Discover Nordstrom’s New Concepts initiative and get to know all of the fresh and stylish clothing brands they feature.
What is New Concepts by Nordstrom?
Sam Lobban, Nordstrom Senior Vice President for Designer and New Concepts, is captaining the initiative. Lobban, who cut his teeth as a buyer at Mr. Porter and Selfridges, has assembled an impressive collection of edgy and of-the-moment brands, which the company is dolling out one-at-a-time across its platforms.
The triple-digit numbering suggests an ambitious project. Perhaps Lobban and Nordstrom intend to get to 100 or more features.
While you can check out the the latest brand to be featured via New Concept at Nordstrom online, here is a rundown of all of the brands who have been featured so far:
New Concept 001: Out Cold
For its first feature, Nordstrom curated New Concept 1: Out Cold, a collection of brands perfect for cold weather and ski season. Nordstrom’s New Concept 001 featured brands including Aigle, Arc’teryx, Aztech Mountain, Blundstone, Blunt Umbrellas, Cotopaxi, Diemme, Golden Bear, HOKA ONE ONE, Houdini Sportswear, Hydro Flask, K-Way, KJUS, Leatherman, Mackintosh, New Balance, Salomon, Snow Peak, and Woolpower.
New Concept 002: Dior
In February 2019, Nordstrom launched New Concept 2: Dior, in which Lobban transitioned to feature just one brand. The pop-up highlighted French luxury house Dior. The collection is Kim Jones’ first for the brand and includes work commissioned by the artist KAWS, which plays with the Dior logo and bee across a range of t-shirts, jackets and bags.
New Concept 003: printings.jp
New Concept 3 was a collaboration between Nordstrom and Japanese publishing house printings.jp. For the Concept, Nordstrom curated vintage pieces by iconic designers Helmut Lang and Raf Simons.
New Concept 004: Patagonia
New Concept 4 brought a focus on iconic sustainable clothing brand Patagonia. In June 2019, Nordstrom highlighted an array of outdoor gear for the entire family as well as pieces from Patagonia’s previously-loved Worn Wear collection.
New Concept 005: Union and Company
Nordstrom hosted New Concept 5: Union & Company in collaboration with Chris Gibbs, co-owner of streetwear shop Union.
The Union & Company Concept collected more than 170 clothing and shoe items from across 13 brands picked by Gibbs and Lobban. The Nordstrom-Union collaboration featured brands including Union, Awake NY, BornxRaised, Cactus Plant Flea Market, Camp High, Fear of God, Jordan Brand, Marni, Neighborhood x Converse, No Vacancy Inn, Our Legends, Reigning Champ and Rhude.
New Concept 006: 1017 ALYX 9SM
In the fall of 2019, Nordstrom released a capsule collection for New Concept 6: 1017 ALYX 9SM.
1017 ALYX 9SM is the somewhat-confusing name for luxury clothing label founded by designer Matthew Williams.
Luxury e-commerce retailer Brown Thomas explains:
William’s youth and interest in subcultures has had a big impact on his work, the ALYX look is a mash up of punkish surf, skate, and club cultures from his California teens which he turns into futuristic high fashion that’s somehow both edgy and tactical.1017 ALYX 9SM – EXPLAINED, Brown Thomas
Lobban added that, “Alyx is rooted in functionality and how it can be incorporated into peoples’ lives. A lot of times fashion is for fashion’s sake, promoting purely the aesthetic. Matthew balances the aesthetic with making forward-thinking menswear that guys will really want to wear.”
New Concept 007: Beams
November 2019 saw Nordstrom collaborate with Japanese design house Beams on New Concept 007. (No James Bond references?)
Beams highlighted “iconic Americana through a Japanese lens.”
The pop up featured Japanese artists and designers including Diaspora Skateboards, Flagstuff, Orslow, Koji, Yamaguchi, Naijel Graph, Yusuke Hanai, Sasquatchfabrix and Teatora along with iconic American brands Brooks Brothers, New Balance, New Era and Polo Ralph Lauren.
New Concept 008: Entireworld
Nordstrom Concept 8 introduced Entireworld, a direct-to-consumer clothing label that founder Scott Sternberg launched in 2018. It featured a collection of sustainably-produced sweats and basics. Sadly, Entireworld shuttered in October 2021.
New Concept 009: Thom Brown
He added that, Nordstrom was bringing Brown’s “concept that combines traditional as well as unconventional tailoring to our broader customer base.”
New Concept 010: Activate!
