Pop-In@Nordstrom x Alexander Wang today launches in nine of the Seattle-based department store’s locations and nordstrom.com/pop selling the designer’s clothing and accessories for men and women, including exclusive, limited-edition items.
The collaboration isn’t a surprise since Pop-In is the responsibility of Nordstrom vice president of creative projects Olivia Kim, who was hired in 2013 from Opening Ceremony, one of the first retailers to support Wang when he launched his collection.
Separate from Pop-In, Nordstrom carries Wang’s handbags, women’s wear, shoes and accessories and T by Alexander Wang clothing for women and men. The appeal of the Pop-In, according to Kim, is that it brings disparate product categories together under a temporary roof, imparting the designer’s vibe. “With Pop-In, we’re able to present the designer’s world. We push the boundaries of what we typically would buy for our customers. We can have edgier pieces. We can buy the runway items and pieces that aren’t the most productive but represent the designer.”
Wang’s fall 2016 collection, selection of which can be seen in the Pop-Ins, features such looks as a delicate embroidered lace dress with a sheer lingerie-style top; jackets and shorts made from distressed and frayed denim, and tweeds, bouclé and leather that have been repurposed and pierced. There’s a red ball and chain handbag, black backpack, belts, hats and T-shirts.
“I love how he combined all the different materials,” Kim said, noting that Wang used leather for accents and fur in hoodies and mohair sweaters with rows of metal ring details. “Tweed is thought of as a more mature fabric, but he made tweed miniskirts with corset stitching.”
Wang designed objects exclusively for Pop-In@Nordstrom, including shot glass sets emblazoned with slogans such as “Girls,” “Strict” and “Tender”; a set of gold-plated dice; black embossed playing cards, and a faux-marble domino set. Items with “just the right amount of wrong” include a matte black unicorn inflatable pool toy, black leather eye mask, S&M-style dog collar and leash, flask and lighter case.
“I really like when brands do accessories that aren’t necessarily apparel-focused,” Kim said. “This takes his brand to a whole other level.”
Alexander Wang x Kangol Peebles caps in patent leather and leopard will bow at Nordstrom after Wang’s runway show Saturday.
The shot glass set is $20; tweed skirt with ring piercing seams, $1,395; angora bra top with embroidered graphic, $395; leopard print Kangol hat, $180, and leather eye mask, $95.
Kim said everything about the Pop-Ins’ look was considered, including shopping bags and gifts-with-purchase. “We partnered with [Wang’s] in-store team and our design environments team. We were inspired by shipping containers. It’s very sleek and industrial looking with metal floor boards and everything metallic silver, black and gray.”
Pop-Ins are at Nordstrom’s downtown Seattle store; Bellevue Square, in Bellevue, Wash.; NorthPark Center in Dallas; San Francisco Centre; The Grove in Los Angeles; Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va.; Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver. Nordstrom is opening next week a store at CF Toronto Eaton Center, which will have a Pop-In.
Even though there will be 10 Pop-Ins launched in 2016, the third year of the project, Kim still considers it a test-and-learn endeavor. “I consider it still a test in that we’re trying new things inside the shops in terms of the designers and concepts we bring,” she said. “These are planned with such short lead times. We have the flexibility to make decisions on the fly like a small little team. I’m always trying to make sure that the Pop-Ins feel new and exciting to me. I want it to be a little bit uncomfortable.”