Sonia McBride: Most Innovative Line

FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

The line: The Central District-based designer (who works for a Ballard biking pannier company by day) describes her line as “urban cycling clothing for the professional woman,” as seen in garments like a violet pencil skirt that unzips on the sides to give more leg room to pedal. Other thoughtful details: reflective satin fabric on zippers and trims; the charming wool jacket’s mini capelet that protects against the wind; and double-reinforced seat and articulated-knee seaming on twill pants.

Creative spark: “For me, the design process starts with identifying a problem,” says the 25-year-old of her line. “As someone who commutes on my bike every day, it was obvious that there was a lack of functional and fashionable biking clothing for women, so I started trying to look for a creative solution. I’m inspired to find where those practical solutions, and then aesthetics, meet in a really realistic but beautiful way.”

Mission statement: “I also hope to encourage more women to use a bicycle as part of their daily routine, both as an environmentally responsible means of transportation and for the health benefits, too. On a larger scale, I’m hoping to help change what prototypical ‘cycling clothing’ looks like by adding stylish options.”

First garment created: “I made this peasant blouse in middle school; it was off the shoulder in a very bright white. I was so excited about it, but by the time I actually finished sewing the elastic neck, I didn’t even want to wear it anymore.”

How personal style influences her designs: “I’ve always had an affinity for structured, tailored vintage wear, like my grandmother’s clothing from the 1950s, so that love definitely comes out in my clothing.”

Line: Babecycle

School: Seattle Central Community College School of Apparel Design, Class of 2011

Find it: babecycle.com or etsy.com/shop/babecycle

Clothing pictured (From left to right): Double-faced wool/cashmere flannel coatdress with bias-cut skirt, curved front pockets, vintage wool ribbing on collar and cuffs, and double-needle topstitching details. McBride wears her own designs, a wool twill and wool cashmere/flannel combination fitted vest over a lavender wool/poly blend jersey knit long-sleeve top with cowl detail at shoulder and wool/cashmere flannel pencil skirt with side zippers; tights, shoes and earrings are her own. Wool jacquard cycling cape with scalloped edge, seamed curved welt pockets and ribbed collar, paired with lavender short-sleeve top (fabric details listed above with long-sleeve top) and wool twill equestrian-inspired riding pants with reflective satin tape belt loops and reinforced seat.

 

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.