With New Concept 10: Activate, Nordstrom returned to featuring multiple brands for its campaign.
Nordstrom’s physical and online pop-up shops featured Asics, District Vision, Gramicci, Malbon Golf, On, Reigning Champ and Satisfy. Four of the brands (District Vision, Gramicci, Malbon Golf and Satisfy) were new to Nordstrom.
New Concept 011: Noah
Nordstrom collaborated with Noah for New Concept 11 in August 2020.
The project was a collaboration with Noah’s founder Brendon Babenzien. New York-based Noah designs elevated yet-colorful-and-occasionally-slouchy clothing for men.
Babenzien, who was tapped by J. Crew as its lead menswear designer, gave some shine to Lobban, observing that “Sam’s work within Nordstrom is a great example of how the industry is evolving, understanding that the bottom line can be improved by having fun and working on interesting partnerships where everyone benefits.”
New Concept 012: Black_Space
In February 2021, Nordstrom announced New Concept 12 would be Black_Space, a collaboration with designer Beth Birkett, creative director Harris Elliott, stylist Matthew Henson, stylist Marcus Paul and fashion editor Azza Yousif.
Black_Space, Nordstrom noted, “is a celebration of Black creativity through fashion and retail,” and features brands “that present a varied look into Black creativity and style.”
The pop-up shop included clothing and accessories for women and men from 28 brands ranging in price from $20 to around $1,600.
Twenty-five of those brands were made available at Nordstrom for the first time.
Black_Space featured brands including Adeshola Makinde, Ahluwalia, Andre Walker, Andre Walker x Off-White, Armando Cabral, Art Comes First, Bephie’s Beauty Supply, Bianca Saunders, Bode, Botter, Brownstone, Bryan Jimenez, Cold Laundry, Come Back As a Flower LLC, Connor McKnight, Coral Studios, Darrell Brown, Exhibit69, Full Court Sport, Haffmans & Neumeister, Le Tings, Nicholas Daley, O-Design, Off White, Sansovino 6, Spencer Badu, Wales Bonner, Wales Bonner x Adidas, Wanda Lephoto, Bephie’s Beauty Supply, and XULY BËT.
New Concept 013: Fear of God
In May 2021, Nordstrom rolled out its New Concept 13: Fear of God.
Nordstrom collaborated on the pop-up with Fear of God founder Jerry Lorenzo.
Fear of God is focused on making clothing “rooted in easy elegance.” Look to Fear of God for luxury robes, silk lounge pants, boxer briefs and more.
Nordstrom’s collaboration with Fear of God included an “exclusive mainline capsule [featuring] suiting, jackets, accessories and footwear in natural palettes as well as Fear of God’s classic hoodies and sweatshirts.”
New Concept 014: Found In Translation
For New Concept 14: Found in Translation, Nordstrom Men’s Fashion and Editorial Director Jian DeLeon and entrepreneur Joshua Kissi worked with Lobban to celebrate “how global heritage and underground subculture have shaped modern menswear.”
The collection featured items from Baracuta x Needles, Champion Tears, and Eric Emanuel x New Era, and offered exclusive capsules from BEAMS, Bel-Air Athletics, Drake’s, Foreign Currency, G.H. Bass Originals, Our Legends, and Schott NYC.
New Concept 015: Make It Bazaar
November 2021 brought the launch of Nordstrom’s New Concept 15: Make It Bazaar.
The holiday-themed pop-up shop featured a variety of fun and quirky gifts.
Nordstrom’s featured brands for the Make It Bazaar included Advisory Board, Crystals, Ami Like Miami, Ashish, Ashish x Sam, McKnight, Asp & Hand, [email protected], Bleue Burnham, Bode, Chito: One, Earth Burners by F., Miller x JAM, Eckhaus Latta, Flagstuff, Hannah Candle, Hatton Labs, Hedy Yang Ceramics, King Kennedy, Mami Wata, MATE, Missoni Home, More Joy, Schott x Grateful, Dead, Sherris, Socksss, Soft Form Studio, The Skateroom, Twelve Jewelry, and Wary Meyers.
New Concept 016: Pangaia
Pangaia, according to Nordstrom, is “a materials science company on a mission to save our environment.” The company creates innovative, sustainably-made clothing from bioengineered materials and innovative technologies.
Pangaia is a sustainable fashion brand that makes comfort-focused apparel for women, men and children.
Nordstrom’s installation is the first physical retail presence in North America for Pangaia.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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