Nordstrom is getting into the book business.
This story first appeared in the May 1, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Just in time for Father’s Day, the Seattle-based department store will publish the “Nordstrom Guide to Men’s Style,” a hardcover tome from Chronicle Books that is being billed as “the definitive handbook for dressing well.” Written by men’s wear expert Tom Julian, the one-time fashion director of the Men’s Fashion Association and a consumer trend expert, the book features a forward by Pete Nordstrom, president of merchandising for the retailer.
He writes: “As someone who’s been working for Nordstrom since the age of 12, I’m a guy who’s expected to dress like I know what I’m doing. You’d think I’d know it all when it comes to getting dressed, but what I’ve learned is that it’s the subtle things that make a real difference in your appearance, and it’s the confidence that you gain from knowledge that allows you to pull it off.”
The book asks a series of questions to determine personal style and labels the shopper either luxury, classic, contemporary or trend. It then goes on to show how to address that style in suits, sport coats, trousers, shirts, neckwear and tuxedos. While magazines such as Esquire and Details have done similar books, the Nordstrom one is different because it’s based on the expertise of the store’s salespeople and tailors. “We tried to create something appropriate for a wide range of customers,” said Julian, who believes the book brings “something different to the market with its lifestyle approach.”
David Witman, Nordstrom’s general merchandise manager of men’s wear, said, “We’ve been getting requests from customers for wardrobe tips and advice, so we thought why not take our collective experience from 56 years of selling men’s wear and put it all in one place. We also want to be where our customers want us to be, whether that’s in the form of a store or online, or in this case, a Nordstrom to-go.”
A party to mark the launch will be held in conjunction with GQ in New York on May 13 and the book will be available in Nordstrom stores, online and in bookstores in June. It will retail for $19.95.