Styles finds Critical Shopper Jon Caramanica thoroughly nonplussed by the much heralded Nordstrom Rack now occupying part of the Virgin Megastore's carcass on Union Square. As he desperately combs the store's packed racks for something, anything to buy, he comes to  the conclusion that shopping off-price is not unlike shopping at thrift stores,

Boosters of shopping for used and vintage clothing like to portray it as a thrilling hunt, but really it’s a series of compromises: Will you find a piece that’s not exactly what you came in the door looking for, forgive its flaws and take it home?

After hours of rummaging, Caramanica discovers a shirt he can live with from the kind of mystery label that seems to live only in off-price stores. Overall, he surmises that even the deeply discounted offerings from familiar designers at the Rack are typically hopelessly flawed.

A silvery lambskin jacket by John Varvatos ($800, from $2,595) fit perfectly, but it glowed bioluminescently under the drowsy lights. Its tag marked it as a limited edition, No. 25 of 52, though a fuller search of the rack turned up Nos. 2 and 6 as well. Somewhere, a protean boy band is without its next stage outfit. A black Burberry trench coat ($400, from $1,195) was slick, but its padded lining gave it a Kevlar-y bulk.

And so the initial glow of novelty appears to have faded from the Rack as it fades into the growing morass of off-pricers (TJ Maxx, Filene's Basement, Syms, Century 21, etc.) now dotting the city.

Can we just have a real, full-line Nordstrom now?

Critical Shopper | Nordstrom Rack: Bargain Hunting Begins to Wear on You By Jon Caramainca (NYTimes)
Nordstrom Rack 60 East 14th Street between Broadway & Fourth Avenue, Union Square


Nordstrom Rack Will Live Downstairs


Nordstrom Rack opens in 4 days, and we have to make a correction.

NordstromrackAPRIL About a month ago, we posted a photo of what we assumed would be the interior of the upcoming department store chain outlet's Union Square location which used to house Virgin Megastore. Its raw state made us wonder if the store could possibly be ready on time. It turns out that Nordstrom Rack appears to be taking mostly the underground space that held Virgin, which is why they are not using the corner marquee that was the previous tenant's entrance. The space pictured in last month's post is not part of Nordstrom Rack. The street level square footage remains unoccupied. From what we could tell today, rather than waiting for another large retailer to take the space, it is being divided up to accommodate a few smaller stores.

Sorry for our mistake. It looks like the store will have no problems being ready for May 11th.

Renovation Revelation: Will Nordstrom Rack Be Ready In Only Five Weeks?

Renovation Report:

Nordstrom Rack Starts From Scratch

We are pretty sure that the plywood is going to be restored any day now, but this morning everyone in Union Square got an eagle-eye view of what kind of the renovation is going on in the former Virgin Megastore site for the incoming Nordstrom Rack unit.
We certainly weren't expecting them to retain any of Virgin's interior, and it looks like the entire space has been fully gutted. Even the escalator atrium has been completely filled in for more main floor space. Presumably, some other passage to the lower level is in the works. Virgin's former awkward, dead-zone-ey storefront is also being completely reconfigured with a lot of glass, although, strangely, nobody has yet seen fit to remove the marquee which still features the music emporium's sad, darkened sign.

Union Square Update:

Nordstrom Finally Enters Manhattan
...Outlet First

As has been rumored for quite a while, Nordstrom is finally coming to New York City, but not in the way we were expecting. The popular Seattle based retailer will take the space vacated earlier this year by The Virgin Megastore at One Union Square South, but they will be installing a Nordstrom Rack outlet rather than a full line store.
The rumor mills have had quite a few locations pegged for a Nordstrom flagship, most recently the former Drake Hotel location on Park Avenue, but none of those stories have yet panned out.
It's a little unusual that a major upscale chain like Nordstrom would choose such a high profile location for its outlet division, which are usually clustered near other like chains such as Saks' Off 5th or Neiman Marcus Last Call, typically kept far away from their full-price siblings. While Union Square is also home to Filene's Basement and DSW, it's not especially known as a designated outlet area, and one would expect a big player like Nordstrom to enter a pivotal market like Manhattan with a full line flagship before adding outlet units. The chain, however, is notoriously picky about locations for its stores, and clearly not willing to pass up a space like this one on Union Square which would be unsuitable for its top line, but obviously great for a Rack.
Their press release also indicates that, as many have predicted, Circuit City' former space at the other side of the building will be taken by Best Buy this fall with a smaller store than its Sixth Avenue and Columbus Circle branches, but one far more conveniently located.
Nordstrom Rack is slated to open this spring, and as for that flagship, we're all still waiting.
Nordstrom Rack to Open First Manhattan Store at One Union Square South (PR Newswire)