More than three years after launching its women’s-only boutique, Nordstrom and Nike are joining forces yet again — this time for the opening of its new men’s concept shop.
Created by the retailer’s VP of creative projects, Olivia Kim, the store — housed in New York City’s Nordstrom outpost — will boast re-releases of the athletic giant’s most quintessential sneakers, such as the React Element 87, the Air Max 2 Light “Atmos” and the Blazer Mid ’77. It becomes the sixth Nordstrom x Nike sneaker boutique to open, following in the heels of the five existing women’s shops.
Each month, the location will rotate its selection of limited-edition pieces and will also offer three-hour, same-day delivery and 24/7 buy online, pick up in store services. (Personal styling, shoe fitting and sneaker cleaning are also available at the department store.)
“This is not another fitness-only shop or straight sneaker destination,” Kim said in a statement. “We hope that this is a place where men come to discover unexpected product, find inspiration and take their personal style to the next level.”
Just in time for its opening, FN chats with the Nordstrom executive about her latest retail endeavor and shares a sneak peek of the new store.
Footwear News: What can we expect from the men’s store? Why does this undertaking come three years after that of women’s?
Olivia Kim: “It’s about a test and learn. We wanted to see how our customer would respond, we started from a place from women’s and understanding there was a need — and selfishly because I wanted a place where we could have Nike mixed in with clothes. I basically only wear sneakers ever. And from the men’s one coming three years later especially here in New York — we wanted to launch with New York, New York being a huge moment for us. It’s been a work in progress.”
What are you most excited about in the launch of this concept shop?
“I’m excited for our customers to see Nike from a different perspective, in an environment that feels very quintessentially us but also very them. I think there’s minor details and little surprises and things like we started from a very menswear place thinking about a traditional toile print but when you look at it closely it’s got little Swooshes in it, there’s little basketballs and elements of the city. I’m excited about the partnership with Max Lamb, the artist who helped us design some of the fixtures that are rooted in running track, inspired by running track and elements of the city. We have a partnership with RTH based out of L.A. and we also have a partnership with a creative agency to do the publications, all the ‘zines are by Dashwood and I like the mixing of all of those pieces to create an environment that I hope customers will hang out in and enjoy, try on shoes, try on clothes, but more so thinking about it in a different way.”
You launched the women’s boutique more than three years ago. How have the stores performed?
“They’ve been incredible. I think there have been a lot of learnings. When we started the first one it was really about test and learn, let’s put this out there, let’s see how a customer responds to it, let’s see what we could be doing and activating in the space, and they’ve been really successful which has led to us trying more of them and also ultimately putting a concept for men’s together.”
What were you looking to accomplish with the women’s boutique? And how will that translate for the sixth boutique, which is also the first dedicated to men?
“For women’s we really wanted to create an environment that was about sneaker and fashion and we knew partnering with Nike, they really own that. I wanted to create a sneaker destination for women. The genesis for the entire concept was that growing up I loved Nike, I was obsessed with Nike, but I could never find sneakers in my size. Through that we were able to bring the best of everything we do at Nordstrom, everything we do from Balenciaga to Celine down to Topshop and put that with Nike and incorporate that mix because that’s how people are wearing Nike today — nobody is wearing any brand from head to toe, that mix is what made it individual and what makes you have your own sense of style. To do that in an environment that felt warm and had other lifestyle elements whether it was jewelry or apothecary, ‘zines and books. The idea behind the men’s one is the same thing: high-low fashion, the best of what we do here at Nordstrom, mix it in with Nike.”
Watch FN’s interview with Nike trainer Joe Holder.
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