When Olivia Kim says something is cool, you trust her. The vice president of creative projects for Nordstrom has historically been first to the game in supporting young fashion talent, like, ya know, some dude named Alexander Wang who started a few years ago.
At Nordstrom, she has spearheaded bringing in new brands that breath life into the trusted retailer. Her newest initiative, The Lab, brings young brands and designers into the store's rotation and gives relative unknowns the chance for worldwide exposure.
How does she know when it is worth investing in a new designer and, more importantly, how do you know?
"It's a very much gut thing," Kim tells us. "An emotional response to a collection or the designer themselves. What’s their story, why they do what they do, what’s their message? I’m lucky I can support these designers by giving them a platform within the structure of a big company, but not have to think about the ugly side of profitability 500 percent of the time. I can support and share their art and love of fashion, and give our customers a unique point of view that differentiates us as a retailer. I won’t get it right every single time, and maybe it is a passing fad, but for the moment it's meaningful to me somehow."
First to be in the lineup for The Lab? Dilara Findikoglu, Eric Schlösberg, Eckhaus Latta, A.W.A.K.E., and Vejas. Here are the pieces in our shopping cart from these up and comers.