Alicia Czerwiec: Most Artistic Line

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The line: Czerwiec unconventionally combines print, color and texture to create a strong sense of personality and promote a lifestyle anchored in creativity. “I want to…push the boundaries of using basic materials in an interesting way—like the use of strips and remnants of knit jersey to create braided medallions as appliqués for coats and outerwear,” says the Nordstrom fit and product specialist, who hand-stitched many elements of her collection

Creative spark: The Lake City-based designer’s multicultural focus lends an artistic depth to her print-laden designs, which include intricate coats, evening gowns and mixed separates. “I definitely design for a creative and artistic person, someone who wants to make a statement with her clothes,” says the 24-year-old, who attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles for her schooling. “For this collection, I was really inspired by a past trip to Lyon, France. I witnessed such historical beauty in the architecture and sculpture, and was inspired by the immense detail, texture and layers of buildings, parks, cathedrals and art.”

Mission statement: “I want to push people to value materials that may have been discarded as too small or not the right color and find a way to use them to reduce our waste and promote a higher yield ratio for garments.”

Biggest fashion faux pas: “I had a model in a show in Palm Desert Fashion Week and, unfortunately, was unable to be there to represent my collection. I noticed later in the photos that one of my looks had the pants worn backwards. They were wide-leg pants that could have easily been mistaken for front of back. It wasn’t noticeable on the runway, but I had a little chuckle to myself about it.”

Least favorite fashion trend: “My least favorite fashion trend would have to be animal prints. It’s more of a personal taste, but I’m never very fond of them. I love, however, almost every other type of intricate print.”

Line: Alicia Czerwiec Design

Find it: aliciaczerwiec@gmail.com or the Alicia Czerwiec Fashion Facebook page

Clothing pictured (From left to right): Long cotton print coat with contrasting stripe lapels; oversized Melton wool vest with hand-beaded, jersey knit braid and cotton French knot appliques. Czerwiec wears her own designs, a button-up silk blouse with placed print and wool gabardine pants with an asymmetrical reverse appliqué; shoes, belt and accessories are her own. Double-layered, hand-appliquéd wool gabardine coat with hand-embroidered decorative topstitch and asymmetrical collar layered over a teal silk charmeuse tank.


Nordstrom's Retail Therapy: Shopping for Change

Nordstrom's Retail Therapy: Shopping for Change

Nordstrom is more than just a department store; for many, it’s also a flagship of progressive Seattle values. (Oh, and there’s a sale this weekend)
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Seattle's flagship Nordstrom department store

For many Seattleites and their families, a visit to Nordstrom is not the average shopping trip. It’s often an all-day affair, rife with game plans, important decisions and breaks for meals (and cocktails), much like a visit to Grandma’s. Indeed, a trip to “Nordy’s” is a cherished family tradition in line with the family focus of the company, still run with the help of a fourth generation of Nordstroms.  

Despite its success and national expansion, the Seattle-based luxury retailer still operates very much like a small business, and is beloved for its customer-focused business model. Shoppers can count on excellent service from well-commissioned sales reps (including on-site personal stylists), the most forgiving of return policies (the one rule of Nordstrom’s return policy is there is no return policy), a plethora of sizes and styles and sales galore. Not to mention in-store amenities like its signature café and cocktail bar. Best of all, the store always waits until after Thanksgiving to put up holiday decorations. (Anyone for a Nordstrom-based remake of Where the Heart Is? Anyone? No?)

Earlier this month, when the company dropped Ivanka Trump’s line of shoes and handbags from its inventory (a decision the retailer cited was due to poor sales), many viewed it as a testament to Nordstrom’s promise to put family first, and a nod to its founder, John W. Nordstrom, who himself immigrated to the U.S. from Sweden in 1887, when he was just 16.

Progressive Seattleites rallied further when this company memo followed Trump’s executive order to temporarily bar citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., a portion of which reads: “We currently employ more than 76,000 people who comprise different races, ethnicities and genders. We literally have thousands of employees who are first and second generation immigrants. Every one of your unique qualities brings a richness that allows us to better reflect and serve the multi-cultured communities we’re a part of.”

Despite a Twitter backlash from Ivanka’s commander-in-chief dad, Nordstrom’s shares continue to climb, and shoppers across the nation have publically ramped up their support of the department store.

Did we mention there’s a sale this weekend? Nordstrom’s first sale of the year, the Nordstrom Winter Sale, starts today in stores and online and runs through February 26th. Take up to 40% off your favorite styles for men, women and kids.

Grab your family and friends and keep the tradition going—and, as Nordstrom’s slogan reminds us, don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself.